Saturday, December 31, 2011

Blessed New Year

I hope all of you have a Blessed New Year!

Every year is a chance to do better.

To be an ideal guest, stay at home.  Edgar Watson Howe


Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to. Bill Vaughan


I know. I'm lazy. But I made myself a New Years resolution that I would write myself something really special. Which means I have 'til December, right?  Catherine O'Hara

If you are young and you drink a great deal it will spoil your health, slow your mind, make you fat - in other words, turn you into an adult.  P. J. O'Rourke

Deep breaths are very helpful at shallow parties.  Barbara Walters

To kick start my New Year,  I took an IQ and the results were negative.

New Year's Eve, where auld acquaintance be forgot. Unless, of course, those tests come back positive. - Jay Leno

On New Year's Eve, Marilyn stood up in the local pub and said that it was time to get ready. At the stroke of midnight, she wanted every husband to be standing next to the one person who made his life worth living. As the clock struck - the bartender was almost crushed to death.

When I thought about the evils of drinking in the New Year, I gave up thinking.

A new year is unfolding like a blossom with petals curled tightly concealing the beauty within. 

"Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits."

"I'm a little bit older, a little bit wiser, a little bit rounder, but still none the wiser." -- Robert Paul

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year Traditions

I have a few New Year's Traditions that I follow:

1.  Spend New Year's Eve at home with my L(ovely)W(ife).
2.  To be asleep when the New Year comes in.
3.  To not make any New Year's resolutions.

These traditions work well for me, though they might not be as good for others.

New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions. Mark Twain

New Year's Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time. James Agate


Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go. Brooks Atkinson

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. Bill Vaughan

New Year's Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. Mark Twain

Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account. Oscar Wilde


YEAR, n.   A period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments.  (DD- Ambrose Bierce)





Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Most Admired


What man that you have heard or read about, living today in any part of the world, do you admire most? And who is your second choice?
                                                     2011 

2010 
2009 
2008 








Barack Obama 
17 
22 
30 
32 






George W. Bush 






Bill Clinton 






Rev. Billy Graham 






Warren Buffett 






6t 
Newt Gingrich 






6t 
Donald Trump 
-- 
-- 






Pope Benedict XVI 






Bill Gates 






10 
Thomas Monson 

















11     Tim Tebow
     1 
-- 
 * 
 -- 





12     The Dalai Lama 
     1 
 1 
 * 
  1 






13     Mitt Romney 
     1 
 * 
 * 
 * 






14     Rush Limbaugh 
      1 
  1 
  1 
  * 






Results are based on telephone interviews conducted December 15-18, 2011 with a random sample of –1,019—adults, aged 18+, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia

Thomas Spencer Monson (born August 21, 1927) is an American religious leader and author, and the 16th and current President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (for those of us who didn't know who he was).

My list would be very different.  

1.  My Wife  - She has put up with me for many years and raised great children.
2.  My mother - She raised 3 very young children on her own & is very generous.
3/4.  My son & daughter - They have turned to be great people & parents. 
5/6.  My son-in-law & daughter-in-law - Great parents & people/
(OK I know they are not all men!)

Then I might add the Pope, Dalai Lama, Billy Graham, and Tim Tebow not necessarily in that order.

Barrack Obama, Bill Clinton & Donald Trump would not be anywhere on the radar screen!

Actually at the bottom of the poll is:

Friend/Relative 






Other 
25 
27 
19 
19 







None/No opinion 
32 
25 
25 
25







A hero is someone we can admire without apology.  Kitty Kelley

A man likes his wife to be just clever enough to appreciate his cleverness, and just stupid enough to admire it.  Israel Zangwill

Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.  W. H. Auden

Animals do not admire each other. A horse does not admire its companion.  Thomas Mann

ADMIRATION, n. Our polite recognition of another's resemblance to ourselves. (DD)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What kind of a world?

What kind of a world do we live in?

