2016 Fall October 5 Wednesday

69 degrees this morning. No walk, due to work schedule.

A lot of lightning, numerous thunderstorm warnings etc last night, but no rain. Odd how often that happens in this location.

The iPhone notifications that “rain will start at 5:25 a.m.” (or whatever) used to always be right, now they are almost never right. Maybe I have my phone set up for the wrong location!

I am attending a “Citizens Police Academy” of the city I live in. It is actually very interesting.

What surprises me is the application process and the amount of training received by Police Officers. It is very intensive, something like 800+ hours, and that is just the classroom work, not counting the field training, and and on-going training.

The application process is also extensive.

I learn a few little tidbits, for example, while you probably won’t get a ticket for going 30 mph in a 25 mph, IF you have an accident and hurt or kill someone and it is determined that you were going 30 mp hand the accident wouldn’t have happened if you had been going 25 mph, you could be charged with negligent homicide. Scary. Especially because if you go the speed limit you have a bunch on road rage drivers behind you.

Sometimes I really have my doubts about elected prosecutors trying to aggrandize their careers on the backs of such actions, making criminals of people who really probably shouldn’t be charged criminally.

In my thinking, it has gotten a lot worse in the past few years, as people become more extreme and vindictive.

It is kind of like the “private prisons” spending millions on lobbying legislatures for tougher laws providing for more prison time. It ought to be flat illegal for a company and I feel it displays a real lack of ethics on the part of the owners and managers (and the state legislatures who are basically taking money to benefit a private company).

October is the month we pick our “benefit package” for the next calendar year. it includes health, dental, life insurance etc. as well as the amounts you may want for the “flexible spending account”.

I like it, you get a certain amount of money and you choose what you want or need. In our case, the health, life and dental insurance that fit our needs are obvious

I have decided “vision insurance” simply isn’t worth it so we won’t sign up for that.

The big debate is always how much to put in our “flexible spending account”. Anything you put into the “flexible spending account” is tax deductible, actually doesn’t even count as taxable income for income tax or social security.

Figuring a 30% tax rate, the savings are good. However, like all good things, there is a catch. If you don’t spend the money in the year, you lose it. Not just the tax benefit, all of the money.

So, every year, I dither about how much to take out. So far I haven’t lost any, but this year will be close, so I really need to think about it! It has become almost a game. Fortunately there is a relatively low limit on how much you can have in the program, but money is money and I don’t like to lose it!

That’s it for now, Wednesday, October 5, 2016.

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