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Rahny Taylor's Blog


Posts from April 2013


You Spend 10 Months Of Your Life Doing This!
What's your go to topic when it comes to small talk?  Sports, current events, weather?

For me it's weather, and because we have to make SO MUCH small talk on a daily basis, we talk about weather a ton!
 
According to a new survey, the average person talks about the weather FOUR TIMES A DAY . . . for an average of eight minutes and 21 seconds.
 
So, doing the math, that means you talk about the weather for 3,047 minutes and 45 seconds per year.  That's about 127 hours . . . or more than five full days.
 
The average person in the U.S. lives to age 78.  So assuming you have 60 adult years, you spend more than 10 full months of your life talking about the weather.
 
Here are a few more findings from the survey . . .
 
People ranked weather as the top ice breaker, ahead of work, vacations, and sports.  And two-thirds of people say they actually DO find it interesting to talk about the weather.
 
The most common complaints about the weather is that it's unpredictable, it's too cold, or that it's raining.

I would have to say, I'm way above average on all of this.  I'm not proud of it, but living in the midwest we talk about this a lot more than we know!  What about you?
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What Would You Give Up Your Smartphone For?
What do you use your phone for?  

I know that sounds funny, but I realize that talking isn't the thing I do most on my phone!  

I email, text, go online, do social networking & listen to music ahead of actually talking on my phone.

That being said, it would take a good offer to get me to give up my phone.

What about you?  What would it take for you to give up your phone for awhile?

Would you give up your smartphone for the duration of your vacation if it meant you'd get a discount on the cost of your hotel room?

Apparently not many people would.

A new survey questioned adults about what they'd be willing to give up to get 25-percent off a hotel stay.

They found that 85-percent said they'd be willing to give up anything for a discount, and of them, 54-percent said they would give up alcohol.

However, just 26-percent said they would give up access to their smartphone or tablet, and just 13-percent said they'd give up their camera and the ability to document their trip. 


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You Wait Until The Possible Last Minute To Do This!
Are you headed on a vacation soon or are you one of the many that need one like yesterday?

According to a new survey on you and your vacations, HALF of us wait until the LAST POSSIBLE MINUTE to pack.  Totally, I do that... that includes 54% of men and 46% of women.
 
Check out five other results from the survey . . .
 
1.  Men take a vacation an average of once a year, and women take a vacation an average of once every 10 months.
 
2.  People with kids go on MORE vacations than people without kids.
 
3.  90% of us want more vacation days.  (Who are the 10% who don't?)
 
4.  23% of people say they get NO paid vacation from work.  And of the people who do, HALF get less than three weeks.   
 
5.  And maybe this will finally lead to the death of one of the most horrible made-up words in the English language:  STAYCATION.  57% of people say that staying home for a vacation is OVER. 
All this vacation talk makes me want one, see ya!
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The Shocking Average Prom Cost For This Year
How much did it cost you to go to Prom?

I can't remember exactly, but I'll say it wasn't as much as people are paying now days!

According to a new survey this year, it'll cost an average of $1,139!

That includes the tickets, a dress or tux, a fancy dinner, and a limo.  What ever happened to just going to the Olive Garden?!?

That's a 5% increase over last year, which makes it two years in a row that prom expenses have risen faster than inflation.   
 
Parents will cover 59% of their kids' prom expenses (that's more generous than mine were) while the kids cover the rest themselves.   
 
And families who make LESS money actually end up shelling out MORE for prom than families who are in better financial shape. 
 
Families making less than $50,000 a year will spend $1,245 on the prom, while families making more will spend about $100 less . . . $1,129. 

And single parents will spend $1,563 . . . more than DOUBLE what married couples will spend. 

I've decided Prom is becoming the teenage wedding, in terms of cost and what not.  How do you fall, are you above or below the average?
 
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You're In Charge, What Would You Choose?
How many days off do you get a year?

No matter what the number is, I think we can all agree we'd like more, so should companies give us our birthday as a PAID DAY OFF?  Don't laugh too hard, I'm not the only one thinking this.
 
In a new survey, 35% of people say the number one day they don't have off that they wish they had off is their birthday.
 
It beat out every other holiday. 

Even among people who don't get CHRISTMAS off, only 14% of them said the day they MOST wish they had off is Christmas.  That's a little shocking, but what do you think?

If you were in charge of choosing one more paid day off for all of us, what would you choose?
 
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Did your job make the best or worst list?
Do you have the career you always wanted?  If so do you think you have the best job in America?

Or maybe you're the opposite, where you might have the worst job in America!

The website CareerCast.com just released their list of 200 of the most popular jobs in the U.S., ranked from best to worst.  
 
