Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Volunteer


Please tip-toe around this precious volunteer.
Because in my heart, it is held most dear.
Beautiful and fragile it may be now and tomorrow.
Soon to be gone leaving nothing but sorrow.
Many joyful surprises vanish before life's noon.
Winter's icy darkness will replace it too soon.
Take care and cherish all life while it's near.
Trudge lightly your path and make sure to steer. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Brief update.

It has been a while since my last post.
Many noteworthy events have taken place since.
I am getting prepared for another tax preparation season to start within 2 weeks. Since my retirement from my "day job", I will be able to devote more time to this activity. I am glad for the additional time because the tax prep business is getting more and more complex with the myriad of new rules and regulations by the US Treasury aka IRS. Requirements like a mandatory 15 CE credits each year, taking exams and increasing professional liability due to increased onus of reporting proper tax data by policing customer information. It is almost not worth continuing this activity as a small part time side business.
I am recovering from a bout with influenza. It has been about 10 days and I still have some chest congestion and an intermittent cough. I guess the flu shot I got was not effective for the strain going around.
We vacationed last August/September in Hawaii with friends. Stayed at the Sheraton on Waikiki Beach in Oahu. Also at the Sheraton on Kaanapalli in Mauii. It was a lot of fun with friends as we toured the islands and were active every day with sightseeing, swimming and snorkeling. The road to Hana was fun with all the hair-pin turns and scenic waterfalls in a tropical jungle setting. We also spent three days in Los Angeles on our way back where we stayed with friends at their beautiful home in a posh neighborhood near Beverly Hills. Visited Santa Monica pier and Universal Studios.
I'm going to have to go on a diet as I was surprised to find myself 30 lbs heavier since I retired in April. It sneaks up on you... so they say.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Goodbye Missy

You left this earthly plane on Tuesday afternoon July 10'th. I don't know why the date is important. I guess its only to acknowledge the fact that of all our previous feline members of the family, you were with us the longest. How sweet and affectionate you were. Those bright and beautiful eyes seemed to be able to soften the hardest heart. Your consistently pleasant nature never varied even slightly and thus you were a precious gift to us for which we will always be grateful. We will never forget your instantaneous welcoming reflex reaction to a simple touch from our hand as you drew yourself to be as near to us as possible. Your time with us was a blessing. We miss you! We always will!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Fooled again!

Oh, so it is a TAX afterall..... Obamacare is now the law of the land. It has some features that show promise but at what cost? Its fervent promoters do not seem to care about cost only the promissed benefits. I call it the "liberal utopian construct of reality". In their minds, there are no down sides..only up sides. The stark reality is that our current fragile economy needs less burdens placed on businesses not more. The enormous TAX this new health care plan introduces cannot come at a worse time. Businesses will now put into action their plans for "the worst case scenario" which means that in order to preserve their bottom line and stay in the black, their highest expense (personnel) must be kept in check. An obvious part of the action plan implementation will be an immediate hiring freeze and maybe even a second look at culling the workforce. The unemployment job numbers will soar even further. Not even the politically inspired constant increases in government employment will be able to slow the jobless rate. Brace yourselves for a severe slowdown in business activity and increases in the roles of the jobless. Instead of incremental changes in the health care programs over time as the economy improves, this upper-cut to the jaw will leave a stunning result in the psyche of thinking folk everywhere. Will it be enough to put us back on the right track to political sanity? It's probably too late because it seems that most of the voting public is interested more in who gets voted as the new entertainment television idol than governmental control over their very lives. After presenting this mandate as not a tax increase this past three years, this administration deceived us and I cannot but feel insulted at being treated so disrespectfully. They have no shame!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

