31-Jan-2009 Uncategorized

texas taxes are cheaper?

Here’s a shocker. It’s actually gotten slightly cheaper to be a Texas property owner. I’m not sure how this happened, exactly. I was comparing the taxes I just paid earlier this week (which are due today) and discovered things weren’t as unreasonable as I’d foreseen. This is a lot of cash, of course, which I have to put aside in hindsight as it’s not hidden within a mortgage escrow — maybe it should be! Well, whatever. I happy.

371.00 -- 2006 Subdivision Maintenance Fee
584.08 -- 2006 Windfern Forest Municipal Utility District
862.52 -- 2006 Harris County Property Tax
1877.40 -- 2006 Cy-Fair Independent School District
3695.00 Total
408.00 -- 2009 Subdivision Maintenance Fee
508.46 -- 2009 Windfern Forest Municipal Utility District
974.60 -- 2009 Harris County Property Tax
1634.34 -- 2009 Cy-Fair Independent School District
3525.40 Total

In other news, Chew turns 10 years old today! He has been going through some tough times with basset hound related illnesses. I’m going to see what I can do to make things a little easier for him today as he’s got a nasty growth under his right front paw’s toenail. This appears to be an auto-immune disease called SLO (Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy). To clear up the SLO he’s taking 6000 mg of fish oil once a day and 1 IU of Vitamin-E twice a day. The toenail is being removed surgically on Monday morning. I’m hoping that will offer him some relief as he’s been mindlessly licking his paws when he isn’t stuck in a head-cone for most of the day. Other issues he had recently include a large hematoma on his ear. The vet wanted $1000 to drain and button that, but my mom suggested to wait it out as hematomas tend to go away on their own. Mom was right. It went away after a few weeks and looks completely normal. He’s also got a non-cancerous tumor in his jaw near the left front fang (is that a fang?) which is more of a nuisance to him than anything else. The vet suggested I remove it but they would have to remove part of his jaw in the process. I think not. The jaw thing and hematoma thing both happened 6 months ago. If you can surmise that I’m second guessing the vet — you’re right. What else? He has a weak tear duct in one eye so every morning he gets eye drops and ointment to prevent green eye goo from forming. That stuff is nasty! The ointment goes directly into his eye and I was hesitant to do that at first, but it works like a charm. We wind up our list of Chew maladies by mentioning Chew’s chronic issue of having to eat only Waltham S/O urinary treatment food which prevents crystals from forming in his bladder by keeping his urine pH steady at 7.0. Other than all of that? Perfectly normal basset hound.

We recently added another dog to the family, Bruce Wayne, who’s a Cavachon – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Bichon Frise Hybrid. He’s hypoallergenic which works well for the girlfriend. Chew, on the other hand, spews dander like a mill. The two have become best buddies with the occasional grumpy bark from Chew when Bruce gets too rambunctious. We moved upstairs to the penthouse level of the condo where we’ve been living in beautiful Uptown, Minneapolis. The additional room has given the two dogs plenty of space. Chew is also amenable to using the balcony as an alternative to a walk downstairs. Artificial doggy turf is definitely on the horizon. I’d let Bruce out there, but he’s so small (5 pounds) that he’d slip through the bars if he got too close to the edge. Yikes.

And yet in other news, I finished my stint with the University of Minnesota Marching Band at the beginning of the year. The football team was invited to The Insight Bowl in Tempe, Arizona and I got to attend! The cost for signing up for Marching Band class was around $800, so this mini-vacation more than covered me. A lot of people asked how it was possible to join the marching band at my advanced age — and I told them. You enroll in the class. That’s it. There is an audition for which part you’ll play. We all also had to audition for the super difficult pre-game show several times. That set lasts well over 15 minutes. Everyone marches at half-time. I know that I’m glad I did it. I have a lot of friends who are 20 years removed from their time in marching band and they lived somewhat vicariously through me. I do plan on doing it for one more football season. That’ll make 4 years in high school marching band and 4 years in college marching band (with only a minor 20 year gap). Ahem.