Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Corn is as High as an Elephant's Eye...

O...klahoma! Sing it with me! OK, I'm not singing, because my voice still isn't along for the ride. Figures. The one time I could legitimately be belting out tunes from Oklahoma, and I can't sing. Lousy cold of mine.

There was no post yesterday because we were in the backcountry of Missouri. No high speed internet in that place. There wasn't even a signal for the cell phone. We went from Indianapolis to some covered bridges near the Indiana/Illinois border, and then clear through Illinois and into the Meramec Caverns in Missouri.

The caverns were quite cool. Both literally and figuratively. There are a large number of caverns and caves and stuff in Missouri. If you ever get the chance to see them, do yourself a favor and do so. Well worth it. (Really. The pics will show you. Honest.)

After the caverns, we headed out through the rest of Missouri and are about halfway through Oklahoma in a town called Stroud. Some interesting things about Oklahoma. They have some cryptic road signs. Like: "Do not drive into smoke." I don't know if they have a high incidence of magician drivers, or maybe since people speed so much they go really fast and just go *poof*. Another sign: "Hitchhikers May Be Escaping Convicts". There's something that'll make you lock your doors, huh? If their prisoners escape often enough that they have to put signs up about it, maybe the money would be better spent on hiring more guards? Perhaps stronger manacles?

I have noticed some things that have helped me on a more spiritual level. After all these years, I had really started to believe that much of the country had been paved. Flattened, paved, sanitized, and packaged with humans stacked up on top of one another like cord wood. I thought there were only small pockets of scenery left, and that made me very sad indeed. I'm quite happy to report that I was wrong. There's a whole lot of wide open, untrammelled space out there. And we're seeing it in the spring, when it's at its most lush and verdant state. It's very refreshing.

I've also noticed that people are pleasant. Really. People who work with the public can actually be civil if not downright friendly, and sincerely so. They smile and say "please" and "thank you" and "have a nice day". If they're on the phone, they'll put the phone down and actually do their job with a smile rather than a grimace, scowl, sneer... you get the idea. If you're reading this and you want to save anything of your humanity, get the hell out of New York. I don't know why so many people in NY think the world owes them something just for breathing, but it just isn't right. So negative... it really changes you. Or it steals a lot out of you, and you may not even realize it.

OK, I'll stop rambling. Hopefully pics tomorrow.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Indie Rocks

There are some wacky names out there. We drove through Licking County, OK? Home to Licking River, naturally. We also went over Mad River.

This just brings to mind an image of a gigantic mound of marshmallow fluff, doesn't it? A nice place to nap.

The barns in Ohio sure are purty. All gussied up and whatnot. The cows are not so decorated. At least, not that we saw.

The people who designed the rest areas in Ohio were greatly influenced by the movie "Logan's Run". Good thing I hocked the gem in my hand.

Bye bye Ohio, hello Indiana! (But we call him "Junior".)

It's been a great trip so far, despite my perpetual illness and continuing lack of voice. Everything is so... clean. It seems that I've grown accustomed to littering as a matter of the human condition. This doesn't seem to be the case. It's very refreshing. Maybe people care about things, too. I'm living the dream, anyway. We'll see...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Movin' Right Along

(If you don't hear Kermit and Fozzie, just stop reading.)

The Flying Karamazov Brothers moved our stuff yesterday, and we began our journey out of New York at about 4:30 pm. The Karamazovs were very efficient, and I'd highly recommend them. (No, it's not their real name. Sheesh.) Last night, we stopped somewhere in Lancaster county, PA. This morning we drove around through Amish country and had lunch in a nice little cafe thing. The nicest thing happened... we couldn't hear the conversations of the people around us! Really! I mean, they were talking, but they were being civil and talking in a reasonable tone! (If you don't understand what I'm talking about, you've never lived on Long Island.) (Or you currently live on Long Island, and have never been anywhere else.)

There are some pretty impressive sights to see out there, and if you ever get the chance to travel across country, do it. Just getting out of the congested, paved, closed-in city-fied atmosphere of Long Island has been fantastic. I've flown across the country a few times. This slower, ground-level version is much more enjoyable. We're listening to a bunch of old-time radio shows, and just watching the miles roll by. Very relaxing, and very therapeutic.

Saturday, April 23, 2005


Said some very difficult goodbyes tonight, and also received the biggest compliment of my life. Can't even say anything else, so I won't even try. Way too emotional.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Final Countdown

If you currently have a song in your head, welcome to my world.

