Colossal Danger

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Re: Colossal Danger

Post by yogi » 23 Nov 2019, 12:22

The malware I'm referring to is embedded inside the video. If you knew about it ahead of time, a little bit of warning would be appreciated. Fortunately I was not able to determine that it is destructive beyond locking you into a given browser webpage. I have ways around that, but any stray drive-by readers might not.

I learned about the difference between rotary and reel mowers a long time ago. I did an experiment one time and sharpened the blade on our Toro rotary mower beyond normal requirements. That wasn't easy to do by the way because I think those blades are made of gun metal or something that breaks very easily. The angle on the blade is not so steep as to be fragile, but the grinder and Dremel tool I was using back then would allow pieces to break off during sharpening. I ultimately got the edge I was looking for by using Aluminum Oxide Sandpaper. For all my efforts the grass was cut as cleanly as I've ever seen it with a rotary mower, but it was not as good as a scissor type reel. It may have stayed green for a day or two, but the tell tale brown tips showed up quickly after that. So now I just take the nicks out of the edge, and call it sharp. LOL

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Re: Colossal Danger

Post by Kellemora » 24 Nov 2019, 09:02

Although folks laughed at me, especially the lawn mower service centers.
At one time I owned a business I named The Saw & Sabre Shop, where it did tool sharpening, including delicate tools, barber shears, and a bunch of things folks never think about.
In any case, I learned that Hollow Grinding mower blades produced a keener longer lasting edge, AND one that the mower owner could dress easily with a file.
You know what a CD looks like, and how it catches the light.
When I did a mower blade, the honed edge had a similar, very professional appearance.
Along with my saw sharpening for the hardware stores, I did mower blades, and when the customers saw them, word got around super fast and in the spring I usually had more lawn mower blades to do than saw blades, hi hi.

I had built my own rack, guide, and blade holder from common junk articles.
But as the business of doing mower blades grew, I made a more professional system using my machine shop to make more sturdy and have better controls with setting notations on it. Even made a test guide to check a blade before I started so I didn't have to play with the settings. The guide told me the exact setting for that blade. As I got new blades that were not buggered up, I would get the exact setting from it, and kept those written on a cardstock board on the wall.
Right before I sold my business, I bought a new grinder just for doing the lawn mower blades that held a smaller 3 inch wide wheel. Unfortunately, this changed all of the setting notes, but they were easily adjusted. But it made doing the blades four times faster, and also made them longer lasting too.

The reason you had problems with your blades being brittle is probably because they became tempered by getting them too hot during sharpening. I had an uncle who did this on purpose to his mower blades. He would heat the end up glowing orange on his forge, then plunge them into a water bucket. Sure they held their edge, but if he hit even the smallest stone, it knocked a big chip out of them. You do want the blade harder than soft steel like some of the newer stamped mower blades, so it never hurts to harden them without getting them too hard of course.

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Re: Colossal Danger

Post by yogi » 24 Nov 2019, 11:25

You could be right about getting my mower blades too hot. I had no idea what I was doing and my tools were very primitive. The Dremel tool worked well because it had an attachment that would hold the blade at the right angle. It didn't take off a lot of metal and would quickly wear out. So, if the blade was nicked badly I'd run it over the grinding wheel, then the Dremel tool, and finish it off with the disk sander. The hard part was balancing the blade. I didn't have a good way to center the blade mount and test its balance. Fortunately I never had vibration problems even if the balance was not perfect. I now have a Husqvarna mower that I purchased after we moved here. It's 4WD and the cutter has 4 blades if I recall correctly. One interesting aspect of this machine is that supposedly it never needs an oil change. They have no way to drain the oil but they do have a way to attach a garden hose to wash the underside and cutting blades. LOL

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Re: Colossal Danger

Post by Kellemora » 25 Nov 2019, 10:15

It takes a lot of one ended sharpening to get a blade out of balance.
If you don't have a little pivot balance for the purpose, you can take a four inch piece of coat hanger and fold it into the letter V and tie a string to it. Pass the string through the center hole in the blade with the wire ends facing the sides of the blade for the best accuracy. If you do have to remove some metal to get it balanced properly. Only remove metal from the end of the blade starting about 1/3 of the way back from the cutting edge and taper toward the rear of the blade.

If your new lawn mower has a Briggs EXI engine, it should still have an oil filler tube, used for the purpose of adding their special synthetic oil. It has a built-in paper type oil filter that should never need replace during the life of the mower.

One of the small self-propelled lawn mowers I had back in the '70s had a centrifugal oil filter, sorta like was on the Fiat 850 engines. It was an Italian made lawn mower I bought used from restaurant after they blacktopped the rest of their parking lot. You guess it, it was an Italian restaurant, and the owner brought the mower with him when he moved here. It probably had less than 20 hours of use, which is why he shipped it here with his furniture and other things. It used regular 30 weight oil, but did not have a drain plug. The dipstick was on the side where an oil drain plug would normally be. I think the idea was you would unscrew the dipstick tube, but I just tilted the lawn mower on it's side to change the oil.
I used it the whole time I lived in Des Peres, then traded it in when I bought a Fly-Mo. That things was a disaster because we had a few sloped areas in the yard, it would scalp. It also would not cut evenly unless you mowed twice a week. If the engine bogged it would sink down and scalp an area. My yard looked more like polka dots than anything else.
Got rid of it right away and bought a 2-blade electric mower. Replaced it a year later with a 1 blade electric which lasted the whole time I lived there. I actually got to like that last electric mower I had, but hated the 2-blade model.

