Good morning all:

Weekly wisdom:

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice, and to make an end is to make a beginning.” ~ T. S. Eliot

Surely I must have recovered from our trip this past week; but I am not certain of that fact. Our time spent with Marcia’s side of the family was best described as scrumptious—from the food and a cigar or two to the ‘community’ we shared. What a wonderful time I/we had.

OK, coffee finished perking so now its pour and peck.

Recovery – The weather beasts worked their magic as a complement to our return travel from Michigan. Six of us were packed quite comfortably into the SuperCrew cab. Nine AM on Wednesday and with a bone-chilling wind swirling about we began heading south, aiming for our first land-mark, South Bend, Indiana. So far so good.

By the time we reached our selected lunch stop, Kokomo, we were plowing through five inches of snow. By Indianapolis we were now dealing with approximately 10” of the stuff. Adrianne kept a running count of the road mishaps we came across; flips, spins, ditchings, and jack-knifings—50 in all.

Eight hours from our start we eased into the driveway—safely. By midnight, long after Marcia had gone to bed, I was still wide awake staring at something inconsequential on TV.

It was last evening when I had finally gained a degree of normalcy for waking and sleeping.

Gifts – Really now, wouldn’t you agree that it requires kids to totally appreciate the impact of those little bright eyes receiving their gifts? Here are a couple of  pictures of what our gatherings meant.

Happy New Year – from your Uncle Sam as, on January 1st, five new Obamacare taxes will start up – amounting to $ 1 trillion between the years 2013 and 2022 (per: Congressional Budget Office):
1. Medical Device tax of 2.3% on gross sales whether or not the company shows a profit. This will impact R&D and increase prices on everything from Pacemakers to artificial hips.
2. Flexible Spending Account Tax – will cap FSA accounts at $2,500; this will especially hit those with special needs kids.
3. Threshold for itemized medical deduction will go from 7.5% to 10% (an extra ‘gift’ to those of modest incomes but with high medical bills and the near retirees).
4. Medicare payroll tax hike – will hit high income folks but also small business owners.
5. A new Obamacare 3.8% surtax on investment income. This surtax tax applies to the lesser of: 1) investment income, or 2) all income over $250k, and therefore will hit all of us who are dependent on passive income sources.

Moving “forward” by giving us retirees a “kick in the gut” or “in the backside”; I haven’t figured that one out yet.

Fini – Make it a great week and make certain you give all your family members and extra hug. For those traveling, do so safely!

Now, it’s time to begin getting ready for the whole ‘Nati gang to arrive. Marcia has already got three different soups on the stove. Two more gifts need wrapping. And I will dive into a white outdoors to scrape a proper pathway up the walk as a welcome gesture.

The very best of health, of love, and of joy for 2013

Cheers,
Dirk

 

From the Archives
Saturday, December 31, 2005
Morning all:
HAPPY 2006!

I am amazed how often those first gulps of coffee places all your synapses into gear, and how easily the thought processes then start up. For example, New Year’s eve and already you see the same old mundane lists of resolutions. The same old trite ‘though shalt’ lists of: lose weight, stop smoking, exercise, save, learn something new, less alcohol, be more giving, and on and on.

Here, with fresh coffee in front of me, I have a different list which proposes that you focus on more individualistic and meaningful resolutions, these, because they have real meaning will probably be kept. For my circle something such as:
– For Dirk; “tell the same story at every get together or it’s four fingers on the cheek.”
– For Adrianne, slipsliding in Tonga: “I will remember it isn’t worthwhile wrestling with pigs – you get all muddy and don’t the pigs just love it!”
– For (another stalk of celery please) Jason; “Eat more nice things like candy, Big Macs, popcorn and ice cream. Eat less crap like fresh fruit, vegetables and soy nuts.”
– For (front porch puffer) Marcia: “Improve on a worthwhile old habit, like smoking – it helps keep Kentucky tobacco workers in jobs.”
– For Kirstin; “If I see a UFO I won’t tell anybody about it, my house really is alive.”
– For Vinnie the pet cat; “I will remember that life is not about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.”
– For Shang the pet dog; “I will not bite the children of lawyers, no matter how much they chase me or how hard they pull my tail.”

On a serious note it would appear that the Iraqi people are beginning to understand the possibilities of a life without the shackles of a horrific dictatorship as they braved insurgency and voted in droves. At the same time the first glimpses of preparations and plans to bring the troops home. See “Week’s Best” button below for an array of amazing Iraqi blogs detailing events and life in that country. My wishes for 2006 are with our soldiers and those ordinary Iraqi’s who only want the best for themselves, their families, and their country.

Christmas was wonderful. Being with family in Michigan could not have been better. Although, where was that promised snow? Tevita, on his first visit in the US has not stopped smiling – except for a slight food ‘incident’. Actually we are enjoying his company and as you can see he is assimilating into American ways perfectly.

So, for 2006 I wish you happiness, health, peace, and the hope that tomorrow morning you won’t wake up wearing a medallion and there’s a note from Al Sharpton that says, “I’ll call you”.

Make it a great week and a great year!
Cheers,
Dirk

One Response to “Wishing for a Great 2013”
  1. Pieter pastoor Says:

    Love the little Dutch boy pic – glad you had a safe but exciting journey home – our trip was a good one since the dreaded “chain control” was not in force – happy new year