Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Here's why our taxes are so f@*$ing high!

US companies with Multinational status use "innovative" tax practices - another word for "legal" loopholes set up by the US GOV to allow big corporations to lessen or avoid paying taxes at all! And by US GOV I mean this goes way back to around the time your old friend Reagan was in office, in other words it is nothing new, just another reason why politicians with no term limits keep this process going.

“Swiss structure” in the Caterpillar case, income shifting by Google and Microsoft last year involved “Double Irish” and “Dutch Sandwich” strategies, references to moving profits through Ireland (where the corporate tax rate is 12.5 percent compared to 35 percent in the United States) and the Netherlands.

General Electric, of course, grabbed all kinds of headlines earlier this year with the news that despite making $14.2 billion in profits in 2010, the company paid zero taxes because most of the profits — about $9 billion — came from offshore interests.

Corporations seem to find a way when it comes to taxes, whether taking advantage of global resources or writing letters to governors.

SOLUTION: Flat tax with zero loopholes is the only way for this to end, and allow the tax we pay as individuals to go down by having the big money companies pay their fair share! Term limits are the only way to get this done...

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Musikfest 2011 - oh yea, can't wait!

We're not scientists or mathematicians, but we're fairly confident that Musikfest can be expressed by the following equation:

Musik + fest = awesome

Actually, the reality is probably slightly more nuanced than that, but it's still pretty close. 10 days in August, filled to the brim with music, food and fun in downtown Bethlehem, PA? Sounds pretty darn awesome to us.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

1991 Lexus LS 400 - SOLD thanks!!!!

1991 Lexus LS 400

This has been my reliable comfortable daily ride since 2004, worth a look if you are looking for a nice upgraded used car for you.
click the link, goes to cars.com where my ad is listed.
Thanks all!

Friday, July 23, 2010

phones, phones, iLook for phones...that work...

More hang-ups than hits in smartphone market
Posted July 22, 2010 8:23am by Eric Benderoff Tags: Apple, Android, Google, Finance, microsoft

If we are buying so many smartphones these days, why is the phone industry smarting so much?

Just after the mid-point of 2010, a year marked by the re-emergence of Motorola (MOT) and design savvy of HTC (2498.TW), we are witnessing notable hardware departures from Microsoft (MSFT) and, gasp, Google (GOOG). Even Apple (AAPL), which continues to set the smartphone pace, is licking its wounds from the enormous amount of unfavorable press surrounding the iPhone 4's faulty antenna design.

So while so much has gone right in smartphone development -- sales are expected to continue to rise rapidly -- there is much carnage in the marketplace.
Five failed signals

-- After only a few months on the market and backed by a significant marketing campaign, Microsoft pulled the largely well-reviewed Kin 1 and Kin 2 from the market.

-- Last week, Google said it will stop selling the Nexus One phone, the search giant's much-hyped foray into hardware development.

-- We almost said goodbye to the Palm product line-up until HP came in with a $1 billion lifeline to salvage that platform.

-- BlackBerry sales continue to slide as its once must-have phones are failing to keep pace with fresh approaches from Apple and Android.

-- Nokia (NOK), the world's leading mobile phone maker, is a non-factor in the smartphone race. Its much-heralded new product, the N8, is delayed.

-- Apple, of course, needed to put a band aid on the black eye that surrounds the iPhone 4.

Interestingly, there's a common denominator among these failures and hiccups. The products -- save for the missing Nokia N8 -- are innovative.
Verizon the problem for Microsoft

Microsoft's two Kin models were intended as social networking phones for teens and 20-somethings. Inspired by the success of the similar T-Mobile Sidekick, Microsoft was not wrong in its approach or execution. Indeed, the phone got raves from top reviewers like the New York Times David Pogue, who wrote that "Microsoft had three genuinely great ideas" with the Kin.

So what went wrong? Well, changing Microsoft's perception into a hip and interesting company is not easy. More significantly, Microsoft picked the wrong wireless partner, Verizon (VZ). The nation's top carrier did a lousy job of marketing the Kin phones for Microsoft, instead pushing customers toward smartphones such as the original Motorola Droid, which Verizon heavily markets. After the Kin was pulled, Microsoft employees who secretly shopped Verizon for smartphones reported that Verizon salespeople rarely mentioned the Kin as a worthy product.

