Taxes, Tips and Time of Sunrise

This one's for Barb!
This one’s for Barb!

If we were having a beer, you’d be picking on me, from the start.

“Hi Cheryl. It’s his turn to pay, but you might want to get his credit card up-front, I hear he hasn’t been paying his bills.”

“You wouldn’t stiff me for a couple Coronas, would you Dan? You are still drinking those bad hombres…right?”

“Yes, I mean, no…sigh, I mean yes I’m still drinking Coronas, and no, I won’t stiff you. And. For the record, I always pay my bills.”

“Not according to the people at Piggy Boats.”

“I love the way you cherry-pick my blog posts just so you can pick on me.”

“Why else would I read them?”

“I like to think they have some entertainment value.”

“They do, I find this very entertaining. Cheryl, put a glass a Meiomi on that tab, but seriously, think about collecting it soon.”

“I think he’s good for a couple of beers, maybe even some wings.”

“Suit yourself, I’d want to see his tax returns before I made that leap.”

“That might not happen.”

“Following the lead of our President?”

“No, battling another unfriendly company.”

“Who are you not paying this week?”

“Not, not paying. They aren’t selling.”


It should be here
It should be here

“Turbo Tax. Intuit won’t sell me Turbo Tax.”

“What are you talking about? Staples has a big pile of Turbo Tax for sale.”

“Deluxe, Turbo Tax Deluxe, and Premium. I didn’t see Turbo Tax Basic, that’s what I’ve been using.”

“What’s the difference?”

“I don’t know. I can’t even find a decent comparison of the two versions.”

“I hate Turbo Tax. Why don’t you just switch to H&R Block?”

“Is that what you use?”

“Yeah. I used to use Turbo Tax, but you’re right, they make it hard to buy what you want, so I switched.”

“Were you able to import everything?”

“Easy peasy.”

“Connect to your W2 online.”

“Of course, who doesn’t do that?”

“Same price?”

“Cheaper, at least when you switch.”

“Here you go boys. Meiomi and Corona – with our signature hunk of lime shoved in.”

“Thanks Cheryl. So why don’t they want to sell you Basic?”

“I don’t know, they’re always trying to sell you the next higher level. Even when you use it, they keep suggesting that you upgrade.”

“You didn’t call the people at Turbo Tax…did you?”

“I did.”

“After everything you went through with Piggy Boats? Why didn’t you just switch to H&R Block?”

“I’m lazy. I know Turbo Tax. I’ve been using it since 2004.”

“Still, you have to consider your stress level.”

“I just checked a box to get a call back from them. A guy called in less than five minutes.”

“Did he sell you Basic?”

“It took a while, but he says he’ll ‘push a copy down to me’.”

“How long is a while?”

“About 30 minutes.”

“Thirty minutes? What’s wrong with you boy? Time is money…”

“Not around here, unless you start drinking that wine, finish that beer and order some food. That first round was on me.”

“Sorry, and thanks Cheryl, he’s getting carried away. Bring us another round.”


“Wings, Barbecue with Parm-Pep.”


“Thanks. Now, before I leave, what’s the deal with your taxes? Are you getting a refund or do you owe them money?”

“I told you I’m good for the tab, Cheryl.”

“I know, but April 15th falls on a Saturday this year. I’m trying to figure out if I should take the day off.”

“Don’t worry. I usually get a little money back. Besides, it might be his week to pay.”

“Let’s hope not. Anyway, I always have to pay, because of the tips.”

“I never get money back. I like it that way. I don’t enjoy lending the government money for free. But, I’m curious, why do you hope I’m not paying that week?”

“Like I said, because of the tips.”

“I shouldn’t suffer because he tips more than he should.”

“I tip the right percentage, but I add the price of the drinks she gives us into the base for her tip.”

“I never thought of that.”

“Probably why she never buys us a round the weeks you pay.”

“OK, here’s your wine, your beer and your wings. And, for the record, he might be right about those free drinks.”

“Message received. Oh, and I meant to say that I liked your photos this week, particularly the absence of the Connecticut River.”

“Funny you should mention that; I have some new ones to show you. It’s been getting light earlier”


  1. If we were having a beer, you’d be picking on me, from the start.? I would never start picking on you until you had bought the first round. Oh, and according my UK based tip calculator, you pay to much in tips – or should I say… NO, I’m not going there!
    You friend David from the UK (and long time bar buddy).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those images at the top of the city skyline and reflections in the morning twilight are stunning! I love them!!

    We tried Turbo Tax when it first came out they said we owed. Back then we never owed and used an accountant. So, we took the same tax papers to the account and had him do them and we got a refund. We’ve never considered Turbo Tax again. We still have a CPA do our taxes. I have to start getting all the papers ready for our appointment which is in a couple of weeks.

    For last 8 yrs we owe every year. So, I file as late as possible.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Deborah. I love stopping at that park in the morning and seeing the way the city looks under different light and how the reflections change with the river’s flow. It’s getting light now, but DST will bring my commute back to darkness (just for a bit).

      If my taxes get any more complicated, I think I’ll start going to a human. I think this might be the last year for Turbo Tax.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Before we considered moving, a year ago, I maintained I didn’t care where we moved, as long as there was a view – river, mountain, whatever. Even a city-scape was on my list, because, as you have wonderfully illustrated, cities can be beautiful, too. Amazing colour palette in your suite of photos.

    As for the extortion tactics that is our capitalist commerce system, I’ll just say: [grumble]

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The photos you shared recently (winter scenes) tell me you got your wish on the view. Cities have a wonderful way of looking good from a distance. Once you get into them, you have to work to find the good stuff, but I think it’s still there. I love reflections, and the colors in the river always get my attention. Some are from the new electronic billboards on the highway, but they do add something nice to the mix.