The jobs are ranked in five categories:  Physical demands, work environment, income, stress, and hiring outlook.
 
The best job is ACTUARY.  If you've heard of that but aren't quite sure what it is, an actuary calculates financial risk, usually for insurance companies or other big businesses.  It's challenging, pays well, and good ones can have jobs for life.
 
The rest of the top 10 best jobs are biomedical engineer, software engineer, audiologist, financial planner, dental hygienist, occupational therapist, optometrist, physical therapist, and computer systems analyst.
 
The worst job in the country is . . . NEWSPAPER REPORTER.  Obviously.  The newspaper industry is dying, so their future is up in the air . . . and they don't get paid particularly well even if they DO have one of the few reporting jobs out there.
 
The 10 jobs that finished just ahead of reporter are lumberjack, enlisted military personnel, actor, oilrig worker, dairy farmer, meter reader, mail carrier, roofer, and flight attendant.
 
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The Reason Eating Out Is Better For You Now
Which do you do more... eat out or eat at home?
 
For most of my adult life I've been in the eat out category, and people always say it's bad because of cost.  Well it looks like the tables have turned if you're like me!

According to a new study, based on the way food prices have gone up in the past decade, you're not really saving money by cooking at home anymore.  Eating out costs around the same, and might even be cheaper!
 
Based on estimates from the USDA, the cost of food for a family of four has gone up 38% since 2003. 

Back then, it cost $601.50-a-month to feed a family.  Now it's up to an average of $830 on the low end and $1,257 on the high end.
  
That's anywhere from about $28 to $42 per day and you can probably eat cheaper than that at fast food.  Of course, it would be WAY less healthy than what you're cooking, but you're not saving a FORTUNE by cooking at home.
 
The study also found that if you try to make a 10-ounce ribeye steak, soup, salad, and a vegetable, it costs you $2.53 more per person than eating that exact same meal at Outback Steakhouse.
 
And if you make seafood alfredo, breadsticks, and salad, it's costs $3.79 per person more than eating that same meal at Olive Garden.  

I don't know about you, but I'm gonna go eat out now that we're talking about Olive Garden!
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A Big Boston Marathon Media Mishap!

I've been on vacation in Minnesota for the past week, but I feel like I haven't missed a thing since like you, I'm glued to the radio, TV, and other news sources following the Massachusetts manhunt.  

Unfortunately, since everyone is trying to give the most current scoop, there's been quite a bit of false information about the Boston Marathon bombing, reported every single day, but this might be the most embarrassing media mishap so far!
 
Yesterday here, the "Minneapolis Star Tribune" ran a Macy's ad for PRESSURE COOKERS right next to their Boston Marathon bombing coverage.
 
Know If you don't get the awkward irony here, a pressure cooker was used to make at least one of the two bombs at the marathon . . . just like the one in the ad from Macy's.
 
To make matters worse, the ad ran in both the print version AND the online version of the paper.

Obviously, this isn't a funny matter, and like you my thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected by this tragedy, but I guess I'm saying that I appreciate the outlets that are just trying to report accurate accounts for us, rather than the ones that are trying to break every part of the story even if they get it wrong!

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Watch Your Mouth!
Whether you're proud of it or not, the fact is everyone swears or has sworn, here's some random interesting facts about swearing for all you potty mouths!
 
1.  About 0.7% of the words we use on a daily basis are swear words.  That's about the same amount as words like "we" and "our."  I don't know about you, but a few people I work with are WAY above average!
 
2.  The average child learns a swear word before they can recite the alphabet.  This is funny to me, because I hear parents all the time that cuss non stop, yet think their kids won't!?!
 
3.  The people who swear the least are generally people who are upper-middle class . . . basically people who are "rising" in status.  Upper class people swear the most.  This is surprising to me, you?
 
4.  Swearing can help you with pain.  A study found that if you put your hand in a bucket of ice water, you can keep it there longer if you say the S-word instead of saying "Shoot."   This is NOT surprising to me!
 
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You Can Get Insurance For Your Speeding Tickets
Are you a speeder?  Have you gotten some tickets lately?  Maybe you're on the verge of going broke from paying for those tickets.

Then check this out, there's a company called TicketsBite that offers you insurance against your SPEEDING TICKETS.  And other traffic tickets too.  You pay a small monthly premium, and if you get a ticket, they pay it for you.
 
Their plans start at $8 month for up to $400 a year in ticket coverage.  That plan only covers speeding, illegal U-turns, failure to signal, red light or stop sign violations, and seat belt violations.
 
Their top plan costs $29 a month.  It gives you up to $1,450-per-year in coverage, and pays tickets for things including texting and driving, parking tickets, and even DUIs.  Of course, those can run more than $1,450 . . . so you would have to cover the difference.
 
