Saturday, April 25, 2015

SMILE FOR THE DAY - ANIMAL RIGHTS!


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - PEOPLE


HELPFUL HINT - NATURAL WEED KILLER

Dear Readers:

As you know, I am always looking for things using everyday household products that will save me money.  This formula has the extra benefit in that it is a natural weed killer that works.  

  •   1 gallon vinegar
  • 2 cups Epsom Salts
  • 1/4 cup original blue Dawn Detergent 
Mix together in a sprayer and spray on weeds after the dew has evaporated in the morning. In the evening, the weeds should be gone.

(I wish this would work for some politicians.)
 

DOWN MEMORY LANE - BOBBY DARIN - "BEYOND THE SEA"


Friday, April 24, 2015

LAUGH FOR THE DAY - EXAMPLE OF COMMON CORE MATH?


5 TIPS WHEN CALLING THE IRS

Here's an interesting article:

This past Wednesday, IRS Commissioner “Honest John” Koskinen appeared before a House Ways and Means Committee hearing, where he apparently told the truth about how the IRS deals with customers (i.e. schlubs like you and me). Based on his revelations, we’ve put together this handy list of tips you ought to keep in mind if you have to go through the torture of contacting the IRS.    

1. Don’t even bother calling. Koskinen said more than 8 million customers were hung up on by the IRS high tech phone system.   

2. If you ignore tip number one and insist on calling the IRS, don’t expect to talk to an actual person, as only 40 percent of those who called got to speak to a live human.   

3. Whether or not you talk to a machine or a live human, start with very low expectations. Koskinen admits “Customer service, both on the phone and in person has been much far worse than anyone would want,”  
 
4. Don’t expect a “smidgen” of customer service at an IRS office either. After waiting and waiting, you’ll hear excuses like, “It’s simply a matter of not having enough people to answer the phones and provide service at our walk-in sites as a result of cuts to our budget.”

Only 110,000 walk-in customers received answers to tax law questions, which was 685,000 fewer than the 795,000 handled a decade earlier. And the IRS has abandoned helping elderly, disabled and low-income people prepare their returns at those sites.

They will almost certainly blame all the non-service on “budget cuts” and the added burden of having to manage Obamacare. What they’ll conveniently “forget” to mention is the money they diverted to pay for:
  • Millions of dollars in bonuses and giving tens of thousands of paid vacation hours to employees with recently substantiated conduct issues and disciplinary actions, including bonuses to 1,100 employees owing back taxes;  
  • Spending over $23 million and more than 500,000 working hours devoted to union activity, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars for union travel expenses; 
  • Spending billions of dollars every year on information technology systems – roughly twenty percent of its entire budget. 

Maybe they need to take some of those IRS employees who were busy targeting conservative and pro-Israel groups and individuals and have them answer the phones and handle walk-ins. Just sayin’… 

5. And finally, be sure to pay you’re taxes — unless of course you’re Al Sharpton, Hollywood celebrities, assorted politicians, or an actual federal employee. According to USA Today, last year it was reported that federal employees owe a total of $3.3 billion in back taxes to the federal government-which is to say YOU, the American tax payer. Thirty-six employees in the Executive Office of the President are delinquent on their taxes, for a rate of 2.06 percent. In case you are an IRS employee who owes back taxes DONT WORRY-YOU WILL STILL GET THAT BONUS! More than 1,100 employees who failed to pay their taxes received discretionary awards of more than $1 million in cash bonuses and more than 10,000 hours in extra paid vacation.  

At least five employees received performance awards after being disciplined for intentionally under-reporting their tax liabilities for multiples years, paying taxes late and under-reporting income. 

Like many companies and government agencies, the IRS sweetens the deal for its employees by giving bonuses based on performance. But at the IRS, breaking the federal tax laws you were hired to enforce and running afoul of other agency rules aren’t considered relevant to performance-based awards.

Good luck with that call!
 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

LAUGH FOR THE DAY - IT'S SPRING! AND HOW DO YOU KNOW?


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - FOREVER


" IF I WERE THE DEVIL." A COMMENTARY BY THE LATE PAUL HARVEY

Dear Readers:

I don't know if you remember Paul Harvey, one of the great commentators of our times. Mr. Harvey passed away in 2009, however many of his commentaries are still available. I came across this one today and wanted to share it with you. The title of this particular commentary is called, "If I were the devil."  


IF YOU OWN A DOG OR THINKING OF GETTING ONE, HERE'S A REALLY HELPFUL WEBSITE

Dear Readers:

As most of you know, I am a dog parent and I am always looking for interesting web sites about different breads of dog and why they do what they do.  Also, this web page supports saving dogs and helping shelters.  Here are some excerpts about the site:

Petyourdog.com (CLICK HERE) is a non-profit project founded in 2002 and is one of the greatest dog resources on the net... 