It's our last few days in New York. It's very weird, yet incredibly exciting. We're both spending time trying to figure out why we haven't done this sooner, and have only come up with one answer: responsibility. That's very, very sad. Why? It's not responsibility to a family member, or responsibility to a child, or even responsibility to a pet. It was responsibility to the damn job. "But if I leave, who will do (insert inane project/task/duty here)?" The answer, of course, is anyone. They'll find someone who can do it, or at least claim the ability to do it, and that's all that matters. The machine will grind merrily forward. Quality, competence, accuracy all be damned. Those are minor things, really. The webpage will be maintained by someone. The quickpads will be claimed by someone. (They would've been claimed by someone else anyway. That one was a foregone conclusion.) Even if it's not the same someone. Deb's job is already being done by two people, and it wouldn't surprise me if it took three or more. My job? Mine was already done. All the pieces were in place for the grand reduction. That'll still go through just fine. So there was really no need for the quickpads, other than for me to learn CASL. Sure, it would've helped reduce the need for "employee intervention" even further, but that's OK. Hell, maybe someone will even learn to program like I did. Good luck to you if you do. If you get a colored print on semi-gloss paper, you'll achieve the same level of recognition I got. Congrats to you.

Oh yeah. For a couple of the returning visitors to the site... some of you still have spyware. And you still have to search to find my site. Thank you for making me laugh, and don't forget to douse your beeswax candles before you go to bed at sundown. Oh, and leeches in large quantities are always a good cure. For anything. Especially insomnia. Try it!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

More Than Just a Spike Lee Movie

If you read this and you work in EIN, then you should go straightaway to Jerf's page and click on the Amazon link on the side. Why? Because you've used the site that he made, on his own time and with absolutely no compensation, and you continue to use it without so much as a "thank you" to him. If it were up to me, you should give him a dollar for every letter you didn't write on your own, every coversheet you couldn't figure out on your own, every example you had to look at because you can't memorize your damn job. Retroactive, of course. If you ever got an award, it goes up to five bucks per. Ten if you think you deserve it. No, scratch that. One hundred per.

Jeff is not only my best friend, but one of the best people it has ever been my pleasure to know. The way he is treated by my former employer sickens and angers me, and I sincerely hope that he gets to get out and live the life he richly deserves before the place drains the life out of him. If he gets to live his life with the woman he loves, then that makes it infinitely more enjoyable and worthwhile.

Friday, April 15, 2005

The End Is The Beginning

I am no longer employed by the IRS! Woohoo! I'm a plain ol' taxpayer, and it's a damn good feeling. (And yes, I've said more than once that taxpayers are morons. I said it to every class I ever taught. I'd rather be a moron than be a back-stabbing, whining, lazy, sniveling, mind-numbingly unmotivated, work-avoiding, knowledge-avoiding, bipedal leech who seeks not to assist anyone but only to fester in their own ever-expanding selves.)

Bitter? No. Purging? Yes. Glad? Beyond anything you can imagine.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The sun'll come out...

Tomorrow is my last day as an IRS employee. I'd put up a countdown clock or something, but I've already got those for other, more important, things. (For those who get frightened by that statement, a countdown clock is a webpage that shows how many years/months/days/hours/minutes/seconds there are until a specific date. That's all. Get over yourselves.)

The grade 11 do-nothing on nights has started a TIGTA investigation against my wife. I guess the line of reasoning there is that if you jump up and down and point at someone else, you're diverting attention away from the fact that you've been in a grade 9 position for over two years and should have been downgraded by now, yet haven't? Keep telling yourself that.

When I first heard about this, I'll admit that my blood pressure skyrocketed and I felt my face flush red for the first time in a week and a half. But then my better half said simply: "We're done with them." And she's absolutely correct. The pettiness, bitterness, ignorance (extreme, mind-numbing, all-encompassing ignorance), will all be left behind. Let the do-nothings battle for supremacy and see who can waste the most taxpayer dollars. That's really an accomplishment. The worst part is that there are so many people competing for the top spot.

I can't wait until we're gone.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Vowel Movements

Oh, the comedy. Seems the grade 11 do-nothing has been trying to find out if there are links on any of the INTRAnet pages to any of the INTERnet pages, such as the one you're currently viewing. Bloody brilliant. Doesn't matter that the people don't have INTERnet access. Since it all shows up on the same screen thingy, it must all be going to the same place. "Technology is so very, very difficult to understand, so I'll just flat-out persecute anyone who seems to know anything about it" should be tattooed on some of these idiots' foreheads.

Man, I'd like it if there were an INTRAnet webpage that shows how long the do-nothings have had their IDRS profiles locked for the world to see. Or at least TIGTA, since a higher-graded manager pretending to work can't pretend all that well when his/her profile is locked. Or dropped off completely. That'd be proof that someone wasn't doing his/her job, which is fraud, waste, and abuse. (Hm... why does that sound familiar?)

