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Thursday, April 6, 2006

Discretion being the better part of valor (not to mention hubris and arrogance and snooty self-importance), youíd think a person as humble as I am (he said, humbly) wouldnít have to be reined in by circumstance. But I might have picked a fight with the U.S. government today, if I hadnít run into a bit of good luck. Discretion imposed is better than no discretion at all.

The Social Security Administration had the nerve to tell me I hadnít filed W-2 forms for the kennel employees — for 2004!. Not only did I know Iíd done it, I knew I had copies of the forms to prove it. All I had to do was find them. I canít tell you how much I wanted to throw them in the governmentís face (assuming it has one) and wave them in front of the governmentís eyes. Tell me I didnít do my job. Ha!

Only I couldnít find the forms. I looked everywhere I could think of that I might have filed them, including all the wrong places. (Well, all the places I looked were wrong places, right up until I found them.)

I felt so vindicated. I had the nasty letter composed in my head, until I looked at the forms I was about to send to the government. I had used the wrong employer identification number on them. No wonder the government couldnít find a record of my filing them. I quickly revised the letter down to a brief apology, with explanation. Luckily, I discovered the error before I woke up the sleeping tiger. Nobody wants the folks in Washington snarling at them with claws out and fangs bared.

5 April 2006

Relay race clouds.

To be fair to myself, it really was the IRSís fault that Iíd filed the forms wrong in the first place, over a year ago. They had originally issued us one ID number, and then replaced it with another, after Iíd filed several tax forms. It took nearly a year of hard work (mostly on the part of Julie, who has much more patience than I have) to get the IRS to transfer records from one number to the other. They had simply neglected to tell the Social Security people about their error. But letís not let the IRS know that I blame them.

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Iím not sure what the most impressive part of the Giantsí home opener today was. It might have been the fact that the starting pitcher left with an injury in the second inning, and the bullpen, led by ageless veteran Jeff Fassero, held off the Braves the rest of the way. It could have been the second straight save by emergency closer Tim Worrell. But letís say it was the six-run third inning that brought them from behind and gave them a 6-4 win. There was a two-run single by Ray Durham and a three-run double by Pedro Feliz in that mix. After a punchless offense split two games in San Diego to open the season, it was good to see some life in the bats against another quality team like the Braves.

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One year ago: Suborning
"I just donít like to be bullied into telling him what he wants to hear, unless itís the truth. When he wants to hear a validation of his fictional version of the real world, I canít bring myself to play along."

Two years ago: Intersection
"He also knows I keep a journal, and he's online every day, but he doesn't quite get the concept."

Three years ago: Missing Hours
"Sunshine after six in the afternoon is like a special treat from Mother Nature (or maybe Father Time)."

Four years ago: Time Out
"The alarm will go off at seven, and my body will think it's six, and I'll go back to sleep and wake up in a panic at nine or ten."

Five years ago: Post Dated
"Too many cooks, I guess, and nobody's quite sure who's the head chef, so a lot of stuff boils over."

Six years ago: Still Being There
"Did you know that the last Newhart aired ten days before the first Seinfeld?"

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