Petyourdog.com is probably the most complete, organized information for all purebred and hybrid dogs on the net, including pictures, videos, online vets and most of the shelters in North America... 

Now, from a social aspect, we are supporting a cause, which is to help get dogs out of the streets or from ending up in shelters. Each year in the U.S. alone, between 3 to 5 million dogs end up on the street or in shelters. For that, we provide a platform connecting future dog owners with all shelters in North America. For instance, when one of our website users is looking for a specific dog breed, our geo-targeted system will automatically display any local shelters’ availabilities for that particular breed. This way we can really help those shelters saving dog lives before it is too late for them. 

Additionally, we are also helping future dog owners to make the right choice the first time with our Dog Matching System. Through the process of selecting the right dog from hundreds of criteria, one can make a better decision choosing the ideal dog for them or their family. Again we encourage them to get their dogs through local shelters. 

According to ASPCA, there are about 5 to 7 million animals that are given up to shelters every year in the United States alone, which inadvertently results in the euthanizing of 60% of dogs given up to them. 

You can definitely help make a difference by supporting our website and our cause at a professional or personal level. You can support it by either donating or talking about us on Facebook or any other social media. See our help section by clicking HERE.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - SUPPORT


LAUGH FOR THE DAY - LINE DANCING


THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT'S REALLY IN COOKING SPRAYS

Several months ago, I posted this article.  Since I am a believer in cooking from scratch  and ways of eating healthy, I thought this was worth reposting.

 
Dear Readers:

Here's another article I would like to share:

(Excerpt from article)
When cooking sprays came on the food scene, I was thrilled. Since they claimed to add no additional calories and to make cooking surfaces non-stick, it seemed like a perfectly reasonable way to “have my cake and eat it, too.” 

However, as a nutritionist I like to read my food labels so I turned the can over to read the ingredient deck.  I was shocked to see the long list of ingredients and didn’t recognize many of them, including dimethylpolysiloxane, diacetyl and propellants. I decided to take these ingredients on a little trip down research lane so I could really begin to understand what I had just fed my family... 

To read the rest of the article - click here.

A HINT WORTH REPEATING - TROUBLE WITH GETTING YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS TO PICK UP AFTER THEMSELVES? HERE'S A SOLUTION.


THE PICTURE SAYS IT ALL:
I did something similar to this when my girls were little, but without the cute poem. 


WOMEN TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF IS CRUCIAL FOR YOU TO BE ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF OTHERS. STILL NOT DOING IT?

Oil for Your Lamp by Lisa Hammond & B.J. Gallagher
Women, you have heard it before, taking care of yourself is crucial for you to be able to take care of others. 
Still not doing it? Then this is a must read book for you. 

YOU JUST GOTTA LOVE TEXAS!


Saturday, April 11, 2015

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - THE BUTTERFLY


YES, THERE ARE WELL PAYING JOBS OUT THERE THAT DO NOT NEED A COLLEGE DEGREE...AND THEY ARE HIRING!

Dear Readers:

This is a subject I have discussed before on my web page.  Those in higher education push that myth that you can't get ahead if you don't have a college degree,  Bull Feathers!  There are jobs in the "trades" that are going unfilled.  By trades I mean, truck drivers, electricians, carpenters, plumbers, mechanics, etc.  The trouble is our secondary educators have bought into the myth  and no longer have or have cut down on vocational education in our high schools.

Today, I came across an article that supports my premiss.  Take some time to read it.  I have posted an excerpt with a link to the entire article below:

The great conundrum of the U.S. economy today is that we have record numbers of working age people out of the labor force at the same time we have businesses desperately trying to find workers.
As an example, the American Transportation Research Institute estimates there are 30,000-35,000 trucker jobs that could be filled tomorrow if workers would take these jobs- a shortage that could rise to 240,000 by 2022.

While the jobs market overall remains weak, demand is high in certain sectors.  For skilled and reliable mechanics, welders, engineers, electricians, plumbers, computer technicians, and nurses, jobs are plentiful; one can often find a job in 48 hours.

As Bob Funk, the president of Express Services, which matches almost half a million temporary workers with employers each year, said, “If you have a useful skill, we can find you a job. But too many are graduating from high school and college without any skills at all.”

The lesson, to play off of the famous Waylon Jennings song: Momma don’t let your babies grow up to be philosophy majors.

Three years ago the chronic disease of the economy was a shortage of jobs. This shortage persists in many sectors. But two other shortages are now being felt—the shortage of trained employees and of low-skilled employees willing to work.

Patrick Doyle, the president of Domino’s Pizza, says that the franchises around the country are having a hard time filling delivery and clerical positions. “It’s a very tight labor market out there now.”
This shortage has an upside for workers because it allows them to bid up wages. When Wal-Mart announced last month that wages for many starter workers would rise to $9 an hour, well above the federal legal minimum, they weren’t being humanitarians. They were responding to a tightening labor market.