Speaking of do-nothings, it seems that someone has finally seen my website and has been offended by it. So much so that this someone began complaining about it. Except... this someone was looking at the website AT WORK. You're not supposed to look at websites from within the IRS unless there's a legitimate business need. That'd be a violation that TIGTA could verify easily, if they looked at the terminal logs.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Scandal! (And other 80s groups)

It seems that the higher-ups in the world of EIN would have you believe that my wife has now been fired. Why? Because she "let" me in the building. Doesn't matter that my final official date of IRS employment is Friday the 15th. Four days from now. I guess I should call her and tell her she's been fired. See... she's at work right now, training her replacement. That means she can come home.

I really shouldn't be surprised. The do-nothings at work are considering this all as one big "win" for their team. Well hooray for you. The mere fact that you enjoy spouting such ridiculousness will make me proud to say (in four days) that I no longer work for the IRS.

And you know... as long as I've got some bitterness to spare... to those of you who both received my help over the years, never bothering to learn anything on your own, and who also believe this horseshit about me and my wife being fired... I have an odd mix of unbridled rage and pity for you. Rage that you unflinchingly and relentlessly sought help rather than crack open a book or load a webpage, and pity that your lives are so miserable that you need this kind of soap-operatic fantasy to feel "good".

I gleefully leave you to your misery.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Not all cabins are made of logs

In viewing the logs for the site, I've noticed something humorous. To me, anyway. A number of visitors to the site have what appears to be spyware installed on their computers. (No, it's not from me. I can tell from the visited link.) Others don't seem to be able to add a site to their favorites, and keep having to search for my site. Even though it takes longer to search for "" than it does than just typing it in directly.

My advice: Keep on clicking on that "ok" button every time it pops up. That's bound to fix the problem. Computers are smart, after all.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Dr. Indelicato

While driving around today, we passed a chiropractor's office. "Dr. Indelicato" Not kidding. If you're a chiropractor, or really any form of medical professional, don't you think you'd change your name from "indelicate"? Unless he's a super villain and he's just starting out. You never know. Gotta earn some money for those henchman somehow.

Speaking of indelicate, thanks to Jerf my website will no longer be viewed by anyone in the IRS. They waste enough money as it is. They're not going to waste it reading my stuff. They can go home and do that.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Nestle's QuickPads

Funny thing... I learned today that someone was trying to access the QuickPads I've been working on for the last month. I guess they were having difficulty finding them, because they were so cleverly hidden in the default directory the program requires they be stored. But that's not the funny part. The funny thing is that a grade 12 contacted another high grade (not sure, probably 11 or 12) to get to them. The grade 12 in question had already told me to give everything I've done to the guy in Philly when we went there. Which I did, right in front of his very eyes. They've probably been on a shared drive for the better part of a week, but I guess it's much more cost effective to have two high grade folks spend hours to get to files they already have.

Can't make this stuff up. And this is what your tax dollars pay for.

Read Time?

Over two dozen hits from "regular" IRS computers so far today. (Hiya!)

And it seems as if people are offended by the opinions offered by yours truly on this site. Hmm. How interesting. In viewing comparisons and case history of the Freedom of Speech vs. Workplace Harassment laws... I'd be in trouble if I mocked people with a learning disability. And there's a huge, huge difference between someone who is truly "learning disabled" or "learning challenged" or whatever, versus someone who just plain old doesn't want to try to learn. If you read this and think I'm making fun of you, consider the following... if you got an all 5 evaluation and did not: teach, instruct, coach, work on a special project, revise an IRM, revise a handbook, write an IRM, write a handbook, adhere to your break/lunch schedule, or do anything that is above and beyond what is contained within your position description, then you did not earn your evaluation. That's how it's supposed to work. There are even guidelines managers are supposed to follow, and manager's managers are supposed to follow to ensure that happens. The thing is, they don't. And people get all 5s just for walking in the door. That's a great way to provide service to our customers, huh?

If you see yourself in things that I mention here, you should really be asking yourself why that is. If you do what you're supposed to, then you're fine. If you whine for an all 5 eval, or give all 5 evals to people who don't deserve them, then welcome to my bitterness. You have earned it.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Bowling for Breakfast

I was just thinking... those in my old unit got what they wanted. A manager who won't charge them errors because he wouldn't know one if it bit him in the face, and evaluations that are back in the ridiculous range for no reason whatsoever. That made me laugh. A stellar evaluation from that department is no longer worth the paper it's printed on to the rest of the building, and even less now that they see who's signed it. And that's why I laughed. I hope they have fun bowling, and enjoy eating breakfast on the taxpayers dime while they can.

-Update- We have a comment! I'm sure the service would be proud to know that someone who can't grasp the difference between the contraction of "you" and "are" (better known as "you're") and "your", better known as the possessive form of "you". Good to know those phonics tapes helped you.

