Busy day…

I spent the morning trying to get work done — or at least trying to; I wasn’t half as productive as I wanted to be. Sigh… Part of it is that that I don’t have my own space, so I’m just less efficient. Also, only having a dialup connection to the net doesn’t help. It’s also though that I’m getting easily distracted, for some reason.

The Garmin Streetpilot III arrived today, via Federal Express. I got it for my Dad, since he was always complaining that he had trouble navigating, since he had a poor sense of direction. (My mom used to to do all of the driving to unfamiliar places.) I got it set up for him, and we used it while driving down to the estate lawyer at 1pm. It seemed to be really useful for him, and he was really appreciative; that was cool.

We spent an two hours with the estate lawyer, and learned all sorts of stuff about how to disinherit Uncle Sam. It’s absolutely amazing; people who know what they are doing can basically avoid hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate tax — even people who are essentially middle-class folks, but who have been saving for retirement. (What’s even more frightening is how many people *aren’t* putting away money for their retirement, but that’s a rant for another time.) At some level, it really isn’t fair. Essentially, if you know what you’re doing, paying estate taxes is almost, but not quite, optional — assuming that you plan ahead, and have a sharp lawyer on your side. On the other hand, if you don’t know what you are doing, and don’t exploit the loopholes in the laws which Congress has so graciously left behind, your heirs will wait for 1-2 years while your estate goes through probate court, and between the U.S. government taking half, and probate lawyers taking another 10-20%, there might not be much left over by the time everything clears probate.

On an interior landscape note, one thing which is bothering me a little is that I’ve been so busy, that I really haven’t had time to grieve. It’s been do this, do that, plan this, do that. And when I get back to Boston, I have a paper for a conference due on April 8th, and taxes due on April 15th, and so I don’t imagine things will let up for while. So mental note to self; must take time to remember Mother, and how much she meant to me.

Anyway, it’s late now, and I’m trying to catch up on the work which I didn’t get done this morning, but which really needs to be done. Writing this LJ entry has been a way of procrastinating, so I should really bring this to a close and get back to work.