Thursday, April 24, 2008

Watch out for the RICE SHORTAGE!

As the globe adjusts to the spike in oil prices we're now seeing the affects it's having on our supply and demand on other commodities.

I've learned one simple thing as I've become good friends with the Lassens. (Erika is half filipino.) Never get between a filipino and their rice. They take their rice pretty serious:

"The Philippines is one of the top importers of rice in the world. Rice is a politically sensitive commodity in this country. It is not surprising that reports of a rice shortage have energized political debate and public concern regarding the economic policies of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. "


I'm starting to see why it's imperative to admonish the counsels we've been given and have a two year food supply. Some serious ammo for my talk on Sunday about preparing for the Second Coming. I don't remember the verse that said that a nation will rise up and buy all of the worlds rice, but it's probably in there somewhere.

We know that one way to prepare is to buy lots of Rice....but it looks like you're gonna have to fight Erika for it.

(You have to understand that I taught Erika how to embrace her Filipino heritage. She's now passing on her filipino traditions to her 5 children and teaching them how to fish, make rice, and properly raise kittens.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tribute to a great matriarch

Today was Sister Mary Harman's funeral. She's been battling lymphomic cancer for 8 years now. This is nothing short of a miracle considering.

When she was diagnosed eight years ago it was a shock to the family as well as those around her. At that time she was in her early 50's. She and her husband Lary, who was the Stake President, were just becoming empty nesters. To the best of my recollection, only one of their five children was married. So, the news was very grim and the chances of Mary being able to see all of her grandchildren was slim, much less meeting all of the spouses of her children.

With her strength and determination, along with her faith and many prayers, she held on much longer than most that are diagnosed with a similar illness. She was able to see all of her children marry, and see the majority of her grandchildren. I'm sure there may be a few more grandchildren born, but their grandmother Mary will surely give them warm smile, a hug, a kiss, and nice shout of support as they pass each other by through the veil.

I consider Mary as one of the great martriarchs of the ward. She really set a standard of excellence when it came to attitude, service, and faith. Mary had a wonderful sense of humor, and was so much fun to be around.

I myself had a special deal that I made with Mary a couple of years ago when I started my Liberty Tax business. I told Mary I wanted her to get better and come be a waver for me at the office. She had such a wonderful attitude, and a great smile, that I knew she'd easily be on of the best.

I asked her how much I'd have to give her to get out there to wave. She said I couldn't pay her enough to do it. Being the business person that I am, most anything has a price, so I started negotiating. I said:

"How bout a hundred dollars?"

Mary: "No way."

Me: "What about $500?"

Mary: "Nah, I still don't think so."

Me: "Ok, when I can afford it, I'll give you $1,000 to wave. Would you do it for a thousand?"

Mary: "Yea, I'd probably wave for a thousand dollars."

Me: "So, how much time would that thousand dollars get you to wave for?"

Mary: "I don't know, about 15 minutes."

Me: "Geez! That's FOUR THOUSAND dollars an HOUR! I'll have to be really rich! And you'll really have to be one heck of a waver"

She would have been worth every penny.

I wanted so badly to get Mary out to wave with me. Unfortunately, I'm too late and I didn't get rich quickly enough. I think now the next best thing I can do is set up a charity in her name for cancer and start with a $1,000 donation.

It's been an emotionally draining day. Mary was such an incredibly sweet woman. I truly am dissappointed I didn't get to wave with Mary. We would have had so much fun. I'm going to miss her so very much.

There weren't any newspapers, or t.v. crews reporting about the funeral today. But there were probably nearly a thousand people there today filling up the chapel as if it were stake conference. That's probably only a small percentage of the lives she touched. I revere a mother such as Mary in the highest regard. We make such a big deal out of the deaths of famous people such as movie stars or politicians, but the work that Mary did in this life was the most important of all labors as dedicated mother, wife, and friend.

Mary will be missed by so many here, and yet, she's surely being welcomed by so many there.

God Speed.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Fart Story Contest

So Ali has proposed a flatulence story contest.

