As I sit here next to my open window, the slightly humid breeze blows through the room gently preparing me for a wonderful night's sleep. Today, a stark contrast to the blahs of yesterday was not quite but just nearly perfect. I met up with my friends Jessica and Chris as Jessica was getting out of work, took us all down to a local market to buy food and then enjoyed her wonderful eggplant and pasta dish whilst watching Rushmore.
Afterwards we walked the streets of historic downtown and then around Lake Eola, feeding the local wildlife the stolen loafs of bread that will be discussed in the upcoming story, An Evening of Firsts. Walking around the lake feeding ducks under the then-clear sky and among the shadows of the few tall buildings Orlando does have was something I had been missing; perhaps not that activity specifically, but just the pure act of existing in an environment of relaxed joy.
We sipped our beer from car coffee mugs and watched some guys do tricks on bicycles. Some ducks and swans were rather apathetic to our attempts to feed them while others gladly awoke for a midnight snack. Even now that the humidity had risen slightly to 90% (though it does not feel that high) the moderate temperature of 68°F (20°C) feels wonderful. As much as I really hate to admit it, I think I may have finally acclimated to the temperatures of this region. Sure it may have taken me just over fourteen years to get to that point, but I suppose that it better than never at all. I still yearn for something, someplace different. As I walked downtown I realised how I wished I had been walking the streets of the city by the bay rather than the city beautiful. But at least until that time comes when I am walking in the shadow of Sutro Tower and the Golden Gate, I have found an appreciation for something that is right here outside my door.
I have not quite finished the true story I am writing, so instead thought I would try to make a few bucks off people who have not quite done their taxes yet. I did mine yesterday using H&R Block
's intuitive, quick and free online tax submission system. Already today I received my confirmation that the IRS had received and accepted my return.
If you want to try H&R Block's free online tax programme, click here
and you will get $10.00. If you elect to use H&R Block's professional services and you use this link you will get $20.00. I get a referral bonus as well so everyone wins.
You have to purchase tax preparation products before 15 April 2004 and you cannot have used H&R Block services last year. I cannot sponsor the professional tax services as I have never used them, but I do fully recommend the free do-it-yourself programme.
I had forgotten about this up until I received the following letter and a check for $13.86.
CD MAP Antitrust Litigation
P.O. Box 1650
Faribault, MN 55021-1650
IMPORTANT: SETTLEMENT MATERIALS ENCLOSED
Dear Florida Music Purchaser:
As Attorney General for the State of Florida, I am pleased to enclose payment for your claim in the settlement of the Compact Disc Minimum Advertised Price Antitrust Litigation. This lawsuit was brought by the Attorneys General of 43 states and three territories and by counsel for Private Class Plaintiffs on behalf of purchasers of music CDs. In accordance with the terms of the court-approved settlement, payment is being made to music purchasers who filed a valid and timely claim.
Whether you filed your claim online at the settlement web site, www.MusicCDSettlement.com, or by mail, the attached payment represents full payment of your portion of the Settlement. Please not that the attached payment instrument must be cashed by May 20, 2004.
It is a pleasure to bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion and to return value to consumers who purchased CDs while the challenged pricing policies were in effect.
Attorney General of Florida