Fairy Floss!?

Hi friends,

What child doesn’t love “Fairy Floss”?

Known today as Cotton Candy!

In 1899 Thomas Morton and John C Wharton of Nashville, Tennessee patented the first electric cotton candy machine.

Cotton Candy became a big hit when it was introduced to the public at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair and at the Ringling Brothers Circus.


Rome, Italy and Sports in the USA

Hi friends, What is the connection many schools, religious figures, the NFL, MLB, and the state of Kentucky have to Rome, Italy? The Northern Cardinal.

When early settlers from England to North America saw a bird with bright red feathers they were reminded of the scarlet outfits worn by Roman Catholic officials.

The St. Louis baseball team was founded in 1875 and named after the Cardinal in 1900.

On February 26, 1926 the “Cardinal” was chosen to be Kentucky’s State Bird.

The “Cardinal” is the mascot for the Arizona football team which started in 1922 as the Chicago Cardinals named after a team in Racine, Wisconsin.

It is easy to understand why the bird has become a popular mascot for so many schools, teams and a State. The bird is simply beautiful.


Paint, Hairspray & Christmas

Hi friends,

What does paint, hairspray and Christmas Snow have in common?

Carl Svendsen founder Chase Products Co. used his knowledge of pressurized containers to develop the first spray paint can

and the first hair spray.

They were the second company to develop Christmas Snow in a spray can.

The Chase Product Co. is still going strong in Broadview, Illinois.


Another legal immigrant entrepreneur who added to our lives in America

Hi friends,
I’ll bet you didn’t know you probably have something in common with a German immigrant named Ignaz. Ignaz Schwinn was the founder of the world-famous Schwinn bicycle. He started his company in 1895. But, did you know he also made motorcycles? From 1917-1931 he owned the Henderson Motorcycle Company. At that time Henderson was known as one of the big three along with Indian and Harley-Davidson. in 1931 he stopped producing motorcycles to concentrate on his bicycles.

You may not know who he is, but he lit up your life!

Hi friends,
At the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department located in Livermore, California, you can see the World’s Longest Burning Light Bulb.

It was first installed in 1901 and with the exception of a few days has been lit since then. You can view it live at www.centennialbulb.org. This would not be possible if not for a man born on September 4, 1848 in Chelsea, Massachusetts named Lewis Latimer.

Mr. Latimer, who became an employee of Thomas Edison in 1890, was the inventor of the method to cause the long lasting carbon filament. Before his invention light bulbs would burn out in just a few days. His invention helped the carbon filament to last month’s thus making the light bulb less expensive and more efficient. We can thank him for contributing greatly to electrical lighting in all of our homes.

Mr. Latimer is one of the unknown men who has had a large impact on the daily life of people all over the world for the past 100 years.


How did the Los Angeles Lakers get their name?

Hi friends,

Have you ever wondered how the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team got its name.

Before coming to Los Angeles, the Lakers were located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Minnesota’s motto is “The land of 10,000 lakes.” A cargo ship used on the Great Lakes was known as “Lake Freighters” or  “Lakers”.


A 49er started Macy Department Store

Hi friends,

Did you know a 49er started Macy Department Store.

In 1849 Rowland Hussey Macy went to California as part of the gold rush from the east coast.

When he arrived on the west coast instead of pursuing gold, he and two partners opened Macy & Company in Marysville, California, which at the time was one of the biggest gold rush cities because of its location where the Feather and Yuba Rivers join together. Macy moved back to the east coast in 1858, where in New York City he opened the small eleven foot store front which has grown to the grand department store we know today.


Why the name Bluetooth?

Hi friends,

Who would have imagined the name of a Christian Viking King born in 940 A.D. would have been so popular today.

Daily, his name is spoken all over the world by men and women, old and young, the wealthy and the poor and of all races. The funny thing about this, almost all do not even know it!

When Ericsson, Intel and Nokia created a Special Interest group (SIG) to unite their companies to advance a single technology, they needed a code name. Intel’s Jim Kerdach came up with the name. Since he was a history buff he remembered a king who had united Denmark and Norway. Since three large companies where uniting to work on one project it only seemed right to apply the kings name to their technology.

The kings name was Harold Bluetooth. The logo is designed by combining the Nordic symbols of the first letter of the kings first and last name.


Natural Disasters and Tax Benefits – Easing the Pain and Suffering

The following briefly discusses the tax implications for those who have been affected by the wildfires in the following California counties: Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Lake, Butte, Nevada and Yuba.

On October 10, 2017 the above counties were identified as being in a disaster area. If you have been affected by these wildfires and have not yet addressed this issue with your tax professional, please read on. This information will be helpful in becoming aware of your options and to take action or, at least, consider making an appointment to discuss this issue with your tax professional.

firefighters spray water to wildfire

Many people have suffered great financial losses and emotional stress due to these fires. Those affected need to understand the tax and financial implications of the losses and what is necessary to document those losses in the event the tax authorities call upon them to support the losses claimed. A good number of people do not know that the tax laws allow people so affected to deduct a disaster loss on their income tax return.

The loss, if you have one, can be taken on your 2016 or 2017 income tax return. Generally, the disaster or casualty loss is taken in the year that the loss occurs. However, if you have a loss from a federally declared disaster you have the option to take it sooner. To take the loss on your 2016 return you will need to file an amended tax return for that year. The amount of the loss suffered from a disaster, such as the wildfires, depends on whether the property was personal use (e.g. your residence) or business or income producing property (e.g. rental property). The computation of the loss and the deductible amount is fairly complex.

For personal use property the loss is generally determined based on the decrease in the fair market value of the property immediately before the disaster and the fair market value of the property after the disaster, less any insurance reimbursement received on the property. Even though your home may have been completely destroyed, the land upon which it sat still has value. The fair market value of this land post-disaster needs to be determined. The calculation of loss is the same for the contents (e.g. furniture, appliances, etc.) of the property but is reported separately from the real estate. The loss is reduced by $100 (the $100 rule) per disaster. The deductible amount is the amount of the loss that exceeds 10% of your adjusted gross income (the 10% rule) for the year – 2016 or 2017 depending on the year you elect to take the loss.

Recent property appraisals on your residence or on-line at sites like Zillow can assist you in determining the fair market values before the disaster. The after disaster fair market values (i.e. the land) probably will prove a bit more difficult to determine. The applicable county assessor’s office maybe able to assist you with the post disaster values for land.

For business or income producing property the loss calculation is similar to the personal use property calculation except any depreciation taken on the property must be subtracted in determining the amount of loss that is deductible.

It is recommended that you seek out a competent professional (CPA, EA, Attorney, etc.) to assist you with this issue and to help you in your decision as to which year the loss should be reported.