Friday, November 26, 2010

Houston We Have Landed (a week ago).

I captured this pix of the grandkids a few minutes after Jayden found Sarah under the covers in his bedroom. The kids had no idea we were bringing her along.

We have been in Houston for a week. Along the way I had some of the g-kids do a contest to see who could grimace the meanest face. This was the winner and everyone else tied for second place. (Decision of the judge is final). It's hard to get them to grimace when their natural disposition is sweet.

We all went to San Jacinto, TX where the decisive battle of the independence fight was fought. I highly suggest you see it if in the area. The monument is higher than the Washington Monument in DC and the local history is inspiring.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Kind Hearted IRS

I posted a while back about our IRS problem. The IRS said we filed late. We didn't.
Every two weeks last summer we got pushy letters (one to each of us) threatening to attach property if we didn't pay the 10% penalty. I wrote and called them several times. Finally a sympathetic ear said he would check the little box that we would agree to pay and that would stop the letters. I responded that we were not agreeing to pay because we filed on time, and asked him to check our past history. He checked and said we have never filed late but his record only went back a decade. When we arrived home I went searching for my mailing receipt for the 09 tax returns. The Post Office receipt includes zip codes for where the mailings went. I mailed the IRS a copy and drew arrows to each zip code with explanations of what they were for, and highlighted the mailing date. Then for six weeks I heard nothing. Finally a "Dear Taxpayer" letter arrived saying they were removing the Failure to File Penalty, and to expect an adjustment letter in approximately three weeks. (I'm cynical. I wonder what they mean by "adjustment?") I'm glad I asked for a receipt. Without that we would be assumed guilty and have no way to prove otherwise.

Friday, November 12, 2010


There has to be a good caption for this pix.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nuts, I Wanted a Fishing Boat.

Over a week ago I called our Alaskan neighbor, Leah, because she owns a kayak rental business. She returned my call yesterday from near the arctic ocean where she is helping lead a polar bear expedition in the off season. (She said temps range -30 to -40F where she is presently located and added, "The polar bears love it." She didn't sound like her teeth were chattering. BTW temps in Gustavus are +40 to +45˚F.) I asked her about an ad I saw earlier for two kayaks. She said the prices were good and told me how to evaluate them. Then I checked the ad again and saw the seller had cut the price in half since his previous listing! Takers may have been few because he lives a long way from water. Off we went on a drive out to the desert. They weren't in fabulous condition but both looked seaworthy. I really wanted one about 17 feet long for ocean kayaking. These are slightly smaller. The shorter one is 13 feet, and the long one 15 feet in length. They will do well on the Salmon River, or getting across a bay to fish for sockeye salmon in Bartlett River (fifteen minutes by kayak versus a 2.5 mile hike). The small one only weighs 50 pounds and should fit me ok with a little rudder pedal adjustment. I am also pleased to have an extra one for guests! (Ya listening Jon? ;-) Hopefully we will have room in the 5er to get them both up to AK next spring.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I am posting this in honor of my granddaughter Sarah. Now much older, she gets separators on her teeth today for her second set of braces and I am sorry she has to go through all that again.