It’s been too long, almost six months since my last blog entry. Work and family obligations tend to make one hang up the “want-to’s” in favor of the “have-to’s”. I finally have an installment that I’m pleased with. My daughter was a big help with this one, proving what I long suspected, that I am better working with a living, breathing human in the room instead of just myself.
We get into an overview of mentionable projects and happenings since December, and a small review of the Sharpenair airbrush needle sharpener. We also touch on a few Tamco products, including the new Tamco Intensity colors! We revisit a long overdue weekend with the guys from Pinheads and then it’s onto the main topic.
Click to Download This episode has been forced into a few directions. With Thanksgiving, schedule changes at work, and the end of the tax year, the last few weeks has left me with little time to think about what to concentrate on vis-a-vis the subject of this podcast episode.
Working evenings has resulted in my being the most eligible member of the family to go food shopping for Thanksgiving, and I’m happy to report not only did I find everything, I found and corrected the errors on the list (not mine). The turkey came out perfect, the Steelers won,the entire family finally made it to church (I guess prayer works), and I managed to knock out a small project, and prep another two with the extra time off. The christmas shopping is inches away from done and with the majority of it on eBay, I have 6 months same as cash to pay it off.
Spending all this money on turkey, trimmings, and Christmas has put me in the state of mind I wasn’t in last year. Last year I got a bit of a wake up call when my accountant told me I owed taxes. After running my one man lemonade stand for years, a few bigger jobs along with my regular paycheck had me writing checks to the IRS and state rather than endorsing a fat one. Nothing puts you in the mindset of pinching pennies more than paying money to a govt. you already disagree with more often than not. This year I delved into the realm of “year end spending”. This is not normal for me. I don’t hoard per se but I did enjoy seeing my business bank account get fatter than usual. I’m more of an ant than a grasshopper but (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) I started to see how taxes effect small business in a way that actually promotes growth. The basics as I see them are this:
• Whatever money you have left over at he end of the tax year is profit and subject to tax.
• Any money you disburse to yourself or pay others, is also taxable.
• Any business money you spend on equipment/supplies are expenses. This figure is subtracted (deducted) from your profit and therefore not subject to tax.
So, If your going to spend business money, why spend it on government? After all, they’re the single most ineffective over blown entity on the planet. I’d rather spend my money on what I love to do. The internet is piled high with articles on the subject. Here is just one of them.
This electro-pounce was purchase number one. I’d been looking for a used one on a few different forums as well as craigslist. I had even considered conning my electrician cousin-in-law to help me rig one up. I’d heard you could use an old microwave capacitor or something like that.
For those unfamiliar with “pouncing”, or pounce wheels, it’s a method of transferring designs on to a surface like a tracing pattern. Traditionally, a pounce wheel is used by running a spiked wheel over your drawing creating holes in your paper. These can be awkward and cumbersome as they don’t roll very well unless it’s in a straight line or long sweeping curves. Plus, the resulting holes are made up of doors like a tiny advent calendar. Eventually these holes will close or “heal” resulting in inconsistencies. With an electro-pounce, electric current burns a hole through the paper resulting in cleaner, smaller holes that never heal. Because there is no pressing to make sure the small wheel effectively punches through the paper, the stylus glides along so you can achieve much greater detail. Notice the images below and the super tight curves you can get with the electro~pounce.
The unit itself is about $700 new, and you still have to spend money and time to attach a ground wire system and sheet of steel. My alligator clip, wire and metal sheet cost $50.00. Having said that, one good lettering job and it’s more than paid for. To try it out for the first time, I composed names and numbers in Adobe Illustrator and printed them on letter sized (8.5″ x 11″) paper.
These are for an awards banquet. I figured this would be a nice reason to bust out the electro-pounce for the first time.
Anyway, as I said there was other year end purchasing to be done. I won’t go into detail about the iPad other than I’m afraid I’ll never get to use it’s full potential unless I really force myself to learn/use the procreate drawing software. I should have seen that coming though, so busy I don’t have time to learn anything new.
Now before I confuse anyone, this is NOT a year end business purchase. I will be asking my accountant if there is any way to wrote off this expense.
I had bats in my attic. I did not want bats in my attic. It cost me over a grand to remove bats from my attic. For the longest time I though I had one mouse or maybe two mice but as my critic thinking skills took hold I had to ask, 1. What would drive a mouse to climb into my attic? 2. Since when do mice poop in the same place? It only took a few google image searches to tip it in the net that I had mice… with wings. I also found out that it is illegal to kill bats. They’re a protected species. Seems like the only unprotected species anymore is feral pigs, coyotes, and people. Anyway I had cleaned everything out a few months previous thinking any critters still up there got scared off or the new peanut butter glue traps would get ’em. No such luck, and more bat dropping began showing up in the same place as before. By the time I had the funds to do anything about it, they existed in the business account. So the question for my accountant will sound like this? What constitutes a square footage deduction on home office space if all I’m doing is storing an old OS9 mac, and some old portfolios?
’03 Softail standard parts This is more of a COGS (cost of goods sold) item. About a month ago I was asked to fix a scratch on the rear fender of a 2003 fxst. One of those repairs that, if it’s going to look right, needs to be removed, repainted, and re-installed. This guy didn’t want to lose any riding time so I said I would look for one, see how cheap I could find it, make it right, and then it would just be a matter of swapping parts. That way I could take his old one, fix it and re-sell it. Great idea and I found a swanky deal. $50.00 for an already black rear fender same year with no dents. There was some wear from having been on the bike and a scratches but for this money it was a steal. It even has the rear lights and cables to! So I fix it up and go to look for the guys number. I have a habit of putting temporary info into the notes on my phone. Sometimes I’ll back out of the app too soon and lose the note
This was one of those times. No problem, I thought. I’ll just go back to the shop where we met (I was doing some striping there at the time) and get his info from those guys. No such luck. I was stuck with it. So what? All I had to do was to find the front fender and tank that went with what I had, paint them, and sell them. I found the anniversary tank with badges removed for $199.00 on eBay. It’s super clean inside with only some heavy scratches and a slight ding in two places on the right side. I actually didn’t notice them until I was finished sanding off that silver and gold tape. J&P Cycles had a wide mount skinny front fender for $44.00. So for $293.00 I got sheet metal that, by the time I’m done, should go for at least 10 times that much. We’ll see.
…and this… I love these things. An artist reference skull with a few vertebrae thrown in.