Well, it's finally here - Democratic primary day in Pennsylvania. I think I know who I'm voting for, but I could really go either way. Each candidate appeals to a different part of me, which is why it's so difficult.
FactCheck.org provides a helpful reminder that almost every chain email about a politician (usually a Democrat) is utterly false. If there were chain emails about John McCain they'd probably be false too, but most of the emails focus on Obama or Clinton.
Nice weekend coming up - weather in the 70s, big Phillies series against the Mets, and Michele's parents coming down for a visit. We're going to work on the yard a lot, need to get it in shape. Had a couple of cubic yards of topsoil delivered on Wednesday, we'll take that and fill in some holes and spread it around other areas that need it.
In other news, I've been reading Homicide, by David Simon. Simon was a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, and followed the Baltimore police homicide unit around for a year in 1988. My criminal procedure professor inspired me to check it out; he's mentioned it a couple of times in class, and the class itself, which covers the constitutional rules governing police investigations (Miranda rights, search and seizure, etc), really got me interested in that kind of stuff.
We're headed down to Baltimore at the end of May to check out an Orioles game (and their ballpark). I was there once or twice, but Michele's never been. They're playing the Red Sox and it's a sellout, should be good times.
Last night we went to our first baseball game of the year, saw the Phillies and Astros with a couple friends. It was great to be back at the ballpark again - got there nice and early, watched some batting practice, and enjoyed the warm sun (while it lasted).
The game itself was incredible: the Phillies were down 3-0, but they came back and won the game in the bottom of the ninth on a sliding play at the plate. Totally wild finish: they tied the game with a couple of homeruns, at which point the fans were going nuts (us included). Then, still in the ninth and with a man on first, Pedro Feliz hit a double down the line, scoring the guy from first in a super close play at the plate. The place erupted, people were high fiving and practically hugging each other. Game over, good night. I love baseball.
After watching the birds flock to our neighbor's birdfeeder, we put up one of our own a few weeks ago. It's been pretty successful - recently a bunch of different types of birds have been feasting in our backyard, they empty out the feeder every three or four days. I think most of the food gets eaten by grackles, which come to the feeder in groups and go to town on the sunflower seeds. Besides those, we get a lot of cardinals, different types of finches (like this one), an occasional blue jay, and cowbirds. We bought a bird field guide so we can start to identify more types - it's a lot of fun.
We did our taxes over the weekend. We put it off for weeks, but in the end it didn't really take that long. Just gather up your forms, fire up TurboTax, and you're done in an hour or two. We're getting a refund, though not as big as last year. Plus add to that the tax rebate recently passed by Congress. Buying the house didn't really factor into taxes at all for 2007, because we didn't pay enough interest to deduct, and we didn't pay any property taxes at all. This year should be a different story.
BTW, what do you guys use for taxes? TurboTax is super easy and seems to work well, but the fees are really high. $50 for the program, plus $17.95 filing fee for each return you file (so $36 for federal and state). I'm willing to pay that money in order to save time and make things easier (in the same way I don't think ATM fees are inherently unfair - it makes your life easier after all), but I feel like there's got to be a cheaper option out there.