News: There is a new Ehell Kindness Project!  Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here:   

  • June 30, 2016, 12:43:46 PM

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I reluctantly agreed to meet with a sales rep today.  I have put off starting reports that are very time consuming because they require my undivided attention.  He is now 45 minutes late, no notice that things changed, and I'm more than a little peeved.
I just got an email from Air Canada, proudly announcing that they have created a begging website, so your friends and family can fund your travel dreams. That is so yuck. I am very disappointed in them.

Because people don't just make gofundme pages for those, right? Bless your hearts Air Canada for getting in on that mess  ::)
33 general / Re: Full-service or fast casual for tipping?
« Last post by AccountingIsFun on Today at 10:40:11 AM »
Food service workers are required to make at least minimum wage in the United States. Most of them are paid $2.13 minimum per hour but then must claim their tips to their employer. The employer is supposed to check that when tips are added into the hourly salary that the server has earned minimum wage for the area (since some states and cities have increased minimum wage). If minimum wage is not made when tips are added to the hourly salary, the restaurant or other place is to make up the difference. The calculations are made on a per pay period basis, and tipped employees are also subject to overtime rules and other labor rules regarding breaks etc. So - when you go to a buffet or something, know that the employer is supposed to ensure that all staff is being paid at least minimum wage.

BTW: I used the italic emphasis because I know that many employers and employees are not good about following the law on this one. Some employees will not report all of their tips since they have to pay taxes on it, and many employers will not do the calculations and pay rises to ensure that the employee is making minimum wage since they have to pay social security taxes on it. Employers are allowed to calculate what tips should be for servers to mitigate under reporting problems, but that amount is 8% of gross receipts. Also, the service fee for large parties isn't necessarily considered a tip for tax purposes so the restaurant might be retaining it and not passing the amount onto the server. For many service workers, pay law compliance becomes a YMMV situation. In fact, a story that recently came out showed an employer forcing employees to pay them to work there.

As noted by the department of labor, the issue is that many employees are not aware of the laws regarding minimum wage and are also not aware that they can file a claim with the Department of Labor for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Due to various restaurants non-compliance with the law, it is hard to know if the employee is getting paid fairly and is considered a tipped employee or not. Places like Noodles Etc. when they make their policies clear are very helpful to consumers in understanding if labor laws are being upheld.
We are considering installing solar panels on our shed roofs.  If we hook it up to the grid, we get reimbursed far more per kWh for anything we dump into the grid than we pay for electricity we draw from the grid, even at the peak demand price.  We may start with some small, portable ones just to get some lights hooked up in there, that wouldn't feed to the grid.

It doesn't conserve energy but it saves money:  We have off-peak pricing from 7 pm to 7 am every day, all day on Saturday and Sunday and statutory holidays.  So I try to make sure I'm doing my electricity heavy stuff during those times - baking, laundry, running the dishwasher, running the hot tub.  The hot tub is costing us a pretty penny in electricity but I more than make up for it with reduced medical bills.  I don't need to go as often for physio or massage now that I'm in the tub almost every night.

Doesn't really work for SamiHami, unless night time temperatures get low enough - 15 C or about 60 F.  My Mom's trick was to open the house up wide in the early evening, closing only those windows that were a security risk, going to bed.  Then first thing in the morning, before it started heating up again, closing all the windows and drawing all the drapes.  The house would stay relatively cool until about 3:30 in the afternoon on hot days.  I've been doing this the last few nights.  It looks like I won't have to turn the AC back on again until after the weekend.

As incandescent bulbs burn out, I replace them with compact fluorescents and now, LEDs.  I'm just loathe to throw out something that is perfectly fine and we don't leave lights on very much, anyway.

A properly insulated house makes a big difference.  We can tell that our place is a little light on insulation so that's going to be a project late in the year, before the cold weather hits.

When you are redoing your roof, pick a colour other than black, which absorbs the heat.

Programmable thermostats are great, especially if there is a way to vary the schedule day to day.  The one at the old house let me modify each day individually.  So I could treat Friday differently than Monday through Thursday and Sunday differently than Saturday since my bedtimes would be different on those days.  The current one only has a M-F and S-S scheduler.  I'm trying to hook up with a buddy to get that changed out.

