Saturday, April 15, 2006

1040A or 1040?

Slept late again, rising after 9:00. Clearly, there is not much enthusiasm for dealing with my situation, “my reality”! (“In other words, when are you going to get off your butt???”)

Several tasks for today:

- Contact Bill Mapes at “Exchange Bank” to see about my investment "liquidity”
- Take Jessica's car in for a smog check
- Then deliver it to Napa for an insurance photo
- Look at how dire the tax situation is

Stresses are already building. I'm not really enjoying being back in this society!

After working through the Federal Tax Form 1040A, I reached a point where it concluded I need to file a 1040. “Great!” Of course, I don't have a Form 1040.

Drove into Santa Rosa, to the state building where I have in the past picked up tax forms. No more. The offices are moving, and signs directed me to other locations. The nearest is the Federal building on Sonoma Avenue.

Inside the building's lobby, there’s a security check. I was turned around because of the “Leatherman Tool” I was carrying in my riding suit.

“Can’t you just hang on to it while I go grab a few forms?”

“If I take it, we’ll have to keep it,” the guard replied. That's all it took to piss me off at this bureaucracy. I’ve become thin-skinned indeed!

Returned to my illegally-parked bike to stow the weapon.

In my second attempt, I successfully passed the screening and proceeded to the IRS office to collect the needed forms. On my way out, I offered a suggestion to the guards:

“It would be a lot easier if they just placed the forms outside the secured area. Then you guys wouldn’t have to screen nearly as many people.”

“This is the way the government runs it,” was the carefully-considered reply.

Picked up Jessica’s car from her work, leaving my motorcycle in its place. The smog check cost $70. Jeez! What happened to the days of $20 or $30 smog checks?

Drove over to Napa Valley once again. Daytime traffic is very frustrating in the North Bay. If you’re in an office all day, you don’t really sense the growing problem. And it's definitely worse in a car than on a motorcycle.

It was insane to drive 35 miles or so just to take a photo, but “Tara” said they have to personally photograph the car for the insurance coverage to be valid. They wouldn’t allow me to submit a digital photo.

So, I pulled up in front of their office and she came out with her “Polaroid” camera (“who uses these things any more?”) She snapped front and rear view photos, then said “that’s it!”

I’m becoming sensitive to every penny going out, every mile driven, and it’s feeling like a hemorrhage!

With the rush hour crowds, I crawled back to “Oliver's Market” in Cotati. Joined Jessica on her 30-minute break. Bought some groceries. They even gave me the employee discount!

Up until 3:00 a.m., listening to a series of stories about Neko Case on NPR, and to a concert they also broadcast.

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