Sunday, April 06, 2008

Tax Time and How We Distract Ourselves

I did, actually, pretty much do my federal taxes today, and they would be done if I didn't have to check a couple of things before I send them off. As in, it would be nice to know whether I should have a W2 form (my pay information stated that I would get one).
But it was a pretty nice spring day, so the apartment was filled with light, so I also busied myself with various spring tasks such as packing winter sweaters into ziplock bags in the hope of foiling any carpet beetles that might be looking for a meal. I didn't think to try this before putting them in storage when I went to Prague (I simply soaked them in very soapy water to drown any of the beasts), but it is surprising how much sweater will fit into a 1-gallon plastic bag. It's not hard: fold the sweater around some sort of rectangular object, such as a piece of cardboard, shove the result into the bag, withdraw the rectangular object, and repeat multiple times. Well, and seal each bag.
I also assembled a second metal shelving unit for the basement storage. Apparently these are only sold at specific times of year, as I couldn't find any during the winter and now Target has lots, or it did a few weeks ago when I bought the thing.
In a less springlike fashion, I tried to catch up on some OCR projects (it is one thing to scan a document, quite another to check the character recognition). While I am glad that ABBYY can handle multiple languages in the same document, I am always stunned to find how many more languages I should have specified. A book one expects to be all in French proves to have huge chunks of Greek (not that I expect to search on anything in Greek, but still). Almost anything on surrealism proves to have words in every imaginable Indo-European language, so that if recognition is set to French, Czech, and English, the German and Spanish characters cause problems. It's a big pain constantly correcting umlauts and Spanish characters as all this requires switching the Windows keyboard. We were in French? No use, there's a umlaut. Can't keep it in German, though; there's a Czech name. Ugh, there goes Miró again (although he can be done with the Czech keyboard if one recalls just how to get that ó; it's Bun~uel I don't know how to type). And I have a Kupka text in French that has endless French names for Greek, Mesopotamian, and Egyptian deities. I knew that Kupka was a medium, but not that he was obsessed with ancient gods. Oh well.
In the meantime, I am intrigued that various friends who seldom write to me have chosen this weekend to email. They all claim to have writing deadlines, so I daresay this explains their interest in finding out what I'm up to. After all, my forthcoming gamelan concerts must be far more interesting than whatever copy they are expected to turn in to their editors. No matter, I'm always pleased to hear from them...
... Just as Ms. Spots is always excited to smell enticing foods like walnuts on my hands. I think my responses to the emails were somewhat more restrained than were her ecstatic reactions to my hand during the dinner hour (walnuts had been added to my supper). But I suppose I could always inquire whether my correspondants are hoping to get me to rub my face passionately all over their hands. (Then again, that might not be a good plan. They might not write back for another year or few.)

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Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Remember, it is not wise to go swimming for forty-five minutes after using umlauts or eating wanuts.

April 09, 2008 3:47 AM  

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