Friday, May 23, 2008

Choir and Orchestra Events

We have been so busy this spring. The last couple of weeks we've had the chance to go to a bunch of concerts for Brynja. She is in the most amazing elementary school choir EVER. Seriously! Her director is amazing. The orchestra is incredible as well. I don't have very much in the video department yet. But I have uploaded one video, well the audio with still frames. The audience was pretty loud, grr. But try to block them out. :) The choir sounded so good, they gave me goosebumps. I was so very proud of them.

So here's the link to the video- Abravanel Hall 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What is a billion?

What is a BILLION??

This is too true to be funny
The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion'
in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians'
spending YOUR tax money. A billion is a difficult number to
comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that
figure into some perspective in one of its releases.

A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

E. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the r
ate our government is spending it.

While this thought is still fresh in our brain, let's take a look at
New Orleans It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division

Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D), is presently asking the
Congress for $250 BILLION to rebuild New Orleans. Interesting number,
what does it mean?

A. Well, if you are one of 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every
man, woman, child), you each get $516,528.

B. Or, if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans , your
home gets $1,329,787.

C. Or, if you are a family of four, your family gets $2,066,012.

Washington, D.C .. HELLO!!! ... Are all your calculators broken??

Accounts Receivable Tax

Building Permit Tax

CDL License Tax

Cigarette Tax

Corporate Income Tax

Dog License Tax

Federal Income Tax

Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)

Fishing License Tax

Food License Tax

Fuel Perm it Tax

Gasoline Tax

Hunting License Tax

Inheritance Tax

Inventory Tax

IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax),

IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax),

Liquor Tax,

Luxury Tax,

Marriage License Tax,

Medicare Tax,

Property Tax,

Real Estate Tax,

Service charge taxes,

Social Security Tax,

Road Usage Tax (Truckers),

Sales Taxes,

Recreational Vehicle Tax,

School Tax,

State Income Tax,

State Unemployment Tax (SUTA),

Telephone Federal Excise Tax,

Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax,

Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax,

Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax,

Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax,

Telephone State and Local Tax,

Telephone Usage Charge Tax,

Utility Tax,

Vehicle License Registration Tax,

Vehicle Sales Tax,

Watercraft Registration Tax,

Well Permit Tax,

Workers Compensation Tax.


Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago,

and our nation was the most prosperous in the world.
We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in
the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

FYI- Your online photos are at RISK!

I do not get into "uproars" much. I hate the drama. I hate the half-truths. But this is one piece of legislation that is real, and it has been attempted in the past and has been re-drafted and is making its appearance again. It is called the Orphan Works bill. And essentially anything you post online will be able to become "orphaned" and anyone can legally take it and use it as they wish. Imagine all of the photos we post for our friends and families. Porn sites could abuse them. Advertisers could steal them. You may be getting the idea.

Could you imagine if someone used your child's photo in an unsavory advertisement and you had no say and no rights to make them stop using it! This could easily happen if these bills are passed. There has already been an instance of Virgin Mobile using unauthorized Flickr photos of children in advertisements & billboards and that is before this law was proposed. We do not need to make it easier for them to steal your family photos!

This is NOT a hoax. This is FOR REAL. And it is scary. Some people say us illustrators and designers are being alarmist, but I would rather err on the side of caution, defeat this bill and keep my copyrights as they are now. These bills were shot down once because of strong resistance from Illustrators, designers and photographers we can defeat these bills again!

This is text from the Illustrator Partnership web site:
Due to the lack of publicity about this bill, the most innocent victims of this plunder – those who put images online - are still completely unaware of it. Who am I talking about? Average American families who have enjoyed the internet as a way to share the happiest, and even saddest, moments of their lives with their friends and family across the country, and even around the world, through the wonders of technology. Google has already said they plan to use these orphan works in the millions. Why should companies like this be allowed to to harvest our property from private web pages, blog sites, share sites and the like?

Please take a minute to go to this link, you can fill out a simple form (the letter is pre-filled out so you may want to personalize it), takes less than 2 minutes, and your local congressmen and senators will be sent your letter to ban this bill.

Thank you!