Is Facebook your go to for advice?

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. About a week ago as an experiment I put this out on Facebook:

screenshot from facebook

It wasn’t long before there were 50 responses with advice.  None of it from people who have ever performed an appendectomy but a few had their appendix removed. People ask for all sorts of advice on social media and there are plenty of people who like to give advice even though they are not familiar with the subject matter.

I also learned that scalpels, scrubs, and hospital gowns can all be ordered online and that there are videos that show appendectomies being performed. A person could probably make a DIY appendix removal kit. What could possibly go wrong with a home appendectomy?

The post was a lot of fun and we all had a good laugh.

Maybe our Facebook friends only think they are the source of all knowledge and information and sometimes it is best to consult an expert outside of social media.

Enjoy the first weekend of spring with the spring-like weather.

Snow and fun?

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I am questioning myself as I write this. I am not so sure that fun and snow go together. Last weekends snow storm was beautiful and it was warm enough to go outside once the storm passed.

Here are a few on the pictures I took last Sunday. You may have missed the beauty of it all as you struggled to shovel or to dig your car out.

I hope these pictures are the last of the 2018 – 2019 winter weather. Next up I’ll have some flood pictures.

Irvine Park - snow
Irvine Park
Snow removal
city street and snow covered cars
City Street & Snow covered cars

International women’s day 2019


It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Today is International women’s day and this year’s theme is:  “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change, puts innovation by women and girls, for women and girls, at the heart of efforts to achieve gender equality.

International Women’s Day 2019 campaign theme: #BalanceforBetter  It is a campaign to build a gender balanced world. The campaign is also to raise awareness all year long and not just on International Women’s Day.

As a point of interest, the Bicycle is one of the five innovations that helped advance women’s rights by giving them more independence and mobility.

“A symbol of “free, untrammeled womanhood” as American women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony so eloquently put it, the bicycle gave women newfound freedom of movement, challenged stereotypes around women’s physical strength and transformed dress codes.”

Annie Londonderry, a Latvian immigrant to the United States, challenged prevailing perceptions of femininity by becoming the first woman to ride around the world in a bicycle from 1894 to 1895. More than a century later, the race for equality still continues

According to the World Economic Forum, it could only take another 202 years before women earn as much as men do. This year in the U.S. “Equal Pay Day” is April 2. This date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.

Female real estate agents get paid the same as male agents. Men dominate the executive and leadership positions in the large real estate companies. The industry lists of leaders and most influential are mostly male. The National Association of REALTORS has always had a man at the helm.

My company is 100% women-owned and operated.

Biking isn’t just for men

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. In a Facebook post a couple of days ago I mentioned that cycling seems to be a male sport. When I look at biking magazines or shop online for gear I mostly see pictures of men and of men’s gear.

I also mentioned I am planning a 100-mile bike ride this spring. I immediately got all kinds of advice. Almost immediately someone told me which bike shop would be the best for me. He kind of decided.

People who saw the post seemed to assume that I have never ridden a bike and that rather than asking me for advice they should be giving me advice. I never asked for advice. I don’t have any questions and if I did I would not crowdsource the answers through social media.

A few people took the time to “mansplain” a little about biking. Some of the women who left comments wanted to introduce me to men and to women who might be able to help me.

There was a woman who explained a few things in a somewhat condescending way but I think it was because I am probably the same age as her mother and old people need help even more than women do.

Another woman reached out to a male friend of hers who seems to be a biking enthusiast and introduced us. I was supposed to ask him for advice and he was willing to give it. I had no idea what to ask. Am I making something that is super complicated too easy?

It seemed as if people assumed I had never ridden a bike before and that I do not know anyone else who rides a bike and that the ride will be my first ever 100-mile ride. Maybe they should all be asking me for advice.

Why would people just assume that I don’t know where to find information if I need it or that I am looking for advice from men who ride racing type bikes with their friends on the weekend?

Now I understand why pictures of people biking are mostly pictures of men and men are the source of most biking advice. Women who bike don’t want to talk about it because if they do they will get a lot of advice. Maybe they don’t want anyone to know that they can ride a bike.

women on bikes
women on bikes – photos are from the Commons on Flickr 


Getting through it and moving on

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I have spent several hours outside shoveling snow this week and it looks like another storm is on the way. As I shovel I make plans. Plans for the places I’ll go on my bike after the snow melts.

It has been a couple of years since I have ridden the Cannon Valley trail from Hastings to Redwing. I plan to ride that trail again and am considering riding to Winona Minnesota. 112 miles of biking fun. I could stay overnight in Winona and return to St. Paul via train.  A few more snow storms and I’ll have it all planned out.

Minnesota winters can be hellish but they are usually followed by a spectacular Spring, Summer, and Fall.

Canon valley trail


Tax rules are complicated

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. There isn’t anything fun about taxes but I can write about it anyway because it is my blog.

Very few people really understand the Federal tax code. I think it is created to be as confusing as possible. If people are confused then politicians can say they lowered taxes or that taxes were increased and no one can prove it.

There are people who honestly believe that if their tax refund is lower than expected they paid more taxes.

Getting a bigger refund usually means that too much money was withheld from each paycheck. In my case, because I am self-employed if I have a refund it means I overpaid my tax payments.

If I underpay my estimated taxes I end up having to make a payment to the IRS on April the 15th and I pay a fine for my underpayment. If I overpay I apply what would be a refund to my next tax payment.

It works the same way for people with W2 type jobs. If the amount of money that is withheld from each paycheck is barely enough to cover the year’s taxes there won’t be much of a refund. If too much is withheld the refund check is higher.

If too little is withheld then the taxpayer has to write a check.

To determine if you are paying more in taxes or less calculate income taxes as a percentage of your income.

If you are not sure how to calculate a percentage use this calculator. .

If your refund is too small have more money withheld from your paychecks so that next year your refund will be higher.

Remember your 2018 income taxes are due on April the 15th and that is just 59 days from today.