The insurance doesn't cover legal fees or your REAL car insurance . . . which will certainly go up if you get a couple tickets a year.
 
They also say that if you buy the insurance for a year and don't make any claims, you'll get some percentage of your money back.

This is hilarious to me, would you do this?
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Look Who's Checking Your Facebook Page Now!
You do realize that the best way to find out about you is by monitoring what you do online right?  

We might as well throw our resumes out the window, because employers are just looking at our Facebook pages now and they're not the only one!

According to reports, this year, the IRS plans on checking your Facebook page and Twitter accounts, to see if you're cheating on your taxes.
  
Like, let's say you went to Key West for Spring Break, but you wrote off the flight and hotel as a business trip.  An IRS agent might look for your photos to see if there's proof you were actually just hammered drunk and half-naked.
 
Fortunately, it's too much work for them to Facebook stalk ALL of us . . . so they're only going to use social media as a tool when someone's tax forms have been red flagged for an audit or a potential audit.
 
But still, let's call this reminder number 1,037 that you should triple check your Facebook privacy settings!
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The Things We Hate Most About Hotels
At this point, we've all seen enough exposés to know hotel rooms are just SWIMMING with bacteria EWWWW!  So we just PRETEND they aren't, are maybe that's just me.
 
Well a new survey asked people to name the things they HATE MOST about hotels, here's the top five.
 
1.  Dirty sheets.
 
2.  Dirty towels.
 
3.  Drunk or noisy people in the next room.
 
4.  Construction nearby.
 
5.  Mediocre room service food. 
 

Okay, I'm gonna go take a shower now!
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The Tax Deductions You're Most Likely To Miss
Have you files your taxes yet?

If not, you better because the deadline to file your taxes is a week away. 

It's no wonder people hate this time of year, because the U.S. tax code consists of about 4 MILLION words.  And since 2001, there have been about 4,500 changes to it.
 
So to help you out, here are the five deductions and credits you're most likely to MISS, according to "U.S. News & World Report".
 
1.  Dependents.  For every dependent you have, you can write off $3,800.  But a lot of people don't, because they don't realize that the relative they've been supporting CAN sometimes be claimed as a, quote, "qualifying relative."
 
Or even the friend who's been crashing in their spare bedroom for the past year.  The main requirement is they have to have made less than $3,800 last year.
 
2.  The Earned Income Tax Credit.  Which you might qualify for if you're low-to- middle-income.  And if you have three dependents, you can claim a tax credit of up to $5,891.
 
But the IRS estimates that about 20% of people who qualify don't end up claiming it, mostly because if you make under a certain amount, you don't HAVE to file a tax return.  And if you don't file, you can't claim any tax credits, which means no refund.
 
If you're single and under 65, you're not required to file a federal tax return unless you made more than $9,750 last year.  Or if you're the head of household, it's $12,500. 
 
But if you qualify for the earned income tax credit, you SHOULD file, so you get a refund. 
 
3.  The Child and Dependent Care Credit.  If you work and have kids under 13 who go to day care, you might qualify for a deduction of up to $2,100.  And you can also deduct the cost of summer camp.
 
4.  Charitable Donations.  But that doesn't just mean the amount of money you gave to charity last year.
 
If you volunteered at something like a local soup kitchen, you can deduct any money you paid for parking . . . and also 14 cents per mile if you had to drive there.
 
5.  Job-Search Expenses.  Meaning any money you spent on printing resumes, postage, and even travel expenses . . . as long as the job you were applying for was in the same field as your previous job.
 
However, job-hunting expenses for your FIRST job are NOT tax deductible.
Good luck, hope this helped you in some way, if nothing else as a reminder to file!
 
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The People You Feel Like You Have To Tip
Are you a good tipper?  

Either way, I think we can all agree that there's people that we feel like we have to tip right?

According to a survey, two in five people say they rarely or NEVER leave money in the tip jar at a restaurant or a coffee shop.
 
But like I said, there are times when we feel like we HAVE to leave a tip. 

Here are the 10 people we feel most obliged to tip...
 
#1.)  Waiters and waitresses:  87% of us feel like we have to tip them.
 
#2.)  Hairstylists:  69%.
 
#3.)  Bartenders:  62%.
 
#4.)  Taxi and limo drivers:  60%.
 
#5.)  Valets:  54%.
 
#6.)  Bellhops:  52%.
 
#7.)  People who give manicures, pedicures, and waxings:  41%.
 
#8.)  Delivery people for furniture and appliances:  38%.
 
#9.)  The people who give you massages, facials, and skin treatments:  35%.
 
#10.)  Restroom attendants:  22%. 

