June 30, 2004

Anything Interesting?

Nothing interesting going on here - we are at my Mother's house where hubby cut the grass and we hung out. Now, son is asleep (with Dad) in son's room. I am getting in my nightly quotient of work after work. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I work from home for a few hours after son goes to bed... It's not so bad actually, because there's is nothing else to do really here at my Mom's after son goes down (esp. since hubby still lays with him to get him to sleep) so I'm alone... I work in my room w/the tv on behind me. Nice, huh?

We setup webcam here at Mom's, since we have cable modem, but none of our relatives are on-line to chat with :-(

$@%@ IRS!

Ok - My Dad died in 2001. 2002 is the first year my mom had to file taxes for herself. I made the HUGE mistake of letting my Dad's accountant handle it. Long story short, taxes incorrect. Have accountant (which I had not yet realized wasn't doing a good job) file a 1040 Amendend. So I get a tax bill for her for ~$800 due in March. I send in a check for her. For her 2003 taxes, she should get an $800 refund, yipee! She needs the money as she's a hairstylist and lives on her tips. Then I get a notice from IRS that
a. they're applying her refund to ANOTHER $800 she owes from 2002
b. she still owes $203 more.

WTF? I have a close friend who is a CPA review her stuff and call IRS. Yes, he says, she does owe it, that's the final amount, send them a check. Ok, done. IRS cashed the check on JUNE 13, 2004.

In a letter spit out by the IRS computer system, dated JUNE 27, 2004, it indicates that they have not recieved the $203 and now there is an ADDITIONAL penalty and interest owed. WTF? WTF? Come on now, this is just getting comical.

I call the IRS this morning. I make the mistake of identifying myself as her daughter and not lying and saying that I am her. IRS dude says he can't talk to me unless I send a power of attorney. I say that fine, I'll have her call him back specifically and he can talk to her himself, but be ready because it's going to take all day because
a. her English isn't very good
b. taxes are very upsetting to her
so can I have his direct line?

Shockingly, he agreed that he could discuss matters with me without a power of attorney.

Ok...moving right along...I ask why I have a bill for the original amount plus penalty and interest if they've already cashed the check?
He says there's no balance. I say - I just got this letter, it's dated 2 days ago..what's going on?
He says - they must've crossed in the mail. I say that's not possible - they cashed the check TWO F-ING WEEKS AGO and this letter is dated / postmarked 2 days ago. He repeats himself.
I hang up.
I think the IRS is onto the same thing lots of illegitmate businesses are into...sending invoices to people that fit a profile of paying simply because they're scared. If I had let my Mom deal w/the letter, she'd have just paid it because she'd be afraid of the IRS. There is NO WAY those letters crossed in the f-ing mail.
I'm glad I'm paying for their salaries with my hard earned money...NOT.

June 29, 2004

Good morning!

For anyone that's interested...I decided instead of going to the gym to be around annoying gross people that I would run around our scenic neighborhood. An hour long jog up and down the hills, admiring the view, the crisp morning air, and the beautiful colors and view...refreshing!

What a way to start the day!

June 28, 2004

my ass...

activists my ass!

This whole beheading thing is crazy. How do they think this helps their cause any? We have always said we do not negotiate with terrorists! And we've not faltered from that stance. We are NOT releasing 4,000 terrorists for 1 American. I know I would probably feel very differently if that 1 American was part of my family, and I feel terribly for the affected families...I cannot think of anything worse that having to see this footage and these pictures and be thinking of your husband/son/brother/father...

Why can't these people just act like civilized people before some US President decides to simply wipe their country off the map?

Fantastic Weekend...

Well...son and I just got back from our big weekend last night - a blast was had by all...

We went to a great park, went out to bars (without the boys), played pool, ran around the yard, and just had a really great time!

more later...i'm tired!

June 24, 2004

Doubt it...

The hockey player who attacked another on the ice, resulting in a broken neck for that player and multiple other injuries, is being charged

He says
"Steve, I just want to apologize for what happened out there," he said at the time. "I had no intention of hurting you. I feel awful for what transpired."