Break time?

Lots of hits on my main site from the IRS this morning. Not TIGTA, but the regular IRS. If you're looking at my site on your break time, that's fine. Of course, if your break time is 7:15 that means you start work at about, what, 5:30 am? I guess the phone volume is pretty high then, so that's possible.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Lookit All Dese Rumors

I spent my final moments being inside an IRS building being confused, shocked, and angry. Pretty much like the last 13 years. I went in to finish up my travel voucher, hand in my time sheets for this week and next, and hand in my badge. (For those of you who may not have read my resignation letter, my final date of employment with the IRS is April 15.) (This is an important point.) I did my stuff, sent some e-mails, and was told that the grade 11 do-nothing, has-no-IDRS-profile-yet-manages-to-miraculously-perform-reviews manager has "spotted" me, and called the night manager. (Insert confused noise here.) Apparently, she (and presumably her boss) belive that I have been fired. Yep. So, if I've been fired, then I shouldn't be in the building. I've got news for people who may think I was fired... if I was fired, you can rest assured that the page that has my resignation letter would have a lot more information in it, and the names sure as hell wouldn't be sanitized. Nor would it be even remotely professional.

Of course, the rumor mill also has my wife as just going into her boss's office, throwing down her badge, and saying "I quit!" What's funnier is that her boss is the one who told her that story first. They shared a chuckle. She hasn't quit, hasn't resigned, but is taking a leave of absence. I guess that's too dull, though. Needed some sex, violence, and maybe an alien abduction or evil twin or something.

I guess that's what happens when reality TV is all the rage. Since TV is boring, people look for reality to have all the juicy bits in it.

About time

TIGTA has read my resignation letter! Woohoo! Remember, it's only slander if it's false. Ask some questions, and you'll be surprised how much I held back.

- Update - Now the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority is checking out my site. Interesting. Hi there, whoever you are.

- Update update - Tons of hits by people in the IRS today. Not TIGTA, but regular folks in the IRS. Good to know it's getting around, and good luck to you all. Hope you're getting whatever recognition you've earned. If you are, then you're already lucky.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Them internets is fan-tastic!

Wow. Just... wow. I've had an amazing amount of people read my resignation letter. Even one person from within the confines of the IRS! (Hiya!) For those of you who don't work for the IRS, I hope you never have to experience what I've gone through. If you do work for the IRS, I hope you never have to experience what I've gone through. The only person I hope goes through what I've gone through is the person responsible. If that makes me a bitter man, then so be it.

Monday, April 04, 2005


I'm done. I've resigned. The letter is here, for your perusal. As you can see, I didn't really hold anything back. It was a very, very emotional day. I didn't get to see everyone I wanted to, but on the positive side many, many people are extremely pissed off. (No, not at me.) This is as close to a martyr as I ever want to come, but maybe my little "sacrifice" will spark some sort of change. If not in the organization, then in the way a certain someone is treated at the IRS. Or maybe it can serve as an impetus for those who really, really need to leave the organization in order to save themselves the same kind of frustrations I've gone through. Maybe I'm just being an eternal optimist, but it's what I do.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Starting over

This is the life-changing event:

Deb and I are resigning from the IRS and moving to Arizona. Our resignation letters are going in on Monday, and with some serious work on our part we should be out of New York and in AZ before April is over.

Yes, I'm serious. No, this is not a late April Fool's joke. Details will follow, but as an added bonus for those of you who work for the IRS with me, you'll be able to get a copy of my resignation letter. (If you're reading this site and work with me, when you read the letter, don't take what's going to be in there personally. It's meant for the masses.) (Meaning those who still equate "computer" with "dark sorcery involving human sacrifices".) (Also known as "morons".)

Ringo was his name-o

This is not the life-changing event. This is just me rambling.

The pope has died. As they search for a new pope, I wonder what the name of the new guy will be. I mean, will they go with the tradition established with the last few popes and name him after one or more of the Beatles, or will they go with something more Holy Roman Empire-esque and bring back the classic names like Pius or Innocent. Maybe they'll go for a nice combination. I'd really like to see Pope Ringo Hilarius I has a nice ring to it. (Hmm... that'd be a nice website. Generates a random Beatle name and a random papal name.) Pope George Gelasius I... sounds like he'd hand out ice cream during sermons. That's a nice, friendly way to get people back to Christianity.

Friday, April 01, 2005


Very, very, very big life-changing event is imminent. (No, it's not a damn baby. Go jump off something tall if you thought that.) I'm not posting it today for a couple reasons... have to tell the family first, and if I post it today people will think it's an April Fool's joke. Just like some people thought my apartment fire was. Actually, this makes my apartment fire look like a joke in comparison.