Flying Is For the Birds

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More commercial and private planes are taking flight worldwide than ever before. Unfortunately, so are large birds such as geese and pelicans. And if you don’t think they can harm planes, check out the pictures I found for this article. As a private pilot and airplane owner, these pictures and a recent article in USA Today shocked me.

USA Today reports that bird populations are increasing, according to Richard Dolbeer, a retired Department of Agriculture wildlife biologist who created the Federal Aviation Administration's database tracking system for bird strikes in 1990. "In most cases it's going to be these large birds that are going to cause a catastrophe or a significant strike event," Dolbeer said.  read more »

Flights Cancelled For Lunch

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Just when I thought I’d heard it all, this headline on AvWeb caught my eye last week. The independent aviation news source was reporting that Air New Zealand would have to cancel 25 regional flights so tower staff at five small airports could comply with new labor rules.

According to AvWeb, the new rules required lunch breaks to be scheduled, rather than allowing staff to take them as workload permits. The result is the five towers would have to be closed twice a day for up to 45 minutes while staffs had their meal breaks. Imagine how many private pilots would have to circle the field and burn up gas waiting for tower staff to finish their lunches. Commercial carriers are also impacted.  read more »

Tax Myths Busted


Spring has sprung, meaning its tax time but this season is painful enough without paying more than you owe. So beware the tax myths that could cause you to empty out the piggy bank.

Jeff Schnepper, a former Professor of Taxation, Accounting and Finance and author of “How to Pay Zero Taxes” has compiled a list of five tax myths that can cost you money. Schnepper says from Santa Claus to the Tooth Fairy our culture is full of myths, and in the world of taxes these myths can cost you big bucks if you don’t know the rules.  read more »

Print Getting Smeared


According to MarketWatch, the Sun-Times Media Group Inc. has become the second newspaper publisher in the Chicago area, and the latest among several around the U.S., to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at a time of unprecedented advertising revenue declines in the newspaper industry.

The company said that while it has already taken a number of steps to cut costs, they just weren't enough to offset massive print ad losses. Earlier this month, Hearst Corp. opted to shut down print operations of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, turning it into a Web-only publication with a small editorial staff. In February, it warned that it might shut down the San Francisco Chronicle unless it could find a way to drastically cut operating costs.  read more »

Making and Saving Money Now


Ask once-poor people how they found riches, and many will tell you saving money instead of spending it did the trick. So here are some ideas I’ve gleaned from experts that can help you weather the economic storm.

Eat out for less:
Many restaurants are offering less expensive entrees. For example, Chili's, Texas Roadhouse, TGI Fridays, and Outback Steakhouse are offering entrees ranging between $7 and $10. Even upscale Morton’s steakhouse has a value deal.

Entertainment deals:  read more »

Bashing Capitalism for Votes


I know Americans are as furious as I am that AIG would pay bonuses out of one hand, while the other hand is taking billions from the government. And those who made stupid mistakes should not be rewarded. Any who committed crimes should be prosecuted.

But this Wall Street bashing has gone too far. A lot of pandering politicians find it easier to blame Wall Street for bringing down capitalism, when it is capitalism that will save Wall Street.

First, it was the Obama Administration, its Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and democrat Senator Chris Dodd who first approved those bonuses, citing contractual obligations. But after the media showed its bright spotlight on the bonuses, the politicians ran for cover under the shade of a Washington tradition, the blame game.  read more »

Hire Your Own Economic Coach

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Every team has a coach to offer structure and stability through exciting wins and tragic losses. And with this economy now going through the agony of defeat, maybe what we all need is our very own coach.

Kim Fulcher is a professional life coach for her San Francisco bay area based company, My Life Compass. Fulcher says a life coach helps you focus on what’s important in today’s weak economy. Even if you’re out of work and your stock portfolio has plummeted Fulcher says instead of falling victim to fear or uncertainty, use the opportunity to go after what you really want in life.  read more »

Best New Cars for Your Cash

There's nothing better than the sweet smell of a new car. Especially if your new car was the best buy for your buck and will give you peace of mind from any future threat of skyrocketing gas prices.

In April Consumer Reports will release its picks for the best in the car world. Through tests and research they list everything from the best truck to the best mini-van. And in this weak economy they are providing you with the five most fuel efficient new cars for their value. Consumer Reports Auto Content Specialist Mike Quincy says its about recouping your money over time of ownership.  read more »

Twitter Twitter de dumb?


I had the opportunity to participate at a Web 2.0 seminar for some local business owners and workers at a Chamber of Commerce event in northern California yesterday. It was set up by Dagaz Solutions, the folks who designed my own web site.

Some three hundred business folks showed up, eager to learn how to jump into this brave new world of social networking as a way to get and keep more clients. All the usual suspects were in the spotlight. Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn, and the latest craze, Twitter.  read more »

Beware the Dead Cat Bounce


Perhaps you’ve been hearing this very graphic Wall Street trader term bandied about during these tumultuous times. It’s actually been used for decades as a warning to investors that buying into temporary rallies during bear markets can be wealth-threatening.

The other well-worn phrase is “Don’t catch a falling knife”. That refers to watching your favorite stock taking a plunge, and buying more in the often mistaken belief that the fall is temporary.

Actually I think these terms are perfect warning signs right now. After a brief four day rally some Wall Street pundits are predicting the bottom has been reached, and the markets will soon come roaring back. I am an insufferable optimist, and wish I could share their enthusiasm. It’s just that facts get in the way.  read more »