Sunday, October 23, 2011

Speaking of sloth...

My presence on the web has been sloth-like. I am a three toed sloth, I hang upside down in trees and only go to the ground every so often to defecate.

My morning routine lately is not spent on the web but rather doing five or six laps around the neighborhood (almost five miles) and cleaning up our habitat. Being alone in these endeavors, (my company is three Siamese Cats) I haven't had much to say. To anyone.

Some of the more interesting parts of the previous month was the notice and bill from the good people at the I nternal  R evenue S ervice. Notice that Service is their last name. Seems that in 2009, I didn't report some retirement income.

Only I did. I just had not received a 1099 R from the DFAS, which is another Federal entity, entirely. Filled with Union Gubmint employees who had of course sent my 1099R to the I R S.

So now I owe in excess of eight thousand bucks for underreporting income and of course there was a penalty to be paid. Please remit payment by 26 October and nobody gets hurt...

I got my paperwork together and this was no small feat. We at the Barco Sin Vela have a filing system that more resembles the inside of a sixth grader's desk. Only without the cool hipster stickers on the top and inside. I have digressed again.

So after dialing a number I waited for thirty minutes until one of the nice people answered. After telling my life story for about five minutes I was informed that I needed to call someone else. Goodbye!

The letter was on the desk in front of me, so I reread the entire thing again. There, on page three was an 800 number for any questions, but there aren't anyone there to talk. Only pre-recorded answers. So I pushed the zero button over and over until a new menu was revealed; An angel in the darkness heard my plea for communication and I was thusly granted a brief audience. My story was again regurgitated and she said firmly that I had to document the reason I disagree with my audit, mail in the proof and such in the envelope provided...

"No way," said I, "I know that my little correspondence would be lost forever and I would still owe more  in interest and penalties."

I implored her eminence to make an exception and help me out of this jam. And she did! We spent a worthwhile period on the phone going over the return and after a few moments of panic spent on hold: Victory!

The trip from the UP was fairly uneventful. We visited some more relatives in Traverse City and Holland and set off for the return to Florida. First, we had to visit the Leelanau Peninsula to pick up some wines for our Wine Club's wine tasting which would feature some Sutton's Bay white wines (from Black Star Farms).

We saw these posters all over town. I think it has something to do with local sports.

When we got to Ohio, we hopped off the Interstate and took some two lane highways to enjoy more of the local scenery. It was fun to see some of the Amish in their horse buggies, stylin' and profilin' with some wicked looking chin whiskers.

View from Ohio gas station 

Soon we were back on the Interstate and traversing West Virginia. About halfway through we stayed at some Holiday Inn which was way overpriced. $152.00 for one night in hicksville was a bit pricey, but we had a good rest.

The next morning was our last day on the road, we knew we were about eight hours from Florida. We headed South and entered Virginia. Doing 83 miles per hour. We spotted the cop and I tried to exit the freeway and elude capture by ducking into a gas station. Not.

The nice Policeman was good enough to only write me up for doing 80 vice 83. 83 would have qualified me for a reckless driving citation but since we were so polite and cooperative he would cut me some slack.

My bad. I had completely forgotten how Virginia is crazy about the revenue from traffic scofflaws and have even outlawed radar detectors! I drove the speed limit the rest of the voyage in ol' Virginny and indeed, I spotted no less than six more hidden Troopers on the side of the road waiting for us cash cows to pass at high rates of speed.

The ticket will cost me about $121.00. Not too bad, but I am worried about points. I called USAA and they said that I won't get any grief from them on this issue, but that I should try to take traffic school if it is offered. There have been some letters written by Virginia Lawyers wanting my business, but I am not sure if I should use Law services to try to minimize my ticket.

Perhaps one of my readers may have an idea about Virginia traffic laws and maybe some advice.

So we got into North Carolina and returned to the old two lane roads, especially since there are such nice places to see at slower speeds. Once in  South Carolina, we stopped at an old crossroad gas station and snack counter and enjoyed an excellent pulled pork sandwich.

Good Advice from Buddy.

I think we should consider stopping at Buddy's.

We chatted with the owner and I mentioned that his place was probably a really fun place to visit back in the thirties. He agreed and said when he was a kid in the forties, his parents would take the family on a Saturday trip to that very place for cold soda pops.

I am really glad we did find that one place to stop and visit. Made the day a little bit better.

Anyway, we soon ran out of two lane highway and had to get back on to I-95. We were back in Florida two hours later; Mission Accomplished.

Update from this weekend;

Our friend Bruce came over to visit this weekend. Pretty nice of him to come down, since he did return from Iraq on the past Monday. Poor guy, he had to help with the new keg of Sierra Nevada on Friday night, and then go out on the Barco for his first boat trip in three years.

Poor me. This weekend has been too much fun! I need to rehydrate...

Have a fine week out there!

1 comment:

Buck said...

You WON with the IRS? I'm glad I was sitting down when I read that.

Sorry about the ticket. I got busted in a small town speed trap a couple o' few years ago and the rise in my insurance rates for the next FIVE years was much more than triple the cost of the ticket. What a racket...

Nice pics!