I was doing my taxes a few days ago because, for some reason, I thought it would be good to get them mailed before the normal non-extended tax due date. It was a philosophical decision. I had a moment of panic in the morning before I got out of bed when I realized that if we depreciated the value of the rental property we owned for 15 years, that we would probably have a huge gain on the sale of it. Considering that we sold it for less than we bought it for and for only a few thousand dollars more than we owed, it was a frightening problem.

So I entered all of the typical information and had a lot of trouble finding where to enter the sale price fo the properly in TurboTax. So I upgraded to some deluxe version of TT and chatted with someone who watched my screen and told me where to go. They were not sure and it took a long while to figure it out. And lo-and-behold, we made a hefty $132K profit on the sale. Shitdamnit. But then this weird number showed up and it was $-212K and with that as a write-off, we were in the clear and getting a refund. WTF? I asked the TurboTax chat person to please tell me what that was and since I had just paid $100.00 for the TT upgrade, off they went to figure it out. In the meantime, I sent a message to my accountant sister asking if she knew what was going in. Eventually, I got an answer: We had been depreciating the house al those years but we were also writing off only a small amount of the depreciation to exactly balance out the income from rent. Each year, we logged a passive loss on the property and the big negative was us getting to write off the part we never got to write off along the way. See, if you are not a typical business, you can write off losses on the rental house, like depreciation, but that write-off can never be more than the profit you make that year. It can’t go negative and come off your other taxable income. the part you can’t write off just get carried over until you sell the place and then the loss is realized.

So now you are thinking: “Damn, that’s a lot of money you might be getting back from the IRS.” yes it is but it’s minuscule compared to how much we lost every year on that damn house. Getting back $18K in an IRS refund after losing more like $100K in investment money is hardly even a consolation prize. But it’s nice to get a check during these hard times (Coronavirus, if you have not figured out when I wrote this).

How does any of that have to do with board games? Well, I posted on the BoardGameGeek group on Facebook asking that if I have a big chunk of money, what expensive game is actually worth it. It can be a $300.00 game that is just as fun, but no less fun, than a $50.00 game. I got a few interesting suggestions and the usual comments about doing the wrong thing by asking, for even thinking an expensive game might be better, and for posting such a stupid question. I ended up paying a premium for a Kickstarter game that is the second printing of 7th Continent. I paid the premium because I wanted the actual second printing and not the first printing that is way cheaper. The manufacturer doesn’t have copies of the second printing to sell and I don’t want to deal with errata for wrong cards!

7th Continent

Since I’m writing about games, I’ll mention that I also bought a level 10 (whatever that means) 9 piece jigsaw puzzle that took one puzzle expert a few hours to solve. yea, 9 pieces! it seems to be a puzzle where you try every possible configuration of pieces until reaching the proper layout and finishing it. There are a few shortcuts but it’s not like a typical puzzle where the pieces fit together in only one way. Think of this as more a puzzle with 9 Tetris-style pieces that don’t interlock and fit in a small frame. It’s going to be fun (sarcasm?). The picture below shows how small yet diabolical this will be.

a hand holding a remote control: The 'Ice 9' jigsaw puzzle, designed by Yuu Asaka, consists of just nine pieces and is notoriously difficult to finish, as demonstrated by YouTuber Chris Ramsay.
Ice 9

Watch a solution video here (but I didn’t since I bought the puzzle and intend to solve it): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4LNQwwwngw