The Unrelated Topics of Taxes, Laptops, Bread, and Friends

Rather than write journal entries this weekend I decided to go down the rabbit hole of fixing a laptop and doing my taxes. I filled in the remaining time with impromptu visits with friends and fresh baked sourdough bread.

Laptop

I decided to retire my daughter’s first college laptop, an HP Pavilion tablet. I replaced the battery a few weeks ago and reloaded the OS, which helped at the time, however it continues to have performance issues. After several hours making updates and diagnostics, the keyboard began to fail. It is a sunk cost and no longer worth my time or money to fix. It will be decommissioned, as it is no longer useful as a spare.

It bothers my sensibilities to dispose of it. I like having a spare or three and I feel it is a relatively new-ish device. I blame my vaguely “prepper” mentality. I am the guy that has five ways to make coffee. Bleh. I will get over it.

Taxes

After the discouraging laptop effort, I decided to start into my taxes. Perhaps not a brilliant idea to switch from a disappointing to disdainful task. Naturally, I didn’t make much progress on the taxes. I organized some paperwork before hitting a dead end. The required financial documents are not available yet. On the bright side, I did compile my crypto currency tax forms. I am curious how TurboTax will handle cryptos this year.

Bread

After meeting an end to mostly unproductive time at various computers I turned my time to baking bread. I like Sourdough, and have a healthy starter. My experience to success with baking sourdough over the last few years are patience and timing being key. That and practice, luck, the alignment of the stars, consulting chicken bones tossed from a cup, aromatherapy, windspeed, and assorted divinations.

The result this week is an almost okay sandwich loaf. I made the error of using a stainless-steel loaf pan. Stainless-steel sheets and pans magically disperse heat. The pans are great in every way if you don’t want the bottom of a cookie or loaf to be cooked. I manage to forget this from time to time. I have regular steel and glass cookware if I want a crisp bottom crust. I will remember this for next time, for sure.

After extracting my loaf and realizing my error, I tossed the loaf upside-down back in the oven on broil for a couple minutes. Bottom crisp. Not perfect, but edible for the next few days.

Friends

Apparently, my wife and I have friends. Covid neither killed nor ostracized them all. The weekend filled with unplanned visits with friends. Who would have guessed this was possible? I think most people are done with the mandates and restrictions, now otherwise going through the motions. Mandates are still in effect where I live, but the mask is slipping, so to speak. Enforcement is casual.

The joy is being with people again, sharing a meal and conversation. Social isolation is unhealthy. Meeting out with friends lifted my spirits after my weekend efforts. It is easier to laugh at shared stories of minor triumph and tragedy when with other people.

Carpe societatem! Carpe amicos!

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