Monthly Archives: December 2013

Hot Water Fund

hot water heater
You’ve heard I’m sure the old adage that ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’?  I gained a new appreciation for the phrase Sunday when our hot water tank gave up the fight.  In the summer you might be able to get along for a few days without hot water.  Not in Idaho.  Not in the winter.   I managed to find a plumber Sunday willing to commit to getting the job done Monday.  He hedged at first, but I wasn’t messing around and told him the job was his if he could come in the morning, otherwise I would have to go somewhere else.  He caved, showed up at 9 and was on the way to his next job by 11 or so. Continue reading

Social Security – the coming debate

Now that fewer than 50% of the population is actually paying federal income taxes and well over 50% are receiving entitlements in one form or another, it won’t be long until the receivers of entitlements figure out they can vote themselves more of the money pot.  Take for example social security (SS).  Already there are two active debates; 1) should the wealthy pay the SS tax on all income rather than the current cap just north of 100 grand and 2) should the wealthy collect a SS check in retirement.  Regarding the first point, I have no problem with taxing all income or even raising the rate a bit, so long as it all gets applied to making the program solvent.  Point 2 however is a dangerous step onto a very slippery slope. Continue reading


We first met her on a crisp Colorado fall day in 1999, around the time when golf clubs are being stored for the winter and skis are being readied for the season.  From the moment we met, there was never a doubt we would be taking her home that afternoon.  And it wasn’t long until she found her place in our family.  It has been over fourteen years and our girls are now in their twenties, yet the memories of them with Molly when they were younger are still fresh.  When she first joined our lives, the girls were in second and fifth grade.  That first Christmas we purchased a permit to go into the forest to a cut a tree.  And of course Molly went with us.  I still smile when I see the pictures we took with the girls and Molly next to our fresh cut tree.  She has accompanied us on countless ski trips, softball tournaments and birthday parties.  She even spent a semester with my younger daughter at the University of Colorado!  Later in life Molly visited a number of western states with us, with the family’s favorite being trips to the shores of Priest Lake in northern Idaho.  Continue reading