Dad had a push mower you could wash out with a garden hose. He only did that if he had to mow damp grass. Didn't want it falling out in the garage and stinking up the place, hi hi.

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Re: Colossal Danger

Post by yogi » 25 Nov 2019, 14:11

Unbeknownst to me, my son-in-law who lives back up in Chicago also bought a Husqvarna 4WD just before we left for Missouri. He has some gullies for storm drainage on his property and claims he needs the extra oomph. I took pictures of mine and put them on Tumblr. He was shocked to see that I got the same machine as he did. He told me that he bought a gizmo that is like a turkey baster to suck the oil out of the grass cutter.I'm sure that works as far as it goes, but all the gunk and metal filings are sitting on the bottom of the oil pan. I'm not sure you can actually suck out that stuff. It make sense for an oil filter to be part of the machine. I suppose the oil can be made clean enough. The synthetic kind should outlast the machine it's working in. I've not looked for the oil filler tube, but probably should. My cutter is about three years old now and might be burning oil. I don't see any outside evidence of that, but I can't tell unless I look. I thought about changing the oil now that the engine is broken in, but I'd have to tip it nearly upside down to empty it. That's probably not a good idea given there is also gasoline in that engine. :mrgreen:

I never thought about balancing the grass cutter blade until I looked it up one time. There is a tab on each end of the blade that they tell you to file down if it needs balancing. I like the idea using a coat hanger wire. I sure would have loved for you to be my neighbor back then. LOL

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Re: Colossal Danger

Post by Kellemora » 26 Nov 2019, 09:39

If I was your neighbor (back many years ago) I had whole machine shop, tool sharpening business, etc.
I still have and use a blade balancer, have a couple of them in fact. A cheap dollar one, and one with a bubble level in the center, maybe cost 3 bucks back when I bought them. They are just made of pot metal, but new ones are made of plastic.

Synthetic Oil is usually good for a little over 1000 hours, better grades up to 2500 hours. It takes roughly 25 years to put 1000 hours on a lawn mower, when used for only home mowing, hi hi.

I'm sure, besides the oil filter, they have a magnet in there to catch steel dust.

Jack Tomosovich, one of our local businessmen and friend, had a huge water cooled lawn mower.
I think it was made by International, but don't quote me on that.
It did not look like a tractor styled lawn mower at all. Almost looked like a miniature combine.
Instead of a sickle bar in the front like our Milbradt's had, it had 5 small rotary blades, 3 in front and 2 behind those.
They were set about an inch higher that the reel mower behind it, and like the Milbradt's had iron rollers except that's not what drove the machine, it had rubber tires both front and rear.
It also at the very front, had a steel plate at about a 30 to 45 degree angle that pushed taller things over to make sure they went under the rotary blades in front. I do remember it was painted the brightest red you ever saw, hi hi.
He had around 35 acres to keep mowed like a lawn at the time he bought it. And you know, I think he bought it used now that I think of it.

Got a little story to tell you from my youth.
We used to build a lot of little go carts, unpowered, we used on cootie hill.
I had access to a few materials the other kids did not have, so built one that looked almost like a car.
In other words it was boxed in on the sides and had a long box on the front, complete with non-functional headlights, and I used a boat steering wheel and cables for turning. Everyone loved it.
I was talking to some kids in the subdivision where cootie hill was (we called it that because of all the girls who lived on both sides). Cootie hill was an empty utility right of way behind houses, like where an alley would go if it was in the city.
In any case, some kid said he would sell me a motor for only 25 bucks, a lot of money for a kid back then.
An uncle helped me make a live axle with a belt pulley on it, and he used flanges to bolt to the wheel from the live axle so we could change the wheels when they wore out.
I saw the kid coming down our long dirt road pulling a wagon with a box in it. I waited and waited and waited, took him much longer to get to my house than I thought it would, probably a half hour longer than it should.
I paid him for the motor and uncle helped me mount it properly. Ran like a top, but wasn't very fast.
About three days later, another uncle went to use his reel mower and the motor was missing.
Since I had a new motor, I got blamed for stealing it. I was innocent, but nobody believed me.
Dad took my motor away and gave it to my uncle with a lot of money to have it reinstalled on his mower.
The mower shop called him and told him the motor was not from his mower, but he could drill new holes to make it work.
That uncle never told my dad it wasn't the motor missing from his mower.
It wasn't until the next mowing season that dad was at our local mower shop and somehow the repairman mentioned his brother bringing in a motor for a mower that didn't fit the mower. Actually he was bragging about how he made it fit.
Dad asked him if was a self-propelled reel mower that belonged this particular uncle, and the guy said yes.
Needless to say, when dad got back to the shop, he went straight to the greenhouse, and you could hear the fireworks flying all the way up to the flower shop from the greenhouse office.
Finally, after two years, dad asked me where I bought the motor from and how much I paid for it.
I told him who I got it from. I was more than surprised when he handed me fifty dollars, and apologized for taking my motor from me and for claiming I stole it.
Fast forward another year, when many of us kids had small motor scooters to tool around the property.
I bought one from my cousin since he had two, one was a brand new commercial made one, while all the rest we all had were home-brew. One of the other kids on a home-brew had a larger clunky motor on his than the rest of us.
I told my dad that the motor on so n so's mini-bike looks just like the one that was stolen that you thought I took.
Dad called the boys father, and the father brought the mini-bike to the lawn mower shop for verification that it came from my uncles lawn mower. Since no one knew the serial numbers, all the lawn mower guy could say was the mounting bolt holes are the same, and it looks like the one he serviced many times years ago, but so many mowers go through his repair shop, he couldn't say for certain that it was the exact motor off dad's brothers mower.
I don't think dad ever did anything about it after that, since he got his money back from his brother for the repairs.
Coincidences can really get kids in trouble, that's for sure!