Or, in other words, "when I clocked you from behind, I didn't realize it might cost me my career". I am glad they're charging him with assualt - it should be more. A grown man has no justification for doing that to another in a professional sporting event.

They say it has already cost him over $500,000 in salary and he's off the world cup team. Good. I would think he'd be banned from professional sports as well, but that's just me. I like to hold people accountable for their actions.

More Stupid Human Tricks...

So I'm driving on the Toll Road yesterday. In the left lane, there are ramps so that buses can exit the main lanes and get onto the airport access lanes, which helps them avoid traffic delays. These lanes have a gate controlled by some sort of transponder on the bus. Yesterday, I see a bus go onto the ramp and another car drafting really close to the bus, so that he could get on the access lane and avoid the traffic on the Toll Road. While this is an idea that saves him 50 cents and probably 5 minutes (the access lane and the regular lanes merge 5 miles up the road) he gave the bright idea to another car, so the other car speeds onto the ramp to try and beat the gate coming back down.

Ooops - he didn't make it. Definitely NOT worth saving 50 cents and 5 minutes!

The Eve...

The eve of our girls get-together is here! Well, it's not totally a girls-get-together, as we are bringing our toddler boys, but you get the idea...

Things to do before tomorrow, at 10:30, when I depart...
  • goto Target for diapers, wipes, car snacks
  • pack food for Son in case he's picky this weekend
  • laundry
  • laundry
  • laundry
  • pack clothes for Son
  • pack clothes for me
  • load all our junk into large SUV

    oh, and also find time to play with Son and have dinner tonight...

    We are going to try and get a night out on the town in Saturday night, assuming the 2 year-olds all go to sleep at a reasonable hour. However, if the sleeping gods shine on us and get all the boys to sleep so we can leave, I'm sure the morning-sunshine-ready-to-meet-the-new-day gods will wake the boys nice and early so that we can all remember why we don't go out on the town late very often...

    Wish us well! Blacksburg here we come!
  • June 23, 2004

    Really, please....

    Jeff from work just send this email to the office, no kidding...

    Sorry to bother all of you about this...

    I put a sandwich in the fridge yesterday morning and this morning it's gone. (Pastrami on white bread in a ziploc.) I just wanted to check and make sure no one threw it out (in which case no big deal) before blaming our nocturnal food bandits.


    - jeff

    Come on now people...why on earth did someone steal a sandwich? I saw the sandwich in question yesterday, and it's not like it was so great that it beckoned me... people are crazy I tell ya. I can assure you that if it was me, I'd be FURIOUS if my lunch was gone, and running around checking the trash cans under everyone's desks for that discarded ziploc bag!

    June 22, 2004

    Hostage Murdered...

    I am not surprised, though I am greatly saddened. I also agree w/what Val has to say...and Michele....

    Yeah, i know, no original thoughts from me on this one....sorry.

    Just one of those days...

    it's just going to be one of those @%$^#^!#$!% days, isn't it?

    June 21, 2004


    Not much to say today - we had a great Father's Day weekend, and my hubby, to further enforce to me what a great Dad/hubby he is, showed up unexpectedly at my grandparent's house after running errands for his grandmother yesterday for a cookout!

    As great as the Father's Day was with hubby and son (and my extended family), it is always a bit sad for me as I make my journey out to the cemetary to leave flowers for my own dad. I wish he were here so that we could celebrate what a great grandfather he would've been...

    That is all.

    June 18, 2004


    Ok - today, son and I had our first trip to the county water park. He didn't like it last year, it was overwhelming or something but today, today he was squealing in delight as we crossed the parking lot...
    He had a blast! He went down the kiddie water slides, under the buckets-o-water, under the dripping mushroom...he crawled around and growled like an alligator...he was beside himself! I followed him like a hawk every minute. He tried to walk from the 2ft deep portion to the 4 ft deep and didn't care that it was going over his head!

