pen rainbow

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunday—Oscars 2016

This year's winners

2016 Academy Awards

The best award show of the year!

And, the Oscar goes to...

Best Picture

Actor in a Leading Role
Leonardo DiCaprio
The Revenant

Actress in a Leading Role
Brie Larson

Actor in a Supporting Role
Mark Rylance
Bridge of Spies

Actress in a Supporting Role
Alicia Vikander
The Danish Girl

Alejandro G. Iñàrritu
The Revenant

Animated Feature Film
Inside Out

Emmanuel Lubezki
The Revenant

Costume Design
Jenny Beavan
Mad Max: Fury Road

Documentary Feature
Asif Kapadia & James Gay-Rees

Documentary Short Subject
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Film Editing
Margaret Sixel
Mad Max: Fury Road

Foreign Language Film
Son of Saul
Hungary; Directed by Làszló Nemes

Makeup and Hairstyling
Lesley Vanderwalt, Elke Wardega 
& Damian Martin

Music, Original Score
The Hateful Eight
by Ennio Morricone

Music, Original Song
"Writing's On The Wall" from Spectre
Music & Lyric by Jimmy Napes & Sam Smith

Production Design
Colin Gibson (Production Design) 
& Lisa Thompson (Set Decoration)

Short Film, Animated
Bear Story 
by Gabriel Osorio & Pato Escala

Short Film, Live Action
by Benjamin Cleary & Serena Armitage

Sound Editing
Mark Mangini & David White 
Mad Max: Fury Road

Sound Mixing
Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff & Ben Osmo
Mad Max: Fury Road

Visual Effects
Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, 
Mark Ardington & Sara Bennett
Ex Machina

Writing, Adapted Screenplay
Charles Randolph & Adam McKay
The Big Short

Writing, Original Screenplay
Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy

Click HERE
to watch trailers & acceptance speeches

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Saturday Finances — Berkshire Hathaway's Annual Shareholders' Meeting

"A great strategy is just to buy stocks consistently over a lifetime and not worry too much about whether they go up or down in any given month or year."  --Warren Buffet, CEO Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Times Square_NYC 2009
Photo by tjn

Last year's Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders' meeting in Omaha had over 40,000 attendees.  It is a hugely popular gathering known for its lighthearted tone and upbeat, positive vibe.  This is due largely to its 85-year old CEO, Warren Buffet.   

Excerpts from Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s (BRK.A & BRK.B2016 Annual Shareholders' Letter

27 February 2016

To the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

"Berkshire's gain in net worth during 2015 was $15.5 billion, which increased the per-share book value of both our Class A and Class B stock by 6.4%.  Over the last 51 years (that is, since present management took over), per-share book value has grown from $19 to $155,501, a rate of 19.2% compounded annually."

-- If my dad had purchased 100 shares of BRK 51 years ago at $19 per share, his 100 shares would now be worth over $15.5 million.

The Year at Berkshire

For The Environment

Berkshire Hathaway Energy (BHE)

"That company has invested $16 billion in renewables and now owns 7% of the country's wind generation and 6% of its solar generation.  Indeed, the 4,423 megawatts of wind generation owned and operated by our regulated utilities is six times the generation of the runner-up utility.

We're not done.  Last year, BHE made major commitments to the future development of renewables in support of the Paris Change Conference.  Our fulfilling those promises will make great sense, both for the environment and for Berkshire's economics."

Hands-Off Approach

"At Berkshire, we, too, crave efficiency and detest bureaucracy.  To achieve our goals, however, we follow an approach emphasizing avoidance of bloat, buying businesses such as PCC (Precision Castparts Corp.) that have long been run by cost-conscious and efficient managers.  

After the purchase, our role is simply to create an environment in which these CEOs — and their eventual successors, who typically are like-minded — can maximize both their managerial effectiveness and the pleasure they derive from their jobs.  (With this hands-off style, I am heeding a well-known Mungerism:  'If you want to guarantee yourself a lifetime of misery, be sure to marry someone with the intent of changing their behavior.'"  

-- Charlie Munger is Berkshire's Vice Chairmen & Warren Buffet's business partner. He is 92 years old.

Friendly Acquisitions Only

"Berkshire, however will join only with partners making friendly acquisitions.  To be sure, certain hostile offers are justified: Some CEOs forget that it is shareholders for whom they should be working, while other managers are woefully inept.  