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Re: Colossal Danger

Post by yogi » 26 Nov 2019, 13:28

As a parent you want to believe your children would not lie to you, but you also know (from personal experience most likely) that they would lie to stay out of trouble. The most striking part of your story is that a motor was lifted from a grass cutter instead of taking the whole machine. It had to be difficult to unmount the motor, especially for a kid. Then again, maybe the kids of your day were made of sturdier stuff than the wimps roaming the streets today. LOL

One of the neighbors has a scooter with a motor on it. The motor scooters I rode were actually small motorcycles. The thing I see on our streets once in a while is a typical kid's riding scooter that we used to push around with one foot. The motor is tiny and I can't believe it's big enough to pull the weight of the kid, but it is. I doubt that it can do more than 10mph, but it looks very unsafe not to mention illegal. Obviously it's a fun thing that any kid would love to own, but it's not country dirt roads around here. The streets are concrete and very unforgiving.

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Re: Colossal Danger

Post by Kellemora » 27 Nov 2019, 10:17

Back when I was growing up, all we had that the kids could use, were dirt and gravel roads, and a ring around the plowed fields, hi hi.
We also asked everywhere if we could get a small job for a few minutes after school to make some money.
I had like six stops after school, usually to empty waste baskets, but some places gave me extra duties, some were pretty neat. Like the barber shop had me clean and refill their shaving cream making machines, and haul the basement bin out to the dump and put it back under the chute from upstairs. I got a quarter a day at most of my stops. It added up quick!
Then of course I had to get home, change my clothes, and go work in the greenhouses where I got super dirty, but at least it paid 50 cents an hour, hi hi. I only had to work from 4 to 6 when we all went home for dinner.
I've tried to find some kids to do things for me around here, they all get too big of an allowance to bother working.

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Re: Colossal Danger

Post by yogi » 27 Nov 2019, 12:37

Sometimes I think I know nothing at all about kids. Up in the Chicago 'burbs it would snow as early as October some years, but generally come down in earnest mid December and stayed on the ground until the end of February or later. In other words we got a lot of snow up there most years. I had a 65 foot long driveway that was double wide plus a parking pad for three cars off to the side. My sidewalk was 100 feet long. Thus I made sure I had a working snowblower from the first year on that we lived there.

I did my own snow cleaning for many years. Then one year the neighbor bought himself a plow for the front of his pickup truck. His house was set further back from the street than ours, but hardly justified buying a blade in my opinion. He was a friendly type guy and asked if we wanted him to do our driveway and helicopter pad as long as he was out there plowing. Of course I agreed. He got two other neighbors to agree to this as well so that he had four houses with lots of driveway to take care of. He never asked for anything in return but we always got him a gift card for gasoline at the end of the season.

So what does this have to do with kids? One time when the snow was deep and fresh he came to our door and asked if we changed out minds about him plowing. I said no and he asked why we cleared the driveway and sidewalk. I was stunned because I didn't do that. However, a little later in the day I spotted about six kids walking down the street with snow shovels in their hands. I didn't make it out in time to ask if they did the shoveling. This happened again later on in the season and I happened to see them as they finished up the sidewalk and walked away. Oddly enough, they didn't do anybody else's drive that I could see. But then I knew that a bunch of kids for whatever reason volunteered to shovel the snow off my driveway and sidewalks without even asking if they could or begging for payment. This didn't happen every year, but only once in a while. I still don't know why.

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Re: Colossal Danger

Post by Kellemora » 28 Nov 2019, 09:24

When I was a kid, come winter, four of us went to the new subdivision behind the florist property and did both driveway and sidewalk for only a buck per kid. More often than not, if it was a younger family and the man was home, he would give us each of us five bucks. Many times folks would give all of us a five, so we had to divvy it up at the end of the day.

My dad bought Simplicity brand riding mowers, not the kind conducive to adding a plow. However, get a couple of uncles together down in the boiler room, and we took the mower blade housing off, and used the levers that lift it up and down to be able to lift up and down a scoop blade they made for under it. Looked like an earth grader when they got done, hi hi.
The blade was made from 24 inch diameter drainage pipe they cut into thirds lengthwise, then stacked the pieces and made about 30 welds, similar to what a spot welder would do, but this was arc welded with rods. Then an angle iron welded across the top, then a metal disk, probably once a pipe cap they bored a few holes in so I could turn the blade one way or the other. Only a long bolt dropped in the plate held it in place.
They also filled the back tires of the lawn mower with calcium chloride, like they used in all of our tractor tires to add weight, and cut down one of the truck chains to fit those back tires.
I was all set for winter, and had several houses already lined up to do by myself.
Naturally, I did dad's driveway and sidewalk first, then both of the uncles who made the blade for me for free (that was the deal). With that done, I headed back to the back subdivision. A lot of angry folks back there, because they had to go to work in the morning in the snow, and I couldn't do their driveways in the dark, hi hi.
I either had to catch them after school, or on Saturday morning. I spent most of my Saturdays plowing after a snow, if others did not beat me to it.

Around here, you don't see kids doing much of anything except staring at their Schmartz-Fonz.

