Sun God – Ramsey Lewis

I really didn’t know what to expect from Ramsey Lewis, and having never been to the One World Theatre in Austin, my anicipation was high. I wasn’t disappointed. The One World Theater is the corollary of many of Austins music venues, its small, intimate and and has great sound. The Ramsey Lewis trio, plus Lewis, barely needed amplification and were all very clear. I was in the isle seat, center left just 3-rows back. I bought my Olympus SLR camera and got it in without trouble, but based on an early experience with a woman shooting video, taking pictures was … Continue reading Sun God – Ramsey Lewis

How to clean up your grill

I sat around for 6-hours yesterday while waiting, with my attorney, David Hartman, to oppose a planning and zoning application(C22, C23) by the owner of the Polvos Mexican restaurant here in Austin. While speaking, I mentioned that the restaurant regularly washed their commercial grills in the back yard of the residential house and that the dirty water and fat was washed out, down the driveway and into the gutter, and drains, which empty directly into Town Lake, unfiltered. The owners representative denied he knew anything about this, or how it could happen. Well here are a series of pictures which … Continue reading How to clean up your grill

TED and Job Creators

Over the past couple of years I’ve watched a few TED videos, they are often educational, always informative and sometimes even entertaining as well. This one showed up in a Yahoo most watched/recommended list on a sidebar on a web search… I’d never heard of Nick Hanauer, but wikipedia and google search have, and he is is an American entrepreneur and venture capitalist and author of the book, The True Patriot. Nick adds a great link to the chain in so much as I’m able to explain why the current argument over tax in the US positions the 1% incorrectly, but it … Continue reading TED and Job Creators

US Government over performing

Yesterday I received a letter congratulating me on becoming a permanent resident and telling me I’d receive my “green card” within the next 3-weeks. Much to my surprise, it showed up in the mail today, along with a small envelope that said “We recommend use of this envelope to protect your new card and to prevent wireless communication with it.” So the first thing I did was to scan it with my NFC enabled Google Android phone, didn’t work. Anyway cheers to the USCIS Texas processing center for getting my card out so quickly. I’ve already printed USCIS Form N-400 … Continue reading US Government over performing

Constraint Relief

I have this whole disatation I’ve been working on about the evils of the “bell curve” as a performance measure for technical people. It’s mostly about constraint relief. Today, one of the biggest constraints in my life has been lifted. I received the following in the mail from the US Government Dept. of Homeland Security. The key part says “This is to notify you that your application for permanent residence has been approved. It is with great pleasure that we welcome you to permanent resident status in the United States.” – It’s been a long time coming, longer than I’ve known … Continue reading Constraint Relief

Fiscal fairness, take the money and run

Early this month I posted this entry on “fiscal fairness” about paying taxes. This week two items have come up that show why the tax avoidance situation has become unsustainable here in the US and in the UK. First up in the US in the story that Facebook founding backer Eduardo Saverin’s renunciation of his U.S. citizenship. It really doesn’t matter what he says, Eduardo benefit from the system in place here in the US, and now he is about to get billions of US$ from the Facebook IPO, On advice of counsel, he’s established residency in Singapore, where there is no capital-gains tax. … Continue reading Fiscal fairness, take the money and run

Dip and Enjoy

They’re stocking biscotti again in the cafeteria in the RR5 mau5trap again, its right next to the register where you pay for “We proudly brew Starbucks coffee”. I’m delighted. I got back to my desk and turned it over to open it, really you had to print an extra label that told you what to do with a bisocotti? The McDonalds case which ended in them now printing “Warning: Contents Hot.” on Coffee was actaully pretty serious but this is surely just stating the bloody obvious, nes pa? Continue reading Dip and Enjoy

Money too tight to mention, credit no longer matters

I’ve finally had a financial epiphany. Since the summer of 2004 I’ve been totally focused on getting a perfect credit rating after I got turned down by AT&T for a lousy monthly cellphone contract as I had a -3 credit rating, despite owning a big house back in the UK and having a near perfect credit rating there. Anyone that reads my rambling will know that until recently I was still anal retentive about this. Especially since I paid off my mortgage and much to my horror, my credit rating dropped. It dropped last month as well and is down from a high … Continue reading Money too tight to mention, credit no longer matters

Tax, Apple, Buffet, and doing the right thing

A number of people on my facebook stream have been posting and commenting on the ruckus over Apples tax avoidance, especially as it relates to iTunes, which even a Luxembourg Government official has jumped in to defend the iTunes tax evasion scheme. The other thread that has been running is commentry on the so called “Buffet Rule”, a proposed tax code change to force millionaires and up, to pay a tax rate that is  comparable to the average middle income family, or some such. I think this is all losing perspective though, although both cases are dissimilar in practice, at their core, the complaints are about the same thing. While Apple … Continue reading Tax, Apple, Buffet, and doing the right thing