the big news this morning was bernie sanders ending his campaign, making joe biden the de facto democratic nominee for president. biden already had enough delegates that it was nearly impossible for sanders to get the nomination, but with him dropping out of the race it makes it certain. the race for the presidency should be the number one news but somehow it all takes a backseat to the coronavirus pandemic.
instead of just lounging around the house doing nothing, i thought i'd be productive today by finally doing the taxes. not only mine, but my 2nd aunt's and my sister's godmother's as well (this is especially important for her since she's going back to taiwan in 3 weeks). even though the tax deadline (both federal and state) has been extended to july, it's better to get them done now and out of the way. besides, our taxes are relatively simple, and i've done everyone's taxes for the past few years, so i basically import from last year and change a few numbers. the hardest part is finding all the tax documents: my 2nd aunt and my sister's godmother had already given me their documents weeks ago; as for myself, all my tax documents are in the mail pile in the foyer, i just needed to sort through them.
it didn't take long to do the taxes, about an hour to get everyone, and i was finished by lunchtime. my sister's godmother and i will each need to pay a net of $300 to the IRS ($400 federal but $100 state refund), while my 2nd aunt will get a $500 state refund because of the rent she pays. one thing i noticed different this year was my property tax payments didn't reduce my overall taxes like it did last year.
for lunch i finished the last of my cranberry almond chicken salad on a toasted everything bagel, made myself a smoothie with the last banana. kevin made lunch, i didn't bother going into the kitchen to see what he was making, but it was relatively low impact, so my stress level was low. afterwards when i went back to the kitchen, there was a pile of dirty dishes and pots on the countertop. i was a little annoyed, the least he could do was soak them in the sink so they'd be easier to wash. he also assumed i wasn't going to do any cooking, but there's been times where i did have to cook and had to wash a dirty pan or pot. i was planning on just soaking everything but decided it was easier to wash them. kevin must've heard me and rushed out of his bedroom to do the dishes. i told him next time to soak them in the sink so they'd be easier to clean. i really don't like to scold him but kevin simply does too many annoying things, and even after i tell him about it, he never seems to listen. who knows, native chinese seem to have a thick skin, maybe he doesn't take my chastisements too personal.
temperature outside today was in the 40's, but it was unusually warm inside the house to the point where it kept at 65°F without me having to turn up the heat other than the one hour of morning heating between 9-10am. it rained in the morning but had stopped by the afternoon, and the sun even tried to make a cameo.
from the backyard web cam at my parents' place, i watched as that pesky squirrel came back in the early morning to get at the suet feeder. the squirrel buster standard it doesn't even try, it's learned its lesson, it's impossible for a squirrel to get to the seeds. but the suet feeder is a different matter. yesterday i switched the baffles when i realized the opaque baffle isn't as slippery as the clear baffle, that's why the squirrel was still able to hang on to the baffle to swing down onto the suet feeder. i'm happy to report that now that the slippery clear baffle is on the suet feeder, the squirrel has no chance of getting to the suet. i saw the squirrel come back later in the day, but it didn't bother trying to get to the feeders, instead it searched the ground below for dropped morsels.
cooped up inside the house, i decided to go out for a walk in the afternoon, visit a few pokestops, take some cherry blossom photos. kevin seemed to be taking his afternoon nap judging from the lack of lights in his room, i didn't even bother letting him know. i debated whether to wear a face mask but decided against it since i wasn't planning on going into any crowds. i saw others walking and running outside, i'd say about 70% of them had their face covered, seems to be more and more. people also kept away from one another for the most part, like an unspoken game of cooties. how this has become the new normal still seems unreal, and i wonder if we'll ever go back to being the way it was before. not so much social distancing, but maybe face masks will become a part of everyday life, like it is in asia.
besides various flowering trees i also spotted a hawk sitting up in a tall tree. i figured it was a common red-tailed judging from the size. later when i looked at the photos, i thought maybe a juvenile red-tailed from the banded tail. but after i did some comparing and contrasting, i now think it was a cooper's hawk. the size threw me off because it looked a lot bigger than it should be, but maybe because it was puffed up. the long and banded tail, the feather patterns, all point to cooper's hawk. it did this thing where it managed to turn it's head nearly 180° to look at me, like an owl.
i came back home around 3:45pm after walking a 1.3 miles loop around the neighborhood. if the weather's okay tomorrow, i may try a different loop, or maybe go down to harvard square, see what that place is like, see how many stores are closed. it's not everyday i get to witness history in the making. i'll definitely put on my mask if i go down to harvard square.
i heated up a leftover container of risotto for dinner. i warmed it up on the stovetop with about a quarter cup of warm water to reconstitute the rice. when i prepare it like that, the risotto came out pretty good, almost like new. i still have another container which i'll have for tomorrow night then friday night it's probably either going to be hot dogs or a bagel sandwich. i also had a bowl of salad (thousand island dressing) to go along with the risotto.