I wonder if those kids you mentioned were assigned to do community service for some reason?
And perhaps they went to the wrong address.
Locally here, up at the Boys and Girls Club, now called South Knoxville Community Center.
There is a bulletin board with assignments. They don't give the name or the address on the board but just cards that say things like Pull Trash Bin down to road on Thursdays, or whatever day, in grid 16. Rake leaves and put into bags, grid 11.
My wife knows the lady who runs the center and asked her about that bulletin board.
She said kids with too many detentions at school, or who were ordered by the court to do community service, can pick a job that is in their grid. Some of the jobs are weekly, some are one shot deals that take a long time, so several kids may be assigned to the same job for a day. We have a few jobs that are weekly that have been on the board for years now, and first pick for many kids because the old lady gives them a candy bar, even though they are not supposed to give even a tip. There is also one daily job on the board, very simple, bring the mail from the mailbox up and put it in the slot in her door. She's wheelchair bound and now in her 80s. She has help for nearly everything, and is checked on several times a day by a couple of neighbors, but nobody is home around the time the mail runs. So we have a couple of kids that do that job for her every day, except Sunday of course.

Wish I could find someone to take my trash can down every Sunday night or early Monday morning, hi hi.
It is very rare for them to have a kid in our grid. Most of us are older folks up here, hi hi.

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Re: Colossal Danger

Post by yogi » 28 Nov 2019, 13:32

Not being a particularly religious sort of guy, I'm very suspicious of churches. All of them. I've known too many hypocrites and become jaded over the years, but I think for the most part those church people are decent folks trying to do the right thing. Kids are kids and maybe one or two would be motivated on their own to do some kind of charitable or missionary work, but the group I saw was around six in number. They were organized. The thought did cross my mind that they were just being good Christians and loving their neighbors. I probably was the oldest guy on the block, but I certainly wasn't disabled in any way. Plus, my other neighbor cleared the snow when he got home from work so that I didn't have a full season's snowfall on my driveway. Since I didn't see any supervisors watching what the kids were doing, or I missed seeing them if they were there, I speculated that they were probably just making points with the Big Guy above.

I mentioned previously that down here in O'Fallon I'm not exactly a curmudgeon, but the neighbors and I keep our distance. It's a friendly distance and we all say "hello" to one another, but I've not done anything with the neighbors since I've lived here. Last year we got dumped on with Chicago style snow. It was deep and blustery afterward but I was well prepared in that I brought all my winter gear with me from the Great White North. Well, all but the snow blower. But I do have some heavy duty shovels which I started to use on the driveway. Several other neighbors were doing the same thing but they started way before I got out there to do mine. Then, suddenly, the guy across the street came by with his shovel and decided I needed help. It wasn't too long after that the next door neighbor sent his young boy over to help. Then a couple kids who I didn't recognize also gave some token help. It was an impressive outgoing exhibition from my neighbors because, well, we have been keeping our distances.

The next storm wasn't as bad but the depth of the snow was significant. I put on my coveralls and snow boots and hit the driveway with my trusty yellow shovel. My wife of many years was there to help. Then another neighbor who I seldom see, and even less often greet, came over with his wife and helped us shovel.

You know, none of this is really unusual on it's own. People help other people all the time. But I've been here a few years and never saw anything like this effort to clear the snow from my drive. I don't know what's going on down the block where other retired folks live, but I do know my friendly neighbors felt the urge to help me out twice. It all made me think of those kids up north. I have no way of knowing for certain, but I bet all those volunteer snow movers are church people too. :mrgreen:

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Re: Colossal Danger

Post by Kellemora » 29 Nov 2019, 09:35

I'm with you on the suspicion of churches.
I consider most of them businesses selling religion for a profit.
Either that or they are a large entertainment business, also for profit.

Christ's Church is not a building, it is simply the Christian people, nothing more.
We are instructed to fellowship with one another, whether it be in a field, a home, a tent, or elsewhere, including in buildings. But I don't think the Lord ever intended the church to become a maze of for profit businesses.
After all, He even turned over the Money Changers tables in the government owned Temple Common.

When I lived in Missouri, most of the folks were neighborly and helped each other out.
Down here, although a few are neighborly, I don't see many raising a hand to help others, unless they are a close knit unit of friends who have always been together for each other.
Nevertheless, everyone down here is friendly in public places.
Assuming a do-gooder did come to shovel someones sidewalk and driveway, more than likely they would get run off.
Nobody down here want's to see a stranger on their property, even if it is for a good purpose.
Unless you know that neighbor well that is.
When I was out mowing my front yard and drainage ditch, I would continue on through the neighbors ditch for them, and on the way back hit the yard section in front of my neighbor's house across the street. He moved now, and the new neighbor can do it himself easily enough. He also took down the gates that crossed his driveway. Didn't just tie them back either, took them completely out, including all the hardware.
My previous neighbor had two dogs he had to put away in order to open the gate to mow outside his fence. Which is one reason, since I was out mowing and coming back from the other edge of the ditch, it was no effort for me to swing over to that side of the road and zip across his little strip outside the fence.

Heck, I don't even know my neighbors names anymore. Debi knows a few of the women though.
It's a totally different world than when we were growing up.