    But I am surprised by the bad mommies there...lots of 2 or 3 year olds where the moms simply put on the bathingsuits with the swim ring or floaties just wandering around, no mommy in site. I don't know where the mommies were - but there were quite a few mommies at various points in the water park chatting on cellphones/with friends/reading with no kids near them. I guess they assume the lifeguards or some other mom will catch their kids before they drown? This is a huge water park and there were at least 2 daycare centers there w/their kids too. I would never trust my son's LIFE to a 16 year old lifeguard who is also watching 60 kids whose parents AREN'T EVEN AT THE POOL. What if the lifeguard is distracted, yelling at some bigger kid trying to dive or do something stupid? It only takes an instant for a toddler age kid to get into danger, and the assumption that someone else will see them in time astounds me. Get real people, would you take $1,000,000 cash to the pool and leave it unattended, nope. But your kids, sure. Stupid people.

    Daily Questions...

    From Michele...

    1. Where were you when you heard that Ronald Reagan died?

    couch, in the basement

    2. Where were you on September 11, 2001?

    I was driving to work when I first heard something on the radio about a plane and the World Trade Center. When I walked into work, a co-worker told me. I told him to shutup and stop joking, it isn't funny to try and upset a pregnant lady like that.

    3. Where were you when you heard that Princess Diana died?
    Just got on the treadmill at the gym.

    4. Do you remember where you were when you heard Kurt Cobain had died?

    5. Take one for The Gipper: What’s your favorite flavor of jelly bean?
    Don't like jellys.

    6. Where were you when Magic Johnson announced he was retiring from the NBA due to AIDS?
    No idea. This seems like a non-event to my - I don't care if he retires or not or why.

    7. Where were you when Reagan was shot?
    Watching soaps.

    8.Where were you when the Challenger exploded?
    Watching soaps.

    9. Where were you when the 0J verdict was announced?
    Working at Nordstroms.

    Exciting, huh?

    June 17, 2004

    Word of the day...

    Courtesy of dictionary.com....

    Potemkin village \puh-TEM(P)-kin\, noun:
    An impressive facade or display that hides an undesirable fact or state; a false front.

    A Potemkin village is so called after Grigori Aleksandrovich Potemkin, who had elaborate fake villages built in order to impress Catherine the Great on her tours of the Ukraine and the Crimea in the 18th century.


    When will the West have the guts to call Russia what it really is: a semi-totalitarian state with Potemkin village-style democratic institutions and a fascist-capitalist economy?
    --"Western Investors Defend a Potemkin Village," Moscow Times, January 9, 2004

    It's a lie, a huge Potemkin village designed to give North Korea the appearance of modernity.
    --Kevin Sullivan, "Borderline Absurdity," Washington Post, January 11, 1998

    I'll Try

    I read this link I found at Kat's place...

    From Tony Pierce...

    I'll try harder...

    June 16, 2004

    Stupid People...

    It doesn't seem to be very difficult for me to re-affirm my belief that the Northern Virginia area has more stupid people than the average metro area...

    For example, I take the Toll Road home from work. At this particular toll booth, it is 25 cents. Has been for years. I'm waiting in line in the exact change line to throw my money at the basket, when the lane to my right moves forward. The next car runs through the toll booth without paying, which causes the bell to ring and a flashing red light to turn on. I had noticed, as soon as I got in the line, that the car directly behind that car was a Fairfax County marked police car. This is a large Ford type car, with blue/white/red paint, logos, and light bar.

    Shortly after running the toll booth, the cop flicks on his light bar to tell the offending car to pull over.

    Was that worth trying to save 25 CENTS? Doubt it. Idiot.

    Usability Review of FoxNews.com

    I am a software engineer. I am also a usability engineer. I am stunned that a company like Fox News would change their site and do such a terrible job! Here are my quick comments on their site - maybe they read this and will fix it (sure)...

