Friday’s Odds and Ends

Posted by mcm0704 on March 4, 2011 |

Before we get to the regularly scheduled program, I have a guest piece on Elizabeth Spann Craig’s Mystery Writing is Murder blog. We are talking about jigsaw puzzles and writing and what they have in common. Stop on by if you have a minute.


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Dennis Montgomery, who owns a California computer company, sold fake technology that was supposed to assist in tracking terrorists to the military. It took two years for the Air Force to cancel the contract after the fraud was brought to light. The extent of the fraud may never be known because the Justice Department believes that releasing the details would be a threat to national security. More details HERE

What is wrong with that picture? Is the bureaucracy of the military so over loaded that someone could not have pulled the plug in, say, a week and saved millions?  Do we have a right to know the details of this fraud?

Obama’s 2012 budget cuts calls for reduction of the charitable donation tax deduction. Rick Dunham, CEO of a company that assists non-profits wrote and op-ed piece in which he stated, “Our charitable deduction ensures that the wealthy have an incentive to share their financial blessings with the less fortunate.”

While I agree that the deduction should stay in place, the idealist in me wishes the wealthy could donate because it is a good thing to do. Why does everything have to include a personal benefit? Have we totally succumbed to the the “What’s in it for me?” mentality?

The latest trend in gardening for the busy family. There are now expert gardeners, who, for a fee, will come to your home and create a garden. They bring tools, compost, mulch, hoses, seeds and starter plants and will build raised beds, then plant your garden. If you are too busy to tend to the garden, they will come out regularly to pull weeds and take care of any other gardening chores. They’ll even come out and harvest. According to an article in The Dallas Morning News, this approach to gardening has become popular in Dallas, Austin, and Seattle, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is not springing up in other places.

I’ll admit that I have been tempted in recent years to hire someone to dig my garden, I don’t think I would go so far as to hire a company to do it all. Some of the physiological benefits of gardening are lost if you are not putting your own hands in the dirt to plant the seeds and nurturing the plants until you are ready to pick that first juicy tomato.

What about you? Would you hire folks to do a garden?

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