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Re: Colossal Danger

Post by yogi » 29 Nov 2019, 14:43

I was raised by a community of Catholics. My parents were Catholic in name but didn't really follow the rules that closely. However, they thought it was important for me to receive some religious instruction and thus sent me to a parochial grammar school. The nuns taught the classes and the priests ran the church. There was a rectory and a convent for them all, in addition to the school and the church. All this took up nearly one city block. You know something about real estate management and must be aware that just keeping these building operating safely costs a small fortune. The money for that support comes from the parishioners. We got an accounting every year from the pastor and rarely was there a surplus. When there was extra money, something big came along to absorb it, such as repainting the church or replacing a boiler. As I recall, both the priests and the nuns received a salary. It seems like it was in the order of $30/month for the nuns which took care of any personal items they needed. I'm certain the priests got more, but I don't recall a number for them.

If there was corruption in running the church, it wasn't obvious. Also, there was a general feeling that if there was an excess of funds at the end of the year, the good sisters and fathers deserved it. I never thought much about the business aspects back then, but I know today that this particular church had to take in a lot of thousands of dollars just to exist.

Today I'm under the opinion that it's a good idea to let churches take in as much cash as they know how to do legally. It's part of the religious freedoms written into our constitution. Some churches these days have been accused of supporting bad actors under the name of religious freedom. Now THAT is a tough call because I can understand where some religious groups would turn against the system in which they reside. Should those churches too be allowed all the freedoms as the ones which are more traditional? In theory, yes. Everybody should be treated the same. In practice, it's stupid to allow people to actively plot against their hosts. And that's basically where my suspicions of churches has its roots. People believe in their gods, but it turns out not all gods are benevolent. I have to ask myself if church people are following their god's wishes, or are they more politically motivated?

My cynical side allows me to think that my kind neighbors who decided to help me out one day may have been motivated by a sense of guilt imbued upon them by their spiritual leaders. That's not the same as a random act of kindness. I can think about those things only because I don't know these people very well. Perhaps if I socialized more with them I'd have a better understanding and fewer suspicions. After all, there were friendly people up north too and I didn't question their motives. Then again, it took me thirty years to reach that point. LOL

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Re: Colossal Danger

Post by Kellemora » 30 Nov 2019, 11:03

Our whole family was Catholic, just as they were in Germany before they came here.
So yes, I went to parochial schools up until and including my Freshman year of High School.
Not that I was a brain like Young Sheldon on TV, but I was sent to a College Prep School for 4th and 5th grade.
Would have stayed probably through 8th grade had it not been for a hailstorm wiping out our greenhouses and made money very tight.
Unfortunately, instead of getting ahead as planned, it actually caused me to fall further behind, due to certain rules in the parochial system.
Because my birthday was in October, I was held back starting Kindergarten. Had to be 5 by September.
So this already put me a year behind most of the other kids.
After I graduated 5th grade at Chaminade, I was supposed to jump to 7th grade back in the grade school, but they didn't allow skipping 6th grade. FWIW: 5th grade at Chaminade was already 7th grade material. So continuing in 6th grade for me was like repeating 5th grade all over again. So boring, but at least I got straight A's in everything, and by the time I did get to 7th grade, I was so bored out of my mind, I didn't really care anymore, but still held a B average.
I did pull it back up to mostly As in 8th grade in order to get into the brand new High School in their first ever class.
Again their unwritten rules blew me out of the water. A foreign language was a requirement, so I opted for German.
They would not let me take German, due to the fact my family was from Germany, and they figured I already knew German, so the only other two available that first year was Spanish and French.
Well, what the school did not know was that the particular area my family was from was French speaking, hi hi.
Although it didn't help because they never spoke French, and most of our employees at the time were all German speaking.
So, I flunked out of French, which meant I couldn't go back to that school. No biggie, I switched to public schools.

Whatever the Nuns and Brothers were paid, the Assn't Pastor (sometimes referred to as a Deacon) got ten bucks more, and the Pastor got 20 bucks more.
They were actually paid by Rank. So if your Pastor happened to be a Bishop he got 20 more than a Priest.
FWIW: They ALL pay into the Social Security System because they do get a Salary, and they also pay Income Taxes on their individual earnings. I know this because my uncle was a CPA for the church and did their Income Taxes for each person, nuns, brothers, priests, and downtown for the bishop, archbishop, and cardinal.
He did not handled the taxes for individual churches, but he did for the archdiocese.
Nearly every Catholic Church has UNRELATED business income they must pay tax on.
And probably most other churches as well.
There are some caveats and loopholes involved in something like a bake sale to raise funds for the church.
If the cakes are donated and resold, the income is considered a donation.
However, if the church uses its facilities to bake the cakes, then it is considered a business operation separate from the normal church activities and therefore income from the sale of the goods is taxable.
Even if all the workers were volunteers. I know this from the annual potato pancake supper at the Lutheran Church we dined at every year, because they published a full report on the supper a couple of months after it took place.
There was a gimmick behind them doing so though. They suggested donations to help for the added expense to the church for the supper. In between the lines it meant, help us recover the taxes we paid via donations which are tax exempt, hi hi.

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Re: Colossal Danger

Post by yogi » 30 Nov 2019, 15:13

I didn't realize until I was done with school for many decades that the salary paid to the nuns and priests was taxable. A CPA friend of mine enlightened me one day when I told him I was going to become a minister so that I could avoid paying income taxes. LOL

My birthday is in November and the cutoff birthdate for enrollment was December 1st. That put me at the young end of the scale for all the students in my class. I never thought about it until I got to college and had a hell of a time keeping up with the other freshmen. Apparently I was always a year too young to be in the grade I was in and that affected my learning ability.

