Thursday, January 12, 2017

Trump Tax Forms

I want to see Donald Trump's tax forms. I'm not a liberal, I'm not a Democrat, and I'm definitely not a reporter. I just want to see his income taxes. Is that so wrong?
    Here's the thing: Trump claims he can't show them because he's under audit, which is at odds with what the IRS says regarding the release of his taxes. They say there's no impediment to him releasing his tax forms. Perhaps the problem is that his tax forms are a bit simpler than he's led us to believe:

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Shades of Summer Tanning Salon: My Favorite Source of Vitamin D in Scranton

     In Scranton, you need a tanning salon if you want a decent tan. There just isn't a high enough UV index here (compared to the tropics or a temperate location at a high altitude). I spent time this summer in Colorado, north of Denver and south of Boulder, and got a bitchin' tan!
    Upon my return, I figured I'd "go local" and find a place to lay out in the sun and maintain what I had gotten in a place where the UV index was typically 9 or better. No go! The highest UV index reported on a popular weather website was 6. That's just not good enough!

Scranton Tanning Salon, Shades of Summer
    Fortunately, I'm just steps away from a local business that has what I want -- plentiful UV. Shades of Summer, at 1836 North Main Avenue 570-341-1433, has been around for a few years, but until my recent, daily sunbathing ritual out of state, I never considered using them.
    John and Kristen run this place like the small business that it is -- in a friendly, informal fashion, with an eye to pleasing the customer. You can choose between regular 20 minute beds and intense, 15 minute beds with high-pressure quartz lamps for your face. Prices are competitive -- check out the packages for multiple tans. They also supply tanning aids for those who wish to enhance their experience.
     Give 'em a call, drop by and definitely like them on Facebook : I highly recommend this source of concentrated UV in North Scranton: Shades of Summer Tanning Salon.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Buy or Sell a Coin Laundry -- Where to Go Online!

Creating and sustaining a business is a chore, in and of itself. When it comes time to execute the exit strategy for that business, planning makes for a smooth transition.
    The same goes for expanding a business, by buying up other businesses in the same niche. While you might not want to buy out your competition (because it's fatally flawed, with no hope of fixing it), that's one way to go.
    Here's another: check out all the classifieds in your niche, with the hope that you'll find something of interest. The problem is, for most industries, the listings are few, far between and not always the best "buys" on the market. It's usually the smallest, cheapest retail businesses that are the best buy.
    That's because brokers and Real Estate agents have gotten their fingers into the pie. Plus, unless you're scouring Craigslist and other classified sites that offer free listings, all you'll find are those who can afford to pay for the privilege of advertising their business.
    Fortunately, in at least one niche, there's a new game in town. Laundromats, a/k/a coin laundries, have a venue where sellers can put up free, premium classified ads. Those ads appear before motivated buyers of laundromats. They're motivated because they pay a monthly fee for the privilege of seeing consolidated listings of laundromats, including the cheapest, smallest and most distressed sellers of this group.
    Go check out now, if you're buying, selling or just curious about coin laundry businesses for sale. You'll be glad you did!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Starve The Beast": Cut Revenue To Control Spending and Deficits? Nope!

One of the biggest issues in today's political discourse in the USA is whether or not to raise taxes. Sure, it may seem that if you cut taxes, that's a good thing. The problem is, the method behind the tax cuts is to starve the "beast", the Federal Government's Social Programs and not Defense, law enforcement and other services perceived as necessary.
    Here's the rub: it doesn't work. Instead of reducing government spending, that spending gets put on the government's credit card (deficit spending). Even worse, the actual practice of cutting taxes does the opposite: lower taxes appear to actually increase spending: Wikipedia -- Starve the Beast: Analysis
    Further, it seems that things have gotten so bad, cuts in Defense are now perceived as necessary and are on the table.
    To add insult to injury, most Republicans in Congress have signed a pledge NEVER to increase taxes, no matter what the reason. The idea is to cause a catastrophic failure of the the government's fiscal and monetary system, forcing reforms. Hey, wait a minute: didn't we just go through that because of irresponsible practices by the banking and securities systems? How would irresponsible deficit spending be any better (or different)?
    What this seems to boil down to is that Starve the Beast was a "really cool" idea that doesn't stand up to reality. Hoping that tax cuts would "fix" the problem of too much spending has actually led to way too much spending. That's because the folks who want to cut taxes are actually voting to increase spending themselves, to save their political aspriations (didja catch the sneaky italics there?). "Don't cut my spending! It's necessary (for my political future)!"
    Make no mistake: I am not a Liberal. I'm a reformed Republican who is now an Independent. I am disillusioned by Republican tactics and beliefs that seem to defy the evidence that they do not work in reality. You cannot teach folks to drive responsibly by running them into a ditch yourself. You also cannot cut spending by specious tax cuts that end up ruining our country's credit rating, then vote for more spending yourself.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Can You Guess How Long I Had to Wait at the DMV?!

Yesterday was my day to renew my photo id at the local PennDOT office. Based on past experience, anecdotal evidence and tons of jokes about the wait, I assumed it would be long and more or less painful.

Imagine my surprise when I walked into the office -- and was the ONLY customer there! Total wait time: 0, zero, nada, zilch, none.

According to modern physics, "Everything not forbidden is compulsory", on a quantum level. Apparently, that's so on a macro level -- if you live long enough.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Birth and Death

Yesterday was my birthday. Three days before that was my father's deathday. According to my spellchecker, there's no such word as "deathday". I won't correct it, since we don't really have a need for such a word.

We celebrate birthdays far more often and for far better reasons. Even the most entrenched nihilist would have no reason to observe his or her own departure from life -- unless that person had precognition.

RIP Vincent S. Runza, Sr.: born November 7, 1922 -- died January 20, 2011.

This is the way I will remember Pop -- animated, rumpled and engaging. I think he was explaining something to Mom. I won't put up the photo of her, sticking her tongue out at him. Yet.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snowy Weather = French Toast?!

So, yesterday, I'm at the supermarket for my regular Tuesday morning shopping trip. Imagine my surprise at the crush of people (most with a thousand-yard-stare) clogging the aisles and chatting on cell phones.

I did see the weather report which predicted snow for today -- 3-4 inches. However, east of us, folks will be inundated with up to 2 feet of snow. A change in the wind, and my area could get a lot more than is predicted.

However, this isn't Miami Beach. The Poconos (and the skiing they provide) are very close. Folks should be used to dealing with winter snow.

All righty, then: why was everyone stocking up on eggs, bread and milk? Is French Toast the best comfort food for when you're snowed in?! Or is it just that "panic shopping" doesn't lead to the best decision-making?