If Microsoft had gone with T-Mobile, with its reputation as a hip carrier for younger people due to the Sidekick's success, the story might have been different. At least it would have lasted longer.
Google still gains from Nexus One

The Nexus One drop, on the other hand, was not surprising. The fact that Google launched its own phone in the first place was more unforeseen. Regardless, tech-savvy consumers and media pundits put heavy (and, in retrospect, unwarranted) expectations on an Android-based phone that competed against more established Android phones from Motorola, HTC and other manufacturers.

Now it's clear that Google launched the Nexus One as a loss-leader of sorts, using it as a showcase for Android at a time when few other phone makers were stretching the capabilities of the mobile operating system. But Google didn't really stretch those boundaries with the Nexus One either; rather, it hoped by slapping the Google name on a phone it would serve as a marketing tool for Android. That was the real plan, and it worked.

So when HTC and Motorola came out with great Android phones like the Evo, Incredible, and Droid X, Google quietly pulled the plug on the Nexus One.
Google vs. Apple is the real story

Of course, the reason for the troubles surrounding many phone makers and platforms is the battle between Apple and Google.

Apple has captured our imagination in what smartphones can do, something the traditional phone makers had not expressed as well prior to the iPhone's launch three years ago.

Sure, the BlackBerry (RIMM) sold very well and there was traction among Windows-based smartphones, but the iPhone was a unique product -- not just a portable computer and not just an email device -- that allowed for business and social activities to blend on the go. Apple's success pushed Google into the mobile market, but the Nexus One illustrated that Google is a great software company but not a hardware firm. Hence, Google will continue to make deals with phone makers who can innovate -- again, look at HTC and Motorola -- within that framework.

The future for BlackBerry, Nokia and Palm

It is widely believed that Research in Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry phones, will introduce another touchscreen phone this fall. Also, and more significantly, RIM should unveil a new operating system better suited for touch-screen products and partnerships with third-party app developers. With sales slipping, RIM is dangerously close to losing its grip on business customers -- its bread-and-butter clientele -- as the iPhone and Android products have proven to be attractive for road warriors.

Nokia's problems are more complex. In the wake of Apple's success, Nokia launched its own version of the App Store -- called Ovi -- and encouraged developers to create apps. But the approach hasn't worked well, particularly in the U.S., in large part because there are no compelling Nokia smartphones to lure customers.

As a result, Nokia faces two significant problems.

First, it needs a cool product. The phone maker once led with innovations like the N95, a fantastic media phone that was among the first to shoot high-quality video and take sharp pictures. I loved that phone. But that was launched at about the same time as the original iPhone in 2007, and was Nokia's last great phone. A promising successor, the N8, offers cool features like a 12-megapixel camera and HD-quality video recording, but the launch has been delayed from the spring and it could arrive in October. The N8's problem: Vlad Savov wrote in a June Engadget preview that "Nokia has put together a growling multimedia powerhouse, but the OS is so far from being fully baked we can still see the dough."

Thus, Nokia's second problem: leadership. According to a Tuesday Wall Street Journal story, Nokia is searching for a new CEO because its sales and stock price continue to fall. Also, it is looking at scrapping the Symbian platform for smartphones and is instead developing a new platform with Intel Corp., called MeeGo, to run its smartphones.

And then there is Palm, a story that will be developing for some time. The Palm Pre and Palm Pre Plus are well-regarded products, yet consumers are not buying. But instead of going out of business -- a very real possibility -- Palm was purchased by HP for about $1 billion. That's a pricey number, but it gives HP (HPQ) a potentially sexy product in a smartphone market it has had trouble with (who owns an iPaq?) and Palm a realistic shot at staying in the game.

Hopefully, the purchase will work out better for HP than Microsoft's and Google's recent forays into the smartphone space. Otherwise, expect more carnage in a market that, as it grows, eats its competition.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Personalized and Customized Motorcycle Trading Cards

"now this is a cool gift idea"

Bongothedude Motorcycle Trading Cards
Courtesy of Bongothedude.com
Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Who wouldn't like to see their motorcycle featured on a trading card? Bongothedude.com makes cool customized trading cards with a picture of your bike on one side and a list of the bike's features on the other.
Bongothedude.com has launched the first custom trading card service specifically for motorcycle enthusiasts featuring authentic designs inspired by bikers and motor-heads. Just like a baseball card, Bongothedude’s custom trading cards feature a color photo on the front with stats/info on the back. The website allows bikers to choose from a selection of trading card styles and customize their own card by providing their motorcycle details and a digital photo.

