The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is given to the less talented as a consolation prize.
— Robert Hughes

Tax Time!

Just in case you forgot it's tax time here. Also, if you are GE or Google you don't really pay shit. But you know, if you are a teacher in Wisconsin you a clearly rich and need a pay cut. Let me just link a few lovely things.

The top corporate income tax level in the United States is 35 percent. In the United Kingdom, it's 28 percent. But in Ireland, it's only 12.5 percent, and in Bermuda there's no corporate income tax at all. That means multinational companies that shift their earnings through Ireland or Bermuda can save billions of dollars in taxes each year.

On today's Fresh Air, Bloomberg News reporter Jesse Drucker, who has written extensively about corporate tax-dodging, explains how companies like Google, Pfizer, Lilly, Oracle, Facebook and Microsoft have managed to reduce their tax rates by hundreds of millions — and in some cases, billions — of dollars by taking advantage of offshore tax havens.

And from The Daily Show, I Give Up. It's funny in a sad panda make me wanna chew on a gun kinda way.

Solitude, sweet solitude.

"But an emerging body of research is suggesting that spending time alone, if done right, can be good for us — that certain tasks and thought processes are best carried out without anyone else around, and that even the most socially motivated among us should regularly be taking time to ourselves if we want to have fully developed personalities, and be capable of focus and creative thinking. There is even research to suggest that blocking off enough alone time is an important component of a well-functioning social life — that if we want to get the most out of the time we spend with people, we should make sure we’re spending enough of it away from them. Just as regular exercise and healthy eating make our minds and bodies work better, solitude experts say, so can being alone.

One ongoing Harvard study indicates that people form more lasting and accurate memories if they believe they’re experiencing something alone. Another indicates that a certain amount of solitude can make a person more capable of empathy towards others. And while no one would dispute that too much isolation early in life can be unhealthy, a certain amount of solitude has been shown to help teenagers improve their moods and earn good grades in school."

-I personally need a large amount of alone time.

To use a finite lifetime to worry and grieve over the chaos of the world is like weeping into a river to increase its water in fear of it drying up.

-Lao_tzu

translated by Thomas Cleary

We should end Medicare, not tax Corporations!

The Tax Haven That's Saving Google Billions - BusinessWeek

The heart of Google's (GOOG) international operations is a silvery glass office building in central Dublin, a block from the city's Grand Canal. In 2009 the office, which houses roughly 2,000 Google employees, was credited with 88 percent of the search juggernaut's $12.5 billion in sales outside the U.S. Most of the profits, however, went to the tax haven of Bermuda.

To reduce its overseas tax bill, Google uses a complicated legal structure that has saved it $3.1 billion since 2007 and boosted last year's overall earnings by 26 percent. While many multinationals use similar structures, Google has managed to lower its overseas tax rate more than its peers in the technology sector. Its rate since 2007 has been 2.4 percent.

Got to get me some of that.

Vital Signs - A Good Massage Brings Biological Changes, Too - NYTimes.com

Does a good massage do more than just relax your muscles?

Volunteers who received Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol in blood and saliva, and in arginine vasopressin, a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. They also had increases in the number of lymphocytes, white blood cells that are part of the immune system.

Volunteers who had the light massage experienced greater increases in oxytocin, a hormone associated with contentment, than the Swedish massage group, and bigger decreases in adrenal corticotropin hormone, which stimulates the adrenal glands to release cortisol.

Which reminds me....

Yeah the rain came...

There is something that I just love about waking up to a cloudy, rainy day.  Something about it just makes me move a little slower and more deliberately.  To take my time and notice things instead of the daily rush about mucky muck crap I can get caught in. And well, the leaves are falling in the yard and it's raining with the gutters doing their splunk noise. Which all tells me summer is rapidly coming to a close up here in the NW.  Don't tell the wife, OK?

With this in mind I wrote a little piece in the old pen and paper journal (not this fancy digitally, whop-di-do one) and I think it's a nice fit for the day.

"Now and Next is so yesterday

It's all about Forever."

Then on Metafilter this morning I find this Allan Watts gem.

The Unsettling Truth About Life

Title of this post is from "My Town" by Jane's Addiction.  If you caught that you are old.

On Routine

I like routine. I like structure in my life. I guess this is because the nature of my work is anything but structure. When I first started in photography, one of my first assisting gigs the First assistant said to me to think of this job like a volunteer fireman and that pretty much sums up the business. Each day is it's own minor crisis for my clients and nothing is ever planned ahead of time. It can wear a person out some days and be wonderfully surprising the next. But I digress, I like routine and structure so I impose it where I can. I have a certain wake up routine that I like to follow.

• Coffee. Strong, locally roasted. Currently addicted to Ristretto Roasters to anyone curious.

• Light exercise of some sort. Dawn sessions at the local skatepark (I'm the old guy who just goes fast) or some stretches and such at the house if I'm trapped with work.

• 20 minutes of rudiments on the drum set. Reverse paradiddles are all the rage right now you know.

• On good days I get some journal writing done.

And lastly, before I start on the work I like to try to dredge up something inspiring from the interwebbies. Usually I hit the links over on the right to start and then branch out from there till the hunt is over. This is the hardest part of my routine but also the most consistent. I need to find some beauty out there before I can start the day.

All this is done by 8:30 usually so I am around for the clients. Then I am ready to go.

So that is that. Now go get yourself a routine going.