Change your furnace/AC filters regularly.  The dirt buildup makes your furnace and/or AC run less efficiently.  And if really gets blocked, it will shut down due to lack of air flow.
Well, in all fairness, if any of the girls had their period, the underside of the lid could potentially be pretty gross. But I think MIL was silly to mention it. Obviously it was an oversight. Cleaning, like anything, is a learned skill, and I wouldn't expect teenagers or young adults to just intuitively know how to do every last thing.
Thanks for the facts and statistics, veryfluffy! That's very interesting.

When DH and I were in Hawaii, one of our tour guides on a bicycle excursion called The Maui Downhill told us about some crazy questions he'd received from tourists.

A few were:
- How is the island tied down? What keeps it from floating away in the ocean? Is it attached to the ocean floor with chains?

- Which side of the island is the Pacific side and which side is the Atlantic side?

- How many sunrise tours do you have each day?

Ok, the first two are daft, but possibly the company running the bicycle excursions might have more than one group a day for the sunrise tours.  Maybe...

Yes, I agree. I thought there might be a few tours that would depart a few minutes apart for a sunrise tour. But the tour guide didn't. Luckily, I wasn't the one who asked the question.
I'll confess that I have a cleaning lady and therefore haven't cleaned a toilet for a long time - but, when I used to clean them, I rarely did the underside of the lid or the seat.  Oops. 

I still think MIL was being a bit picky, though.  If the underside was really gross, I could understand her being upset, but the girls were there for four days.  I somehow doubt it was bad enough for her to be ticked off.   (My mother said "Sounds to me like she was looking for something to get mad about.")
If there is fog on the inside, it means there is a leak and the inert gas is gone.

What does one do when that happens? Can that be fixed or does it need to be replaced?

There are some companies that will fix them.  If the windows aren't that old (<15 years), it's probably worth it to have it fixed.  But if they are older than that?  I'd just replace them.  The one I've seen in my area is called 'The Fog Doctor'.

Vinyl windows are standard now, for the most part, from what I've seen.  Wood is really maintenance heavy and aluminum can be tricky because of it's malleability, having had all three kinds of windows.

And here's a tip for everyone:  If your window has a crank on it, make sure you have unlocked both locks on it before you start cranking.  Managed to break a friend's window when I didn't realize there was a second lock on it.  I offered to pay for it but the female half of the couple said, 'No, way.  The window on the other side is cracked, too, and now I can get him to fix them both!'  Her partner hated to spend money on stuff so having both windows broken made it more of an impetus to get it done, I guess.  And it looked like the other window got broken the same way.
Family and Children / Re: Can I have this when you die?
« Last post by CL32 on Today at 10:08:36 AM »
I have to admit that I've done this (or some similar form of it) with my grandmother. However, I don't ask for things with material value, like furniture, jewelry, or property, I've asked her to leave me specific historical family items that hold great emotional significance to me. These include old photos and letters and a beautiful, handwritten genealogy book that traces that branch of the family back about 200 years. After I asked the first time "Grandma, I'd really like to have this one day; would you leave it to me?" She was happy to tape a note inside and asked me to think about similar things that I'd like to have. She and I share the opinion that I'm probably the only young one interested in such things and it would be a shame for them to be misplaced or accidentally thrown out because she hadn't made her intentions clear.
Arizona here. We do have solar panels and they are very useful. They are also rather pricey. We got some rebates from APS when installing them, which helped, but they were also mounted on the roof which meant there were holes in the roof. When the monsoon storms move in, anything bolted to the roof moves, which meant roof damage. I wouldn't do it again in this area.

Are you able to use a swamp cooler during certain parts of the year? They are worthless when the humidity is high or when its over 90 degrees, but very cost efficient. The added benefit is that you can use the outlet water to water your trees. Trees are sometimes a PITA, but really help to keep your home cool. I'm a big fan of fruitless mulberries. They only drop leaves once a year and then they do it all at once.

Curtains and blinds make a world of difference, as do outside window awnings. Anything you can do to keep the heat off your home will help.

Storm doors are not just for winter. They keep the heat out as well.

I am unfamiliar with swamp cookers, but based on your description I doubt that they would be useful in my area, where it is very hot and humid for much of the year.
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