Besides currently having a pregnant wife, I've probably got a story or two about passing gas.

To come up with the funniest is a tough task.

I could talk about seeing my very first blue dart in the MTC, and then watching some spanish kids try it after seeing "Dumb and Dumber." Flatulence stories are difficult to share on paper...or electronic paper. It takes a special moment to discuss these things.

I used to laugh so hard at myself when I'd rip a big one when I worked with this guy named Rodney.....he'd always take such offense to it. He made such a stink about it....pardon the pun, that that's what made it so entertaining. What was funny was he smoked like a chimney and I know my flatulence wasn't nearly as deadly as his second hand smoke.

But, my funniest fart story ever, at least in my humble opinion was way back in high school. Pizza day always gave me an arsenal of chemical warfare. I had to be very cautious with this gift because I was a young and pretty scrawny little freshman, and I didn't want to get a reputation of being a pig pen.

I remember very well a certain day riding the bus home after pizza day. I slipped out a silent but very, very, VERY, deadly fart. It was the most wretched of smelling farts. The one's that you can't even stand yourself. So, as this odor escaped my seat and wafted to the rear of the bus other students' noses began to curdle.

Of course everyone wanted to know who the culprit was. And so there I sat, as low as I could in my seat, and as quietly as I could. I wasn't about to lay claim to my weapon of mass destruction. The smell polluted the rear of the bus, and then it worked it's way back to the front of the bus, and even ole Mr. Crickenburger the bus driver didn't appreciate my handy work.

Everyone on the bus was making a huge deal about this fart and the jury was out to hang the person that subjected them to a very uncomfortable ride home from school.

Fortunately for me, there was a guy, Eric L., that it just so happened rode the bus home that day. This was probably the only day all year that he rode the bus home. He would either drive himself or get a ride home with someone. It was not a cool thing to ride the bus home in high school. So, he was a senior, and he was one of those guys that was always into trouble. He was loud and somewhat obnoxious as soon as he got on the bus, and the bus driver, Mr. Crickenburger made him sit up front because the reputation this young man had.

Well, you guessed it everyone blamed Eric. And I was more than happy to let them blame him, because I surely was not going to fess up to it.

He picked the wrong day to ride the bus that year. Pizza Day!

Seasons Over & Pregnant Syndromes Continued.....

The towing business is 24 Hrs a day, 365 days a year. The mommy business is the same.

Yes! My favorite part of the tax business is what many others fear the most. I don't know how many times I've been asked this question:

"What do you do after tax season?"

My first year, that was my greatest fear because I didn't know and therefore didn't have an answer. I ended up selling a house, walked away with some cash and bought a new mower and trailer and mowed some grass.

Now, my patent answer is: "I'll be working for my brother in his garage business."

That seems to qualm the fears of the inquisitor. Often times it's a client that is asking the question.

And if I tell them I make enough money not to work the rest of the year....which is something I've yet to do, but that is my goal, they seem to become a bit disgusted. I understand their frustration because I am telling them that I work for 4 months and I get 8 off. They're probably thinking that they're paying me too much for my service.

The part that they don't understand is that during those 4 months I work as many hours as they do in a full year.

Starting on Monday and ending on Tuesday April 15th, I worked about 36 hours. I took an easy day yesterday April 16th, working a few hours in the office and mowing the yard etc. I was exhausted when I went to bed, and I felt better this morning, but I'm still very tired.

I'm babysitting Ryder Ace right now, and I've got an appointment at 10 in the office. So, as I'm taking it easy today I'll post a quick blog. After family prayer I asked Missy to turn the t.v. on for the Today Show. She graciously obliges. So, I lay back and get comfortable on the couch and as she's leaving to tote the girls off to school Missy says:

"You know you could be doing something productive like clean the living room."

I reply with:

"Is that what I should tell you when I'm heading out the door to work?"

Her reply wasn't a happy one, nor was it worth noting....but it was definitely worth it. So I'll be taking it easy for the next couple of days and then I'll be hard at it starting Monday.

