Archive for February, 2009

Uncle Rico, is that you?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 21, 2009 by Garza

All of my friends know that for the last several years I had a full beard thing going on.  Well every since I got hired at DuPont I have been forced to be squeaky clean.  There is a no facial hair rule in effect due to the possibility that we might have to utilize respirators in the event of an emergency.  There is of course one exception to the rule…the mustache.

One of the guys I work with is named Gary and he has had a full on cop mustache for a long time.  The reputation of his famous stache precedes him.  In fact a couple of years ago, before I was employed here, everyone in the office actually wore fake mustaches on Halloween.  I have seen the pictures and they are pretty amusing.  Anyhow, a couple of us guys at work were kicking around a few ideas back in December in order to lighten the air ever since the economy started to noticeably die and empty offices and workstations all around us were starting to pop up with increased frequency.

Brandon and I came up with an idea for Janu”Gary” Mustache Month in which the entire month of January all the guys involved would grow mustaches.  The rules were simple…grow a mustache and don’t trim it all month.  Even Gary participated in the festivities in his honor and shaved his famous stache to start from scratch along with all of us.  Of course in order to circumvent the expected spousal resistance, we enacted a rule that forced the first guy that gave into his wife’s orders to shave their hideous man hair to buy the remaining participants lunch.

Needless to say the entire month was filled with relentless comments from Lana and other family and friends.  Everyone at work enjoyed watching us transform into cheesy 70’s L.A. detectives.  We all suffered a certain amount of self inflicted humiliation each time we escaped the safe confines of our respective homes.  We all learned something though, the world just isn’t ready to accept late twenty somethings and early thirty somethings donning mustaches.  So without further adieu, here are some pictures to illustrate the ridiculousness of the month’s celebration:

Where in the world is Gary Condit?

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , on February 20, 2009 by Garza

Last night Lana and I were watching CSI, one of our favorite shows. (We like the CSI in Las Vegas, not the one in Miami with the unbearably annoying and super cheesy David Caruso.) Anyway, the show was about a congressman who was on trial for murder and that jogged my memory. Where in the world is Gary Condit? What ever happened to that case of him and Chandra Levy?

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Talk about saved by the bell, more like saved by the terrorists. 9/11 happened right at the height of that investigation and all of the sudden the airwaves were inundated for months with the zeitgeist of constant terror threats and doom and gloom. Surely he would never admit it but I am almost certain that Gary Condit is pretty happy that the country was “attacked” on 9/11. After 9/11 he was pretty much forgotten about. Condit became just another little known congressman from the 18th district of California.

However, the fact remains that a woman was murdered and the case remains unsolved. From what I remember, the case against Condit was pretty convincing. Of course I haven’t heard anything about him since 2003, but I do know that he was allowed to keep his seat on the intelligence committee and was also privy to sensitive 9/11 intelligence and other terrorist information. I suppose none of that information is really relevant but it is interesting that a suspected murderer wasn’t at least given a “leave of absence” of sorts from his posts in the congress while under investigation.

Thus I ask again, where in the world is Gary Condit?

Well I guess the honeymoon is finally over!

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2009 by Garza

HA!  It is about time the love affair ended, and people started to see this guy for who he is and his ideas for what they are!

Bend over folks, it’s tax season again!

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2009 by Garza

Well as Lana and I were preparing our Federal Income Tax statement for this year I became angry as usual.  Every year it is the same routine.  We start filing our taxes, I look at our various forms showing how much money we actually paid into the “system,”  and then I start ranting about our tax system, the government and everyone responsible for the amount of money we are robbed of each year.

This year we got to file for the first time as home owners.  Woohoo!  We were sort of excited after we heard about the First-time Home Buyers tax credit.  Key word here is “credit.”  We were initially going to have to pay an additional $1,100.00 in income taxes on top of the thousands that we had already paid.  Then we heard about this “credit.”  So of course we started reading about it and learned that it isn’t a credit at all.  It is a damn no interest loan!  If we don’t claim the “credit” we owe $1,100.00 in additional taxes.  If we do claim the “credit” we get up to $7,500.00.  Sounds great until you read that after 2 years after claiming the “credit” you have to start paying back the “credit” at a rate of an additional $500.00 added to your federal income tax burden each year until the amount paid to you is repaid to the effing government.  So essentially in two years we have to start paying back money that was ours that we gave to the government in 2008, they gave back to us at the end of 2008.  (We didn’t have $1,100.00 just laying around so we were forced to claim the credit.)

You see, the government has you buy the, well you know, because we don’t have the money to pay the extra taxes so we claim the “credit” and then in two years we start giving the money back to them AGAIN!  I am so damn mad about this whole tax system that we live under.  I don’t understand for the life of me why the citizens of our republic have become so damn complacent that the majority of them don’t even question the system.  They just exist in it and do as the government demands them and that’s it.  WHY?  WHY?  WHY?

A perfect example of how the majority of people have been trained to think is this, ask anyone you know how much they paid in taxes this year.  Guaranteed most people respond with, “Oh, I didn’t have to pay this year.  I got _______ back!”  So instead of actually thinking that that they paid taxes, they have this false sense of reality that they actually got money from the government.  Where did the money they received from the government come from?  From them throughout the year of course.  And of course the pittance that they receive back as a “gift” from the government pails in comparison to the amount they paid in all year long.

