Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thank you for Taxes...yes I said it.


April 15, 2009

I woke up this morning to more complaints. Complaints about this, complaints about that. But mainly people complaining about taxes. No one likes taxes. I don't like them anymore than anyone else. But as Lyle Lovett said, "It's just a fact of life, no one cared to mention." And of course there is that old one about Death and Taxes...both are a fact of life.

There are people standing in the rain, sleet, snow, or even sunshine all over the country today wasting perfectly good tea....I'm not sure why. I'm sorry for my ignorance and limited intelligence, but I don't really understand it. I've tried to wrap my head around it, but I just don't get it. I mean, tea is expensive! Tea is or cold! Some tea is good for you! I know there are starving children in Biafra or Somalia who would love to have all that tea. Oh, I think I know what they are trying to express, and I commend them for the effort of replicating not only the Boston Tea Party but also Ron Paul's Libertarian Movement in their quest to express their 1st Amendment Rights as United States Citizens. What they lack in originality, they more than make up for in good old fashioned EFFORT! However, if you hate taxes that much, burn your Medicare Cards! Or take your Mother and Father's Medicare cards and burn them....right there on the White House THAT would be original.

I decided this morning that we need another special day to give Thanks for all that we have and all that our taxes pay for. We don't think about these little things that we all take for granted every day. It is a Thank You not only in a spiritual way, but a Thank You to all of my fellow taxpayers who all chip in and help us live in a great country.

Feel free to copy and paste this email and add anything you are grateful for. It doesn't have to be 20...just one is fine. I'm sure I left many things out! Put your name beside it and copy me on it...I would love to read what you have to say.


1. First and foremost, I'm thankful for the First Amendment...that allows all of us to express our opinions, even if they differ from our friends and family.

2. I'm so thankful today. Thankful for Mom's Social Security and Medicare. And full of thanks for my Mother and Father in-law's Social Security and Medicare. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

3. I'm also VERY thankful for Trash Day. A big truck just took away all that stinky garbage so that I don't have to smell it or look at it anymore. THANK YOU!!! And Curbside Recycling helps me be a better person....thanks for that too!

4. I'm also VERY thankful for VA benefits. THANK YOU for taking care of those wonderful souls who take care of us and protect us from enemies both foreign and domestic.

5. Thank you for clean water! Wonderful clean water! I can drink it, cook with it and bathe in it. What a wonderful gift...THANK YOU!

6. I'm VERY THANKFUL to those people who risk their lives for us everyday and Fight the Fires, and Watch out for my house and my business and are there when I dial only 3 numbers.

7. I'm so incredibly thankful that Ken has a client today. What is even more incredible is that he was able to make it across the Demonbruen Street Bridge without it falling on to the highway below. THANK YOU TDOT for working on that bridge and keeping it structurally sound for at least a little while longer!

8. I'm even thankful that my car is inspected every year. Yes, I said it! Because not only are they testing my car to be sure that it isn't transferring more toxins into the air than it is supposed to, but they are testing my neighbor's cars as well. THANKS for making sure we can breathe cleaner air for another year.

9. I am so grateful for National Public Radio and National Public Television. What a rich source of information, education and news programming. We should all support that wonderful institution more if we can afford to, especially if we listen to it daily.

10. I am VERY grateful for the National Endowment for the Arts. Art is something we all take for granted. OK, so you don't like that sculpture you saw on the town square, isn't it great that it is there? I bet even if it isn't your taste, you took someone by it just to see it and find out if they agree with your taste in art. THANKS for the NEA and THANKS for PUBLIC ARTS PROJECTS LOCALLY AND NATIONALLY!!

11.Thanks for the Pell Grant! If it wasn't for the Pell Grant, I couldn't have paid for some of my education. The Pell helps low income people make a better life for themselves! THANKS FOR THAT!

12. THANK YOU....especially now for the FDIC. THANK YOU for insuring that the cash I put away will still be there when I need it. THANKS for helping me refrain from burying it in the backyard, although I've thought about it many times this past year. THANK YOU to the FDIC who are a streamlined agency that takes care of failing banks...but mainly takes care of OUR MONEY...up to $250,000 of course. And saying that, THANK YOU for raising the joint account coverage to $500,000. I know we don't have anything close to that, but thanks anyway!