In either case, directors may be blind to the problem or simply reluctant to make the change required.  That's when new faces are needed.  We, though, will leave these 'opportunities' for others.  At Berkshire, we go only where we are welcome."

An Optimistic Future

"It's an election year, and candidates can't stop speaking about our country's problems (which, of course, only they can solve).  As a result of this negative drumbeat, many Americans now believe that their children will not live as well as they themselves do.

That view is dead wrong:
The babies being born in America today are the luckiest crop in history.

Though the pie to be shared by the next generation will be far larger than today's, how it will be divided will remain fiercely contentious.  

Just as is now the case, there will be struggles for the increased output of goods and services between those people in their productive years and retirees, between the healthy and the infirm, between the inheritors and the Horatio Algers, between investors and workers and, in particular, between those with talents that are valued highly by the marketplace and the equally decent hard-working Americans who lack the skills the market prizes.

Clashes of that sort have forever been with us — and will forever continue.  Congress will be the battlefield; money and votes will be the weapons.  Lobbying will remain a growth industry.

The good news, however, is that even members of the 'losing' sides will almost certainly enjoy — as they should —  far more goods and services in the future than they have in the past.  

The quality of their increased bounty will also dramatically improve.  Nothing rivals the market system in producing what people want — nor, even more so, in delivering what people don't yet know they want.  

My parents, when young, could not envision a television set, nor did I in my 50s, think I needed a personal computer.  Both products, once people saw what they could do, quickly revolutionized their lives.  I now spend ten hours a week playing bridge online.  And, as I write this letter, 'search' is invaluable to me.  (I'm not ready for Tinder, however.)

For 240 years it's been a terrible mistake to bet against America, and now is no time to start.  

America's golden goose of commerce and innovation will continue to lay more and larger eggs.  America's social security promises will be honored and perhaps made more generous.  And, yes, America's kids will live far better than their parents did."

Click HERE to read the BRK shareholders' letter in its entirety.

read • learn • prosper

Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday Photoshop—Lesson #1 Top Down Story Telling

Lesson #1, Be Still, One Year Wiser _by Kim Klassen_online still life photography tutorial  

Top Down Story Telling Photos

kk Lightroom Presets Free Sampler_Photo by tin
Free font:

kk Lightroom Presets Free Sampler_Photo by tin
Free font by Billy Argel_Santos

kk Lightroom Presets Free Sampler_Photo by tjn
learn • create • thrive

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wednesday—Good4U Good4 The Home: Cherry Tomato Hearts

From DaveHax on YouTube

tomato hearts

Saying "i love you" in a salad

step 1: Cut off the top (stem-end) of a 
grape cherry tomato.  Cut on an angle
1/3 top, 2/3 bottom.

Slice the stem end off of the tomato.  It's important to slice it on an angle.
You will use only the bottom section.

step 2: Discard the stem end.  Flip the bottom part on its flat side & cut evenly in half.  

Slice the bottom section evenly in half.

step 3:  Turn each half around so that the fat ends are at the top facing each other & the pointed ends meet at the bottom.

Pointed ends down, fat ends together at the top.

step 4:  Push the 2 sides together & secure with a pointed toothpick (this is the arrow)

You can also make a rounded tomato heart by using 2 tomatoes,
cutting off the tops as before, & simply sticking the 2 bottom pieces together
to form the shape of a heart.  

This will work with regular-sized plum tomatoes, as well.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tuesday's Cupboard—Turkey Picadillo

Layers of traditional Cuban seasonings & natural spicy flavors will make you want to go back for seconds _From Weight Watchers Magazine_Jan/Febr 2016

turkey picadillo

I used whole small green olives instead of sliced larger olives
with a side of mixed exotic rice

