A Lesson in Neutrality – Switzerland

Check out this very interesting video about the “culture of bunkers” in Switzerland.  The journalist, Johnny Harris, goes into the history, the passion, and the current position of Switzerland as a neutral nation – and how bunkers have become an integral part of Swiss culture.  Grab a coffee and dig in.

Just Say No – To Plastic

Single-use plastic is one of the biggest contributors to landfills and trash pollution.  [National Geographic:  Great  Pacific Garbage Patch].  We’ve all heard of “microplastics” by now [NOAA:  What are Microplastics?], and plastics can be found in measurable amounts in US waterways and water-sourced foods [USGS: Microplastics in Our Nation’s Waterways].

I could go on with the citations, but you get the idea, and this is probably not news to you.

What can you do about it?  Start making a habit of avoiding plastic.

Avoid:  Plastic bags for purchases, plastic containers for take out (or “doggy bags”), overly-packaged items (always encased in plastic).

Biggest thing to avoid?  Plastic drink containers, especially water bottles. [Earth 911:  Who are the Biggest Plastic Polluters 2021].


While corporations (see above image) are by far the largest polluters, individuals can help to move the needle toward conservation and reduction of pollution by taking consistent action to avoid contributing to the problem, and encouraging others to join in.

TrashBlitz Austin used volunteers to collect and count trash to come up with a way to reduce the use of plastic in the city of Austin.   70% of the trash picked up consisted of single-use plastic items.  One of the outcomes of this effort was the Austin Reuse Coalition with a focus on helping restaurants reduce the use of plastic.

Please do your part to reduce use of plastic, and encourage others to do so, also.  If everyone eliminated plastic bottles and plastic bags from their lives, there would be an immediate and visible reduction in pollution.  It has to start somewhere – let it start with us.




Scam Alert – IRS Scam Calls and Texts are on the Rise

I received a text message from the IRS this week, “threatening” to levy against my assets if I did not call a number immediately.  Of course, it was a scam – my phone flagged it – but I also routinely get voice messages on my landline threatening the same thing, including repeated threats of arrest if I don’t call back right away.

If you owe money to the IRS, your first encounter will not be a phone call or text message.  It will be a letter explaining what the IRS thinks you have done and telling you how to respond.

Never give out personal information or financial information over the phone.  If someone demands payment “right now,” tell them so send you a letter (but don’t give out your address), and you will give it to your attorney to handle.

Call your attorney or tax preparer if you have any questions.  Sometimes it’s legit – but phone calls and text messages demanding payment are SCAMS.