Since Bongothedude’s debut at Cyclefest in Dayton, Ohio, the company has been asked by Easyriders to produce a custom trading card for the upcoming Easyriders Bike Show Tour 2010 – Invitational in Columbus, Ohio in mid-February. Eighteen winners in different classes of the custom bike show will each receive a double set of custom trading card designed by Bongothedude featuring their award winning MC.

“We knew that every day bikers were into it immediately and we are thrilled at the warm welcome from Easyriders and the hard-core biker crowd,” said Joe Moya, Chief Big Wheel at Bongothedude. “As a former MC builder and attendee of numerous motorcycle events, I saw the need for this product as we all are proud of our bikes.” Bikers can now show off the motorcycle any time of the year and when their ride is parked or in the garage with an authentic motorcycle trading card.

With new card designs to be released every month for bikers to choose from at www.bongothedude.com, the company is growing rapidly and has created custom cards for individual bikers, clubs and award winning custom motorcycle builders such as E.C. Customs. Bongthedude is currently developing a line of custom cards for ROAR Motorcycles for women to be unveiled at Daytona Bike Week.

To promote the web site, Bongothedude is offering a free custom card set to 28 new customers in February. The first new order received each morning this month will be selected by the Bongothedude staff and will receive 15 free cards. This is a special limited time offer and is available through www.bongothedude.com.

Bongothedude specializes in custom trading cards for motorcycle enthusiasts and is sold through its on-line retail store. With motorcycle specific designs that are customized by motorcycle owners, they are the only custom trading card company on the planet that is specific to the motorcycle industry. Their high quality, PRO grade trading cards are made of 100% acid free heavy card stock with 2-sided lamination. To find out more, please visit www.bongothedude.com

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thrown Cigarette Butt Ignites Smoker's Car

This car was destroyed by fire after the driver said he tossed a cigarette butt and wind pushed it back into the vehicle.
photo by Lance Hernandez

Thrown Cigarette Butt Ignites Smoker's Car
Station Wagon Of New Denver Resident A Total Loss
Written by Wayne Harrison, Web Editor

POSTED: 1:13 pm MDT July 16, 2009
DENVER -- A man who had just moved from Florida to Denver will be looking for a new car after his caught fire and burned Thursday.

Zach Schultz told 7News that he was driving southbound on Colorado Boulevard, near Interstate 70, shortly after noon when he attempted to throw a cigarette he had been smoking out the window of his older model station wagon.

Schultz, 25, said the wind blew the cigarette back into his car, catching it on fire.

Denver firefighters closed the southbound lanes of Colorado for a time so they could fight the fire, which sent black smoke billowing into the sky.

The car was a total loss.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tilted Horizons: Friendship Blogger Award

Tilted Horizons: Friendship Blogger Award

Thanks for the consideration and acknowledgment! I've been reading your blog for at least a year now, keep up the good word.

Best Regards,

New Ride To Work Day - MONDAY, JUNE 15, 2009

The annual RTW Day moves to the ‘third Monday in June.’ The next Ride to Work Day is MONDAY, JUNE 15, 2009. It is the 18th annual Ride to Work Day. Reasons for an earlier annual Ride to Work Day include:

* The new day is not as hot in most northern hemisphere areas, and not as cold in most southern hemisphere areas. June weather is more favorable worldwide.
* The new day provides an increased opportunity for more riders to Ride to Work. Many workplaces close for summer holiday in July - especially in Europe.
* A Monday event encourages motorcycle and scooter commuting to continue during the entire week.
* Positive media exposure will increase. Sundays are slower ‘news days’ so there will be more coverage like this: “Look for more motorcycles on your commute tomorrow, as Monday is the annual Ride to Work day...”
* The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) has endorsed this day, and is promoting the ‘Third Monday in June’ worldwide as the annual Ride to Work Day.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

45 lessons life taught me

This is a good one and full of great reminders for us all...

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio
"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone...
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay cheque.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion, today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time.. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Feel free to pass along. Remember, friends are the family we choose for ourselves.