After the parochial primary school I went to a public high school. I insisted on it even though it was nearly an hour's bus drive and I could walk to the Catholic high school. By the time I graduated 8th grade I had it up to my temples with religion and could not take four more years of indoctrination. The University of Illinois had a campus downtown Chicago and was dirt cheap. That was basically the reason I chose to go there. The BS program required a language and only the three standard ones were offered: French, Spanish, and German. I took German 101 three semesters before I got a passing grade. Unlike English the nouns have gender and that gender is designated by the article associated with it, der, die, or das. Well, I figured that was unimportant and learned the nouns but not the gender defining articles. By the time I corrected my initial shortcoming and had a working vocabulary that would get me a passing grade my overall GPA was not good enough for me to return. My second choice of study was business administration, but my GPA was too low for me to switch.

Mom never made it to high school and dad only finished high school before he entered the work force. They didn't know much about college and I didn't get any counseling ahead of time. It was just the right thing to do after high school, so I did it. If I knew then what I know now, you would be chatting with a genius right now. :lol:

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Re: Colossal Danger

Post by Kellemora » 01 Dec 2019, 10:10

ALL personal income is taxable, no matter who you are, hi hi.

This alone is one good reason to form a business, and become an LLC, if you can generate business income somehow.

If you have an office in your home, you do not want to declare it as a business expense for a tax deduction, because doing so will lower the basis of your home, and you'll end up owing more in taxes than what you saved.

You MUST pay income tax on rental income if you do rent a room to use as an office, but not declare it as a business.
However, there is a trick involved here, which I know works for a detached building such as a garage or free-standing storage sheds, because it is how my tax attorney set mine up for me.

As the owner of our house, land, and all structures on it, any passive income is taxable.
However, there are ways in which to rent at one price to the owner, and the rentee rerent to another party.
Why would you do it this way? If you are a senior you are limited to a specific amount of total income.
So, you would rent for example one bay of your garage to a company A to store a car for example.
They only pay you 5 to 50 bucks a month rent, closer to 5 or 10 bucks so the owner does not earn too much in one year.
Company A, then turns around and rents that bay to your company B for 150 bucks a month.
Company B then gets a rental deduction from their taxes to help offset their sales income.
Company A on the other hand now has a high income with little to no deductions they can take.
However, company A can use that income to Improve their rental space. (This is no different than a restaurant renting a building and putting a million dollars into interior renovations), perfectly legal. And all of the renovations can be left in place when they leave, or they can tear it all out.
The idea here is to burn up all the rental income in expenses, except for the rent they pay to the building owner, which is so cheap it doesn't affect their income enough to be taxed.

Although, since I am now over 70 years old, things have changed, and the middle company A was eliminated.
Company B pays rental to the owner directly through AKA names that were once the company A name.
The owner still has to show the income on their income taxes as passive income, to keep it all legal, and keep the rent down so they don't go over their passive income limit, since they don't have enough expenses to use the long tax form.

There is one other trick that works great to. You do not pay taxes on the payments for Principal on a loan, only on the interest charged on that loan.
Starting a business normally requires a good amount of cash out of your pocket.
Rather than using it as start up capital, or owners equity investment.
It is actually better to make a long term loan to the company.
You can choose to charge interest, provided you want to pay income tax on that interest.
I charged 12%, which is 1% per month, before I retired. And paid the income tax on it.
However, after I retired, although I could still earn a certain amount as interest income.
I stopped charging interest and only had the company begin paying down the principal.
You do not pay income tax on the return of principal, you already did that when you earned it.
Hopefully your company makes enough money to pay back the principal in nice little amounts that can help you out.

I do not hold a degree in anything. However, I do have about 18 years of college and seminars under my belt.
I saved a ton of money by taking the college classes I needed as an auditor.
Roughly for ever 1300 dollars a student had to pay, I only had to pay 13 to 15 dollars, and not have to have any of the pre-requisite classes. The only drawback to going as an auditor is you can not actually participate in the class, ask questions, or talk to the teacher, you get no grades and naturally no diploma.
This worked for me because I could take only those classes I needed to take to learn something specific I did not know, usually something related to my work or businesses. And I could skip over the things being taught that were not relevant to what I needed to learn for myself.

We are all geniuses at something or sometimes many things.
You don't need a piece of paper saying so!
In fact, most of those with that fancy piece of paper and huge debt, don't have the sense God gave a goose.

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Re: Colossal Danger

Post by yogi » 01 Dec 2019, 13:56

A lot of folks are using LLC's to their financial benefit. My understanding is that you don't earn the profits personally when you operate an LLC, but the corporation may or may not give you a salary. I read someplace that this is the strategy to use if you should happen to win the lottery. Putting all that money into an LLC insulates you personally from any liabilities that would otherwise drain your bank account. The company is not you, even though you may own it and run it. Of course the company has it's own problems, but in the case of the lottery it's only a holding company and pretty much insulated from the rest of the world. All that is too complicated for me. Besides, I am confident I'll never win the lotto. :mrgreen:

18 years of college class auditing and no degree would be fatal if you were not operating your own business. It's the degree that gets you the interview in most cases, but since you are the company for which you work that's all irrelevant. The cost of a degree, and then some, is easily earned back over one's working career assuming you didn't use student loans to get it. LOL
Last edited by yogi on 02 Dec 2019, 14:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Colossal Danger

