Dunno about travel; in past years, there's been parking in a large garage within walking distance of the fairgrounds. This year, nothing about that in the getting-there information; apparently those of us coming from the south are supposed to park at Oracle and take the shuttle bus, which seems rather less than convenient, especially if I buy anything large before departure time.
Anyway, gotta print some info, and some business cards.
Info should be easy: send to laser printer. Complication: Huckleberry the Arcturan Megakitten hears the laser printer spooling up and jumps on it, causing jams and scattering of already-printed pages.
Business cards should be easy, modulo feeding the paper: I have a PDF formatted to match the laser-perf cardstock which I also have. Just have to configure the new-ish office-type inkjet printer for letter-size paper (it's usually stocked with 11x17)... which means some significant futzing around in the "clear" area of the table, which all too often is full of cat.
Well, Top Hat had vacated the spot in front of the printer a while ago, so I just had to contend with a curious Huckleberry and Southmoon, both wanting to help. Oh, and dragging the printer far enough out of its nook to change the magenta ink cartridge.
But... it seems that the office-type printer, while it handles 11x17 plain paper admirably, doesn't speak card stock: it consistently declares a jam, whether I use the cassette or the rear feed slot.
A little more bashing at that (and some searching of the Intarwebs), and if it doesn't start cooperating I'll just have to drag in the cheap&cheesy little inkjet to print the cards.
Update: Gave up, for now, on getting the big printer to handle thick paper (apparently the menu option for thick paper doesn't do what it says on the tin). Ergo:
Out to the living room. Fetch the cheap little printer. Note that it doesn't have a power cord attached. Find the power connector: a dainty 2-pin type. Look for the cord. Eventually find, if not the, then at least a cord that'll do.
Plug USB cable into workstation front-panel port (driver is already installed from when the printer was new, an emergency purchase when the old 11x17 inkjet died). Doesn't seem to work. Kernel messages indicate a failure to enumerate. Maybe it doesn't get along with the USB3 port? Try a different one: also failure to enumerate. Wha'? OK, plug it into the hub where other things tend to be connected: now it works, and it feeds the card stock, and... most of the way through a page, it comes un-enumerated.
Guess the USB interface has some serious bobbles. Oh, well: I got two almost-full sheets of cards printed, so I have enough to fill my pocket for a day at the fairgrounds.
Joy had left her hot-air hair-curling thingamajig plugged in, in the bedroom.
Huckleberry had turned it on, leading to panic.
I think Top Hat had also been there, and fled in the opposite direction.
Anyway: wide awake now. Outdoors: rain. This morning, once it gets light: I'm on setup crew for an outdoors wedding. Forecast: not terribly informative, but it looks like we won't get rained on too much.
At least I won't be standing around on a blazing hot afternoon wearing a sport coat and slacks hastily acquired at Goodwill (i.e.: polyester).
As I lay in bed last night, my foot was struck by a projectile moving, near as I can figure, somewhere around 20 feet per second*.
Well, that's not much... but this was, roughly speaking, a 120,000 grain projectile, so it had the momentum of, say, a 230 grain projectile moving at around 10,000 FPS**.
Not as injurious as a 20 million grain projectile at 20 FPS (small car, 14 MPH, yeah, that'll hurt), but still.
At least it was blunt. And the kinetic energy was that of a 230 grain projectile at (pokes calculator again) 450 FPS. So, frontal area does seem to have been a large factor in the lack of serious injury.
Maybe I should stop lying so close to the edge of the bed. A bit further inboard, and the ballistic fuzzballs would miss more often.
* Half a second to traverse a 10-foot hallway? 20% the top speed of a cheetah? Sounds plausible.
** According to Hollywood physics, the impact must have blasted me out of bed, up into the air, and out through the bedroom window, scattering bits of glass and window frame everywhere.
0335: Wake to the sound of horking from the hallway. Crawl out of bed and investigate. Top Hat, the shaggy beast, has deposited a monster hairball on the floor (at least it was on the vinyl, not the carpet). Clean it up, stare at the Internet for a while, and return to bed.
0748: Driving across a bridge, or causeway, over some wide, slow river. Top Hat suddenly gets excited, leaps out the passenger-side window (despite it not being open anything like far enough for that), does a perfect belly-flop into the water, and commences dogcat-paddling to the shore. Get off the bridge, pull over, park, and run back to retrieve the soggy bundle of fur.
