Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I believe this almost fits a purist's definition of "irony." My Polar S720I needed a new battery. I replaced the battery myself a year and a half ago. The trouble was that after so many battery changes, the screws were getting worn. I fired off an email to Polar and received a response from Polar Norway. They had no screw kits, which was unfortunate. The marketing value alone from selling a "screw kit" would be well worth their effort. They offered to change the battery for a fee. Not wanting to be without the monitor for a week for such a trivial task, I was reluctant, until I discovered they would do a full refurbish for around 500 nok. This included a new cover, case, band, and battery. Basically everything but the electronics, or so I was told. I nearly jotted down the serial number off the back of the case, until I realized I would never see the case again anyway.

Or would I?

Today I found an envelop in the mail. It was returned after nearly a week's absence. I checked it out. Sure enough, everything looked new. I examined that back--- same back cover, same serial number, same old screws.

Other than that, I truly looks new. Assuming it works OK, I must say, I am satisfied. Considering how much they cost new here in Norway, it is a bargain.

The other bit of news in the mail was an ominous looking envelop from the IRS. I had a particularly complicated tax situation in the US this year-- and even owed money, despite not have lived a day in the country. Contrary to what anyone would have you believe, nobody moves to Norway to live as a tax exile. Especially from a low tax nation like the US--- low relative to the socialist tendencies of northern Europe. This envelop was frighteningly thick. I actually opened it BEFORE the monitor envelop. All it turned out to be was a document I need to return indicating that I had lived in Norway the entire year. No big deal there. And I swear, we expats all receive "very special attention" form the IRS. All correspondence I have received from them since moving has been oddly personal in nature. I miss the good old EZ-days of form letters and filing by phone. Then again, we receive more of that then we might wish for in Norway--- where the government completes our tax forms for us, we sign and return. You would think the US could enact such laws.

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