Random Updates

Posted 2009.12.16 14.31 in Aquaria, Pointless Blather, Work by Stephanie

So much going on, but aside from the occasional rant, I’m not focused enough to make complete topics of anything in particular. So, point form.

  • Snail babies – lots of them. Clutches number one, two, and four all had a whole lotta babies in them. Clutch number three was mostly a dud. However, I’m not finding myself overrun with baby snails so I assume that the die-off rate has been high after all. I’ve only seen 4 or 5 snails that are larger than a BB and 3 of them are definately from the second clutch. I don’t know if there’s actually a thousand million baby snails hiding under the gravel where I can’t see them, but I figure if they were, they’d have to be getting bigger and I’d start seeing them…
  • Winter crazies – as the end of the year approaches, the days get shorter, the dark gets darker, I’m filled with an overarching sense of running out of time. Projects are coming due, crisiis are looming, and stress is building. Monday I was having a panic-attack or anxiety-attack or something, and stopped functioning completely for a few hours. Then there was the insomnia and general lack of restful sleep. By Tuesday the panic/anxiety had subsided a bit, but it’s starting to build up again now.
  • Work hazies – part and parcel with the above. Not sure which is the cause and which is the effect. Work deadlines lead to stress, stress leads to crazies, crazies lead to malfunctions, malfunctions lead to missed deadlines, and it’s all this big spiral of confusion and discombobulation.
  • Tax mazes – one of the companies I work for is getting a tax audit. I just made the connection, the audit is starting on the 21st – the winter solstace. Also known as The Darkest Day Of The Year. Seems appropriate. And I promise never to say the word ‘nitwits‘ while filling out tax forms, ever again.
  • X-mas lazies – not the right word, but I’m running out of things that rhyme. I don’t wanna x-mas. Bah humbug! Hah bumhug! I don’t mind buying gifts for folks, but I don’t have time to shop and don’t know / can’t remember what people want. And I don’t want anything tangible (though I’d really like More Time.) I just want to cancel the holiday this year. The only part of the tradition I care to maintain is the Ice-Cold-Beer-on-a-Hot-Xmas-Morning. And maybe some hors-d’oveurs from M&M.

That’s about it for now. No pics or illustrations, no time.

HST Lies & Misinformation

Posted 2009.12.16 12.43 in Pointless Blather, Work by Stephanie

So far, it looks like Ontario is still going ahead with this HST nonsense. Mostly, I don’t really care one way or another – it’s a zero-sum change for me. Being an entrepreneur and working in small business, whether the GST is 5% or 13% is largely irrelevant due to the way the tax is managed with the ITCs balancing the taxes collected.

One thing that I really dislike though, is when governments lie and mislead in order to push their agenda through.

Will the move from GST (5%) + PST (8%) to HST (13%) cost the average consumer more money? No. The 13% rate won’t apply to stuff that’s currently PST exempt.

It’ll be a huge pain in the ass for programmers and accountants etc. to get this set up for retailers’ POS systems, but generally speaking the actual tax rate isn’t going to change.

They don’t need to add lies or misinformation to sugar-coat it. What am I talking about? Specifically, this paragraph I keep coming across in the Ontario Ministry of Revenue‘s website:

Right now, provincial sales tax is paid by most businesses at each step in the creation of a consumer product. In other words, though you may not realize it, the PST is charged multiple times during the production of a product before that product reaches the store. So it can be a tax on a tax on a tax, all hidden in the cost of a product until it gets to the consumer. Under the HST, most taxes paid on business inputs will be refunded to the business — savings that can be reinvested and passed on to consumers.

I’ve been working with small businesses for over two decades. I can tell you that the PST is not charged multiple times during the production of a product. This is simply a flat-out lie.

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