‘Tis the Season to be . . . Tax Prepared?

tax-time-1040.jpgWell, maybe we’re not really hard over on getting the tax return for 2018 in the works just yet. We did, however, get our 2018 copy of the tax program we use and installed it on the laptop.

One thing we do want to evaluate is how well we did with our estimation of how much to withhold this year. We used IRS Notice 1036 to get a head start on the withholding and posted about it in February. With the new Tax Cuts, we hope to be fairly close on the figures. During the tax year we also tweaked the withholding a time or two.

Another item I am interested in seeing what effect it might have and that is having ordered my Ham Radio Call Plates also resulted in prematurely (in 2018 rather than 2019) paying the Vehicle License Fee on the RV which will increase the deduction for taxes paid. It’s not a trivial amount, so it will be interesting to see. We may wind up getting a refund again and you may know how I hate to lend the .gov interest-free $$$.

So, the program is installed and I will begin dribbling information into it over the next couple of weeks in order to gain an inkling as to how well our estimated withholding worked. I’ll post on that when I know something more.

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2018 Cops Who Care Car Show

Notice the Beautiful December in Arizona Weather

We drove over to the Community Center this morning to attend the Annual Cops Who Care classic car show. We donated a few unwrapped toys for their Christmas “Toyz for Totz” Gift program. We browsed around the lot where there were scores of Custom and Classic Cars and Trucks. Here are a few photos that one or the other of us took. Click on any image to enlarge.

Custom Ford T-Bucket 1939 Chevy Interior
1947 Cadillac Hearse 1955 Chevy Bel-Air Interior
1954 Chevy Bel Air Coupe Self Portraits 911 Memorial Engine Cover
1958 Chevy Apache Pickup Classic Willys Jeep

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State Firearm-Friendly Rankings Graphics

Graphical Depiction State Ratings Levels of Restrictions

Last October, I posted about Arizona Still Number One for Gun Owners. Since then, Guns and Ammo, who prepared the ratings, posted a graphical map of the US showing the states rankings. That is the image on the left above. Click on the image to enlarge.

Reprinted from the October post:

States were measured by the following criteria:

▶ Right To Carry
▶ Treatment of “modern sporting rifles” (ARs, AKs, etc.)
▶ Magazine capacity limits
▶ Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground
▶ Treatment of NFA firearms
▶ Miscellaneous issues such as constitutional protections, preemption, restrictions on gun or ammo purchases, CCW reciprocity, availability of places to shoot, etc.

I also found a still from an animated graphic that shows an updated status through 2017 of Right to Carry for each state. As of 2017, when the image was produced, there were 13 states with Constitutional Carry. Click on the image to enlarge.

It disturbs us a bit, that some of the states through which we will be going next spring, have poor rankings. Even though we have CCW recognition in Colorado and New Mexico, we will just have to be extra cautious when we are in those places.

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My Amateur Radio License Plates are on the Way

w7gd-plate.jpgI went to the local AZDOT MVD office and ordered Ham Radio license plates for the RV, which was up for renewal in a few weeks. I killed two birds by ordering the plates and renewing the registration at the same time.

The image at the right is a mock-up of what the new plates might look like. I took a screenshot of the image on the DOT website and cobbled in the radio tower from another image. You can see what I did if you look closely.

Besides the call sign, there is a radio tower with lightning bolts coming out of it and the words “Amateur Radio Operator” instead of “Grand Canyon State” seen in my mock-up. In addition, there is a mountainscape and several saguaro cacti in silhouette along the bottom. The plates are colored in gradient from turquoise at the top, through white in the center and to gold on the bottom. I think they’re quite nice looking. An actual completed ham radio license plate can be seen here.

The agent who took my order said that the plates take four to six weeks to arrive. In the meantime, I’ll be impatiently waiting!

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Ham Radio Vanity Callsign Bonanza Day Results

New QSL Card

The Vanity Quest for a new 7th area Ham Radio Callsign is now over. We managed to get picked and won the callsign seen above. It was my third choice on the list I submitted in my application to the FCC on the 5th of November. I achieved my goal of having the new call before the end of 2018.

I started the Vanity Quest last January for a 7th district call when I “harvested” a silent key’s (deceased ham’s) amateur radio callsign by providing a letter requesting the call be released for reissue and a copy of the obituary to the FCC. I was disappointed when I didn’t get that call because the suffix was my first and last name initials. I was doubly disappointed when a guy from Illinois (out of the 7th district) got the call.

Before today’s result, I applied for 21 callsigns on 19 applications, all of which were dismissed. This morning when I read my email, the FCC notice was in my inbox. Now, I am pleased with the fact I got an old-timer W7 call and am happy with the Quest being at an end.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Thanksgiving 2018

Thanksgiving 2016

We’re going to put a turkey breast in the smoker this morning which will be the entrée for our Thanksgiving dinner. We know that we are blessed on this day and others by the grace of God. May He bless you and yours on this day of thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Classic WWII Jeep

Classic WWII Jeep

Dave Echeverria, a descendant of the family for whom the airstrip was named, presented this 1943 G503 “Peep”, a Ford GPW (Government Pigmy Willy’s) to American Legion Post #12 to be placed on permanent display at the corner of Frontier and Apache streets in Wickenburg as a tribute to veterans and as a reminder of Wickenburg’s World War II history.

Echeverria Field, located near Wickenburg AZ, was used by the Arizona Glider Flight Academy during WWII and the Jeeps (painted yellow for visibility) were used at the airstrip to ferry pilots and other personnel around as they were training the pilots and crews. The Gliders were critical to several operations in Europe, including those deployed on D Day.

Damsel took this photo this week when we were in the downtown area on errands. Click on the image to enlarge.

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