13. THANKS for understanding that we need safe roads on which to drive. I'm THANKFUL to the State of Tennessee (TDOT) and The State of Texas for keeping their roads in good shape. Texas by far is the leader in this, but if anyone has made the trip from Texas to Tennessee, you know that Arkansas...well, they need help. Near Littlerock is much better, THANKS FOR THAT BY THE WAY, but Texas....smooth sailing in your car.

14. I'm so THANKFUL for Public Schools. Yes, they need help. Yes, the structures need work. But THANK YOU for allowing children to learn. The system is far from perfect, but I am EXTREMELY THANKFUL to have the system.

15. I am very thankful for the internet. What did I do without it? What a wonderful addition that has given to my life. It expanded and really MADE my business, gave me skills that I now take for granted and opened up a huge new world full of new and old friends and information that I would have never known if not for the internet. THANK YOU FOR THE INTERNET! I know that Al Gore didn't invent it. But I'm sure a grant somewhere gave an engineer somewhere the extra money to invent it. Sorry I'm not doing the research this minute to name those involved.

16. Thank you for providing safe Air Travel. I know that isn't perfect either, but overall it is still the safest and quickest way to travel. Thanks to the NTSB for researching and inspecting crashes to try to prevent them in the future.

17. Thanks for the National Park System and the State Park System. That doesn't need any explanation does it?

18. And how about that Public Library System! I don't have to spend hard earned money for a book or even a movie. I can go to my Public Library and voila! Next thing you know I'm reading or watching for FREE!!!

19. Thank you for not allowing children to work before they are old enough to do so. This isn't true all over the world, so thank you for letting them be children for a little longer.

20. Last but not least...THANK YOU TO MY BOOKKEEPER AND ACCOUNTANT! They work hard on my behalf to keep me out of the woodshed with the IRS. I pay them and they are worth EVERY PENNY! Thank you for helping me participate in the system...with as little hassle as is possible with the current Tax Code. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

So, there you go...I find being Thankful today is much more fun than the alternative.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A wonderful video for Easter

Antwerp Station like you have never seen it!

Antwerpen Centraal gaat uit zijn dak want Op zoek naar Maria komt er aan! Bekijk hier hoe meer dan 200 dansers en danseressen het station op zijn kop zetten op het klanken van de Sound of Music!

Inspiring Video from Susan Boyle

47 Year old Susan Boyle wows the judges with her performance in the auditions for Britain's Got Talent, singing I dreamed a dream from Les Miserables.

She proves that you should never judge a book by its cover!

The Easter Kitty Came!

Thank you Easter Bunny...Bbbaaackk, bbaaacckk!
Wonder who will remember that reference!

Our Beeten Bunnies struck again this year. We are always tickled pink to get our visit from the Easter Kitty!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Best commercial ever...Go Honda!

For those of you who haven't seen this, I wanted to share. It is an amazing engineering masterpiece.

I received this in an email, and it came with text that is good to read before you watch the video. Here it is:

There are no computer graphics or digital tricks in these images.Everything that you see happened in real time exactly as you see it.

The recording required 606 takes and in the first 605 takes there always was something, usually of minor importance, that didn't work. It was necessary for the recording team to install the set-up time after time and it took several weeks working day and night to achieve this effect.The recording cost $6M & took 3 months to finish,including the engineering design of the sequence.

The duration of the video is only 2 minutes, but every time that Honda shows the commercial on British television,they make enough money to support any of us for the rest of our lives. However, this commercial has turned out to be the most displayed in the history of the Internet. Honda execs think that it will pay for itself simply because of the free showings (Honda is not paying one cent for you to see it) When Honda senior execs viewed it, they immediately approved it without hesitation-including costs.

There are only SIX Honda Accords built by hand in the whole world, and to the horror of Honda engineers, the recording team disassembled two of them for the recording.Everything you see in the sequence (besides the walls, floor, ramp and untouched Honda Accord) is part of those two automobiles.

The voice is Garrison Keiller's. The commercial was so well received by Honda execs when they saw it, that their first comment was how amazing the computer graphics were. They almost fell out of their chairs when told that the recording was real without any graphics manipulation.

By the way, about the wind shield wipers in the new Honda Accords, they are sensitive to water and designed to start working as soon as they get wet.