Two stories that occurred recently bring this ti the front:

A franking commission spokesman told the Washington Examiner that members of Congress indeed cannot wish constituents "Merry Christmas" in any official mailing.
"Currently, incidental use of the phrase Happy Holidays is permissible, but Merry Christmas is not," said Salley Wood.
The paper notes that senators can say things congressmen cannot because they are governed by different regulations.
According to Senate franking regulations, "Senators may not use the frank to mail holiday cards. However, senators may use officially related funds to mail holiday cards to constituents. Holiday cards to friends should be sent with personal funds, not using Senate facilities."  Fox News

WASHINGTON, Dec 23(Reuters) - A federal judge on Friday barred Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio from detaining people simply for being in the country illegally, in a ruling that faulted the local lawman for enforcing federal immigration law.
The sheriff already has faced rebukes from federal agencies over his controversial efforts to crack down on illegal immigration.  Chicago Tribune


Rulings that Happy Holidays is sanctioned but not Merry Christmas!  The "holidays" are theoretically here because of CHRISTMAS, the birth of a Savior.

A sheriff being reprimanded for carrying out a law.

Separate subject: Franking.
I believe that Congressmen (or Congresspeople for you overly politically correct out there) should be able to Frank any letters that they actually sign! No fake signature stamps, no aides signing, etc.
That way we would get info we absolutely need not hearing how our representatives are spending ojur money!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

video

Christmas is about LOVE & FAMILY. This slideshow is from Christmas 2010 when we had a Birthday party for my mother.  I hope you enjoy it!


 Luke 2:1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
 8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God in the highest,  And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
 15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them. 

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
(New American Standard Bible)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Estimated Tax

Since I am retired, I have to pay estimated tax every quarter.  My state  (IL) basically taxes every dollar we make and they increased the tax rate by 67% this year.  We get a $2000 deduction but that is basically all. Interesting question, how can anyone live on $2000 per year?

Every year our income increases in the last quarter and not in a predictable fashion, so usually I try to pay the amount that would be due if the amount we made in that quarter + previous quarters was the total,  If you do that usually you have to fill out a 2210 form; where you input the total income up to the quarters and pay more or the same amount that would be due.  The form is horrible to fill out (of course, I have the computer do it for me).

So each year, I send in the 1040 form with the 2210 form AND EVERY YEAR IL IRS claim I owe a penalty since I didn't pay exactly 1/4 of the amount each quarter that is due at the end of the year.  So I have to write them a nasty letter and give them copies of the forms that I already had sent in.  They EVERY YEAR ignore the 2210 form (even though there is a properly marked box on the 1040 telling them that I have sent a 2210 form).

Interesting though is that the US IRS always gets this right.

Other problems I have with the Estimated Taxes is that you have to do it every quarter.  When they withhold too much, they don't give you interest or a penalty.  I don't mind paying them what I owe (though with this screwed up state - we have the highest per capita shortfall, even though they raised the tax 67% - I would rather give my money to charity).

There has been a simple tax form that has be proposed :  2 lines 1) How much do you make and 2) send in that amount.


The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.Mark Twain


It is a good thing that we do not get as much government as we pay for. Will Rogers

Alexander Hamilton started the U.S. Treasury with nothing and that was the closest our country has ever been to being even. Will Rogers

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him. Robert A. Heinlein

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidise it ~ Ronald Reagan


People who complain about paying their income tax can be divided into two types: men and women.

What's the difference between a tax auditor and a rottweiler? A rottweiler eventually lets go.


A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.  ~Alexis de Tocqueville

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Facebook

I have recently joined Facebook.  It is good in some respects, I found a long lost friend (real friend not just Facebook "friend").

It seems to not be as intuitive as I would like.  I tried to upload a video of a slideshow and it was being 'processed" so I tried to look at the help section to see how long processing should take.  The only reference was that it could take several minutes, in addition, it seemed if I left the page where processing was occurring it would be lost.  So I left after a few hours & tried a couple of other browsers & a Windows browser with the same results.  It turns out that it keeps "processing" whether you are on the page or close the browser.

