The focus is red wine and to get right to it without distraction, click The Wine Commonsewer Speaks. The rest of the enchilada is just enough of an
eclectic mix of commentary on culture, food, tax, and econ 101 to
distract from the focus on red wine.
We appreciate your patronage.
TWC's Theme Song:
Tax & Accounting Offices of Michael R Snell
Accounting & Tax Consultation for the Discriminating Client
We will not sell, share, or otherwise disclose your email address or other personal information obtained on this site to third parties unless compelled to do so by subpoena.
Your email address is not required in order to leave comments. If you provide your email address, it will not be displayed with your comment.
Michael R. Snell & Associates will not disclose any client information to third parties without the client’s permission unless compelled to do so by subpoena.
A note from our crack legal team at Dewey, Screwem, & Howe, LLP.....
All tax and other information appears here as a courtesy to readers and clients. Please understand that we are not rendering legal advice and that each individual should consult his or her own tax professional before acting upon any of the information contained herein.
Effective June 21, 2005, regulations issued by the Treasury Department governing written communications, including email communications, between all tax practitioners (including attorneys) and their clients that have the issue of tax as a material element of the communication must include the following disclaimer:
As required by United States Treasury Regulations, you should be aware that written information contained on this site cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties under United States federal tax laws.
This site may occasionally contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of a variety of issues including but not necessarily limited to, taxation, politics, human rights, economics, and science. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as is provided for under § 107 of the US Copyright Law.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, said material contained in this site is made available without profit for research or educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Still time to stand in line for a free slurpee. To honor Free Slurpee Day I'll go you one better:
That's right, it is 7:11 on 11/7 at 7-11. We didn't get any free slurpee, neither.
Photo Credit: Uncle Will, who not only noticed the time and place, but managed to scramble back to the car, pop the trunk, grab his camera, and take the picture. All in less than a minute. This store is on the North Kohala coast on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Almost a decade ago, Jimmy Buffet sued the chicks that own Maui's Cheeseburger In Paradise for illegally using the title of his big hit of the same name. He shoulda sued them for making lousy cheeseburgers instead. Good Gawd Almighty, there's no way he was dreaming about THAT cheeseburger.
It's been a year and a half and I'm still stunned at how ghastly that burger was.
But the guys on the snorkel boat.......THAT was a cheeseburger. In paradise. Okay, it was a cheeseburger at Molokini, which was a tad disappointing. Molokini. Not the Cheeseburger. Too many people in the water and I don't like getting kicked in the head by other snorklers. We
saw more fish on the
reef off of Kaanapali Beach than at Molokini. Still a nice ride and it was
interesting to see the crater up close, good burgers (10 X better than
Cheeseburger in Paradise), kids had fun, and a relaxing trip back--saw
a couple dolphins
and some green sea turtles.
Best snorkeling we've ever had in Hawaii (by a mile) was at Captain Cook on the Big Island. That was like swimming in an aquarium.
This bay (pretty sure it is Ahihi Bay) was a great place to snorkel (Mrs TWC & Jake). Way out past Wailea close to where the road ends not far from Big Beach. Be warned, Big Beach can be a Big Beach. Surf and wind conditions often combine to make swimming and boarding a little dicey. Jake'll fill you in on that.
This post was created in part from posts that originally appeared in June 2006
Last Father's Day TWC spent the afternoon listening to live jazz at Canoe's in Maui. The wine was good, the drinks were ghastly. Appetizers were pretty decent, and at two-for-one pricing, affordable enough to pig out. In its glory days, Canoe's was a Chart House and all the accouterments are still intact, including the resin-entombed table-top maps of the Sandwich Islands (hence the name Chart House).
And since it's Father's Day, here's The House Blond & her daddy all dressed up and ready to go to the Daddies & Daughters dance at Eagle Glen Country Club courtesy of Wilson Elementary School's PTA.
And a shout out to my own father who, like the rest of us, was once sixteen and full of himself. That's his Harry Connick Jr impression. Happy Father's Day, Pop.
TWC is stuck here in So Cal's notorious June Gloom and my mind's wandered off to visions of bare feet, hot sun, sticky sand, and warm azure water that is always a bit saltier than the mainland beaches.
This reprise of a post from last June is dedicated to Faithful Reader Stephen R, who also enjoys a nice sunset.
After 8 plus hours we drag them kids away, kicking and screaming.
Napili Beach is alive with sounds that are something akin to a muffled version of the screams and mechanical clanks of a theme park thrill ride soothed by crashing surf and then layered with uninhibited, belly-aching laughter of children unable to contain their sheer joy. Taken together, it's musical. Perhaps a cross between a distant wind chime and Asian-influenced new age music. But not quite.
The beach is steep and then flattens out underwater so the kids can ride the surf up the beach and then it sucks them back down in a continuous cycle sort of like one of those carnival pirate ship rides.This is a don't-miss beach on an island of great beaches.
An unedited report from Don & Kerrill (pronounced Carol), who live in South Kohala, about 10 feet from the epicenter of Sunday's Big Island quake.
You can book a week or two at their five bedroom five bathroom ocean view rental home here.
At about 7:00 this morning we were heading out the door for our morning walk when a loud "BANG" hit the house, as if a large truck had struck the other side. This would normally be the point at which we would look at each other and say, "Hey, was that an earthquake?"; but this time in less time quicker than we could draw a second breath it crescendoed into a savage fury unlike anything I have ever felt on the mainland. Then it got worse. And then it kept going. The framing of the house creaked and rattled like the Clappets riding their old pickup down a rough dirt road, and we could hear shattering glass, crashes and bangs from every part of the house. We stared at each other wide-eyed, both thinking "Is this really happening?" Kerrill hung onto the wall to keep from being knocked down. I don't remember exactly what I did.