    1. The page is TOO WIDE. I have my monitor resolution set really high and still have to have the window very wide to accomodate it.
    2. The headlines, which are WHY PEOPLE GOTO THIS SITE, are in a tiny scrolling box on the right (which shows 1 and 1/2 headlines at a time), not front and center, and not easily clicked on. The main headline, of course, gets a huge pic, 3 related story links, 1 video link and 2 inches of blank unused space. Wasteful.
    3. Directly under the main story is a 2 inch high, full screen wide ad. Don't think this is a good choice. This should be where the other headlines go!
    4. Under that first ad, are 3 fluff stories, that pretty much no one wants to read anyway. This would be another spot that could be filled with actual news.
    5. The "on the record" question takes up quite a lot of space, and I'm not sure this is a really important piece - wouldn't more NEWS be appropriate in such a prominant spot on the web page?
    6. Again, there are subsections for "fox news 24/7", "Fox Blogs", "Fox Connect", and a "War On Terror"...these are not major news portions and do not need to be in your face.

    Just get back to giving the news and give me simple links to all this other crap! It also looks like a crayola box exploded on the page, it's so busy.

    Just my 35 cents... (because any advice from me is worth more than 2 cents! ;-)

    June 14, 2004

    Strange Names...

    I am nothing but happy for Courtney Cox and her husband - they had a baby girl today! And from what I've read, getting to this point wasn't easy for them and I appreciate that... BUT why would you name your daughter Coco?

    Congrats anyway Courtney and David!

    Right On...

    Michele hits it right on with this post. It's a very good way to put it. I wish the anti-war people thought so clearly... it simply seems like common sense to me...

    June 12, 2004

    100 Things cont'd...

    71. having first "girls night out" since my son was born in 2 weeks
    70. hoping to have FOUR more children
    69. love being pregnant
    68. get bored easily
    67. don't like to be outside, unless it's the beach
    66. like to drive very fast
    65. like cars w/big engines
    64. like to bake, don't like to cook
    63. not a very good cook, except for a couple of signature dishes
    62. don't drink enough water every day
    61. drink too much diet coke every day

    and once again, bored.

    June 11, 2004

    Pigs in D.C. ...

    I saw the pics on TV today of the MESS people who were waiting in line to pay their respects to Reagan left in D.C. Come on people - is that anyway to behave? Trashing the place? Can we act like adults ONCE IN A WHILE and put your @#%@$% in a trashcan? I understand people waited in line something like 5 - 10 hours... in that timeframe it is not unreasonable to eat or drink and therefore produce some trash. That's fine - act like an adult and throw it away when you're done!

    I'm also confused by the number of people taking cameras in - not only do I believe they weren't supposed to, what do they want pictures of - "here's Dad with Reagan's coffin"...puuuullleaze! This is the sort of thing that will stay vividly in your memory, at least in mine. The images I saw today will stay with me for an eternity, similar to the images of Diana's funeral years ago are still fresh in my mind's eye.

    June 10, 2004


    Why would CNN consider this headline news?

    It's beyond me.


    I am not a huge fan of Reagan (a point which my hubby and I banter about frequently)...but I believe it is in extremely poor taste (and shows a certain low level of class) for Wonkette to write about him the way that she is. While you may or may not agree with his policies / decisions / etc., he was still The President, twice, and that alone demands a certain level of respect.

    June 08, 2004

    3 Hour Commute...

    Only in Northern Virginia...I left home this morning @ 6:55 a.m. because I had to be somewhere by 8:30. This should be PLENTY of time to drop Son off at my mom's and get to the meeting...
    but a dumptruck got into a ditch on Rt. 7 this morning and the embankment was so steep, the truck with all 4 wheels on dirt was hanging over the roadway. So they shut down 1 lane (of 2) to work on it. Now, there is ONLY 1 way into the metro area from our house, and that is Rt7 so I had to sit. There was one chance to get off onto another road and drive north (instead of east) to catch another road that runs East, but that's crazy and also would be
    a. congested
    b. very time consuming

    So the son and I sat for 2 hours on Rt 7 to get by the dumptruck, then the rest of the traffic was terrible, adding another hour...so usually a 40 minute ride took 180 minutes.
    Lucky me.

    June 07, 2004

    Crappy Summer Weather...

    Isn't summer in Washington DC supposed to be almost unbearably hot and humid? Global-warming my butt...It's been COLD here for summer time, cold and cloudy or cold and rainy. I'm ready for 95 and humid! I am ready to get in my black truck after it's been sitting in the sun where it's at least 140 inside!