Have a good day.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cool Helmet Safe Head

As a rider, you know that you should always wear your safety gear, most importantly, your helmet. But you want to look cool as you’re riding is well. There are many ways to make sure that your safety is covered, as well as looking awesome, you just need to know where to look. But if you’re willing to spend the time and effort to find the helmet you like that’s safe, you can also find a helmet that looks great.

This article will explain safe and cool motorcycle helmets. There are many cool motorcycle helmets on the market, but before you can look at designs, you’ll have to pick a style. Though there are many out there, two are the most reliable for those who have safety in mind.

If you’d a wind in the face kind of guy, you’ll want to try a three quarter helmet. This will protect all of your head, while leaving your face open to the wind. While not the safest model, it does offer enough protection that you can feel safe while riding. The safest style of motorcycle helmet is the full face helmet. This offers the same protection as the three quarter helmet, while also allowing your face to stay covered. This is accomplished though the use of a drop down shield, which lets you ride in wind and rain without having to worry about chapping to your face. If you like to ride in weather that’s less than perfect, this is definitely the motorcycle helmet style for you. It’s also especially comfortable to wear.

Now that you’ve picked out your helmet style, it’s time to decide how you’d like your cool motorcycle helmet to look. You have many different options, all of which will add flair to your look as you ride, without taking away from your safety. Your first option is color. In the past, there were only a few colors to choose from. Now, you can get anything you’ve ever seen in a crayon box, and more. You can go from flat to neon, and add finishes like metallic or matte, that will let you match your bike, or set you off from it.

Last but not least, you can also add decals to give your helmet that personal flair. Icons like flame or dice blocks are easy to find custom painted on. You can also find many different latex graphics to apply yourself, or have them custom designed. If you’re a huge sports fan, you can match your helmet to that of your favorite players easily with these custom decals! You’ll find no limit to how creative and unique you can make your own cool motorcycle helmet. With a cool motorcycle helmet, no one will be able to mistake you on the road. You’ll be proud to wear your helmet, which will keep you visible and safe. You’ll also be easier to spot by your friends on the road.

So what are you waiting for, go out and get one today!

Sick of your tired old helmet. Design yourself a cool motorcycle helmet. There are many options when you buy cool and safe motorcycle helmets today at Splat Hat

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Buell Conversion Kit From Fusion Motorcycles

Wicked Cool.

by Paul Crowe - "The Kneeslider" on September 18, 2008
in Motorcycle Builders, Motorcycle Design

Buell conversion kit from Fusion Motorcycles

Remember “The Machine” from Fusion Motorcycles? Well, Will Thibeault has been hard at work on something a lot of you may find interesting, he’s designed a conversion kit that will transform your donor Buell into a custom with killer looks.

Will’s kit uses a billet T6 aluminum bolt together frame with a built in oil tank, a 60 inch wheelbase and 33 degrees of rake. The Buell Thunderstorm motor, Buell forks, Buell six piston caliper and Buell rear caliper, all come from the donor bike.

The bike shown in these photos is for a customer with a lot of custom touches, a hard carbon fiber seat (customer request, Will prefers padded), Piaa head lights..same as he used on The Machine, Will’s own stainless pipes and Fusion Motorcycles billet 18″ wheels, 240 on the rear and 130 up front. Rear turn signals are LED.

According to Will:

The future bikes will have front and rear carbon fenders, and will be totally road legal. The Frame kits will include: frame, seat, rear shock, swing arm, oil tank, and gas tank for $4,500. For less than $10,000 a person can build their own w/ the purchase of a donor Buell. We will build the complete bike “road legal” for $19,500 and there are always the options of whatever you could think of i.e. carbon wheel, S&S motors, front ends and Ti frames

There are quite a few guys building choppers and all sorts of bikes from Buell parts and pieces but, in my opinion, this kit has just the right look. There seems to be a Confederate Hellcat influence, which is a good thing since I like the Hellcat, but overall, for the money, I don’t see how you could go wrong here. Anyone with a Buell who is thinking about getting another bike, might want to consider this kit first, you get a completely different look and you already own half of the necessary parts. I like this, a lot. I have to think a lot of guys are going to start looking for a good used Buell and making a bit of work room in their garage. Nice work, Will!

UPDATE: Will Thibeault has added a few comments below about his kit

UPDATE 2: Will just let me know that the kit will not be ready until sometime in 2009. He is redesigning some parts and he is going to thoroughly test everything before offering the kits for sale.

Link: Fusion Motorcycles