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Archive for April 14th, 2008

This and that

Tax deadlines are here and after couple of years in a row of filing for extensions, I had resolved to get it in on time this year. Here we are on the 14th, and PK is still filling out some missing info into Turbo tax and double checking some figures and hopes to get it filed tomorrow. He did try to use my being away as an excuse to file for extension, so that I could verify all the paperwork after I go back and then we could file. I countered that if and when I verified and found any errors, we could file for amendment.  Argument closed.

Talking about being away, I’m in drippy Portland for a couple of days on business and then off to the bay area for more. It felt weird to have sooo much time on hand on the long flight to SFO. But not being able to use the cell phone or have internet access, that time was useless to me. One of my favorite pastimes is Sudoku, but I mostly play online. I was amazed at how disorienting it was when I tried to do the paper version in the airline magazine. In the online versions, all the numbers are of uniform size and every occurrence of the number looks the same, so may be it has a calming effect on me.

I had heard about the concept of “virtual assistant” a while ago, but hadn’t really looked into the details. So last weekend, we were looking to some of these sites and I was impressed. Admittedly, I’m not the busy executive types who seem to be their clients, but I can think of a few things I could use it for. Pediatrician’s office/doctor’s office calls, dealing with health insurance follow ups etc – these have to be done during normal business hours and is often painful to remember and find the time during the work day. I’ve reminders all over my calendar to do these little things, but I still fall behind many times. PK wasn’t so convinced (Yeah, he isn’t the one doing all this, right?). He thought about what he could use it for and his number one item was to somehow get some good value out of his frequent flier miles that have accumulated. He has decent air miles from his frequent trips, but whenever we try to redeem, it is pretty tough – either dates are not available or they don’t have the 3 or 4 seats that we need. To try and work with them on the phone, trying to find alternate dates that may work is very time consuming and involves huge hold times – so that was his dream – some one who, with enough information on preferred date ranges and destinations would be able to call every few days and some how get seats.

Time away from home, as hard as it is on all of us, I’ve to guiltily admit that I enjoy these occasional breaks – coming back to a clean room, no cooking, cleaning etc. But when I came back to my room this evening, I don’t know if I was tired from the two long days and time zone issues or if I had one too many drink at the happy hour, I found myself standing at the door, furiously clicking away the car key and wondering why the room door wasn’t opening!

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