Archive for May, 2018


May 12, 2018

A New God

Back in Greek and Roman times, they came up with gods at the drop of a toga, each one assigned some specific task such as God of the Sea, God of the volcano (non-Hawaiian), rain gods, drought gods, war gods, etc. Recently, I became aware of one of this type of deity, and one that leans strongly to the Dark Side. My awareness arose just after I had been informed by my tax person that I was to receive a healthy refund, $4000, possibly in as little as three weeks! For want of a better name, I refer to this one as the God of the Tax Refund, and I’m sure it’s one that was newly minted; after all, the Romans never gave any refunds.

Within a few hours of hearing this good news, my upright washer/dryer combination began to make grating noises; a visit by the repair folks diagnosed the problem as a bad bearing, one which is attached to something called a transmission located in the underbelly of the washer. A repair would cost about $560, and leave me with a combination unit having an elderly dryer atop the machine. Consultation with my wife and others pointed me in the direction of buying a new washer and dryer, a pair that is stackable given the small space available. Decision made, I shopped several options and finally ordered one from the repair people, as they are the only ones within a reasonable range for coming to repair any problems. The model I really wanted, an LG, could not be serviced locally due to its sophisticated computerized innards; I settled for Electrolux. $2000.

Next, my blind cat Timothy was acting strangely, so I took him to the vet. Diagnosis: he needs to have two teeth extracted. I said okay but cautioned the vet that Tim is not to receive any implants. I had already spent a small fortune on those for myself; I don’t know if they do them for cats but at most he’ll have to survive with dentures. $303.

Starting a couple of years ago, I had discussed redoing my patio roof with a local roofer, and had put aside $1000 for that task. When he arrived to finalize the estimate, he commented, “If you’re thinking of selling the house, it won’t pass inspection”. I had understood the roof to be only about 10 years old, but covered with outdated T-lock shingles which are no longer available. He went up on the roofs of the house, garage, and shed, taking pictures and making measurements. His final remark: “ you should call you insurance company, there is wind and hail damage throughout”. Over the next  two days, I called the insurance company and a smiling claims adjuster appeared. After surveying the damage, he agreed with my roofer, and asked to see an estimate before approving my claim. And oh, by the way, my $1000 deductible in the policy balloons to $3000, something about those outdated shingles meaning they can’t just be repaired so we’re looking at “an upgrade”.

The estimate for the whole job is $8300; I had to provide half immediately for the ordering of supplies and materials. And I won’t receive anything from the insurance company until the job is completed, probably in early June. Or so. I heard a snicker from the TRG.

Note that only a week has passed since learning of the pending refund; later, after three weeks had passed, I daily checked my bank account to see if it had yet been deposited. Nothing so far.

I then prepared for my trip across country to North Carolina, to once again work as a volunteer in a PGA golf tournament. I looked forward eagerly to the trip; it included a several day stopover in Kansas City where I grew up, and have lots of friends. I attended a luncheon of my high school alumni group, held every three months, and got lots of chatting completed. I then went merrily on my way, contemplating that refund coming to partially reimburse me for all these other tragedies. As I got closer to my destination of Charlotte, I noticed a strange pounding noise issuing from somewhere beneath the car, and given its cyclical nature, had something to do with the wheels. My thought was of a wheel bearing, so as soon as I got to Charlotte, I pulled in to a Honda dealer and found out that it was not a wheel bearing. All my tires had become cupped, hence the pounding noises; the car was far out of alignment and needed new tires along with my normal service that was due. $890.

After my assignment at the tournament was completed, my wife and I spent a day as spectators, and I headed home on Sunday. About three hours on my way, an alert appeared on my instrument panel warning me of a low tire. Using my tire gauge, I discovered that the left rear (of my new tires) was going flat. Where does one get a tire fixed on a Sunday? A very kind lady, obviously not sent by the Refund God, led me to a Walmart, and after they found a broken metal pin lodged in the tire, and aa couple of hours and $10, I was once more on the road. The rest of the trip was uneventful; I passed the time trying to ignore all the nastiness about politics coming from my XM radio and chose to go to the 50’s station and sang along. I reflected on the $1600 I had spent last month on my first cataract surgery upgrade, and considered another $1600 to be set aside (from where?) for the next surgery, on March 24. At the same time, I am receiving iron infusions to address a significant deficiency, and beginning a month long intense therapy through the Pain Management Clinic to help reduce the chronic pain I’ve had for a number of years. Maybe it will help my putting.

The final blow came when I collected three weeks of mail and rummaged through the mostly junk. Nestled however among those appeals for donations, advertising for hearing aids, and etc., was a cheery letter from the IRS informing me that they needed more information before they could approve me for a refund; if successful, I would receive the refund six to eight weeks after they got my reply. I believe that’s sometime in mid-July.

The Tax Refund God has struck again!

Always Be Happy      To Our Youth