The idea that blue-collar jobs aren’t a pathway to the middle class and higher is antiquated and wrong. Factory work today is often highly sophisticated and knowledge-based with workers using intricate scientific equipment.

After several years honing their skills, welders, mechanics, carpenters, and technicians can, earn upwards of $50,000 a year—which in most years still places a household with two such income earners in the top 25 percent for income. It’s true these aren’t glitzy or cushy jobs, but they do pay a good salary.

So why aren’t workers filling these available jobs—or getting the skills necessary to fill them. I would posit these impediments to putting more Americans back to work:

Link to the entire article: CLICK HERE

TAX DAY THIS WEDNESDAY - WISE WORDS FROM MY CONGRESSMAN

SEE the highlighted area - this means 1/3 of your gross income.  
"Next Wednesday, April 15, or Tax Day, is the deadline set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for filing taxes. While Americans have become accustomed to seeing higher taxes under President Obama, thanks to ObamaCare, Americans now have to worry about receiving the wrong information from the government when filing their taxes. 

At the end of February, the Obama administration announced it had sent incorrect tax forms to some 800,000 Americans who had signed up for Obamacare. Despite promises that affected taxpayers would receive their correct forms the first week of March, tens of thousands were still waiting at the end of the month. On April 4, the Treasury Department announced the filing deadline for those that had been sent the incorrect forms would be extended through October 15. On the heels of the Lois Lerner scandal at the IRS, I am more than a little concerned that the leadership within this agency is completely incompetent.

Tax season provides an opportunity to talk about the things we can do to simplify our overly complicated tax code and lower rates for hardworking Americans, but, instead, we’re dealing with yet another Obamacare crisis. It’s absolutely ridiculous that the uncertainty caused by the president’s health care law is so far-reaching that it is straining families during a time of the year that is already complicated and stressful for many.

Each year the Tax Foundation calculates Tax Freedom Day, or the day the country as a whole has earned enough to pay the total tax bill for the year. This year Tax Freedom Day is April 24. This means that 100 percent of the money earned by American workers during the first 114 days of the year goes toward taxes. As I’ve said before, I don’t think we need to ask taxpayers for a single dime more than they pay now since we can’t spend the money the government currently takes in wisely. In last week’s column I talked a lot about why it’s important to balance the budget, and I believe lowering taxes is just as important to economic growth.

I am pleased that Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is working to reform our tax code, and I know House Republicans have many ideas for fixing our broken system. For example, I have cosponsored the Fair Tax Act, which eliminates the income tax, payroll tax, estate tax and replaces it with a national sales tax. I am also a cosponsor of the Tax Code Termination Act, which would scrap the Internal Revenue Code and require Congress to develop a new system that reduces taxes for the American people. I believe either of these bills would be a step in the right direction by returning power to the people and letting the taxpayers decide how best to spend their hard-earned pay. Tennessee has a sales tax and we’re able to maintain a balanced budget while providing a great quality of life. These are the kinds of solutions we need to get our country’s fiscal house back in order.

Please rest assured I will continue to support commonsense proposals to ease the tax burden on American families and will work with my colleagues to purse true and comprehensive tax reform."

U.S. Representative, Phil Roe, M.D., 1st District of Tennessee

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

LAUGH FOR THE DAY - FARMER AND HIS MULE


Farmer Joe decided his injuries from the accident were serious enough to take the tracking company responsible for the accident to court. In court the trucking company's fancy lawyer was questioning Farmer Joe.

"Didn't you say at the scene of the accident, ‘I'm fine.”” asked the lawyer.

Farmer Joe responded, "Well, I’ll tell you what happened. I just loaded my favorite new mule, Bessie, into the…"

"I didn't asked for any details," the lawyer interrupted, "just answer the question. Did you not say at the scene of the accident, ‘I'm fine!’"

Farmer Joe said, "Well, I had just gotten Bessie into the trailer and I was driving down the road…"

The lawyer interrupted again and said, "Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the highway patrolman on the scene that he was fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client.  I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question."

By this time the judge was fairly interested in Farmer Joe's answer and said to the lawyer, "I'd like to hear what he has to say."

Joe thanked the judge and proceeded, "Well, as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie into the trailer and was driving her down the highway when this huge semi-truck and trailer ran the stop sign and smacked my truck right in the side.  I was thrown into one ditch and Bessie was thrown into the other.  I was hurting real bad and didn't want to move. However, I could hear ol’ Bessie moaning and growing.  I knew she was in terrible shape just by her grounds.  Shortly after the accident a highway patrolman came on the scene.  He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning so he went over to her.  After he looked at her, he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes.  Then the patrolman came across the road with his gun in his hand and looked at me." He said, "Your mule was in such bad shape I had to shoot her.  How are you feeling?"

"Now what the hell would you say?"