I recently spent several days in and around Tucson, Arizona.  The weather every day was a hot, sunny, and dry +/- 105 degrees F.  When I got back to New York and deplaned at JFK, it felt like a boxing glove punched me in the face when I felt the 80 degree F with 86% humidity air.  It felt A LOT hotter!  I love the warm, even hot, weather.  But high humidity…not so much!  Give me that dry heat any day.

Saguaro Cactus as seen along the road in Tucson, Arizona

Saguaro Cactus as seen along the road in Tucson, Arizona

The above photo is available for stock photo licensing at http://www.kaphotollc.com

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Clouds usually make for more interesting and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The American Southwest is not typically a cloudy place, though. So when clouds are around during very dry spells, those clouds are usually not the moisture-bearing kind.  Instead, they can be the very damaging and life-threatening smoke clouds caused by a raging fire.

The clouds in this June 18, 2013, Sedona, Arizona, sunset photo were caused by the Doce Fire which started two days earlier on June 16 in Prescott, Arizona. Later in the month, the more well-known and devastating Yarnell Hill Fire, also in Prescott, went on to kill 19 elite firefighters.

Prescott fire clouds seen at sunset over Sedona, Arizona, June 18, 2013

Prescott fire clouds seen at sunset over Sedona, Arizona, June 18, 2013

Above photo is available for stock photo purchase at http://www.kaphotollc.com
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Happy Birthday 1040!

April 15, 2013

Has it only been 100 years since Americans have been filing the 1040 federal tax form?  Seems a lot longer!  When the 1040 form was “born” in 1913, it was only one page and only a mere 3% of the population was required to pay federal taxes.  Today, the 1040 form is a bit more elaborate, and 54% of us have to add to the coffers of the United States Treasury.

Although such percentages as well as tax rates have varied over the years, as the adage goes, two things in life are certain.  And you already know what those two things are!

"You have to pay your partner!" as an accountant of mine used to always say

“You have to pay your partner!”
as an accountant of mine used to always say

Image available for stock photo licensing at http://www.kaphotollc.com

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By land…

In the middle of nowhere - dry. The road to nowhere has been found, as pictured here in a scene from somewhere in the American Southwest.

In the middle of nowhere – dry.
The road to nowhere has been found, as pictured here in a scene from somewhere in the American Southwest.

And by sea…

In the middle of nowhere - wet. Sun setting behind dark clouds somewhere over the Atlantic ocean.

In the middle of nowhere – wet.
Sun setting behind dark clouds somewhere over the Atlantic ocean.

Images are available for stock photo licensing at http://www.kaphotollc.com

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Today the United States Supreme Court heard arguments on California’s Prop 8 (or, as some refer to it, Prop Hate), which bans marriage equality for same-sex couples in the state.  To true advocates of human and civil rights, marriage is a fundamental right that ALL consenting adults must have.  Recognizing that basic human right are eleven countries (Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, and Sweden), several sub-national jurisdictions in Brazil and Mexico, and nine states in the USA (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington), plus the District of Columbia, plus three tribal jurisdictions (Coquille Tribe/Oregon, Suquamish Tribe/Washington, and Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians/Michigan).  Same-sex marriage laws are proposed and pending in many countries and jurisdictions throughout the world.

In June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce their decision from today’s arguments.  May they decide on the right side of history, and all adult citizens of the United States will finally enjoy the freedom to marry.  And the marriage of the women pictured below (who were together for 32 years when they legally married in New York in 2011) will be recognized throughout the entire United States.

The first same-sex couple to be married in Westchester County, New York, on July 24, 2011, the day New York State's Marriage Equality Law went into effect.

The first same-sex couple to be married in Westchester County, New York, on July 24, 2011, the day New York State’s Marriage Equality Law went into effect.

Image available for editorial stock photo licensing at http://www.kaphotollc.com

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