To top it off, Facebook thought that the music in the background was a copyright violation & if I tried to upload it again without defending myself I would lose the ability to upload videos.  Well after 4-5 hours I started to get the violation notices from all my attempts and now I am prevented from uploading videos.  The slideshow was using the iMovie music, so I was probably not really violating the policy, but it seems easier to not upload anything else.

Another problem I had was that I have a Waukegan Swedish Glee Club channel that I am administering and wanted to "Share" those videos on a Facebook page; so I hit share & put in an different name then my Facebook name.  So they started another Facebook account.  Eventually I corrected the problem, But sometimes I wonder if I am meant to be online!

Facebook is like jail, you sit around and waste time, write on walls, and get poked by people you don't know.

I want to make a Facebook account and the name will be Nobody so when I see stupid crap people post, I can Like it. And it will say Nobody Likes This.

I changed all my passwords to 'incorrect'. So my computer just tells me when I forget.

Facebook is a polite way of being nosey


Facebook is a popular free social networking website that allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"ish"

Have you noticed how useful "ish" is?

When do want to leave? Tenish!  (No one can complain that you weren't ready in time!)

What's the temperature?  Warmish!  (Don't have to actually know the temperature!)

How do I look? Beautiful (under breathe "ish") (Don't have to lie!)

There are numerous other applications, limited only by your imagination!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

43

43 years ago, I married a wonderful woman.  


Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.  Antoine de Saint-Exupery

To the world you may be one person,  but to one person you may be the world.  Bill Wilson

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.  Mignon McLaughlin

There is only one happiness in life,  to love and be loved.  George Sand

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Absentee President

P.O. is in many ways a absentee president.  Instead of proposing bills, he allowed Harry Reid & Pelosi to write them, hence the horrible "Obamacare" bill.  Most presidents give clear directions on what they want but not PO.

As a IL Senator, he voted present 129 times.  Otherwise he would have had to take a position.

He was elected to the US Senate, only after the best Republican was forced out of the race because his sealed divorce records were opened by a friendly Democrat judge,

As a President, he has golfed 60 times after saying he was focusing like a laser on jobs.  Add the fundraising trips paid for by us the US taxpayers and his wife's trips at our expense, maybe he could do some work for his pay!

Plus he is such a "great" orator:

"We're not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that's fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you've made enough money. But, you know, part of the American way is, you know, you can just keep on making it if you're providing a good product or providing good service. We don’t want people to stop, ah, fulfilling the core responsibilities of the financial system to help grow our economy." —on Wall Street reform, Quincy, Ill., April 29, 2010


"The Middle East is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for centuries." --Tampa, Fla., Jan. 28, 2010


"UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? It's the Post Office that's always having problems." –attempting to make the case for government-run healthcare, while simultaneously undercutting his own argument, Portsmouth, N.H., Aug. 11, 2009


"I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." -- defending his tax plan to Joe the Plumber, who argued that Obama's policy hurts small-business owners like himself, Toledo, Ohio, Oct. 12, 2008


"I've now been in 57 states -- I think one left to go." --at a campaign event in Beaverton, Oregon


"It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." --explaining his troubles winning over some working-class voters 


Let's try to elect a real President this time!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ponderings

As I was biking I noticed that smaller cars give us more room on the road then large cars.  I wonder if they are more considerate than the big guys or are they just more concerned about damage to their cars?

***

Radio was TV before TV was TV.  We have a "Old Time Radio" show on Saturday nights.  It has shows like Gracie Allen & George Burns, Green Hornet, etc.  You have to use your imagination to "see" what is happening in the show.  When I was young I had a crystal radio which I constructed from a kit and used to listen to it at night when the radio stations increased their power.

I think that we are missing something when we watch TV and everything is there in front of us with very little left to our imagination.

***

I haven't been blogging for a while.  I think of subjects when I'm walking the dog but forget by the time I  get to the computer.  It looks like my kids have blog entries most days, ah, the advantages of youth (&  beer brewing or young kids).

