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Phil's Rambling Rants
May 17th, 2007
12:28 am


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WHAM!  Argh.
Driving home tonight, almost to the St. Joe exit, and I notice that there's a truck 50 feet to the right of the highway, pointed away from the highway, kinda sticking out of some trees.  Perhaps I was distracted by the sight, but I didn't see the thing on the road, probably left behind by the accident that caused the truck to be there.  But I definitely felt it!  And within half a mile, I could feel that I was losing a tire, so I pulled off on the exit ramp.  Sure enough, the right front tire was pretty much flat.  Of course it's the brand new one -- I'd just had to have one replaced due to road damage (I hadn't even noticed what I hit, but there were two huge knots on the inside sidewall, and I'm surprised the tire hadn't blown before I got it replaced).

So I go through the rigamarole of getting everything out of the way to get the toy jack and toy spare tire out.  I get the jack in place, the car up, the lug nuts off, annoying but no big deal.

And I can't get the tire off.  It's like it's welded on.  I'm afraid something is damaged and if I try any harder to get it off, I might break the car worse, so I need a wrecker.  But I don't have road service, so I don't know who to call.  I decide it's just early enough that birder2 might still be up, so I call, and she answers, but I can't seem to convince her to look one up in the phone book and tell me the number.  She says she'll drive out and meet me.

While I'm waiting, a sheriff car pulls up, and the officer gets out and checks the situation out.  I explain.  He looks at the wheel, and recommends that I kick the tire.  I already did, but what the heck, I try it again.  This time, of course, it moves, and in seconds the tire is off, just like it was supposed to be, and in another couple of minutes the doughnut is in place.  But birder2 is supposed to be on her way.  The sheriff wants to stay there to make sure nobody runs into me on the ramp.  I don't want to leave until she gets there, because it would be pretty crass for her to come out and me to be gone.  So we wait another 10 minutes or so.  She arrives, I say sorry, we all drive away.

Then I get to my mailbox, and there's a letter from the IRS that says I made an error on my tax form.  I don't have to do anything, it says, and my corrected refund will come to me in six weeks or so.  I get out the copy of the return I mailed in and look through it.  It appears that I included the telephone tax settlement thingy in my payments, but when I figured my refund, I just used the tax withheld number instead of the sum of that and the telephone credit, so the refund I claimed was actually $30 less than what it was supposed to be.  A mistake I wouldn't have made if I'd been doing the arithmetic by hand, but since I had it set up in a spreadsheet, I just mindlessly copied the numbers and didn't notice that I had the spreadsheet wrong.

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(7 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:May 17th, 2007 05:58 am (UTC)
Sorry about the flat, that sucks but I'm glad that you are safe and unhurt.

The bright side is that you are getting more money back than you thought. :)

A friend of mine just got an Audit notice in the mail. Apparently, on her 2005 taxes she did not record some stock options that she exercised in the correct manner, so the IRS thinks that she owes them $10,000.00 She doesn't, it is just a stupid clerical type error, the IRS claims that she must pay by June 11 or suffer additional fees and penalties. So, she has to go through the hassle of correcting this AND the hassle of the audit.
[User Picture]
Date:May 17th, 2007 12:01 pm (UTC)
That's not insult to injury - that's a positive string of good things to close out the day.

1) The cop came and helped.

2) He stayed and made sure that nothing further bad happened.

3) You got an unexpected refund.

I'm counting this as coming out ahead, in the long run....
[User Picture]
Date:May 17th, 2007 12:02 pm (UTC)
Alan and I still recall to this day the places on the route between Columbus OH and Lansing MI where our cars had flat tires (or other incidents such as deer). One of them was near Vanlue, where the tire first started a strange high-pitched whining sound, and then blew out (at least giving us that warning so that Alan had slowed in the righthand lane already, so no driving control issues). Since the car was a 13-year-old Audi, we had never been able to get any of its tires off by hand, so we needed to have it towed to the next exit to get it professionally changed.

The IRS sent me a letter once, like that. Seems like I had copied the wrong bottom line number into the form I sent them, though the check I filled out had been for the corrent amount they wanted.
It's been a few years, (I could look up how many) and still no audits or other repercussions.
[User Picture]
Date:May 17th, 2007 02:57 pm (UTC)
But you're unhurt and the car will be ok and you can still go on your trip, right?
[User Picture]
Date:May 17th, 2007 03:15 pm (UTC)
I'm unhurt (except for a minor scrape on my thumb I got changing the tire), and I believe the car is OK except for needing said tire replaced (I'll know for sure in a few hours once the Goodyear store has looked at it), which is an annoying extra expense but if the cost of a tire would mean I couldn't go on the trip I wouldn't have been planning it anyway.
[User Picture]
Date:May 17th, 2007 03:24 pm (UTC)
Yay! Then we'll see you in a week from tomorrow! You got my email with the requisite contact info, right?
[User Picture]
Date:May 17th, 2007 03:21 pm (UTC)
In reply to the several people who say I shouldn't see the IRS letter as insult to injury: The main insult is bringing my own stupidity to my attention. (I have issues about that.) And while it is nice of them to automatically change my refund, I don't appreciate having it delayed by several more weeks. I suppose I can't whine very much about the latter, though, since I didn't get off my ass and file until the last minute, despite knowing before I did the numbers that I had a big refund coming. (And when I did them, it was even bigger than I'd realized.)
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