June 16th, 2006


Letter from the IRS

A letter arrived today, from the IRS. It begins:

Dear Taxpayer:

Thank you for your correspondence received May 10, 2006.

We haven't resolved this matter because we haven't completed all the research necessary for a complete response. We will contact you again within 45 days to let you know what action we are taking. You don't need to do anything further now...

That's all well and good, except I've not corresponded with the IRS. I filed my 1040 and my 1040ES electronically in April, and just mailed off the 2nd quarter estimated check yesterday. This is supposed to relate to the 2005 1040.

The letter gave a phone number to call, so I did. After negotiating the phone tree (there was no option for "received mysterious letter"), I finally got put n the queue and eventually got to speak to a Real Person. First she had to confirm that I am me, at my address, have my birthday, and filed electronically this year. She was able to tell me that my estimated payment had been received after I told her the amount (some miracle of the USPS? or maybe she saw the one from April), but knew nothing more about the letter than what it said: it's pending, and relates to some correspondence I supposedly sent them.

'Tis a puzzlement. I shall wait for the further contact in hopes it will tell me more.

Dog dominance games

No, I'm still a cat person. But my family next door have 2 dogs, and the people part of the family are still out of town. I've been doing a little dog-visiting to add to the time the dog-sitter gives them.

Lindy is the older dog. Summer just joined the household a couple of months ago, IIRC, and is still under a year old, so she's still puppyish though she's taller than Lindy. Last night I was over in the kitchen and watched Summer successfully keep control of the two prime toys of the moment--a stuffed chipmunk, and a large bone-shaped item made out of tennis ball stuff. Both of these squeak, which is required for Interesting Toys. Lindy could manage to pick up one of these when Summer had to drop it (both toys won't fit in her mouth at once), but Summer would quickly force her to give it up. Lindy might then try to get the other toy unless Summer had managed to step on it, but Summer would just make her drop it. Scene repeats until Lindy gives up in disgust.

Today things were completely turned around. I went over in the afternoon while the dogs were in the backyard, and was greeted by Lindy alone, barking loudly. Summer appeared around the corner of the house, but Lindy charged fiercely at her and Summer tucked her tail in and ran. That repeated a couple of times until Summer gave up--Lindy basically had Summer confined to the corner of the deck, against the door.

I went over later on when I was still just seeing Lindy in the yard, and saw another repeat, but this time Lindy appeared to be guarding or hunting something at the base of the bushes. As Lindy is a pretty effective hunter of the small mammal population (chipmunks, squirrels, possums), I took a look, hoping not to have to dispose of some remains. What I eventually found was the stuffed chipmunk toy, which the dog-sitter had mistakenly allowed out of the house. I suspect that's what Lindy decided to defend for the day, and that's why she kept Summer penned on the deck most of the afternoon. I have rescued the poor toy, and it's shedding dried mud on my card table.