When you ride hard on a mountain bike, sometimes you fall, otherwise you’re not riding hard. -President George Bush

The bicycle is just as good company as most husbands and, when it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community.- Ann Strong

“It's not true I had nothing on, I had the radio on.”  Marilyn Monroe

“Radio is the theater of the mind; television is the theater of the mindless”  Steve Allen

“The more popular a person thinks he is in the blogosphere, the thinner his skin and the thicker his hypocrisy. This should be exactly the opposite: the higher you go the thicker the skin and thinner the hypocrisy.”  Guy Kawasaki

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Weddings

I was listening to a radio show that was talking about weddings.  Which got me thinking about weddings that I was associated with.  The average wedding costs $24066 and in the area that we got married it is between $17,463 and $29,105 now.

Our wedding reception was at my in-laws house and our wedding clothes were my high school graduation suit and my LW "good" suit, we drove home from the church in our little Pontiac Tempest. So I don't actually know the cost, but it must have been on the order of $1000 or so.

My daughter's wedding cost us less than $3000.  My daughter is very considerate!

Here is the present breakdown for a IL wedding :

Attire: $2,079 to $3,408
Bride accessories: $264 to $433    - what accessories my LW was beautiful
Groom accessories: $139 to $228
Groom suit/tux: $191 to $313
Hair/makeup service: $139 to $228
Headpiece/veil: $248 to $406
Wedding dress: $1,098 to $1,800

Ceremony: $2,395 to $3,928
Ceremony accessories: $155 to $254
Ceremony decorations: $461 to $756
Ceremony location: $539 to $884
Officiate/pastor/priest: $193 to $317
Rehearsal dinner: $1,047 to $1,717

Entertainment: $2,669 to $4,377
Ceremony/reception band: $1,573 to $2,580   - we talked with our friends
Ceremony/reception DJ: $601 to $985     - the record player might have been on
Ceremony/reception musicians: $495 to $812

Flowers: $1,677 to $2,750
Boutonnieres/corsages: $146 to $240
Bride bouquet: $125 to $205
Bridesmaid bouquets: $200 to $328
Ceremony flowers: $358 to $587
Flower girl flowers: $40 to $66
Reception flowers: $808 to $1,325

Gifts and Favors: $842 to $1,383
Gifts for attendant: $390 to $640     - who was the attendant?
Gifts for each other: $314 to $516
Gifts for parents: $138 to $227

Invitations and Stationery: $794 to $1,304
Bridal shower invitations: $83 to $136
Guestbook: $40 to $66
Invitations & reply cards: $352 to $578
Personal stationery: $111 to $182
Save the date cards: $136 to $223
Thank you cards: $72 to $119

Jewelry: $5,103 to $8,369
Engagement ring: $3,797 to $6,228
Her ring: $766 to $1,256    - I refuse to tell how much!
His ring: $540 to $885       - I don't like rings

Honeymoon/Planning: $4,156 to $6,817
Honeymoon: $3,058 to $5,015          - went to an inn that I had worked one summer got a discount
Bridal consultant/planner: $1,098 to $1,802   - that's what mothers are for!

Photographer/Videographer: $2,896 to $4,749
Photographer: $1,677 to $2,750      - for us my LW brothers
Videographer: $1,219 to $1,999     -no such thing

Reception: $12,898 to $21,153
Reception beverages/bartender: $1,828 to $2,997   -can't help yourself?
Bride/groom hotel: $230 to $377
Cake: $442 to $725
Cake knife set: $35 to $58
Cake topper: $34 to $55
Reception decorations/centerpieces: $883 to $1,448
Favors: $295 to $483    - since when do flavors cost?
Reception food service: $6,222 to $10,205    - potluck sort of thing, very good food
Reception location: $2,023 to $3,319
Reception rentals: $906 to $1,486

Transportation: $799 to $1,310
Car rental: $249 to $409    - only the gas from the church to the house
Limo rental: $550 to $901

Our marriage has lasted so far over 42 years.  My daughter over 15 years.  It really doesn't matter what you spend, just make sure you find the right person (which we and our kids have done).


Maryon Pearson: Behind every great man there is a surprised woman.


Zsa Zsa Gabor: A man in love is incomplete until he is married.  Then he's finished.


Rita Rudner: I love being married.  It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. 


