Rugby update from UNM


Even though I cannot see all of Alex’s game anymore, I do get lucky enough to scope out some pictures now and then from generous local New Mexico photographers. Here’s a set from a couple of weeks ago when they played their first game of the winter/spring season. Alex played 70 minutes at scrum half (the 9) and then the last 10 at wing (the 11). They won in a shutout, but he reported that it was one of the rougher games he’s ever played. Since the opposing team named their scrum half as man of the match, I gather it was because he was ALL OVER Alex on every play. The photos are pretty much him either making a tackle or being tackled. He said he’s never been more sore after a game! Thankfully he recovered well and hopped on a bus last week to Las Vegas with a local club team – the Black Dragons – to play in a Rugby 7s tournament being held in conjunction with the national 7s weekend games. There, he played in 5 of 6 games, scored a try in one and generally had a great time as their team came in 2nd place in their grouping.

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I am…*looks at calendar*..oh about 33 days late posting this! Consistent with the Xmas photos :) So yeah, 1/3/15 was the big 5-0. And it was a Saturday. The Friday night before I had a very nice dinner with the family up near my parent’s house. That freed up Saturday for my local friends. I had asked Renee to throw something simple together and she did a GREAT job! Not only did some locals show up, but she had extended an invitation to my remote friends to make a video message for me or send me a card. I’ve never had so many cards mailed to me for my birthday! They pretty much replaced the holiday cards on my mantle and the videos were such a lovely treat. So here’s some photos from the gathering at the Beer Lounge. What you wont see is the real excitement – me, setting my hair on fire as I blew out the candles!! Thankfully the person who was taking the photos had the presence of mind to put her phone down and smother the flame out. FEW! I mean, we are alluding to me having a Fabulous Girl on Fire Year of being Fifty, but I wasn’t supposed to be so LITERAL!!

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Christmas 2014 pics


Oh boy am I behind…..too much studying…tax course is done, now working on a quickbooks online course…so here’s a photo dump from Christmas Day with the highlight as the feature – a group selfie of course!


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Holiday Lights 2014


I had my own version of Christmas morning on the day I went into the garage to get out the boxes and start decorating outside: A whole shelf of new light displays that I totally forgot about buying at a year end sale last season!! The bells on either side of the garage and the bow displays on the side wall are from those. I also added some more twinkling LED sets to the front palm trees and another couple of sets of net lights. Otherwise it’s all pretty much the same though it seems like I cover more of the hillside each year :)  The photos are a mixture of inside and out. No time for captions – just enjoy the blend of old school and newfangled lights. Oh, and the first official card of the year on the mantle:2014-12-06 11.40.08 2014-11-29 19.52.21 2014-11-29 19.52.33 2014-12-03 21.50.15 2014-12-05 17.06.39 2014-12-05 17.07.07 2014-12-05 17.07.24 2014-12-05 17.07.48 2014-12-05 17.08.00 2014-12-05 17.08.25 2014-12-05 17.09.01 2014-12-05 17.09.13 2014-12-05 17.09.26 2014-12-05 17.09.41 2014-12-05 17.09.55 2014-12-05 17.10.32 2014-12-05 17.11.17 2014-12-05 17.11.33 2014-12-05 17.11.52 2014-12-05 17.12.42 2014-12-05 17.12.52

Things That Make You Go ‘Hmm’ – CTEC Tax Course Edition


After taking the last few months off to just BE, I’ve decided to start filling up my non-work time again. Only this go round wont be as a volunteer. I REALLY need to push more money into my retirement fund (luckily I do have one that I was funding quite a bit in the 90s-00s) and Id like to continue taking my annual trips without stressing so…I’m sticking with what I know and will be taking on either bookkeeping and/or tax clients in 2015.

I don’t need to do anything for the bookkeeping job other than put the word out and settle on a proper hourly rate. However, since I am not a CPA if I want to prepare and file taxes for people/businesses then California requires CTEC certification which means a 60 hour training course on tax preparation.

