Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Finding that painter

As regular readers will know we've been working on this house where we are for some time now. Our problem has been that we've not been able to simply turn around to the professionals. For where we are they don't exist. Not in the same way that they do in other places.

For example, take Des Moines. If we had been there we would have been able to use this guy, the Des Moines Painting people. We couldn't, because we weren't there, but there's a certain part of me that wishes that we were. That we could move the whole house up to where we could get decent, honest, hard working guys (or, to be honest, guyettes) to do the work for us.

Instead, of course, of the appalling mess that we actually did get. But that's another matter.

Sadly, that isn't possible, that we get the work done where there are the people who will do the work well, for a reasonable price. But don't you just wish it were?

Or , alternatively, don't you just wish that there were such honest and reasonably priced workers where you live? We certainly do where we do, that's for sure!

Red mercury

Red mercury once again. My word, it's nice to see this stuff again:

Saudi police are investigating the origins of a hoax that had hundreds of people believing that old sewing machines may bring fortune because they contained an elusive, and probably mythical, substance known as red mercury.

Well, there's nothing mythical about red mercury, but you ain't gonna find it in a sewing machine. A nuclear reactor, perhaps, but not in a Singer.

The English-language Saudi Gazette newspaper said some buyers were willing to pay up to 200,000 riyals ($50,000) for an old Singer sewing machine proven to contain red mercury.

Mobile phones are supposedly employed as instruments to prove the existence of the phony substance. Popular belief in the Middle East has it that it can help uncover hidden gold treasures, though there are other theories which say it can be used to create a nuclear bomb.

Nope, sorry, this is a nonsense. I'm one of the few people in the world who can tell you what red mercury is (a by product of experiments) and what red mercury can be used for (nothing).

If somebody offers to buy the sewing machine? Sell it dear, just sell it.

Those commercial mailboxes

I have to admit, one of the things I like about these here United States ids the choice that we all have available to us. For example, commercial mailboxes. I'm not sure if you realise this that in other countries, these choices simply don't exist.

I've lived in a couple of other countries and the mere idea that we might get to choose our own commercial mailboxes simply doesn't exist. We get what the government says we should have, That's it, no choices, no differences, simply the same for everyone.

Yes, OK, I know, the choice of commercial mailboxes isn't the most obvious expression of freedom....but that we have that choice is indeed such an expression.

What's even more fun is that, with these available choices, you can even earn money from the mailbox affilitate program.

I gotta tell you, ain't America great?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Is your mother like this?

Fortunately my own mother definitely isn't.

An Austrian woman who bombarded her son with phone calls over a two-and-a-half year period was fined by a court for stalking him, Austrian media reported on Thursday.

The 73-year-old woman, who phoned her son up to 49 times a day was fined 360 euros ($478) by the court in the southern city of Klagenfurt.

That's definitely a little over the top, don't you think?

Hang on a minute, 49 times a day? Thinking about a 12 hour day in which she might try to do it that's more than 4 calls an hour!

That's not the behaviour of a mother. It's not even hte behaviour of a needy and clinging teenage girlfriend, one in the throes of her first serious crush.

Nope, that's mother in law behaviour that is. Darn right she got fined. Should happen more often!

Securing your home

In these troubled times we can expect there to be more, umm, troubles, can't we? More people out of work is going to mean more people turning to robbery and burglary as a way to try and make a living of course. And no, we dhouldn't sympathise with them, we should protect ourselves against them. Might be a very good time to be looking at security alarm systems and if you're going to do that, why not do so with the local services of one of tha largest home security companies in hte world?

Click through the link to see what they can do for you.

Taxing the Tarts

You know, I'm usually of the opinion that there's absolutely nothing that a politician won't try to tax but it seems that I'm wrong.

Nevada lawmakers on Thursday defeated a proposed prostitution tax that had won support from brothel owners and working ladies willing to do their part to ease the state's $3 billion budget crisis.

Nevada, one of only two U.S. states that allow some prostitution, is reeling from a deep economic recession that has led to high numbers of foreclosures, dwindling tourism revenues and a gaping budget shortfall.

State Senator Bob Coffin, a Democrat, proposed levying a $5-per-customer service tax on patrons of some 20 legal brothels operating in rural Nevada, all of them outside Las Vegas and surrounding Clark County, where prostitution remains outlawed.

But a sharply divided Nevada state Senate committee voted 4-3 Thursday to kill the tax, which Coffin said would have raised an estimated $2 million a year.

The political argument behind it all is actually the most intersting part of the whole thing. For what is really going on is that the lawmakers want to make prostitution illegal in Nevada. So they voted against taxing it so that they weren't seen to be making it legitimate.

On the other side, the brothels actually want to be taxed so as to legitimise them....even though they are already legal.

Odd situation, eh?

Yes! It's Tax Time!

Gosh, don't we all love this time of year? We get to calculate and then pay over whatever amount it is that our Lords and Masters have decided to extract from us for their pet schemes. Well, yes, OK, perhaps we're not really all that excited about it all but it is indeed something that we have to do.

Which is why you and I will probably be visiting the offices of, or using the online services of, some tax specialists this season. For it's not just that there's the thousands of pages of stuff about Federal taxes. Most of us, I certainly do, need state tax help as well.

It's also true that those of us with complex affairs (or those of us who didn't get the specialist help in the past and are now facing problems as a result) might need the services of a tax attorney or two. Once the tax men get their fangs into you you really do need that professional help to get them off you.

For example, there's a horrible practice called IRS wage garnishment and that's something you really don't want to happen: or if it has, you're going to need help with it.

So click through any of those links to see where you can get the help you need in this difficult season.

The gay elephant

It isn't actually that unusual to find gay animals: homosexualityexists in many more species than just mankind. But it does seem that this simpletruth gets certain people a little hot under the collar. For example, one Polish politician is upset about the existence of a gay elephant.

Yes, really, a gay elephant.

A Polish politician has criticized his local zoo for acquiring a "gay" elephant named Ninio who prefers male companions and will probably not procreate, local media reported Friday.

"We didn't pay 37 million zlotys ($11 million) for the largest elephant house in Europe to have a gay elephant live there," Michal Grzes, a conservative councilor in the city of Poznan in western Poland, was quoted as saying.

What makes his posturing over this gay elephant so much more amusing is the rest of the story:

"We were supposed to have a herd, but as Ninio prefers male friends over females how will he produce offspring?" said Grzes, who is from the right-wing opposition Law and Justice party.

The head of the Poznan zoo said 10-year-old Ninio may be too young to decide whether he prefers males or females as elephants only reach sexual maturity at 14.

Yup, that's really going to help. Here we've got a confused teenage boy and some politician is spreading stories about his wussiness all over town. Really going to help, that.