Post by Kellemora » 02 Dec 2019, 10:46

I was raised with expectations of taking over the family business or at least one division of it.
Like most folks who came to this country, we all were gardeners to supply our families needs, and many became farmers raising crops for sale to make money. Although in the early years, most farmers had a variety of crops to supply the local markets. But as time marched on, they began to diversify and specialize in only a few crops, which was beneficial for all area farmers during that era of poor transportation.
Toward his goal, my great-great grandfather kept buying land in order to raise more crops.
Then along came my great-grandfather, who favored orchards, so he used about 1/3 of the farmland to establish orchards.
When he got married, his wife took a part of their family gardening area to raise flowers.
Great-grandfather died at a young age, gored by a bull. This left his wife to care for the farm, which was almost too much for her, so she sold off some frontage for commercial interests. Plus they had built a massive produce market.
My grandfather loved flowers also and as he got older he took over one end of the market to sell flowers and began building more greenhouses. In 1913 he changed the sign between the pillars beside the road from "The Wayside Market" to "The Wayside Florist" and they began making flower arrangements, mostly for funeral homes.
This business grew so large that we employed over 250 people.
When my grandfather died, the business was split between the four surviving sons, each getting a specific division of the company to take care of, which was based on what they like to do best, sorta. Clarence got the retail and wholesale greenhouses and plants. Leonard was the cut flower grower and got greenhouses and that division. Dad got the Cut Flower Shop which at that time was in the basement of grandfathers house, but with plans to build a new building as the cut flower shop, which did come to pass right away. Then there was uncle Louis, the wheeler dealer, who for years before grandfather died only sold our products to the various marketplaces and cut flower and plants to wholesale row and other large accounts. After grandfather died, he wanted out of the business entirely and sued his brothers to get his share of the inheritance in cash, which was very hard for the brothers to come up with. All the girls got the land north of the florist which was subdivided for them, and a free new house. The lots they didn't live on would be sold to a builder to build homes and they would share in those profits as their main inheritance, and they would not get a part of the florist. And although they made much more than the boys in this deal, they still turned around ten years later after the florist became even more successful for a share of those profits, and won.
What was instilled in us from birth forward, was that we were required to take over the division of the family business that our father's maintained. However, our parents lived a whole lot longer than our grandparents ever did, so we were all much older than when our parents took over the business.
As an aside, growing up in a family business meant we had to learn every phase of the business and we were not allowed to work in the part of the business controlled by our parent, until we worked each division for a year or longer, whenever that uncle or supervisor thought we knew enough to handle it on our own.
After we got home from the service during the Vietnam era, each of us kids did eventually become the Manager of our parents departments. Our parents did not step down, but handled the business end of the business, my dad was the accountant, Clarence greenhouse inventory, potted crops, and sales, and Leonard, he just took care of growing and deciding what to grow when for the cut flower shop. George became manager of the Greenhouses, and I became Manager of the Cut Flower shop, but Leonard's son moved on up in the Air Force, and his second in line son was highly allergic to flowers, hi hi.
You might find this hard to believe, but the first greenhouses my great-grandfather built after grandfather got involved were all hydroponic greenhouses, some 20 year before the word was coined by Dr. Gerrick.
Being a family history buff, I fell in love with hydroponics, and using one of our greenhouses as my experimental area, over the length of about 18 years, I developed the perfect hydroculture system and began selling those types of tropical plants.
Which brings us back to my taking classes in college as an auditor.
Although my normal duties in the florist business required I continually attend seminars for our industry. The entire time I was developing my hydroculture system, I had to learn about a diversity of things. In order to learn about things I had no idea about, such as refractory insulation, plastic formulations, red line glass, chemistry, etc. In order to do what I wanted to do, I had to learn everything I could about each of those fields.
And I''m not bragging here by saying, I had to do what I was taught was impossible to do. Which honestly, this is what gave me the drive to prove it could be done. I knew there had to be a way to do the impossible. For example, make a plastic rod that emulated red line glass properties. I succeeded as much as need be for the purpose I needed it for, and got a patent for it. Once my system was perfected, and we knew the family business would be closing is when I moved on to a large 3-story building downtown for my hydroculture system.
However, as Manager of the Cut Flower Shop, it was already written in the combined family will for those in the florist business, that their eldest son, or appointee would take over the division of their parent. So we all knew ahead of time what our destiny was going to be. I would become the Boss of the Cut Flower Shop.
There were other things that took place and added to the Will about a decade later, and that was the property itself would be divided up, and the business separated into individual businesses. I would become the sole owner of the Cut Flower shop building and land, which would include grandma's house where I was living at the time this was drawn up, and the property west of grandma's house that was in front of the greenhouses, but not that which was in front of Clarence's house, as he would get that. Clarence would get all the greenhouses and land they stood on, but only to 25 feet north of the last of what we called the new greenhouse. There was a newer greenhouse than that which started about 50 feet north of the new greenhouse. This and all the land leading to the subdivision would go to Leonard.
So as you see, everything was all cut n dried, and my fate determined for me.
Fast forward another ten years, and with all the problems now happening in our city after it went public. The fact the new administration was putting one greenhouse of out business after another, with exorbitant taxes and new laws.
The owners got together and decided to shut down and sell off the property, which also included the home I was living in.
At least I had a business I could build downtown, and a fiance I could move in with, which eased some of this sudden burden. I didn't have much time to get a building set up to move my hydroculture stuff too. But I managed.
Since I technically never worked for anyone else, except for my first few years out of high school, and even then I was still working at the florist part-time as well, especially around the holidays. There was no reason for me to strive for a college degree, when I already was working as, and considered an engineer at my last place of employment before going back to the flower shop full-time after my dad's first heart attack.

