Archive for September, 2008

If you’ve been thinking of making a major purchase for your home of an energy-efficient product such as a new refrigerator or dishwasher or even (hey, honey!) a new washing machine, this is the weekend to buy.  Given the condition of Georgia’s budget crunch due to the economy and low sales tax collections, who knows if sales tax holidays might even be continued in the future?  Take advantage of it now while you can.

From October 2 – 5, 2008, there is a sales tax holiday in the state of Georgia for specific EnergyStar and WaterSense products listed below.  The exemptions are limited to products with a purchase price of $1,500 or less that have been designated as meeting requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy “Energy Star” programs.

The energy efficient products eligible for the exemption are as follows:

air conditioners
ceiling fans

fluorescent light bulbs
clothes washers

windows (including skylights)

programmable thermostats


The water efficient products eligible for the exemption are as follows:

bathroom sink faucets
faucet accessories (such as aerators)

high-efficiency toilets

high-efficiency urinals
weather or sensor-based irrigation controllers

The exemptions are intended for items purchased for non-commercial home or personal use. The exemptions do not apply to:

energy efficient exemption – products not specifically listed above;

  • water efficient exemption – products that do not have either the EPA’s Water Sense designation or a designation by the EPA that they meet the Water Sense efficiency requirements;
  • products with a purchase price over $1,500;
  • products purchased for use in a trade or business;
  • products that are rented or leased; or
  • sales by or to a contractor or retail dealer performing a real property construction contract as a contractor.

One question I am always asked during the Sales Tax Holidays is “does the exemption apply to internet sales?”  Previously, I had not been able to answer that question, but, thankfully, the DOR has very kindly created a FAQ’s page (also linked below) that does answer this question! 

Q. Do the sales tax exemptions apply to catalog sales, Internet sales and other similar sales?

A. Yes, provided the sale is completed during the four-day holiday period. A completed sale means the retailer has taken an action to immediately fill the order and the consumer has paid for the product during the holiday period.

Get that?  The retail establishment that you buy from must have taken action to fill your order, and you must have paid for it during the sales tax holiday.  So, if you’re considering making an online purchase, I’d do it the first day of the holiday, October 2, to ensure that your retailer gets everything taken care of on their end before the sales tax holiday is over by the end of Sunday, October 5th.

For detailed information on the 2008 Energy and Water Efficient Products Sales Tax Holiday, please visit the Georgia State Department of Revenue.  If you need additional information, see the answers to frequently asked questions and Regulation 560-12-2-.112.   You may also contact the Taxpayer Services Division at 404-417-6601 or via e-mail to taxpayer.services@dor.ga.gov for assistance.

Now, where did I put that catalog of new appliances?  And what did I do with that number of the window manufacturer?  😉

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Enjoy!  😀

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While this certainly doesn’t have the impact of Molly McGinn in Bloody Blackbeard, here’s something to help you celebrate today’s holiday – International Talk Like a Pirate Day.  Aaaarrr!

Enjoy! 😉

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A seemingly innocuous instrument in the hands of an artist can produce something that is truly magical.  James Hill performs Ave Maria by Franz Schubert on ukelele.


Thanks, Fran!

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A couple of years ago, I made the acquaintance, via cyberspace, of a young American ESL teacher living in Japan who worked in a preschool there.  I enjoyed seeing and hearing his videos from the school and frequently posted some of them here. 

I hadn’t thought about Jeremy in a while, and, just tonight, had a notice from my Youtube account that he had uploaded a new video.   So I headed over to Youtube, anticipating something of his crazy fun in “Jeremy goes to Japan” or some of his other videos that he’s produced from time to time on Vimeo.  I should have remembered to expect the unexpected from him, but it’s been a while.  That’s my only excuse.


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I received an email today from a friend, encouraging me to vote.  At first, I thought it was one of those “rah-rah” type emails that would say “Vote for So-and-so.  He’s your man” or “A vote for So-and-so is a vote against Thus-and-so.”  However, it was not one of those. 

Instead, it opened my eyes to a period of American history that I know very little specific information about.  It was set in the mid-19-teens and concluded in 1920, 88 years ago.  Interestingly enough, 1920 was the year that my mother was born on Christmas Eve.  I don’t know that my mother ever gave this any thought herself, since it happened before she had any memory of it, but this was a time that women didn’t automatically have the right and privilege of voting that we American women enjoy so nonchalantly today. 

As a child, my father always admonished each of his four children to “always vote.  Never give up your right to vote.  It’s too precious to throw away or waste by not voting.”  I don’t remember there ever actually being a time that I didn’t think of voting as a given for me.  I just thought of it as something all Americans did.  Tonight, however, as I began researching this information, I learned things I’ve never heard before about the generations of my grandmothers and great-grandmothers.

Did you know:

that on November 15, 1917, known as the “Night of Terror”, women arrested for “obstructing sidewalk traffic” in front of the White House (actually picketing with signs and protesting Woodrow Wilson’s lack of concern for women’s right to vote) were beaten and abused by forty prison guards of the Occuquan Workhouse in Virginia, who, with their warden’s full approval and blessing, went on a rampage with their clubs to “teach these women a lesson”? 





that suffragette, Dora Lewis, was hurled into a dark cell, smashing her head into a stone wall, knocking her out cold, which resulted in her cellmate, Alice Cosu, having a heart attack, believing that Dora was dead?





that one of the suffrage movement leaders, Lucy Burns,  was chained to the cell bars above her head, hanging all night, leaving her bleeding and gasping for air, fighting asphyxiation?

Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.  

For weeks, their only water was in an open pail.  Their food – a colorless slop infested with worms.

When another leader, Alice Paul, went on a hunger-strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat, and poured liquid into her until she vomited.  This went on weeks, and it didn’t end until word was smuggled out of the Workhouse to the public.  This abuse didn’t happen overseas in some third world country – it happened here, in the United States of America, and it was only 91 years ago.

In the process of chasing information via cyberlinks, I also learned about an HBO made-for-tv movie, entitled “Iron Jawed Angels“, which documented the battle these women fought so that all American women of all ages could have the freedom to express their choice and their decision in the voting booth. 

I don’t honestly know if I could sit through this movie, knowing what I now know these women endured.  After reading about the different women dramatized in this movie and their experiences, I am awed by their courage, their tenacity, and their willingness to fight for what they believed in – a woman’s right to vote.

But the question remains – will American women vote this year?  Or will they use the excuse of the getting the kids to school, not being late for work, or the doctor appointments, or the weather – on and on and on?

Before you decide if you’re going to make the effort to vote, take a moment and remember what women like Paul, Burns, and Lewis went through to give us the right 88 years later to go inside that voting booth and cast that ballot.  I know that I will never take the right to vote for granted again. 

Whether or not you vote Democrat, Republican, or Independent, just vote – because history is being made as you enter that polling place.


For additional information, please visit:

Iron Jawed Angels – an HBO movie

Why Women Vote – by Connie Schultz, The Plain Dealer, August 2004

Citigal Movement – “There will never be a new world order until women are a part of it.” – Alice Paul

Women’s Suffrage – wikipedia

Women’s Suffrage – Brutal Treatments – About.com

Jailed for Freedom – a first-person account by Doris Stevens of the Suffragist Movement in the early 20th century

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