Tuesday, June 7, 2016

This is where I get off

    So like I said, this blog ends soon. In fact, now. There will be a new blog reasonably soon without my name or contact information attached to it. Anyone who might be interested can just holler and I'll hand across the link. (Any friend, that is.) I haven't gone paranoid or anything. It's just that over the years, there were so many things that I couldn't write about regarding extended family and acquaintances. It will be nice to be free of restrictions. Also it won't matter if some complete fiction is thrown in; in fact, it would probably help. Anyway, that's the plan.
    I thank my readers most sincerely. Your numbers are not great but the friendship that you have shown most certainly is. If you get to missing my authentic first person singular voice, just drop a line. I can be counted on to reply pretty darned promptly.

Edit: Corrected typo. As it's the last entry, I probably should have left it, but just couldn't. Still me.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Finally something to blog about!

    As Tamara points out, I finally have something to blog about! However, the problem with waiting 3 hours at the IRS and then having the actual appointment last most of another hour is that you feel too drained to talk about it. This is mostly because of the no food no drink policy. The fact that they relaxed the No Cell Phones rule to No Cell Phone Conversations was a life saver. Messaging with Tamara was all that kept me sane.
    If everybody else had had somebody to message with, it would have been a pleasant if boring experience. However, the long, long wait told on more than one of us and the beeing and emming got pretty unpleasant. The woman working the concierge desk went to the back to help out serving us, and one idiot suggested that she was hiding back there and further noted that the glass probably wasn't bulletproof. Not surprisingly, security turned up quickly. Idiot also kept calling them Robocops (meaning rent-a-cops). They were amazingly patient and reasonable in the face of neverending abuse. Her dad went out in the corridor with the idea of persuading her to leave. She went ballistic about that as if the security guys had made him go. She said she would go full throttle if they messed with her father and that's when the security guy told her to leave. She had also mentioned not being allowed to smoke in there so possibly it was partially a nicotine fit. Note to self, get nicotine patch if I ever a) take up smoking and b) have a long wait in store.
    In the midst of all that, a lady came out, apologized for the delays, said that unfortunately some one had called in sick today, and she and another person were handling everything, and would also have to take turns taking lunch. This went over GREAT. But I for one appreciated the candor and felt more calm.
    The rest of the time was quieter, but still filled with b & m. Also increasing hunger. I was delighted by two older guys talking about the old days playing baseball and the players today. When my number was called, I was totally ready. Unfortunately, I had two things to deal with. The second required materials to be faxed to another IRS office, which my rep was totally willing to do. It took another half an hour though somehow, which is the problem with antiquated technology. But the actual dealing with the IRS part of visiting the IRS was completely successful, almost delightful. I hope I don't have to go back any time-- ever, really. The $10 parking charge at the nearest garage was just the cherry on the top. But I got it done. Yeehaw!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Wasting away

    These are just getting shorter and shorter, aren't they? And this one is just to note that I won't be making it to 2000 entries or whatever the number is. I'll be winding it up very, very soon. There will be a new blog but no direct link for it. If you want the link, just ask, though. I think you can find the email address around here somewhere. That will be going away soon, too, but it will be operational for the next little while at least.
    There are good reasons for this change, which I can't really share. Another reason, though, is that I tried to look up something that had happened to me a few years ago and found that I never wrote down the crucial detail. A little disappointed in yours truly, it's true. I'll try to get in a good entry before I go though!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

More unexpected fun

    Tamara's sick, so I can only write a sentence or two. However, I just wanted to mention how fun and easy putting together a new cat tree/tower was. I'll be telling Amazon the same shortly. The thing is as tall as me and looks to be more fun than anything. Of course it will take days to get Amelia even to approach it. But I think both cats will love it. (Just to be clear, this is the unexpected fun, with the more part referring to yesterday's IRS call, NOT Tamara being sick.)


    Fool that I am, I volunteered to sit on hold for another 15 minutes for the opportunity to talk to the IRS. When I got through, at least I didn't get cut off. But I did get put on hold again. However, after that, everything was fun. I talked to Ms. Carmen, who I once would have referred to as an older woman, but I'm 54 for goodness' sake. We're all older than we used to be. Anyway, Ms. Carmen was funny, charming and made the process easier. However, as I suspected, there was no way for me to prove over the phone that I'm really me. The qualifying questions were all about installment plans and mortgages, neither of which do I have. Note to IRS: not everybody is interested in the debt bandwagon.
    So I have to go in on Monday with ID and social security card and tax forms and IRS letter in hand to prove that I haven't been a victim of identity theft. I suspect that this will be less fun than talking to Ms. Carmen. At least I won't have to sit on hold with a cat yelling at me. I hope. Stand by for IRS 3!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Who am I anyway?

    I'd like to thank the IRS for giving me something to blog about other than my girlfriend's health, which I suspect she would rather me not do. (By and large, she's fine, by the way.) The IRS sent me a letter a week or more ago wanting proof that Dad was dead and that I was really his executor/personal rep. Before I could cope with that, they sent another asking me to prove that I'm really me. They recommend I visit the IRS's verification website. I did, but it could not verify me and I was instructed to call the 1-800 number.
    The 1-800 number of course immediately told me to go to the verification website. It also warned me that my wait time would be 10 to 15 minutes. I was relaxed; I have both a speaker phone setting and a television. Their muzak was no worse than any bank's and I passed an uneventful wait. Then I heard, "Please wait," dialing, and a voice. Speaking Spanish. I said, "Excuse me?" and the person said that I had been shunted to the Spanish line mistakenly but that she could help me in English. Anyway, that's what I think she would have said except the line was cut at that point. I assume that she accidentally hung up on me. My enthusiasm for this project, never high, has tumbled after being cut off five seconds into a conversation after a 15 minute wait. However, I did and do think it's funny as hell. As it's a 24-hour line, I'm thinking of trying at 4 in the morning. Thinking is a long way from doing of course. But one has to get through somehow if one wants his tax refund, which they warn will still be another 9 weeks away after all this is done. Thanks identity thieves! I just love ya! (Identity thieves in general who caused this level of caution; to the best of my knowledge, my identity is safe.) Wish IRS would just give me an address to go to where I could show my picture ID and sign a statement that hell yes I filed that 1040 form. But that would make sense.

Thursday, June 2, 2016


    A year ago, when she first got here, Tamara bought a Groupon for a prominent local restaurant. It was quite a deal and she was going to take her cousin, but the cousin thought that the place was too formal and wouldn't go. School started and she never went and the Groupon deal expired. However, she could still get a credit for the amount she had originally paid. So last night, we went.
    I wish I could tell you more about the restaurant, because we really, really liked it. However, we're not at all sure how advisable that would be. Because they honored the expired Groupon. But nobody said that they were honoring it in spite of its being expired; the bill was just lower by a vast, vast amount. We're still not sure if it was a mistake and don't want to take any chance of getting anyone in trouble. Nor of course receive a retroactive bill. But I must say, we had already decided that we want to go back. We are much much much more likely to do so now. So even if it had been done in error, it doesn't turn out to be a big mistake. (Anybody local wanting to know which restaurant this is about, just email and I'll share.)