Beverly Nichols: Marriage--a book of which the first chapter is written in poetry and the remaining chapters written in prose.



Marriage requires a person to prepare 4 types of "Rings": Engagement Ring Wedding Ring, Suffering, Enduring


You have to kiss a lot of toads before you find a handsome prince.


Marriage is like a hot bath. Once you get used to it, it's not so hot.


He early on let her know who is the boss. He looked her right in the eye and clearly said, "You're the boss."


Marriage is the only war in which you sleep with the enemy.


The woman cries before the wedding; the man afterward.


MARRIAGE, n. The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two. DD

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowmageddon


video


We are into the Snowmageddon.  As you know it never snows in the midwest, so when it snows we must go into panic mode.  But actually, this one time there is a lot of snow!  Above my Lovely Wife is snowshoeing to create paths for our dog.  The shallowest spots are over his head.  Normally we get much less snow then forecast, but not this time!
Here is a picture (sorry for the quality but it was still snowing) of my LW next to a huge snow drift at our house.



Free snow. Shovel all you want! (Put on a miniature snow shovel or a yard sign.)
Free Snowmen. Some assembly required.
Life is like a blanket of snow. Be careful how you step on it. Every step will show! 

Winter is the time of promise because there is so little to do – or because you can now and then permit yourself the luxury of thinking so. - Stanley Crawford

Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they do when they stick together. - Verna M. Kelly

The problem with winter sports is that – follow me closely here – they generally take place in winter. - Dave Barry

To shorten winter, borrow some money due in spring.  - W.J. Vogel

“Getting an inch of snow is like winning 10 cents in the lottery.”   Bill Watterson

Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough.”  Earl Wilson

snow(n)  1 atmospheric water vapor frozen into ice crystals and falling in light white flakes or lying on the ground as a white layer   2 something that resembles snow in color or texture, in particular
• a mass of flickering white spots on a television or radar screen, caused by interference or a poor signal.
• a dessert or other dish resembling snow : vanilla snow.
• [with adj. ] a frozen gas resembling snow
ORIGIN Old English snāw, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch sneeuw and German Schnee, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin nix, niv- and Greek nipha.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bread Making

My daughter had a blog entry on making bread.  We recently bought a Breadmaker and I have made about about 5 or 6 loaves of bread.

Today, we made Applesauce Oatmeal bread using some of my daughter's applesauce that she gave us the last time we visited her.  I have made Cheese & Onion Bread, Cherry-Raisin bread (except I didn't add the raisins due to operator error (me)), Oat-Sunflower Bread and Banana-Nut Bread.

Since I am not as ambitious as my daughter, I cheat with the Breadmaker.  It is really easy, gather the ingredients (3-4 minutes), heat the water (our house is cool (in the winter) 1 minute), add ingredients  to the baking pan, insert it into the Breadmaker, choose a setting (10 cycles like basic, sweet bread, gluten free, etc.) and push size (1 1/2 or 2 lbs. loafs), crust color (light,med,dark) and press Start.  Then 3 or so hours later we have fresh bread!

The bread has been very good and cheap considering the cost of the ingredients.  Only problem is that we tend to eat it up quickly (which gives me a chance to make more, I think Garlic Bread is next).


I don't even butter my bread; I consider that cooking. Katherine Cebrian


“Religion is meant to be bread for daily use, not cake for special occasions”



“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” Mother Teresa


Since bread is square, then why is sandwich meat round?


What was the best thing before sliced bread?



A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government.  Thomas Jefferson



Anytime a person goes into a delicatessen and orders a pastrami on white bread, somewhere a Jew dies. 
Milton Berle



Compromise used to mean that half a loaf was better than no bread. Among modern statesmen it really seems to mean that half a loaf; is better than a whole loaf. Gilbert K. Chesterton



Deliberation, n.: The act of examining one's bread to determine which side it is buttered on. Ambrose Bierce



bread (n( food made of flour, water, and yeast or another leavening agent, mixed together and baked • informal the money or food that one needs in order to live 
ORIGIN Old English brēad, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch brood and German Brot.