I understand Missy's frustration, her job is 24 Hrs a day, 365 days a week and the financial compensation miserably low, I won't hold it against her.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Pregnant Wife Syndrome!

If I had a picture of my wife pregnant I'd post it. But it's midnight and I know I don't have one handy so I won't be complimenting my post with a lovely photo of my wife's ever expanding waistline. BUT She'd probably retaliate with a photo of my ever expanding waistline so it's really not worth it.

Faye (The cookie lady) inspired me to recall some of the today's events and post here for your reading pleasure. Her's is about the everchanging moods of a woman. It can be worse than the weather at times. But, Missy's moods are like her humor which could best be compared to Arizona. Her moods are pretty stable, HOT, and her humor DRY.

When Missy is pregnant the dynamic of our relationship gets modified ever so slightly. I'll never forget a certain moment with my brother-in-law Chad.

He married my sister. They dated for all of two weeks before he proposed marriage to her. They were married no more than six months after they'd ever met each other for the first time. Compare that to Missy and I. We began dating when she was sixteen and I was nineteen. I left for two years on my mission while she put some of her wild oats to rest. WE resumed dating promptly after I returned home from my mission...I'd say officially it was two days after I got home....know what I'm sayin???? wink wink ;) ;)

Missy and I practically co-habitated before we officially tied the knot in the D.C. Temple. We'd been corresponding/dating for over 3 years. So I knew what I was getting into for the most part, and she knew what she was getting into for the most part.

We'd been married for about five years when Amy (my sister) and Chad got married. Missy was about nine months pregnant with number two, Aspen Melba, and so we were at the climactic point of that relationship modification. Chad pulls me aside one hot summer evening just a few weeks after he'd married my sister and says:

"Jarrett can I ask you a question?"

Me: "Sure. What's up Chad?"
(I have a hunch he wants to findout how to have a great marriage like Missy and I. ANd he wants a little inside scoop as to how to really impress my sister.)

Chad: "I noticed, that every time Missy says something to you, you seem to roll your eyes in response. Why is that?"

ME: "Chad, when you get my sister nine months pregnant and everything she says to you is like fingernails on a chalkboard, you get back to me on that one buddy."

So, today, as I was ASSISTANT COACHING from the sidelines for the soccer team of Brighton, Missy kept nagging me to sit down and shut up. She's only about about six months pregnant right now. I really am the Assistant Coach, and yes I know that they don't encourage you to yell and bark directions from the sidelines, but it was the first game of the season, and the few adjustments that we made as a result of my yelling and barking, really helped the team, and really helped the girl I was trying to coach.

Missy loudly blurts out so that I and all the other parents can hear:

"Jarrett, they don't want you running up and down the field coaching from the sidelines!"

(NAILS on a chalkboard!!! Arrrrrgh!!!!)

So I loudly responded.

"I"M ASSISTANT COACHING HONEY! They want YOU the parent to cheer them on, and they want ME the ASSISTANT COACH, TO COACH! SO you the parent, should JUST CHEER PLEASE!"

(I'm sure I rolled my eyes.)

Eventually, I did sit down and quit doing my obnoxious coaching from the sidelines.

Guess what happens!

Our girls line up on the wrong end of the field and score A GOAL in the WRONG net!

Maybe I should be coaching instead of just sitting there trying to keep Ryder Ace from running out onto the field!

You should know, I'm the moody one in our relationship not Missy. It irritates me to no end that she never seems to have an emotional day. She's just constant. Constantly dragging her nails down that chalkboard.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

GOLDWrench Advertisement

I describe myself as an entreprenuer because I've gotten myself involved in a number of different ventures.

In 2005 I committed to opening two Liberty Tax offices. Liberty is a fast growing tax preparation franchise that I came across and with my accounting background and my ambition of being my own boss, I jumped in head first.

Our CEO likes to say that he's in the business of "Changing Lives" which needs a longer more elaborate story, but I do have to say that he's been succesful at changing my life. I've gone from a recently graduated 29 year old accountant, with zero management experience, to a 32 year old multi business owner in just a few short years.

