03 April, 2008

April 1 - Tax Day and Other Stuff

Not sure, but I may need to get a second job... Oh, wait. I don't have a first job. Hmmmm.

Yesterday, I paid our annual property tax to the Revenue Collector at Corozal Town Hall. The staggering amount of $140 BZ. ISYN (Navy-speak for "the gospel truth", litterally, "I shit you not"), a hundred forty bucks (or $70 US for those math challenged among us).

What makes this interesting is, sometime ago, when we were still staying at Jim and Melanie's, I was watching TV - some New York station. The talking heads doing the news announced a new program to help retirees to pay a portion of their property taxes. They could work part time to help reduce by "several hundred dollars" the expected average property tax of, get this... $12,000 US. OMG!

What kind of retirement is that? Come out of retirement and get at least a part-time job, just to pay down a piddling portion of your annual property tax.

I actually should have paid it on April 1st, but after coming into Town Hall twice that day, was unable to because March 31 is the end of the fiscal year here, and they were going over the books and were unable to take my money. So, I paid it yesterday.

Enough about taxes (with April 15th coming too!). I used a free online tax program from Turbotax. Hopefully, we'll be seeing our refund in the bank soon.

So, onto the project at hand. Yesterday, Francisco and I went to Contour Cement Products to pick up our decorative blocks. We laid them out in the sun to continue drying. They kind of have a Mediterranean look to them. I think they'll really cool in place.
Decorative Blocks In The Sun
Things are moving along with the plastering. Here the doorways are being plastered so we can be ready to install the wood doors (and get Isaiel working on the metal burglar bar doors too).
Plastering the Door Jambs
One of Abraham's brothers (left) who's a major in the Belize Defense Forces (BDF), and is on leave is helping Abraham with this project. Here, he and a helper are sifting sand in order to remove the debris and wrong-sized stuff from it so it will be good to use for plastering. It's amazing how much crud and corruption is hidden in the sand till you see sifting in action.
Sifting the Sand
Dianna is continuing with her projects. She was waylaid for about a week-and-a-half with sciatica. A trip finally to Helen and Warren at their massage center in San Joaquin Village (about 3 - 4 miles west of here), has helped her to be able to function again. Helen and Warren are Chinese from Taiwan and are certified massage therapists, specializing in accu-pressure therapy. They're very good. We just keep discovering new and varied practitioners down here. From sports massage therapy, Chinese massage, Mayan mysticism with Abel (worth the experience), to Chiropractors, etc., we seem to have almost all the bases covered.

So, her project... I got side-tracked again. She wants to have an arch installed. So, she has Cody working to engineer the thing, with plenty of help from everyone else.
Cody Driving Rebar For The Arch
Now that plastering is underway, it too uses a goodly amount of cement. Here's the warehouse for it - our generator room.
Cement Waiting to be Used
Part of the plastering process involves cleaning up the window areas and the doorway areas with mortar. Here Francisco and his brother are attaching 1x4 lumber to do just that.
Door and Window Forms
This afternoon, I'm going up to see Mr. Magaña, (notice the "ñ"? I just cut and pasted it from another web page instead of looking up and changing the html source code of this page) a noted local cabinet maker, about making a desk, file cabinet, storage, closet, linen closet thing for us in the office/spare bedroom. Here's the diagram:
Office Wall Project
At least, this is what we think we want - unless the price comes in big enough to choke a horse. I'll let you know.

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