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 red + 1 orange/yellow + 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium mild fresh chili pepper, chopped 
  • 4 tsp. jarred chopped garlic in H20 (or 4 chopped fresh garlic cloves)
  • 1.25 lbs. lean ground turkey (7% or less)
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced Italian-style tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 8 pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced
  • 1/4 c. raisins
  • 2 T. white wine vinegar
Optional toppings:  chopped fresh avocado, fresh salsa, fresh cilantro, chipotle sauce

make it!
  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add onions, bell peppers & chili pepper.  Cook stirring occasionally until veggies are softened, 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add ground turkey & cook, breaking up the meat until no longer pink, about 10 minutes.  
  4. Stir in tomatoes, bay leaf, oregano, cumin, salt, cinnamon & cloves.  Cover (with a tiny bit of ventilation) & reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add sliced green olives & raisins.  Cook, covered until the mixture thickens slightly & raisins are plumped up, 5-10 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat & discard bay leaf.
  7. Add wine vinegar, stir to combine & serve with toppings, if desired.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Monday—Marriage Humor

Have a fun week!

marriage humor

The beach in kauai_photo by tin

"Marriage is a wonderful institution...
but who wants to live in an institution?"
-- Groucho Marx

"I didn't find out what happiness means until I got married...and then it was too late."
-- Anonymous

"Marriage has no guarantees.  If that's what you're looking for, go live with a car battery."
-- Erma Bombeck

"Teach him to fight fair during arguments.  I hate nasty little things like when Fang says, 'Well then, it's just my word 
against your 2,000."
-- Phyllis Diller

"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person."
-- Mignon McLaughlin

"I don't think my wife likes me very much.
When I had a heart attack, she wrote
for an ambulance."
-- Frank Carson

"Married men live longer than single men.
But, married men are a lot 
more willing to die."
-- Johnny Carson

"Marriage is nature's way of keeping us from fighting with strangers."
-- Alan King

"I tended to place my wife under a pedestal."
-- Woody Allen 

"My wife met me at the door the other night in a sexy négligée.  Unfortunately, she was just coming home."
-- Rodney Dangerfield

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday—February Celebrations

Every day celebrations through the end of this month

fun february days

February 2016

Click HERE to see all of this month's daily celebrations

American Heart Association Month
An Affair to Remember Month
Black History Month
Canned Food Month
Great American Pie Month
National Cherry Month
National Children's Dental Health Month
National Grapefruit Month
National Weddings Month

Monday, February 22
  • George Washington's Birthday
  • Be Humble Day
  • Walk the Dog Day
  • International World Thinking Day

Tuesday, February 23
  • International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day
  • Tennis Day

Wednesday, February 24

  • National Tortilla Chip Day

Thursday, February 25
  • Pistol Patent Day

Friday, February 26
  • Carnival Day
  • National Pistachio Day
  • Tell A Fairy Tale Day

Saturday, February 27
  • Polar Bear Day
  • No Brainer Day

Sunday, February 28
  • Floral Design Day
  • Oscar Awards
  • Public Speaking Day
  • National Tooth Fairy Day (also on August 22)

Monday, February 29
  • Leap Day!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Saturday Finances—5 Things to Review Annually

I'm no expert.  I'm just paying attention.  

Financial Spring Housecleaning

Clean up your finances!

Review your finances once a year.

1.  Check your investments.  

Start with a list.  What are you investments & where are they? 

Make a list of all of your investments & where the accounts are located (which bank, brokerage or savings firm).  

Consider consolidating your accounts under one roof.  Finances are easier to keep track of when you can see them all in one place.

If you have managed investments, check in with your account manager(s).  Pay attention to what they've done with your money.  Check their fees.

Is each account doing what is it supposed to do?  

Which accounts are designed for long-term savings (e.g. IRAs, 401(k)s, college trust funds, old workplace funds) and which are designed for short-term (still-supporting-my-adult-children fund, vacation fund, etc.)? 

Check the diversification mix of your investment portfolio.  A properly balanced portfolio helps manage risk.  Adjust holdings to suit your target level of risk and financial need.

2. Check tax efficiency.

Fidelity:  "Put tax efficient investments which generate taxable income—like taxable bonds and real estate investment trusts—in tax-deferred accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs.  For those investments which are more tax efficient—like stocks and ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) held for more than a year—place them in taxable accounts."  

3.  Check your insurance. 

Make a list of all of the types of insurance you have.  Review your costs & benefits.  If you reduce life insurance, think about increasing your health insurance coverage to include more types of coverage (e.g. dental, eye exams, etc.).  If it's appropriate, think about long-term care insurance.  