0750: Wake to the sound of Top Hat galloping into the bedroom and leaping onto the nightstand and thence the headboard for a look out the bedroom window.
1440: Get my brain working almost well enough to make sense of that brokerage statement (unless I've gone delusional, which is always an option). Figure out, in general terms, which pages correspond to what totals, and where those numbers need to end up. But then Top Hat decides to help, in her inimitable way, by sitting atop the forms and giving her best Dot Warner impression.
The others have been more or less behaving themselves. It's mostly the bumble-kitty being strange today, in real life or otherwise.
Huckleberry and Top Hat want to help me sift through last year's financial paperwork.
They both like to lie on piles of paper.
Top Hat offers to shred the evidence. (Er, Top Hat... those in that pile are receipts for business expenses. Shredding them is counterproductive.)
Southmoon, at least, hasn't taken an interest. Yet. She likes to lie on papers, too. And maybe she'll contribute a dead leaf or a bit of cardboard. (I gotta train that critter to bring cash, jewelry, and stock certificates.)
Well, with the relevant papers sorted from the other vaguely-financial records, the piles aren't too deep. But Schedule D will be a pain (what with having to dig through long-archived records), and Schedule C will be at least as much of a pain as usual (for the second year in a row, I'll be reporting income that wasn't reported on 1099 forms... last time, because the payer died before doing the paperwork; this time, because the payer is an overseas business and doesn't do U.S. tax forms).
Oh, well. I assume that reporting income that the IRS didn't already know about won't get me flagged for an audit... right?
Now, how to shuffle papers and Turbot Ax, in my office, without the cats getting in the way, but without blocking ventilation and having it get all hot and stuffy in here? Maybe I should add a screen door, and claim it's a tax preparation expense?
Update: The brokerage statement is 34 pages long, of which 16 are used accounting for my sale of a rather old and underperforming mutual fund... which had, apparently, accreted quite a few shares, accounted for in small lots, over the years.
Update 2: Once again, Schedule D is a wholly unnecessary pain-beyond-imagination. TurboTax and the brokerage don't seem to agree on exchanging data, so I'll have to enter everything manually. The brokerage statement, apart from having one sale spread across 16 pages of small fiddlies, isn't in the format that TurboTax expects me to transcribe from.
And it's looking like a Really Good Thing that I kept half of the proceeds from one of last year's two sales in reserve... 'cause between tax due and the first-quarter estimated taxes, things are looking quite alarming so far. But of course I won't be able to get to the final numbers until I slog through Schedule D, and then Schedule A. And then there are the inevitable California fiddles.
And... has anyone out there, ever, received a 1099-DIV with a nonzero amount on line 10 (Exempt-interest dividends) and actually known what states were involved?
Just rearranging some stuff, I came across an old travel litter box, from the days when the kittens were small enough to pop all three of them in a small dog carrier and take them to the office, and I had an office to take them to. It was actually a plastic file box, sized to hold maybe a ream of legal-size paper; with the lid on, it wasn't exactly airtight, but good enough to prevent litter spills while in transit. With the lid off, it was big enough for the use of a small cat.
Well, it's not much use these days, so I figured I'd dump the new-old-stock litter into the current main box.
Huh. This litter looks funny. I'd used a couple of light-tan varieties, before settling on Precious Cat. This stuff was granular, as I remembered, but... sticking together... oddly. And I was pretty sure I'd put it away with unused litter in it. Clumping from past humidity, maybe?
When I opened it, I had the answer. Moths! Pantry moths had set up housekeeping in the kitty litter!
I guess it must have been one of those brands made from vegetable detritus, like wheat hulls or something. And, somehow, it's nutritious for moth larvae.
Huckleberry was savaging the tiger flower (not really his, but what the heck) this morning. By the time I got my phone into camera mode, he was posing with his kill:
Not long afterward, I saw this:
Awww... poor unwanted discarded widdle kitty!
Update: Top Hat was feeling left out.
No, they don't (generally) do the "five of his six ends are pointy when he lies like that" thing, except for Huckleberry when he gets all wound up. Their usual response to belly rubs is to stretch out and purr. My attempt to raise them as dogs hasn't been entirely in vain!
You may note that the third photo lacks the sharp focus of the first two. Actually, all three are in focus; it's Top Hat herself who's out of focus, and has been from her youth.