Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pediatric Check-Up: Friends' Babies

I have very prolific and fertile relatives, and many of my aunts are young and still contemplating further babies. Also, my friends are starting to drop babies, though thankfully not many. The first pregnancy in my cousins has been announced, and in any pediatric setting, you'll find lots of colleagues with fetuses or babies. The fertility boom makes it an awkward time to be a pediatric resident interested in sleeping at night.

Now, I am fond of babies, especially that class of babies that I can return to their mothers when they start crying or pooping. Still, the climb in pregnancies is making me slightly alarmed. I have your typical close, big, extended family that gossips constantly amongst itself. One misinterpretation of my grudging advice by someone, and then everyone will leave me alone...which is an attractive thought.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Homesteading: Xeriscaping, Zeroscaping

Landscaping a home doesn't necessarily result in monetary returns once the house is sold, so our home was perfunctorily landscaped in the front and not at all in the back. The front yard is definitely dated; it's two mature trees and a flat grass lawn with a few smaller trees. It brings to mind the white picket fence era, circa 1950, when the home was first built and municipal water didn't cost so much. It looks cute...when it's green. And at a mile high in the desert, it doesn't look green often.

Therefore, I'm looking at redoing the front in two years to be a multi-level xeriscaped succulent garden with a path going through it. Points of interest will be rocks, colorful shrubs, or groups of bulbs or colored grasses. I'm trying to use Google SketchUp for planning, though I'm currently figuring out the controls.

Succulents interest me with their variety of shapes, not all prickly, and range of colors. Additionally, like orchids, they tolerate my irregular watering habits well, which is why I've switched from orchid acquisition to accumulating small, brightly colored pots of varying varieties, including jade. Watch for pictures to come!

  • Xeriscape Council of New Mexico, Inc

  • http://www.highcountrygardens.com/

  • New Mexico Water Conservation Program
  • Saturday, April 07, 2007

    Citizen Of The World: First Tax

    Ick, income tax filing. After four years of medical school, when I racked up debt and didn't have to file, it's an unpleasant experience to wade through the 1040 instruction manual again. Why does it have to be so convoluted, confusing, and difficult? Some would argue for a VAT (value-added tax) on all goods and no income tax, but among other things I'd be very concerned for the poor, having been from a previously low-income family. And why does the government tax two people differently if they are single as opposed to married to each other? Why should the tax code be so difficult that it takes up hundreds of thousands of dollars just to be codified and written each year? Flat tax can also hurt the poor, but it makes a lot of sense in cutting down bureaucracy.

    Currently my solution is to provide Sunny with all of my documentation, and cook and clean while he does the taxes. Not the best one, but until I know enough to have an educated opinion.

  • Federal tax forms for individuals

  • 2006 New Mexico tax forms for individuals New Mexico's state tax forms "piggy-back" on the federal form, like most states'.