Most tourists never see the windswept, isolated, southern coast of Maui. It is haunting, beautiful, and largely uninhabited, stretching for just a few miles along an unimproved one lane road skirting the sea.
Reader Shelley Walker thinks that the man with the porkpie hat, the trenchcoat, and the Dick Tracy watch is a figment of the Wine Commonsewer imagination. Not so, and here he is with Jake and the House Blond in Maui at Aloha Mixed Plate, one of the few places on the Island with excellent and relatively inexpensive food and grog. Plus the drinks are good. In case you didn't notice, the shirt is a drinking man's shirt. Stevie is to booze what Cheech is to dope.
Stevie Crown, the embodiment of Ricky Nelson's Travelin' Man (Think: pretty Polynesian baby, over the sea....), flew over to Maui from Honolulu after performing some kind of unseemly business for the Dark Side.
I got an email from him today and I quote.....
Now I am offshore once again with our Sailors. Quite a rewarding experience! Morale with the troops is quite high. Unlike the news media, most of them support George.
Hell, I thought he was on his way to Japan. Hope I haven't gotten him killed by publishing this photo.
The same people who scream bloody murder when somebody wants to build a home on the ridgeline in Laguna Beach or who drown the local planning commission in outrage because somebody wants to put up a cell tower disguised as a fake tree often applaud this kind of crap.
When Captain John, the Four Winds snorkel boat pilot, opined that it was about time Maui used it's gale force wind tunnel for something other than proving that Maalaea Harbor is the world's windiest harbor, TWC opined that these wind mills were uglier than dog poop. The heavy set woman thought I was obnoxious and claimed that they weren't as ugly as smog (a debatable point to be sure).
Will Rogers once said that you should never miss a good chance to shut up. Mrs TWC is on that boat and at the behest of her pointed elbow jabs, I shut up and smiled before I could point out that Maui doesn't have any smog and burning fossil fuels to provide electricity is certainly less irritating to the eyes, nose, and lungs than the ritual burning of used sugar cane in the valley that one can smell all the way to Kaanapali Beach.
Yes, we have those detestable windmills in Californicate as well. Cabazon, a hellish place at the edge of the desert that would be hard pressed to get any uglier, is filled with them and has been for years.
Of late, certain Eco-facist organizations have begun to oppose windmills because they kill birds. They're so repulsively ugly that the tiny bird hearts stop beating and the birds then fall to certain death. The Sierra Club isn't among those and recently filed suit against the Pentagon for delays in approvals of wind farms.
I might also point out that it is illegal for TWC to install an old fashioned nostalgic windmill to pump water. You've seen them before and they were a common sight across rural America fifty years ago. But the county and the neighbors deem them too ugly to be allowed at Casa de las Rocas Grande.
The windmills are a maintennance headache. Hundreds of them in Cabazon don't work and the ground beneath them is littered with parts and other debris that has fallen or blown off the windmill. Not too likely to get fixed either since the investment pools, limited partnerships, & tax shelters that jumped in initially have milked all of the tax credits and subsidies out of the deal and have no further incentives. It is fairly apparent that absent fat government subsidies and tax credits, wind farms wouldn't exist at all because they simply are not economically viable.
And finally, to reach the goal of providing 5% of US energy needs by 2020 using wind power we need 132,000 more of these 300 foot tall behemoths with wing spans approaching 175 feet. How about one in your backyard?
Got several emails asking when I'd do another wine review. I'm on vacation man, but here goes.
Despite coming with a fancy gold sticker on the bottle neck proclaiming that the wine had won three (or so) prestigious Gold Medals, Barefoot Cabernet is just barely okay (get it? Just Barely).
Being in Hawaii, I even tried it without shoes. No help. If you let it breath for a long time it gets more tolerable but mostly it's a cheap cab with that cloying sort of sweet taste that often gets passed off as cherries.
For the record, Barefoot Cab is better than Glen Ellen or Two Buck Chuck, but for the money, you'd do better with Mondavi's cheap non-denominational Cabernet. Buy it by the 1.5 liter bottle for $9-$14. (Sorry, I just can't call it a magnum).
Props for a great name and advertising stragedy though (Yes, I attended the Bugs Bunny phonics class).
The man with the porkpie hat, trench coat, and Dick Tracy watch was in Honolulu doing some nefarious business for the Dark Side when my cell phone rang and someone said Hey, I'm catching a plane over to Kahului Airport right now whatdddyaa doing?
It all came together at Leilani's on Kaannapali Beach this afternoon (Sunday) with Stevie Crown, Ray, and TWC. Ray's a surfer who's pretty much lived in the islands for 35 years and originally met up with Stevie Crown when they were roommates on Oahu way back in the dark ages (an upscale neighborhood on the other side of Diamond Head). Ray's little bro was a cabbie that hustled the boys hot looking honies. Hey, babe, why not come party with me and my friends at my beach house? I can assure you, I wasn't having nearly that much fun in my early twenties.
Ray was taking it easy with Coors Lite, anticipating the ride to the airport. Stevie Crown (I told you so) was downing Crown Royale, and of course, TWC was drinking wine (Dynamite Cab).
Laughter with old friends and new is definitely the best medicine.