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Holiday, Vacation & Weekend

 

Americans uncertain view of a gas tax Holiday, Vacation & Weekend

Because of the high price of fuel today it is having a ripple effect on the economy all over the world. Are you for or against a gas tax holiday?

gas, fuel, fuel prices, gas tax holiday, economy, recession

It is certain that rising gas prises have crippled many, and all across the world in fact. I read a lot of news and see it everywhere. We also do not know what the future holds for us consumers.

I have been reading about how people are having to use their food budget just to get to work now days. Some are purchasing bikes to make a 5 mile ride each way to work. I guess they are not banking on rain, sleet, snow or heat. It is causing people to stop contributing to their 401k's and Ira's. Some are quiting there jobs where it doesn't make sense between fuel and rising child care cost that can be $250.00 per child per week!

Last year I purchased a 2006 Nissan 350z. I love the car but didn't realize that you have to purchase higher octane fuel to keep the engine running without a clang. So when I started fueling it, the cost would be around $58.00. I could hang, but then the prices are sky rocketing at a faster pace each day. Now it cost me over $75.00 to fill up. I am just glad I didn't decide to go more eco friendly and choose deisel.

Speaking of deisel, the rise of this is causing some truckers to lose any sort of margin they were making before. Some were seeing 25% profit margin prior and now are scraping by on 5%. This causes the trucking industry to park there trucks and raise the price of shipping goods. In turn affects our food supply and restaraunts to charge more for these foods.

The airline industry is another to have a major hit. One of the biggest airliners spent $2 billion in the year 2004 on jet fuel. This year they are expecting to hit $8 billion. That is four times what the industry is use to paying and have no room because of competition causing the lowest fares we have ever seen as consumers. So what is happening now is the competition is based on who loses the least amount of dollars after that quarter. Because of this 8 airlines have gone bankrupt just in 2008. 5 of which will never come back to life and 3 that restructured.

I could go on and describe how it affects every industry but, the point to all of my ramblings is that we as Americans are very unsure on what the answer to this problem may be. The presidential candidates are shouting a gas tax holiday. I think that this may help but not be the end all be all resolution. But may'be if we do everything we can do it may add up to lower gas prices at the pump.

In a Rasmussen report, they are currently showing 46% of voters to favor this federal gas tax holiday this summer. What we really need is for all Americans to participate on Political Majority.com and vote on this issue. If everyone voted, it would allow congress to better see the importance whether the collective of Americans is for or against such movement.

 

Liven Up Holiday Entertaining With a Southern-Style Buffet

For the winter holidays, warm up your home with a Southern-style buffet for relaxed, informal entertaining.

Liven Up Holiday Entertaining With a Southern-Style Buffet

For the winter holidays, warm up your home with a Southern-style buffet for relaxed, informal entertaining.

Consider having two buffets, one for appetizers and one for the main meal. Greet guests with a colorful, refreshing glass of champagne with a splash of pomegranate juice and pomegranate seeds.

Create your dinner buffet with casseroles and Southern side dishes that can be made a day or two ahead and heated just before serving. Rather than large casseroles, bake two smaller portions of the same dish to make it easy for guests to serve themselves with no waiting.

For a sweet ending, nothing says Southern like pecan pie with vanilla ice cream or a beautiful bowl of ambrosia with seasonal fruits.

Liven up the table by elevating some of the platters and decorating with fresh holly, candles or silver ornaments.

To brighten your holiday buffet, serve this recipe from Wild American Shrimp Inc. Packed with flavor, shrimp provides a high-protein, low-carb choice.

Although much of the shrimp Americans eat is farm-raised in other countries, many seafood lovers enjoy the rich, sweet flavor of Wild American shrimp, which is seasonally harvested from the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

WILD AMERICAN SHRIMP AND SCALLOPS WITH

ORANGE JUICE

(Makes 4 servings)

16 large scallops

8 extra-large Wild American

shrimp

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup sliced leeks

1 cup sliced fennel bulb

1/2 cup white wine

2 cups fresh orange juice

reduced to 1/2 cup (reduce

by boiling over high heat)

1 tablespoon champagne

vinegar

Pinch sugar

6 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon fresh tarragon,

chopped

Season scallops and shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook shrimp and scallops until just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Set aside and keep warm.

Add leeks and fennel to the pan and saute for 2 minutes, careful not to burn. Add wine, orange juice reduction, vinegar and sugar, bring to a boil and reduce by half. Swirl in butter and fresh tarragon.

Add sauce to shrimp and scallops and toss well to coat. - NU

 

Over the Holidays, Give Yourself the Gift of Sleep

Sleep specialists say the best gift you can give yourself this year is the gift of sleep. According to a study published in the September 2005 issue of the journal Sleep, the average sleep duration among U.S. adults is only 6.9 hours per night, and 39 percent get less than the 7 to 9 hours recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

Over the Holidays, Give Yourself the Gift of Sleep

During this busy holiday season, as you nestle snug in your bed, forget the presents yet to be wrapped and settle your brain for a long winter's nap.

Sleep specialists say the best gift you can give yourself this year is the gift of sleep. According to a study published in the September 2005 issue of the journal Sleep, the average sleep duration among U.S. adults is only 6.9 hours per night, and 39 percent get less than the 7 to 9 hours recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).

Add to that the extra demands of the holiday season - shopping for gifts after work, party preparation, waiting until the kids are asleep to wrap the gifts -and it's easy to see why many people are more sleep-deprived than ever this time of year.

"We see more people in sleep centers after the holidays because the hectic season took a toll on their sleep," said Dr. Donna Arand, sleep specialist for the AASM. "You also will not enjoy the holidays as much if you are getting up early, going to bed late and are stressed out. You can't be your best holiday self if you are fighting sleep deprivation."

The AASM offers these suggestions for better sleep during the holiday season:

* Take time to relax. Even if you have a lot to do, allow yourself to stop at a certain point in the evening. Giving your brain time to wind down before bed will help you sleep better.

* Keep your sleep pattern on schedule. Maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up time. Other regular rituals, such as a warm bath, a light snack or a few minutes of reading, also may help.

* Plan ahead for holiday chores. Set aside time earlier in the day to wrap gifts, decorate the house, plan your holiday menu and similar tasks. To stay on track, write these "appointments" in your daily planner.

* Love eggnog? Avoid too much alcoholic eggnog or coffee at evening holiday parties. Alcohol and caffeine can inhibit your normal sleep pattern.




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