Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Saturday file...

I have been collecting a few "bits and pieces" for blogging and thought I would today throw a few of these things out there for you folks. I have been trying for the last few days to get my income taxes done and frankly things are conspiring against me. So, if you don't mind that I get up on my soap box and rant about it for a couple of sentences, I will then deliver the remaining content and get right back at the nasty job! If I can get it done today I have promised myself a wonderful day of creative endeavors for tomorrow. So discipline being my middle name, I forge ahead!

Firstly, my tax software woes. I have used the online Intuit QuickTax software since 2005 and never once had a problem with it. In fact, through using it I have found missing deductions which have decreased my tax payable in the past. However, when I went to get into it this year it claimed that my ID or password was wrong. I could write another thousand words about what I have done to get into my account - and I did succeed in getting access but then it locked me out again after entering data for an hour - but I won't. The account has my previous years tax info, which not only saves me data entry time since it will pre-populate this years form, but also allows me to compare how I have done this year compared to last.

To make a long story short -and at risk of you not understanding the depths of my frustration - I have spent 2 days trying to get the old account info and then an hour entering new info when I was "timed out" and now I can't get back into the account. Intuit cannot give me the password information - the help desk says it isn't available to them. Of course they presume I forgot my password - but I think it is a screw up, before I lost access I was "timed out" while I looked for some information. Due to security reasons the password info is sent to your email address when you "click here if you have forgotten your password".

The snafu is that they send it to the original email address you entered when you created the account i.e. my 2005 email address. At the time I was with Rogers, now I am with Sympatico. In short, I am screwed.

This morning I will open a new account and start from scratch with all data entry. *&*&^%^$$^%&*&(*^(* grrrrrrrrrrrrrrh!

I can thank my friend Kathleen for reminding me about this song on her Facebook posting:

Evidence of Spring is Everywhere!

On a more pleasant note, I went for a wonderful walk this morning and took some pics - signs of spring. There are two small but pretty parks, one on either side of my building and a nice park-like area at the front area of my condo. I took some pics of things "budding" in and around and while it looks pretty dismal now, there are signs of greenery everywhere! Even a few flowers! (OK, some might not call a dandelion a flower, but it is bright yellow and a sure sign of spring.)

A Pandemic in the Offing?

I am watching with some concern and interest in the Mexican flu situation, which has popped into the news in the last few days. From the reading I have done, it is likely that the flu pandemic warning index will go from a 3 to a 5, once the authorities meet and discuss the situation. Apparently, we should expect some action to be taken very quickly and I expect we will see travel warnings regarding Mexico. If it goes to 6 that will mean that we are officially in a pandemic. I hope it won't come to that. I am hoping that they are able to develop a vaccine to be included in our fall flu shot - but I am not sure how long these things take to develop. If it doesn't spread widely before a vaccine is made available to the public it is unlikely to become a pandemic. There is a very informative article about the Mexican virus and its likelihood to become a pandemic here.

I found a very interesting and useful CBC video which explains how colds and flu are spread and gives instruction on how to prevent the spread of both. Nothing too new to my ears, but there are useful reminders. The video spend most of the time on colds and covers flu in the last part of the video. You might want to take a listen. Go here. If you don't want or have time to listen, let me give you the bottom line: Stay away from others who might have the flu - it is spread through sneezes and coughs - air born, unlike colds which are more apt to be spread through hand to hand contact.

Get your Free Cuppa Joe

Did you know that there is a coffee war on? MacDonalds is giving away free coffee for the next 2 weeks (started Apr 20th) and you don't even need to buy anything to get it! Not that MacDonalds will ever replace the expresso joints of the world, but apparently the new brew that they have chosen is expected to be able to go toe to toe with the likes of that served by Timi's and Coffee Time. The other thing to remember that our coffee preference is an acquired taste and if we drink their free coffee for two weeks our preference could change as our taste buds get used to their brew. We may even want to pay money for it after the freebie period is over!

I also heard that Starbucks were going to close an outlet or two and I wonder if high end coffee (or even regular swill) is very recession proof? Last year I bought a Thermos and travel mug and started bringing my own coffee to work. I would buy 2 of Timi's (extra large in the morning and a large in the afternoon) and calculated I was spending nearly $16 per week not to mention the issue of the paper cups. I take it black and we "straight up" folks double cup the brew as the heat of the coffee can be too much to take if you are carrying the cup a ways. I also bring my lunch, out of preference for food I cook and because I like to work through lunch and then would go without. I am not so much into fast food and would rather eat out one great lunch each week with friends rather than have fast food meals at my desk. It does mean I have more money for other things I would rather spend on. OK, so I do watch my pennies.

If you want to read more about our Canadian Coffee Wars go here.

Leonard Cohen - Live in London DVD

I had a shipment of goodies delivered this week from an Amazon spending binge I went on a week or so ago. Right now I am writing this while watching the DVD of Leonard Cohen's "Live in London" concert which is new out and features the songs he is playing in his cross Canada tour. Since I didn't get tickets to see him in person, this is the closest I will get. It is a superb concert and I am completely mesmerized by his music and watching his performance! The man has such class and grace which is so evident as you watch him perform. It puts me in such a mellow and serene mood to listen to his music. This DVD has been no disappointment. Highly recommended!

Now, back to taxes with me!


  1. I took a walk, a short one, too and captured a few scenes of Spring busting out all over. Judging from your Springtime photographs, our Spring is a little ahead of your Spring. Makes sense, though, because you are a little north of me.

  2. Thankfully, doing our (me and Kara) taxes is pretty painless, since her father is an accountant. Of course our tax season is now over, thank goodness. I think the worst part each year is waiting to find out how much I'm going to owe... with my work being all freelance, I will always owe the government a mint!

    Glad to see things greening up. Oh, and down here I've been drinking the McDonald's coffee for quite a while - I found it to be actually pretty good, though of course I don't have a Timmy's to compare it to!

  3. Wow! 2 comments on one post... How lucky am I!

    Linda, you have some lovely pictures of spring colour on your blog - yes, you are definitely ahead of us - I am looking forward to the tulips in bloom! I bought a hyacinth that has been forced and put it in my kitchen and the smell is spectacular! Looking forward to a few weeks from now when we might have some spring flowers in full bloom!


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