The Wires

Public Service Announcement

August 8: About to give birth? About to get a new job? Beware the poppy-seed bagel. Seriously. Washington Post: "... poppy seeds really can make you fail a drug test, both peer-reviewed scientific studies and unofficial experiments conducted by journalists have found. Because they’re derived from opium poppies, they sometimes contain traces of morphine ― not enough to get you high, obviously, but potentially enough to register on a highly sensitive drug test." The report cites several instances in which mothers lost custody of their newborns because the mothers failed routine (but outdated) drug tests.

July 13: Washington Post: "A salmonella outbreak linked to a popular Kellogg's cereal has infected 100 people, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday. The agency is urging consumers to avoid Honey Smacks, a sugary puffed wheat cereal which has been the subject of a recall by the company since mid-June. At least 30 of the 100 have been hospitalized, while no deaths have been reported, the CDC said. 'Do not eat Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal of any size package or with any "best if used by" date,' it wrote."

A Toke Before They Croak. Guardian: "For decades, seafood lovers have struggled with a confounding ethical dilemma: how do you balance out the delight of a lobster dinner with the discomfort of boiling one alive, generally regarded as the proper way to prepare the crustacean delicacy?... Sedating lobsters by blowing marijuana smoke on to them sounds like the type of idea you might come up with while smoking a bit of grass yourself, but Charlotte Gill, owner of Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound in Southwest Harbor, is convinced it can help to ease the pain lobsters might feel while being boiled alive. An animal rights supporter who has owned the restaurant for seven years, Gill told the Mount Desert Island publication that she’s long struggled with the ethical implications of her line of work. After conducting an experiment in which she 'hot-boxed' a particularly aggressive lobster named Roscoe, she came away convinced the high significantly mellowed him out. 'The animal is already going to be killed,' she said in the interview. 'It is far more humane to make it a kinder passage.'”

 

Here's the Los Angeles Times' Emmy page. ...

... New York Times: "'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' won five [Emmys] on Monday night, including best comedy series, and “Game of Thrones” picked up the award for best drama. HBO and Netflix tied with 23 Emmys each. See a full list of winners here. Talk of #MeToo was largely absent from this year’s ceremony, with no one mentioning Leslie Moonves from the stage. Read our critic’s review of the show, which he said lacked diversity. See red carpet photos."

Guardian: "A pair of ruby red slippers, produced for Judy Garland to wear in the Wizard of Oz, have been discovered by police over a decade after they were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minneapolis [sic, Minnesota]. The discovery ends years of intrigue and scandal surrounding the whereabouts of the shoes. The slippers were recovered during an undercover operation in Minneapolis, the FBI revealed in a news conference today. Their lead came in summer 2017 when an individual approached the company that insured the slippers, claiming he had information about the shoes and how they could be returned. It quickly became clear he was attempting to extort the slippers’ owners and police were contacted.

You can see why Trump is insanely jealous of this guy:

There will be an answer. Best #CarpoolKaraoke evah:

     ... You're welcome. ...

... Matthew Dessem of Slate: "The only fly in the ointment is the knowledge that, demographically speaking, this video will make a lot of horrible people happy."

Monday
Apr162018

Things I Learned Yesterday Filing My Taxes

You can pay your estimated federal taxes online, something I'm about to try as I'm snowed & iced in today. Update: I did it. It's a bit more complicated that writing a check as you may have to dig up a previously-filed 1040 for verification purposes. But it appears to have worked, & was less perilous (I hope) than hiking through snow, sleet, ice & rain to my local PO dropoff box.

You can pay any federal taxes due online, too. For once I overpaid my estimated taxes, so I didn't try this.

Having trouble getting your computer & printer to communicate? I was able to scan from my PC to the printer yesterday, but I could no longer scan from the printer to the computer (which I needed to do to send the signed tax docs back to my accountant -- [tho to save time, I sent her a electronic signature first]). I spent about 6 hours doing all things sensible & superstitious to rectify the matter & finally gave up & called Best Buy's Geek Squad. It turns out that Windows has an app built into the software called "Windows Fax & Scan." You should be able to find it by typing "WFS" in the Windows search box (bottom left-hand corner of the screen). The Geek guy made me a desktop button for the app, which is helpful if you're going to use it a lot. Of course you have to have already established a wireless connection between your computer & printer, but my annoying Canon printer would tell me the connection was good -- until I wanted to scan. The Windows Fax & Scan is super-easy to use; the instructions are self-explanatory.

The Trump-Ryan-McConnell Republican tax "reform" law will raise my federal taxes by 15% to 20% next year, according to my accountant. ...

     ... Update: To add insult to injury, Trump went to the town where I grew up -- Hialeah, Florida -- to lie about all the big tax breaks ordinary people like me would get under his favorite tax bill. Then he left to go to Mar-a-Lago, the resort he owns which I could not afford to visit if I wanted to (and I don't).

If you have any wise tips (or corrections to mine) learned in the tax-filing process, please share.

Reader Comments (2)

Tangentially relevant?

An old idea updated recently on "Vox".

Makes sense so it probably has a snowball's chance.

https://www.vox.com/2016/4/13/11417676/elizabeth-warren-tax-return-free-filing-tax-day-intuit-hr-block-turbotax-automatic-simple

April 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

Bea, you are a far braver woman than I am. The very thought of filing electronically is alarming to me. My accountant knows I will only file on paper and via certified mail. Yeah, she always makes me sign a document that this is what I want...but, I have a deep skepticism about how well the IRS online security is...that goes for Social Security, too. With budget cuts...I have to wonder how much money goes into supporting and creating the safety factors needed for sites where such invaluable info goes.

Yeah, I know...once they get my paper filings they probably have someone input the data into their computer system so it is there electronically anyhow. But, at least I don't feel complicit.

April 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMAG
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