Superbloom gives Lake Elsinore a hangover

After the rains of 2019, in the quiet hills of Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore, poppies bloomed in numbers rarely seen. The city also bloomed with visitors in numbers rarely seen: By carload and by shuttle, this past weekend 150,000 people descended upon the superbloom, turning it into what some are calling the apoppylypse.1

The 15 freeway was a parking lot. People fainted from the heat. A dog was bitten by a rattlesnake. A city employee directing traffic was hit by a car, scraped himself off the pavement, and continued to direct traffic for 12 more hours. Gawkers free-climbed through the hills, falling on the rugged terrain and sending boulders rolling down onto the unsuspecting, below.

By the end of the weekend, the city had had enough and initiated #poppyshutdown in a social media version of "Stay off my lawn!" They closed the roads and sternly cautioned that no more shuttles would be allowed into the canyon.

But even with the roads closed, They Came. They parked on the shoulder and straggled across rocky fields in inappropriate footwear, clutching selfie sticks, lured by the poppies and the promise of maximum Instagram likes. The Lake Elsinore mayor admitted it was impossible to close a mountain, and #poppyshutdown was over almost as soon as it began.

With little hope of the throngs of visitors falling asleep in the poppy fields, it looks like all Lake Elsinore can do is wait out the apoppylypse.


Snack time: Spidell tested and approved

Are your clients driving you nuts? If so, try these:

Gingered Almonds1

1 pound roasted unsalted almonds2 (3 cups)
3/4 cup minced candied ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine nuts, candied ginger, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, and sesame seeds. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water over medium-high. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, 3 minutes.

Pour sugar syrup over nut mixture and toss well to combine. Arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until nuts are golden, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool completely on sheet before breaking into bite-size pieces.

2 The original recipe calls for mixed nuts, but cashews are gross, so I use almonds only

We really know how to pick 'em

We're going lowbrow here, Tribune readers.

We've received numerous responses about the client document organization habits that bug you the most, and one that came in a couple of weeks ago mentioned a reader's pet peeve: the "snot" on the 1099-SA forms.

But did you know that's what that glue is actually called? Technically, that rubber cement-like glue (like the stuff that's used to hold a credit card to a piece of paper) is called fugitive glue. But in the glue industry, it's also called snot glue, or booger glue.

Snot glue is a low-tack adhesive that produces a removable, non-permanent joint, and eventually it will just evaporate without damaging the surfaces it was holding together.1 Pretty useful, albeit annoying to tax pros.

So, next time you're separating documents held together with an extra clingy string of adhesive material, your inner child can chuckle about booger glue.


Tax Tip: Real estate brokers and SSTBs

Prop. Treas. Regs. §1.199A-5 resolves a conflict as to whether a real estate broker is an SSTB. The proposed regulations state:

  • Generally: The performance of services involving arranging transactions between a buyer and a seller with respect to securities (as described in IRC §475(c)(2)) for a commission or fee is a specified trade or business.
  • Specifically mentioned: Stock brokers and other "similar professionals" are an SSTB.
  • Specifically not included: However, real estate agents and brokers, and insurance agents and brokers are not an SSTB.

A few fun facts about this week's writers:

Kathryn Zdan, EAKathryn Zdan, EA, is living in the past, still using an old film camera and writing real letters to friends. She loves classic, foreign, and horror films, and has watched Frasier in its entirety at least five times. Sherry, Niles?

Lynn Freer, EALynn Freer, EA, is a French literature major, so of course her favorite vacation destination is France. Here she is dining on mussels and fish stew near Nice.

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