      And, you’re right about those tactics. You would think I’d be used to is by now. It’s all about the money. Thanks for visiting!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m with you on Turbo Tax. I get so pissed off I could scream then I lay down the money and buy. I have to buy Home and business because of the publishing thing. I have to admit the import features work really well and this year I need some questions answered and got a response in 30 seconds. So (sigh) I’ll just keep shelling out the dough. Super photo’s Dan. have a great weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks John. I suppose “taxes” gets me in a mood where I can easily get angry. I just wish they would put all their products out there.

      Two years ago, they moved a feature (I think the AMT check) out of Basic. When they told me I had to upgrade, I tweeted that I was switching to H&R Block. They contacted me and gave me a free coupon for Deluxe. They got so many complaints, they moved the feature back.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. There’s always one (or a dozen) more things to stress about at this time of year. When I was young I did my taxes in early January every year. Then more and more often something came to me late — like in March. So now I wait. Even though I don’t have a mortgage, and they won’t allow my student loans any more (heaven help me, yes — I’m still paying the student loans…) for one reason or another, I can’t use basic.
        Anyhow, thanks for the beer. Have a great weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks Teaan. It’s always good when you join me for a beer. They do try to make it hard not to buy Deluxe. If CT’s state taxes were more complicated, I’d upgrade, but basically it’s just “enter line 32 and pay us this amount”.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the last photo with the reflection of the lights on the river. Gorgeous shot Dan!

    The whole upselling thing is SOOOO annoying. I don’t see how it does anything except create negative goodwill.
    And as far as taxes go … yes, I’m a CPA, but I haven’t done my own taxes in over 20 years. It’s better that way ;)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joanne. I feel better about changing the gallery umpteen times to get that photo on the bottom in a big cell. So many companies do so many things that annoy the people who buy their products – I really don’t get it. I used to do my own taxes, me and Excel. But, I stopped when they introduced the alternative minimum tax. I don’t think it’s ever affected me, but stress…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right about who we pick on, Audrey. Don’t feel bad if you don’t get to those taxes. I only took mine as far as figuring out if I owe them or they owe me. Now I can wait. Enjoy the bright mornings for two more weeks. Then DST kicks in and I’ll be driving to work in the dark :(

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I never tire of the white ground and the blue sky, and I always love the river pics :)
    I have always paid someone to do my taxes. When we got married, The Mister did them with Turbo Tax and I let him, one year. The second year he did something wrong — working class homeowners with two kids do not owe six grand — and I insisted we go to a place. Now that’s that.
    Tipping generously makes you my kinda person. Of course you tip for gratis items. Good gravy, that’s partly why you get gratis items!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to do my taxes by had, but it got too complicated. So far, Turbo Tax seems to get everything. It’s one of the reasons I don’t want to switch, I don’t want to have to learn a new set of mistakes. If my taxes get any more difficult, I’ll get me a person.

      Cheryl makes it easy to tip generous. I’ve been surprised by the number of people who tell me they don’t include free items in their tip calculation. They just base it on the final bill. But, that’s a self-correcting problem, cuz you won’t get many free items after doing that.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. We’re starting to get more sunshine but it’s still cold out here in California – lovely pictures. We go to H&R because life is too short to be around my husband while he’s dealing with Turbo Tax.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HA! I understand, Jan. My wife is all “just buy the product they want you to use. $5 isn’t worth a heart attack.” It’s almost 70 here today. It’s going to get colder, starting tomorrow, but I don’t think we’re going to see the river freeze again, unless it goes arctic on us.


  8. I tried writing a poem for my poetry group the other day that was a dialogue between three people, inspired by your always fun bar conversations. My poem needs major work. It bogs down in the middle and even I can’t tell who is speaking — a problem I never have with yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you, Janet. I struggle with keeping the characters straight. Sometimes I get confused, that’s when I have to start working. I try to do these as SoCS posts, but no editing with those, so it almost never works.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Love those photos! The bar is always one of my favorite places. …At your blog, I mean. Really, that’s what I meant! p.s. The place our writers group meets every week announced they’re serving Yeungling on tap beginning in March!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. We used to have a CPA do our taxes but then he divorced his wife, married his secretary, divorced her, became a realtor, quit that and came back to CPA. Was I back in with him? Hell, no. Then our other CPA died. From then on, I did our taxes and always complained that this year was the last…..I still do them. I use TaxAct; they are pretty good, I think. I just don’t trust H&R, for some reason….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to use that CPA either. I’m not sure I trust any of these guys. I guess I’ll stick with what I have for this year. Maybe next year, I’ll do a careful review before “trying” to buy Turbo Tax.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Gorgeous night and reflections shots Dan. We have trouble i porting previous returns with Turbo Tax, which is what we also have always used. Hubby gets so frustrated. 30 min is not a bad turnaround, all things considered….

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Last time I used H&R Block, I had to pay $112 for their services. Never ever again! We and the in-laws go to an accountant who charges $45, and she accepts responsibility for what she does if the IRS has questions.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I loved the pictures of the city. I usually never bring up the tax topic here in India because it is a very sensitive topic. Some people believe that we need to pay our taxes for the country to prosper and some believe that we don’t have to until some government really steps up and show decency to be transparent and use the money for the country and not put it in their pockets. I am in the second category.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have similar arguments here, but most people pay the taxes they can’t legally avoid. Still, legally avoiding taxes is a bid business in this country. I won’t talk much about that.

      Liked by 1 person

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