4.  Review your estate plan.
  • Make sure that key individuals know where to find your important documents.
  • Update the attorney contact info so that your loved ones know who to contact if you croak.
  • Update all of your passwords & keep a hard copy with your trust or will.
  • Update beneficiaries for insurance plans, bank accounts and brokerage accounts.  This is very important, and it can be done easily online.
  • Update your safe deposit box.  Make sure that the person you are leaving in charge of your estate is a co-owner, is signed into the log, and has one of the (2) owner keys. 
  • Update your health care proxy & Power of Attorney documents.  Make sure that the contact info is current.
  • Talk to your executor or successor trustee & inform him or her of any changes.  If you move the location of your documents, tell your successor where everything is.

5.  Evaluate your long-term goals.

Think about your financial future.  How will caring for yourself and others affect your financial future?
  • Review your goals.  
  • Be realistic.      
  • College savings — It's a nice idea, but don't count on every kid going to college.  If you start a college fund for one of your little geniuses, keep ownership of the account in your name only.  Despite the tax benefit of a college trust fund, they may not be college bound, and your money may be needed elsewhere.
  • Put your money to work.  Start small & work your way up.
  • Use online tools for planning & guidance.   

be • a • good • money • manager

Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday Photoshop—Topaz Clarity

French Kiss Collections tutorial using Topaz Clarity


Daffodil picked from my front sidewalk today
Freebie Urban texture & vintage stamps by Leslie Nicole_French Kiss Collections
Topaz Clarity + Photoshop CC


Petunias from the Kanapaha Botanical Garden in Gainesville, Florida
Freebie MorningDew texture & vintage stamp by Leslie Nicole_French Kiss Collections
Topaz Clarity + Photoshop CC

Before & After Texture Tutorial: Botanical Iris

Member subscription for free downloads

French Kiss Collections

Topaz Labs Clarity Photoshop Plug-in

Topaz Labs free webinars

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wednesday—Good 4U Good 4The Home: Tea Tree Oil

Something new for 2016_Switching from expensive commercial brand cleaners to DIY

Spring Cleaning Time!

Tea Tree oil & eyedropper from Whole Foods
$10 on sale for the oil_$2.99 for the blue glass eyedropper

DIY Green Cleaning

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil:  Tea tree oil is a natural fungicide and can help disinfect surfaces.  It has a pleasant odor somewhat like eucalyptus, but not as strong.  

Tea tree oil is toxic if ingested at full strength, so be sure to dilute it.  Safe for kids & pets when used as directed.  It's always a good idea to use household rubber gloves when cleaning.

Use clean, new bottles so that you don't mix residue from previously used chemicals. 

Tea Tree Oil Recipe #1:  Mold remover  
  • Spray bottle 
  • 2 tsp. tea tree oil
  • 2 cups of water
Good for removing mold in the bathroom.  Spray on & leave.

Tea Tree Oil Recipe #2:  All-purpose cleaner  

  • Spray bottle
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 20 drops tea tree oil
  • 20 drops lemon oil
Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle.  Shake well.  Spray on surface & wipe clean.  Store indefinitely in a cool, dark place.  Shake well before each use.

from TODAY Home    

Tea Tree Oil Recipe #3:  Bath, sink & tile cleaner
  • Squirt bottle (not a spray bottle)
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Dr. Bronner's castile soap
  • 2 T. white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • a few drops of tea tree oil
This has a thick consistency, so you want to mix it in a squirt bottle.  Watch for a bubbly reaction when the baking soda & vinegar combine.  Apply, scrub & rinse.  

from macheesmo

Tea Tree Oil Recipe #4:  Antibacterial spray  
  • Spray bottle
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 15 drops of tea tree or lavender essential oil
Shake well to combine.  Spray area & let air-dry.     

from popsugar    

Tea Tree Oil Recipe #5:  Toilet Bowl Cleaner

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 10 drops tea tree oil
  • 1/4 c. white vinegar
Mix in the toilet bowl.  Scrub after baking soda & vinegar have finished foaming.  Flush.

Tea Tree Oil Recipe #6:  Slow Drain Unclogger
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 5 drops of tea tree oil
Once the drain has no water in it, dump baking soda into the drain, 5 drops of tea tree oil & vinegar.  Cover with drain stopper & let sit for 30 minutes.  Rinse & repeat until water runs easily.

stay • clean • & • healthy