Monthly Archives: December 2012

My take on the Fiscal Cliff?

I have been fortunate to have been self-employed and a 1099 consultant on various projects. The tax system works fairly well for someone like me. I can write off expenses in several categories that allow me to save money to operate my businesses at an optimal level. For those tax payers who are w-2 wage earners the tax code can be difficult to maneuver with fewer options at your disposal. Am I suggesting you go out and start a business? Yes, sort of, as not all of us are geared to be self-employed, 1099 or run a business fulltime. But if you are adventurous 2013 may bring about some independent opportunities your way and I would suggest you not be afraid to take on the challenge. I can tell you several stories related to tax advantages because I am a small business owner, a disadvantage business owner or just a guy wanting more time and autonomy to pursue a dream or two. I would recommend you read “The Art of the Start”, “31 Secrets for Career Success”, and “Business @ The Speed of Thought”. Back to the fiscal cliff, maybe we would not be headed for this cliff if our government truly understood the needs of its citizens and not playing partisan politics. The flat tax sounds good and several versions of it may work but change has to be on the horizon. Would you agree?

Nutrition in the New Year

Make a commitment to proper health and nutrition. Keep it simple by eating better and exercising. I know that’s a lot easier said than done. Here are some tips that should help: walk a couple of miles per day a few times per week at your pace, eat more fruits and vegetables, remove sugars and bad carbs from your diet, take it easy on the red meat and pork, sodium is a no-no, eat several small meals throughout the day, get a partner who can push you to higher heights, enjoy something off the diet once a week. These are some of the tips that have helped me maintain a somewhat healthy lifestyle. Once you have established a good rhythm try to add more resistance to your regiment. Good luck in the New Year.

More shootings in America…

Eddie Jones III, 39, of Willingboro, Pennsylvania shot and injured 3 police officers. He was being detained for stalking an ex-girlfriend, overpowered Officer Ruth Burns inside the station and shot two other officers in Gloucester Township, a Philadelphia suburb, police said. Am I being a bit sensitive right now or is the country as outraged as myself? This has to stop! We have to do something about this, right? “Sgt. James Garber was shot multiple times and underwent emergency surgery for a gunshot wound to the abdomen; his life was saved by a bulletproof vest. He also suffered a graze wound to the head. Sgt. Kevin Thine suffered a laceration to his abdomen and a graze wound to the chin. Burns was shot in the foot.” Let’s pray for these officers and their families. Maybe we should take it a step further and pray that the gun laws change in this country. How about that?

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General Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., 1934-2012

The General passed away and he will be remembered. I served during the 1st Gulf War and remember very clearly” Stormin’ Norman’s” daily media briefings. He made us all feel so confident in our ability, tactics and strength. He inspired us to be proud, to be patriots, to be Americans. We need more like him to step forward and lead our fine service men and women in their pledge to protect this great land against enemies foreign and domestic.

Football may need Tebowmania

The New York Jets have an awful quarterback situation. Mark Sanchez the original starter has played horribly this year and the backup QB is hurt. Yet Tim Tebow is sitting on the sidelines ready to galvanize the troops as he did in Denver last season. He is not your prototypical QB and probably never will be but the guy has heart and he is a winner! The Jets are not headed to the playoffs, the backup is hurt, and the starter is terrible so why not give Tebowmania a shot?

Longevity and Staying Power

Madonna just ended her MDNA Tour 2012 and what a tour it was! Gross ticket sales were $228.4 million. Madonna was big/huge when I was a kid growing up in the 1980′s, she was sexy then and she has not lost any of that appeal 30 years later. What is it? Of course she is very talented, sings well, dances well, just a wonderful overall talent, but so is Lionel Richie, Jeffrey Osborne, and list goes on. I don’t have the figures but I’m pretty certain they have not been on a tour that grossed $200 million in ticket sales. Madonna was contemporary then and she is contemporary now. I guess you have to change with the times but also maintain that flair that got you to the highest heights of your profession. Way to go Madonna with your bad self!

DJango Unchained Part 2

After seeing the movie on yesterday, I was pleased and thought the storyline was very entertaining. Was the N word used a bit much, of course. Tarantino movies are usually racy and gory. The theater was packed with movie goers and there was a loud round of applause to end the show. I saw the movie Lincoln a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed it for the historical facts. Django Unchained was of a different nature and not for the squeamish. I love watching and talking about movies, so let’s keep the dialogue going.

DJango Unchained

Spike Lee has taken issue with DJango Unchained according to an article I read in The New York Times this morning. I like Tarantino movies, some times. Pulp Fiction was a movie of great scenes and the Kill Bill movies were very interesting to me. Sure his movies are very violent but that’s just a part of our Pop Culture, right? I don’t think this movie was attempting to be historical theater…. I plan to see the movie today and looking forward to being ENTERTAINED. Happy Holidays everyone!

$250,000 to raise a child

I read an article this morning that said you will spend about $250,000 in 17 years to raise a child. Frankly I thought it would cost more to raise a child but after reviewing this data it seems like a good rough estimate. Tell me, what did you think it would cost to raise a child in the 21st century? The article can be found at this link As I read this article I realized that I was on the right track in terms of cutting cost and being frugal. I cut my sons hair until recently. I took them to the park to ride bikes, skateboards, run, walk and play to save money and be healthy. We celebrated birthday parties at church with our church family. I packed lunches for work and utilized the public transportation system. I purchased my items in bulk from Sam’s Club and Costco. I though it cost more to raise a child, but now that I’m thinking this through, we can spend less with a good financial plan to guide us. Consider this, if the child gets a part time job at 15 years old to help offset some cost you can and will spend less than the projected outcome. Hey I started working and contributing to the household when I was 12 years old. Just a thought….

Firefighting is Dangerous Enough, Right?

Civil Servants are the backbone to building good solid communities. We are all made safer with firefighters, police and many other civil servants on the job 24/7. You may forget to think about these types of servants because it’s not very flashy or sexy, but I was stirred by the story I read this morning in USA Today. Firefighters went in to save lives, put out a fire and serve their community. What happens next speaks to the cancer that is eating away the fabric of our great nation, gun violence! The president has sworn to implement change in our gun laws but we all know that this is a fight to the death. Like we have not had enough of those lately!!!! I can’t but be disturbed because it’s the Christian community that has waffled on this subject for years. Either God wants peace or he wants war and if He wants war it’s against his enemies’ not human creation which he created to love and nurture.