I'm not indepently wealthy yet from my Liberty Tax venture, but the lessons I've learned have been infinite. So, about a year ago, I convinced my father and my brother Joseph to go in with me on a automotive repair and towing business.

I've been working a lot on our logo and artwork for the shop. So the word is getting out and here we go building the next household name in auto repair.

As I learn to effectively run and market my Liberty Tax offices, Goldwrench Auto will not be far behind. I'm even thinking of having one of my wavers work for us and wave during the peak traffic hours to get some more attention and business.

Let me know what your thoughts are.

Click Hyperlink for Online Coupon Advertisment

Monday, April 7, 2008

My Ten things.

SO, I guess I got tagged or something. Here they are in no particular order.

10. I love that I'm anglo-caucasion and 1/32th part american indian and I speak spanish.

9. I love that I have a hot wife and 3.66 beautiful children. All because I served so valiantly in my mission.

8. I love that I drive a car with 265,000 miles on it.

7. I love that I've been married for ten years and never had anymore than rabbit ears for television. WE get PBS and NBC.

6. I love being able to play music. Especially cheap generic accordians in the Crackerbarrel store. I love it even more when my friends w/ great pectorals listen to me play the accordian with a big smile and genuine feelings of being entertained.

5. I love that I can drop my kids off at school, pick them up, and go to many of their field trips.

4. I love I know how to ride motorcycles, and at one time briefly raced them.

3. I love that I'm writing this blog. It's so awesome! I'M SO AWESOME! I FEEL SO IMPORTANT!

2. I love that I have fairly natural straight teeth and that they aren't yellow.

1. I love that I still have as much hair on my head as I do at the age of 32. Every year I become more grateful for what remains. I also love that I don't have a hairy chest.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

General Conference & Talks,5161,8046,00.html

I'm giving a talk at the end of this month on April 27th. You should be there, it'll be good I'm sure.

When it rains it pours!

It's been a bad month I guess. I'll recap my losses for the month of March 2008.

1. Stressful day at tax office ended up with a totalled, wrecked, shiny red, Ford F-150.

2. Nice weekend away w/ wife to Virginia Beach ends early, including heated discussion, 3 hr silent drive home, and blown transmission.

3. Paid $110 for ticket from wreck. Followed by 3 to 4 other close calls on the highway. The cop warned me to be careful because these things always seem to happen in pairs.


I learned that I was getting robbed blind by one of my wavers last week. IT took me about a week to figure out who it is, and now I've got the sting set up and we're going to bust her this week and send her to jail....hopefully.

It won't make much of a difference really. I'll never see the $2700 dollars that I'm missing. but I really want this young lady to learn her lesson. We'll see if my luck changes, and I can transfer this negative karma to my waver.

And I really liked her, she was a good waver. There goes her career.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Busy Season - Tax Time

I've got about two more weeks of busy season and then things should die down and be more manageable.

March is a slow month for tax season. We get our peak in late January into early February. That's because all the big refund people come as soon as they get their W-2's. People don't realize how much wealth re-distribution that goes on during tax season. I never realized it until I got into my tax business.

That wealth redistribution is what makes the tax business so lucrative. With the Earned Income Credit, a family of four can make around $20,000. Someone like your average construction worker. The guy could have zero dollars withheld for taxes. He would still get somewhere in the neighborhood of $6500 in a refund. How?

Two refundable credits:
1. Earned Income Credit - around $4500
2. Add'l Child Tax Credit - $2,000

That's like receiving a 32% Annual Bonus check from the Government. Imagine getting 32% of your annual income as a tax rebate check.

Give the guy some credit, because he is paying his Social Security and Medicare Taxes which are in the neighborhood of $1500. But even if you net the two, he's not doing bad with a $4,000 refund, which is more like 20% of his annual income.

But if the tax business is that lucrative, why is it that I still find myself as the one getting my annual bonus checks?