I'm still around.
Have not been able to blog much lately.
Very busy at work. Late nights and some Saturdays and Sundays, too.
It will be 2012 in a few hours..I don't know why that causes a slight increase in the level of anxiety and some sense of melancholia.
After all, it's just another number that happens to be next in line while our stream of consciousness continues unabated.
We decided not to go ballroom dancing, nightclubbing or such this newyear's eve. Just a quiet evening inside and a visit with local friends tomorrow for dinner.
Remy, our three year old Papipoo is lying next to my computer and keeps an eye out for what may happen next. He's always ready to do something, anything.
Just ordered another computer from Dell... a Vostro with the latest MS OS and Intel 7 chip.. to replace the one I am using since it is 7 years old and runs XP (not that there is anything wrong with XP). With the tremendous increase in data being transmitted due to video streaming and the like, it is important to keep up to date with the latest technical improvements.
I'm sticking with Dell since the last three computers gave a good accounting of themselves.
Soon, I'll start to process tax returns for the many friends/clients that keep calling me each year. I guess they like the service I provide.
I hope the Iowa caucuses will hopefully launch Mitt Romney as the strongest contender to replace Obama. Don't get me wrong, I like some of Obama's foreign policies but not his domestic policies. His big government mind-set has not produced the hope and change promised. 45% of young people between the ages of 18 and 29 are unemployed. That's very troubling. What are almost half of this age group of young people going to do with their time?
Anyway, we need to get this country back into producing jobs. With stats at an official 8.6% unemployed and supposedly up to 17% not or under-employed.. we need to change course on our domestic economic agenda.
OK, I'm stepping off my soap box for now.
My wish is for all to find peace and renewal of a spirituality that makes us comfortable in our daily lives. Here's hoping for a better year in 1012.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bruins Win It!


Congratulations to the Boston Bruins in capturing Lord Stanley's cup. They defeated the Vancouver Canucks in a hard fought seven game series. It's good to have the cup back in Boston after a stretch of 39 long years.
Can one be blamed for losing interest in hockey because of such a long lapse without a competitive team?
Especially when one clearly remembers the early 70's when Orr, Esposito, Cheevers, Sanderson, MacKenzie, Hodge, Cashman and Bucyk (amongst others) dazzled the Boston fans at the old Gardens with excitement galore.
I miss seeing Bucyk's hip checks and watching "swoop" Carlton's long reaching poke checks to clear the puck from an opponent's control. How about Sanderson's penalty killing? WOW, those were the days. I almost forgot how gut-wrenching and heart-stopping these playoff games can be for a loyal fan. I got just a flash of it again during the last seven games.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Unions? Are they outdated?


Even though I have never been a union member, I would like to sincerely thank those union members of the past for making my time in the workforce a lot easier than it was way back when. They risked and sacrificed a lot to bring about the 40 hour work week, reasonable wages, work safety, etc. I don't know if I could have lasted in those old workplace environments of the pre-union days.
This process of collective labor representation had its roots in England way back in 1807. For over 200 years, brave men and women have defied the very people who held their means of making a living in their hands. The working conditions these unions fought for these last two centuries have resulted in solid labor laws which are now government regulated and strictly enforced.
So why still have unions?
Many critics will state that today's unions keep wages artificially high. These high wages, while highly desirable to their beneficiaries, tend to ultimately place the workers in a position of losing their jobs to outsourced labor in countries with cheaper standards of living. This short-lived union benefit has a foreseeable end game which is the 800 pound gorilla no one seems to want to address. In this modern world economy this trend has accelerated with each global free trade treaty that's signed.
While private unions still serve their constituents by keeping wages and benefits at a "competitive" level with the private sector, public unions are an altogether different story. They should be done away with as soon as possible. Even the greatly revered liberal Democratic president, FDR, stated that public unions should not be allowed to exist. Even back in the 1940's, he understood the conflict of interest public unions represent.
Collective bargaining between public unions and public officials is a system fraught with the temptation to undermine the political process. The injured party is the tax-payer. In typical negotiations, one side agrees to wage and benefit increases and the other side agrees to supply the financial backing for the other side's reelection. In effect, the negotiators occupy BOTH sides of the negotiating table with the taxpayer picking up the ever-increasing tab. I strongly suspect that this cycle of give and give instead of give and take, without thought of future sustainability, has placed the finances of city, state and country in dire jeopardy.
As recent events have shown, the public union membership up in Minnesota (and other places) need to realize that a large portion of private and non-public sector workers have suffered loss of jobs, pay freezes and the burden of paying a much larger shares for benefits these last three years. The ongoing public union protests are like a slap in the face of every non-public union and private sector employee since what is being protested is the duly elected people's representative's attempt to curtail the continuation of a cycle of raising taxes to satisfy the ever increasing "HIGHER STANDARD OF LIVING" that public sector union employees are enjoying and are fighting to keep. Most non-public and private sector workers had no choice but to adjust to the present economic slump but these protesters seem to be refusing to even budge in the face of obvious state and city financial budget collapse.
No matter how I try, I just cannot find any reason to sympathize with their protest movement. Whenever self-interest trumps the larger common good, it makes for bad feelings and a kind of "us/them" mindset of partisanship.
The good ride is over, it's time to face reality.