So, here I am back in school! Ok, not really…I just had to sign up for an online self study course which I started the week of Thanksgiving. It’s quite the challenge but I only have to pass with a 70% overall score and hey – it’s OPEN BOOK, right? I’m being honest though and not re-taking quizzes even if I don’t get 100% and after 3 units I have a 92 avg. I’ll take that.

NOW – onto the funny part (Yes, taxes can be funny – who knew?!) Last night I was reading the unit that went into detail the many things which you must report on your tax return as income. Most were quite logical and even if it was something I hadn’t thought of before such as any profit you made from re-selling yard sale or rummage sale items at a profit, it made some sense to think that well, yeah, you did EARN money on that transaction and heaven forbid the IRS not take some off the top, amirite?!!

Well, guess what? The IRS isn’t JUST trying to dip into your LEGAL transactions no matter how trivial you think they are. Nope, they also want a piece of your ILLEGAL action – such as:

  • If you receive a bribe, include that it in your income
  • Income from illegal activities, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included on Form 1040, line 21 or on Schedule C if from your self employment activity.
  • If you steal property, you must report its fair market value in your income in the year you steal it unless in the same year, you return it to its rightful owner.

Like me, I am sure you all let out a huge round of scoffs and laughter at the idea of any of the above ACTUALLY happening. I can just see it now when I am interviewing a client:

“So, how much did you make selling weed this year?”

“Oh, right…I’ve got that all written down right here….oh, a good year $10,000!”

“OK, cool. Now, did you end up returning the jewelry you stole from that one guy’s house earlier in the year?”

“No, I decided to sell it – got $5000 for it – noted that right here on this line..”

“Ok, excellent – gotta make sure we keep you out of trouble with the IRS!”

“No kidding – they are ruthless!”


Debunking An Oft-Used Term: Black on Black Crime


Sorry to get serious, but sometimes I need to get these thoughts out there so that they stop spinning around in my head. In this case, I also want to preserve some data from a valuable post at Demos from last summer:

Black on Black Crime Facts

Additionally – in MOST cases, crimes are committed inTRAracially. Folks naturally gravitate to people of their own culture. Sure, we mix it up here and there in some urban centers and at work but LARGELY people spend their off hours within their own race/cultural background. Therefore, the opportunity for crimes happens within our own spaces. White on white, black on black, Hispanic on Hispanic, Asian on Asian etc.

When someone brings up the “black on black crime” topic, what they are doing is perpetuating the MYTH of “scary black people” and also DERAILING (often successfully) any constructive conversations that are attempted on race relations.

Don’t fall for it.

Let the running begin (again!)


I fell off the wagon a bit on my initial racing plan for 2014 – we only did 2 of the 4 Foxy Racing Trail runs. I did have fun doing that new 10k event right in my backyard in September, but I’ve otherwise been only fitting in runs to keep from becoming a full on sloth again (let’s just say that all that travel made it hard to put together a routine, as did the long, hot, humid summer). Anyhow, I am sticking with my plan to do the 2nd Annual Holiday Half Marathon. The first one went so well that I thought I would go for it again. Besides, training now should be 1000 times easier than it was last year given that Alex was still here and I was still volunteering with the football team.

So here’s my training plan again – using Hal Higdon again but this time stepping up to the Novice 2 plan:

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That was how I knew I had to do 6 miles while I was in Albuquerque :)

I actually enjoy doing these gradually longer runs on the weekends. That’s when we discover or re-discover trails that we love and go further on them than we normally would. I especially love running after our first ever overnight rain in months! There was steam coming off of everything at San Elijo on Sunday morning as we did 7 miles. The air was so clean and the surfaces were nicely packed and the smells of the freshly washed foliage seemed more intense. Of course, it’s even better when you can slug through those long runs with friends!


Now with the time change, the fun part begins. Those mid-week runs? Those will have to be before work now. And we all know how much I love early mornings (not even a little!). Ah well, all in the name of fitness & health and personal challenges.

They race is again just before NYE so a week before my birthday. I figured I should hit 50 running, right?