And course, as long as the powers that be continue to give everyone these measly little band-aid checks every few years under the guise of a “stimulus” to the economy, people will remain complacent.  So don’t fret everyone Obama is about to send us all $1000.00 and everything will be okay!  Whew.

I usually find these mass forwarded emails with clever little poems and whatnot mundane and sort of annoying, but I received one from Charles this morning that spurred this post.  Here is the poem he sent me and a short list of the many many many taxes we all pay each year, whether we realize it or not.  Maybe this is the best way to reach the masses.  I don’t know.  Anyway, here it is:

The Tax PoemThe Tax Poem

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table
At which he’s fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for peanuts
Anyway!

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.
Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won’t be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He’s good and sore.
Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he’s laid.

Put these words
Upon his tomb,
Taxes drove me
to my doom…’

When he’s gone, Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.

The list:

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge T ax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Sales Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)20
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Thus I ask again, revolution anyone?

Do the liquid effect the pennies?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 16, 2009 by Garza

(Me getting on my soapbox)

Just a short history review, Benjamin Franklin was insightful and clever enough to write essays and intuitive political commentary under the pseudonym of Mrs. Silence Dogood at the age of sixteen.  Dr. W.E.B. DuBois was a correspondent for the New York Globe at the ripe age of fifteen.  T.S. Eliot had obtained his BA and MA from Harvard by the age of 21.  Children used to learn Latin and other romance languages in grade school.  In the past it was okay to challenge children academically.  Today we must make sure we don’t hurt the child’s feelings and make sure we don’t leave any one of them behind.

Why the lesson?  Well there is something that has been bothering me for some time now.  There seems to be a reoccuring event each year in our area, and many other areas around the country I am sure.  Every year there is a big news story and celebration for all of the area athletes as they sign their scholarships to various schools, including tough Division 1 schools.  My frustration is that there is never the same reception for someone in the area who receives a full ride on the basis of Mathematics or English or Physics, etc.  Could that possibly be that there aren’t ever any free rides based on academics anymore?

Kim was the valedictorian of our graduating class in 1998, and she sure as hell didn’t receive a full ride to A&M.  Jason graduated number three in our class and wasn’t offered any scholarships to any high profile division I schools.  Why?  Were their academic achievements not as important as Kid A who could run a 4.3 forty?  Not as important as the fact that Kid B could throw a runner out at second base better than anyone else in the school?  Don’t get me wrong, congratulations to all the people that did get scholarships; but, I feel that it truly is a sad day for our culture and our future if throwing a baseball becomes more important than inventing a new mechanized heart, or becoming a Poet Laureate, or finding an equation that unlocks the secrets to the universe.

However, the local news isn’t completely void of stories relishing the academic achievements of some students.  On Thursday evening Channel 6 news ran a story about a science fair in Port Arthur for elementary and middle school children.  The story was to commemorate the children on their job well done and their interests in science.  The story was so interesting that I felt compelled to take a picture of the television and share.

feb-2009-006

Lana noticed first and then I noticed and then we both laughed.  Again, congratulations to the students for actually partaking in something other than sports, but I believe this sheds a little bit of light on how bad our educational system has become.  Thanks to the bloated Department of Education our children don’t understand how to form basic sentences with basic English.  I also find it sad that the parents involved first missed the error and then the teacher missed it as well.  How could this have ever made it to tha fair?  Did no one notice the grammatically incorrect sentence dead center of the presentation?  But again, I suppose they at least deserve an A for effort.

The current state of our economy and our society and our country and our world reminds me more and more of the John Lennon song “Working Class Hero:”

“Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV, You think you’re so clever and classless and free”

Not that religion and sex and TV are bad things, but we all have to have a bit of perspective from time to time.  At work everyday the halls and the offices are filled with mindless chatter about American Idol or the Amazing Race or Kobe Bryant and his 51 points at MSG.  All the while we are steamrolling towards a depression and the state of our country is in peril.  But by all means, please someone tell me which girl Brett Michaels chose!

I am not excluded from the crowd of course.  I love football both American and European.  I love music!  I talk about sports and television.  I watch youtube videos.  But it seems as though the old adage “the dumbing down of America” is probably not far from the truth.  I am trying not to be completely self righteous because I know I am not perfect nor the smartest nor the most attentive.  All I’m saying is lets, as a society, start to show the same enthusiasm for academics as we do for athletics and reality TV.

(Me getting off of my soapbox)

The sad part is that this isnt new…

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , on February 14, 2009 by Garza

The fact is that congressmen and senators of all types and ideologies are guilty of this.  This isn’t new.  It is impossible for them to read such monumental pieces of legislation when the powers that be are trying to rush in order to take immediate action.  Whether it be finding weapons of mass destruction or trying to save the sucker fish, our government does this all of the time.

In a time of emergency, such as our current economic times, congress feels the necessity to swoop in and rescue the country from demise.  Of course by the time everyone gets to add their own bit of pork and other earmarks completely under the radar and they then pass such legislation in such a hurry that it cant be investigated, it is too late.

This isnt new at all!  It has been going on since the inception of our repulic.  Of course it seems to be getting worse as of late.  All I know is that we are really heading down the wrong path here and I myself am worried about it all.

Revolution anyone?

So much for hope over fear!

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , on February 6, 2009 by Garza

This is simply an addendum to the last post.  I could not have said it better myself.