DINNER

Dave Neal: ‘You wrote: ‘We have 250 people coming for dinner.’ So what’s so hard about opening 250 cans? You do have a Swing-A-Way, no?’

☞ The dinner was good. The theme was COME WRITE HISTORY – AGAIN (let’s repeat in 2008 our success of 2006), so we had some best-selling writers join Governor Dean, and I brought a six-foot pencil I acquired in the Seventies from a store that specialized in Very Large Things.

We began with salad ‘as green as WALT WHITMAN’S LEAVES OF GRASS,’ followed by an entree ‘as historic as GREAT-PLAINS-ROAMING PIT-ROASTED BUFFALO STEAK’ (but we had filet of beef, with vegetarian available on request), followed by dessert ‘as American as APPLE PIE with STEPHEN COLBERT’S AMERICONE DREAM.’ (‘A decadent melting pot of vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and a caramel swirl. It’s the sweet taste of liberty in your mouth.’)

All this served by the light of a minimum of 270 electoral votive candles.

Cooking Like a Guy™ this was not.

(We even served wine, which is why I forgot to post a comment Friday.)

SEATING PLANS

Karen:  This tool is too late for your dinner – but next time.”

☞ Hmmm.  The beauty of Excel is that I already have it and know how to use it (more or less).  But I can see how this could be useful.

HIDDEN TALENT

Mark Lutton: “That British amateur tenor is great, but take a look at these amateur pianists at the Boston International Piano Competition for Exceptional Amateurs – Christopher Shih, a doctor, and Rupert Egerton-Smith, a management consultant.”

MORE HIDDEN TALENT

Watch this video if painting rather than piano turns you on, and if you have five minutes for a nice little surprise.  (Thanks, Sid and Diane.)

WAIT!  STOP!  DON’T DO THIS!

Kevin Clark: “I have a large short term gain on the GLDD warrants and, as you point out, no way to wait for it to go long term without ponying up more money.  But if I donate them to my Fidelity Gift Trust account don’t I get to deduct the full value?  Seems like a better option than donating appreciated assets that are long term.”

☞ No!  If you have not held the appreciated securities for a year and a day when you donate them, you get to deduct only the cost of your gift, not the market value – in this case, perhaps one-seventh as much.

“Also, if I have a short term gain on GLDDW and a long term loss on some other position, how would those interact on my tax return?”

☞ If you had no other gains or losses, your short-term gain would be reduced by your long-term loss.  Click here for more.

REMINDER:  DO NOT CALL

Suddenly, the unsolicited sales calls seem to be exploding.  If this is happening to you – or even if it isn’t – take a minute here to register, or re-register, your numbers . . . not least because it was probably four years ago that you last did this, and the repellent lasts only five.  So it’s just about time to spray yourself again anyway.

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