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Lip Smacking Tax Savings September 9, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Writing & Writers.
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My favorite perk as a writer is being able to taste and sample a wide variety of topics . . . while deducting legitimate research expenses from gross income when paying taxes at year end!

With this perk front and center, I set out to research . . .  CHOCOLATE!!!


First, I flew to San Francisco to visit Ghirardelli Chocolate Company at Fisherman’s Wharf.

What fun!

Incorporated in 1852, Ghirardelli Chocolate Company is the second-oldest chocolate company in the United States, after Baker’s Chocolate.

After spending $500 to fly cross country, and $250 to stay in a junior suite  at the Mandarin Oriental, I calculated my tax savings to be in the range of  $75 – $225, depending upon my tax bracket at the end of the year.

Not bad . . . and I was just getting started!

AirplaneWhen my research at Ghirardelli  proved inconclusive, I hopped on a plane and headed to visit its parent company, Lindt & Sprüngli, in . . . Switzerland!

What a delight!

There’s nothing finer than eating Lindor chocolates at the side of an Alpine lake . . . while saving money on taxes!

To conclude my research, I’ll be heading to Belgium.  More on that later.

In the meantime, I shall leave you with a few lip-smacking quotes about chocolate unearthed during my delectable research to date:

1.  Put “eat chocolate” at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, you’ll get at least one thing done.

2.  Chocolate:  Here today . . . Gone today!

3.  Life without chocolate is like a beach without water.

4.  Forget love.  I’d rather fall in chocolate.

5.  Exercise is a dirty word . . . every time I hear it, I wash my mouth out with chocolate.

6.  Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands . . . and eat just one of the pieces. ~ Judith Viorst

7.  My theory?  Chocolate slows down the aging process.  It may not be true, but do I dare take the chance?

8.  Chocolate doesn’t make the world go around, but it makes the ride worthwhile!

CHOCOLATE . . .  a simple hedonistic pleasure on the lips adding well-rounded girth to the hips.

* * * * *

Inspiration:  a desire to combine tax savings with lip-smacking research.

For more quotes:  Virtual Chocolate ~ Quotes

The Grasshopper & The Ant September 9, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Happiness, Humor, Life Balance.
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Never confuse living in the moment, with living only for the moment . . .  

Wikipedia ~ Grasshopper (in Public Domain)

Remember Aesop’s fable about   The Grasshopper and The Ant?

The Grasshopper frolicked all summer, playing instead of working.  When winter arrived, he had to go on welfare to survive.

In contrast, the Ant worked hard all summer, putting away stores for winter and paying taxes to support welfare programs designed to benefit the less fortunate.

When winter arrived, it irked Ant to see Grasshopper, an able-bodied insect, collecting welfare when, with a bit of effort, Grasshopper could have provided for himself.

As he passed by Grasshopper, who was waiting in the welfare line, Ant yelled out, “Get a job!”.

Grasshopper, raised as a Catholic,  with liberal doses of guilt and fear, felt embarrassed by Ant’s scorn.

After getting his welfare check, Grasshopper headed straight to confession to ask for penance.

The priest suggested that, instead of tithing the church with 10% of his earnings, Grasshopper fork over 100% of his ill-gotten gains.

Before leaving the church, Grasshopper dropped his welfare check into the collection plate and headed for the Homeless Shelter (run by the Methodists)  for a bowl of hot soup and a lumpy bed.

Wikipedia ~ Buddhism (in Public Domain)

While in bed that night, Grasshopper wondered whether he had done the right thing.

Maybe he shouldn’t have given his entire welfare check to the Catholic Church.

He’d been questioning his faith quite a bit lately and felt that religion paled in comparison to having a direct spiritual connection with God.

As he rolled over to go to sleep, he decided to look into becoming a  Buddhist monk.

Then he could have a bowl of hot soup and a lumpy bed every night.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Continued tomorrow ~ Life: A Balancing Act