As far as LLC's go, there really is not much more work than you are doing now handling your own household expenses.
I never heard about using an LLC for the lottery angle before though, so that is interesting.
A lottery winner still has to pay all the taxes on the winnings, regardless of what they do with it after they get it.
But even if they do invest all they have left in an LLC, I don't really see how it will benefit them much. Especially against a personal liability lawsuit, or any other lawsuit for that matter.
An LLC only shields your personal assets from a lawsuit against the LLC itself.
If you are sued personally, your holdings in the LLC as an Investment are still your personal holdings.
That being said, my LLC is also a holding company. What that means is the LLC owns or holds the assets of other businesses. If one of those businesses are sued for some reason, they can go after the amount invested by those other businesses in the LLC, which only the LLC is what is technically protected.
However, in my case, I have a series LLC, so each of those companies is protected by a detached LLC umbrella.
And I hate to say this, but getting a salary or taking a draw from an LLC, which is only a draw on your own investment into the LLC, I'm pretty sure will break the LLC's protection of your personal assets due to co-mingling of funds.

OK, this got much longer than I expected. I hope it didn't burn out your eyeballs reading it all.
I just type too fast to realize how many words I spew in such a short time.

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Re: Colossal Danger

Post by yogi » 02 Dec 2019, 15:45

While doing research for the day I win the Power Ball Lottery I ran across an article telling about the mistakes made by the typical big winners of the lotto. More often than not the winners have no experience handling large sums of money and frankly have no plan for what to do with it. Thus they blow it all quickly and are back to being a pauper and are generally worse off than they were before they won all that cash.

While I never had a lot of resources to invest, I think I know how to preserve enough of that Power Ball winning to hold me over to my grave. But there are subtleties I never thought about until I did a little reading. The first bit of advice is to keep quit. Don't tell anybody about your good fortune other than your spouse who is going to get half of it regardless. Then, before you run over to the Lotto office to collect your check, make a plan. Get some legal and financial advice so that when you have that truckload of $100 bills in your garage you will know what to do with it. Of course sticking to the plan is the hard part, but have something sound in mind first. Then it is time to cash in your ticket. Once you do that then your good fortune becomes public knowledge. That's when you REALLY need to be careful.

When you are poor nobody bothers you for a loan. You don't get approached by con men with brilliant investment opportunities. Your sister's friend who has some terminal disease as a result of the mosquito bites she acquired on her last camping trip won't be begging you for help to pay off the massive medical bills she has accumulated. But, once it becomes known that you have bucks to burn, you suddenly have friends in need who you never even knew were your friends. Those folks are easy enough to put off even if you need to be rude while you do it. But there also are some pretty shrewd operators who will suddenly have grounds to be suing you, because, well, just because you won't miss a few million out of that truckload in your garage. Those kind of leaches are more difficult to fend off, and that is where the conept of the LLC came up.

I don't remember all the details, and the ones I do recall may not be accurate, but I do know the idea behind it. The thing to do is to isolate yourself from that bundle of good fortune so that there is nothing of significance that can be taken from you. I do believe the LLC would not be yours, but you would finance it's creation initially. You might have a position on the board of directors and be paid for your services. The board of directors, who happen to be your closest relatives and cohorts, would determine your salary. But maybe you decide to work for free. No problem. Those same board members would be the ones who decide if you get that loan to buy the 40ft yacht you had your eye on. They know you will pay them back some day, but no need to rush. And, of course, if you own stocks in the company those certificates would be your property, but if the board of directors suddenly declared a dividend that happens to be the exact price of that yellow Ferrari you always wanted ... well there you go. Yes, you might be sued for the value of the stocks and the car, but that's not the same as losing the whole bundle.

My plan is to put half of the winnings into a fixed income investment. That should pay the bills, or at a minimum be a guideline for how much I am allowed to spend each year. The other half is my mad money. If I blow it all in one shot at the crap tables in Vegas, that's it. I'm done. The fixed investment is probably a trust fund I can't touch anyway. I'd like to spend it all before I die, but since I don't know my departure date some caution will be necessary. I also thought about something that I don't hear about with other winners. All these big bucks belong to the people who bought lotto tickets and did not win. In other words it's not anything I actually earned. Thus I would feel at least a small obligation to return some of it to people who might be in need. I was always inspired by that TV show The Millionaire and John Beresford Tipton, Jr.. It would be nice if I could anonymously enrich somebody's life just because they need it. Well, I know that show pointed out how stupid people can be when that kind of thing happens, but still. I'd want to share some of that cash with others.

Speaking of going off on a tangent, I guess you are not the only one. LOL

You and I do not agree on everything, but I do sincerely enjoy reading all you have to write. It's always entertaining if not informative and inspiring. If your fingers don't fall off putting it on this bulletin board, then please feel free to contribute all you care to. If you don't, no one else will.

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Re: Colossal Danger

Post by Kellemora » 03 Dec 2019, 11:42

It all sounds good on the surface Yogi - But I did a little checking. Suppose you do win the Lottery. Yes you can put it into an LLC, even a Family LLC, however, the maximum per year you can stick into the LLC out of your personal assets is only 11.4 million, which is supposed to go up to around 15 million soon.
You also cannot give out more than 30,000, and a lifetime amount of 10 million.

I also checked to see if the LLC could have purchased the Lottery Ticket, this really gets sticky.
Only three states allow total anonymity, six allow a trust or LLC to accept the cash AND the tax burden.
All the rest of the states you have to accept it as a person first, pay the taxes, then let an LLC hold the asset.

I don't buy lottery tickets so will never have to worry about winning big, hi hi.

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