My only tipping problem now days is what to give the curbside to go people or the host or hostess when I get food to go?


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The Worst Break-Up Lines
You've obviously been broken up with, or dumped somebody, but have you used a terrible line to do it?

Well this is just one columnist's opinion, not the results of a survey or anything, but supposedly these are the seven worst break-up lines.  And it's hard to argue with the choices.
 
#1.)  "It's not you . . . It's me."
 
#2.)  "I'm moving . . . so we should break up."
 
#3.)  "This was incredible . . . but I'm not ready for a relationship yet."
 
#4.)  "I'm not attracted to you anymore."
 
#5.)  "I need my own space."
 
#6.)  "I can't see you anymore, because I think your sister is hotter."  (???)
 
#7.)  "I can't do this anymore."

Did we leave any out?
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Your Biggest Regret
Do you have any regrets?

I'm not embarrassed to say that I do, in fact somebody said to me this morning that "If you don't have any regrets, you're not living!"

Well a new survey asked people to name their biggest regret from college . . . and 5% regret how little they experimented with SEX and DRUGS.  YIKES!  It's good that one out of 20 of us have put our college experience in the right perspective. 
 
Here's the other regrets those surveyed had...

48% of people say they wish they'd STUDIED more.
 
40% wish they'd done more NETWORKING.
 
4% wish they'd HAD MORE SEX . . . and 1% wish they'd DONE MORE DRUGS.
 
Even more interesting, the survey also asked parents to name the LAST thing they'd want to hear their son or daughter was doing in college.
 
25% said "making FAKE IDs" . . . 24% said "set a record for Jell-O shots" . . . 20% said "hosted a sex ed class in their dorm room" . . . 10% said "broke an ankle streaking" . . . and 8% said "had a farm animal in their dorm room." 
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What You'll Be Doing This Baseball Season
Today is the THIRD day of Major League Baseball's extended Opening Day, and if you didn't know, the Brewers won yesterday for opening day!

Anyway, here are nine random facts about your EATING and DRINKING at ballparks this season
 
#1.)  Over the course of the baseball season, we will eat approximately 20.4 MILLION hot dogs.  (wow!)

The L.A. Dodgers are projected to sell the most, just ahead of the Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, and New York Yankees.  Do a few more dollar hot dog nights at Miller Park and we'll be right in there!
 
#2.)  Fans will also eat about 6.1 MILLION sausages.
 
#3.)  The average "Fan Cost Index" for a game is $210.46.  That includes four tickets, two beers, four sodas, four hot dogs, parking, two programs, and two hats.   Geez, no wonder why it's so expensive to have kids!
 
#4.)  The average ticket price is $27.73.  That's up 2.7% from last year.  The average beer is $6.12 and the average hot dog is $4.14.
 
#5.)  The Boston Red Sox have the highest average ticket price, at $53.38.  The New York Yankees are second, and the Chicago Cubs are third.
  
#6.)  The Arizona Diamondbacks have the cheapest average tickets, at $16.89.  The San Diego Padres are second, and the Tampa Bay Rays are third cheapest.
 
#7.)  A lot of teams DECREASED their ticket prices this year.  The biggest cuts were the Chicago White Sox, who cut their prices by 10.2% . . . and the Kansas City Royals, who cut theirs by 10.1%.
 
#8.)  The Toronto Blue Jays went the other direction, and increased their ticket prices by 29.6%.  And the Los Angeles Angels raised theirs by 23.4%.
 
#9.)  The best value on beer per ounce comes from the Los Angeles Angles, at 28 cents per ounce.  The Arizona Diamondbacks come in second by charging 29 cents an ounce, and the Cleveland Indians are third, charging 33 cents per ounce.
There you go, some random facts about what you'll be spending, eating & drinking this MLB season, play ball and GO BREWERS!
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Where Did April Fools' Day Come From?
Today's a local holiday to many of us because it's Opening Day for the Milwaukee Brewers, but it's also a day that we don't believe each other because it's April Fools' Day.  Remember, no prank is worth getting fired over... or so they say!
 
We were wondering where the April Fools' Day tradition actually came from, and the answer is . . . no one's quite sure.
 
The BEST theory is that it started in the 1500s.  Before then, people used the Julian calendar, where the year started at the end of March.  In the 1500s, the Gregorian calendar took over, which moved the beginning of the year to January 1st.
 
So, when April 1st rolled around, people would try to trick other people into celebrating New Year's.  And if people fell for it, they were called "April fools."  And that turned into the modern tradition of pranking people.
 
Another theory is that this is April Fools' Day because it's spring . . . but most of the time it's still COLD. 

So people started saying the beginning of April was when nature would 'fool' them with unpredictable weather. 
 
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