    Today was supposed to be 80 and sunny, instead we get 70 and cloudy - what is WRONG with our weather people? If I was that bad at my job ( you should see the miserably incorrect forecasts we get in the winter! ) I'd be FIRED. It's so funny when they really goof a snowstorm, they'll see that they've goofed halfway thru and change their forecast...when the storm's done, I kid you not, they'll reply the newer forecast and pat themselves on the back for getting right on the evening news. Seriously! Too funny...

    June 05, 2004

    Bad mommy...

    I was supposed to call Ticketmaster today @ 10 a.m. to get tickets for son and 2 of his friends to see the Wiggles in concert...oops, I forgot until 3 p.m....now all they have left are seats that looking at the site map don't look so hot, but we'll see, my friend says there are no bad seats at this arena. I hope she's right.

    Son is quite excited about going...too bad he has no idea when Aug. 21 is! :-)

    June 03, 2004

    Good point

    Made by Insomnomaniac

    Check it out. I wonder the same things - and have no plans to send Michael Moore ANY of my money by watching his 'films', EVER.

    that is all.

    June 02, 2004

    Top 10...

    Today's popular internet list is top 10 country songs - finally a list I can make where I actually know something about the subject ;-)

    10. "Crazy" by Patsy Cline
    9. "Blue" by LeeAnn Rimes (was written for Patsy to sing)
    8. "Convoy" by CW McCall
    7. "Battle of New Orleans" by CW McCall
    6. "Flowers On the Wall" by Statler Brothers
    5. "Nobody" by Sylvia
    4. "It's Your Love" by Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
    3. "Swingin'" by John Anderson
    2. "Tight Fittin Jeans" by Mel McDaniel
    1. "Tenessee Flat Top Box" by Roseanne or Johnny Cash (either version)

    I am a HUGE country music fan and my favorite thing about XM Radio is the old country music channel (channel 10) and their ChartHistory show (it's a show listing the top 20 songs for a given list type - songs about a color, songs of the 80s, songs about topic X, Y, or Z).

    I realize I also left off some other favorites, and this is my blog, so here goes:

    anything else by Tim McGraw
    "Elvira" by Oak Ridge Boys
    any #1 from Alabama
    "God Bless The USA" by Lee Greenwood
    "Coat of Many Colors" by Dolly
    "The Gambler" and "The Coward of the County" by Kenny

    New Home!

    Well...they were right! The footers are poured and the house is moving along swimmingly! We're so excited! I stopped by the builder's office to see if we could squeak in an extra option or two that we really wanted but no, it's too late... oh well, we didn't need to spend any extra money anyway!

    June 01, 2004

    PANIC alert!

    We called our builder today...the idea was to postpone selecting options until the last possible minute so that we could possibly upgrade some things if we saw that we've been able to save some extra pennies...they are supposed to start in September, so we figured we might be able to postpone until the end of July or so...

    When I called the lady today, she said we really need to come because they need the info right away...I asked what the big hurry was and she said they'd already poured the concrete and were ready to do more work...WHAT?!?!?!?! A builder starting and being done early? The house is supposed to be done in Feb/March of NEXT YEAR and oh-my-god they're going to be done in October!

    This is great news (and I'm sure my in-laws, where we currently are taking over the basement, will be thrilled) but hubby and I are a tad scared about it being ready sooner, since that's 4 months less of penny-pinching we can do...what do you think?


    Steve apparently has a cookbook - while most of his recipes sound totally mouthwatering...his mac&cheese cannot compare to mine! My recipe is mostly cheese and noodles, the way it should be! The recipe is for home-made southern mac&cheese - none of this onions (which Steve left out as well) and breadcrumbs crap!

    I've read the recipes he's posted and drooled over the pics...maybe one day I'll order one - like the next time I'm pregnant and can dictate what hubby will make for dinner!

    Blog code...

    about me! B1 d- t k s u-- f+ i o+ x-- e+ l+ c+

    get yours

    Thanks Kat