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Contact: kimsch *at* thisdomain


April 2014
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Paycheck Fairness

Equal pay has been the law for 51 years. This one is supposed to allow people to ask how much other people get paid. And sue if the employee found she were making less than another employee. If I were working now and anyone asked how much I made, I’d tell them, “It’s none of your d@mn business.” There are so very many reasons why Employee A might be being paid less than Employee B when they’re doing the same job on paper.

What makes it different is different people, with different skills, different interests, different ambitions… And that applies to anyone regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, what-have-you. Even two people doing the exact same job on paper will do it differently and may garner different compensation. Employee A and Employee B have been on the job for the same amount of time. They have the same experience. They started at the same rate. But Employee A does the very minimum required. Employee A clocks in and out exactly on time every day. Employee A never volunteers for special projects. Employee A grumbles whenever asked to do something that isn’t in the job description. Employee B shows initiative. Employee B asks for training in other aspects of the job. Employee B volunteers for special projects and doesn’t mind covering for another employee out sick or on vacation. Employee will stay a few minutes late to get the job done instead of leaving it until the morning. Employee A doesn’t deserve a pay cut, but there should be no issue with giving Employee B a raise. Or giving an annual increase at the bottom of the range to Employee A, and giving an increase at the top of the range to Employee B.

The above is the same regardless of race, sex, religion, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, or whatever “protected” status one might fall into. What I hate is when people are “protected” and then behave like Employee A above, because they can. Then, if there’s any adverse action to the employee, the employee can sue and say it’s due to his or her protected status. All the costs to defend are on the Employer. Even if the adverse action (no raise/promotion, less of a raise, whatever) had no connection to the status, but to the actions (or non-actions) of the employee.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

gaelicpatsI have a corned beef in the crock pot. And yes, corned beef and cabbage is an American Irish tradition, not an Irish Irish tradition. It’s still very, very good.

I have Guinness, Harp, and Southwick red in the house and ready to go. And a wee dram of Jameson’s as well.

We celebrate our Irish heritage in our house.

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Time to Spring Ahead!

It’s time to Spring Ahead! Daylight Saving Time is once again upon us. Time to lose an hour’s sleep! At 2 am it’s time to set the clocks ahead to 3 am. Or, just set your clocks ahead before you go to sleep if you don’t want to stay up so late.

Personally I think Daylight Saving Time is a waste of time and money. So many adjustments to be made. Television and radio schedules all eff’d up, people show up late to things because they hadn’t reset their clocks. Finding that one clock you didn’t set months later…

Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time

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International Eat A Tasty Animal for PETA Day Facebook Page

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Groundhog Day 2014

groundhogPeacock
It’s a beautiful sunny day out there today. Lots of snow on the ground and more predicted in the next week and beyond.

The official Groundhog in Pennsylvania saw his shadow. Six more weeks of winter.

Well, since the first day of spring this year is March 20, and that is 46 days, or six weeks and four days. So it’s pretty much ALWAYS another six weeks of winter. Every year.

Happy Groundhog Day! We’re halfway done with Winter!

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The Mark of the Dragonfly

I just finished reading The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson.

Mark of the Dragonfly Cover

Mark of the Dragonfly

Piper lives in one of many scrapping towns that skirt the edge of a meteor field. Once a month or so the barrier between worlds thins a bit and the meteors hit. These meteors aren’t your standard meteors, made up of space rocks and metals, these contain items from other worlds. The people in the towns go out to salvage what they can from the fields after each fall.

Piper’s mother died when she was younger, and her father died more recently leaving Piper to fend for herself. She has a knack for mechanical things and is able to fix things.

Piper goes out to save a friend and finds another as well. Anna has the Dragonfly mark tattooed on her arm, she is a relative to, or protected by, the King of the Dragonfly Territories. When a strange man that Piper doesn’t trust comes after Anna, Piper decides to take Anna to the Territories to get her back where she belongs.

The only way out of town is on the 401, a steam train taking cargo from the Merrow Kingdom to the Dragonfly Territories.

Much of the story takes place on the journey. Piper learns things about Anna and herself and the crew of the 401.

I very much liked the story and the characters, and I’d like to read more about them.

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Did You Know? Eggs

Did you ever have a recipe that called for more egg whites than egg yolks, or more egg yolks than egg whites? Did you know that you can freeze the leftovers rather than waste them?eggyolk in shell

You can freeze them in zipper bags. Snack size bags work great. If freezing more than one, be sure to mark the bag with the number of yolks or whites. Just thaw and use as you would normally.

Someone I know recently went shopping, and the eggs were left in the car (kids didn’t look for all the groceries :)). She found the eggs the next day, frozen solid with cracked shells.

They’re still good. Bring them in, peel immediately to avoid pieces of shell, and put into snack sized zipper bags, one for each egg. Let them thaw and use normally.

You can also store them scrambled, with additions if you wish. Chop up some ham, onion, and sweet peppers. Mix with two or three scrambled eggs, and freeze. You have a ready prepared Denver Omelet. Defrost and cook without having to get out the cutting board.

You can chop up a whole onion and a whole pepper and divide among several omelet pre-packs. You can even add shredded cheese to the mix.

Have fun with your eggs!

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Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

By Karen Foxlee
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Eleven year old Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard  lost her mother exactly three months, seven days, and nine hours ago. Her father has brought Ophelia and her older sister Alice with him while he prepares an exhibit of swords in a museum in a town where it always snows.

There are only three days to prepare the exhibit for its opening on Christmas Eve.

Wandering through the museum, Ophelia finds The Marvelous Boy and finds out that she only has three days to save him, and the world!

This is a really fun read.  It would be fun to read with your child, discussing as you go.

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Did You Know? Milk

Did you know you can freeze milk?

Did you ever have to buy buttermilk for a recipe use only 2/3 of a cup and have the rest leftover? Sometimes you can make a couple of things that use buttermilk at the same time, but generally there’s some leftover. You hate to throw it out and waste it.

Well you can freeze it. I pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze. Once frozen you can pop them out and put them in a zipper bag and back into the freezer. Each compartment can hold at least an ounce (2 tablespoons) and maybe 2 ounces (4 tablespoons).
milk

When you need some for a recipe, pull out the requisite number of buttermilk cubes and let them defrost in a bowl or a small mason jar. Then just stir or shake to reincorporate it (it separates into fats and waters).

You can do this with milk, cream, and half and half as well. You can also freeze butter. I buy a bunch when it’s on sale and freeze the entire package. Freezing butter before you make biscuits or pie crusts that call for cold butter results in a much flakier end product.

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