Blog

Catch A Gear

Generally, I write at a PG-13 level — for minds of an impressionable age.

However, this article is intended, only, for mature audiences.

My definition of that, for this conversation, is anything north of 30 years old. By the age of thirty, we have gained a wealth of education and experience. We have been suckered into believing things that, simply, were not true — by people who intentionally wanted to cause harm. And, we have, probably, been betrayed at least once.

Searching and Speeding

As a result, we have searched for that fine line, between — wanting to believe the best about everyone and protecting the integrity of our soul. For each of us, that fine line of distinction will be different. So, our search for answers will have been unique.

During that search for answers, odds are good that we read a few books. One of them might have been Speed of Trust, by Stephen M. R. Covey.

Catch a gear is my euphemism for —

grab a gear
turnin’ and burnin’
runnin’ full stack
mashin’ and a gassin’

All of which are Trucker terms of endearment for — going faster.

Marbles In The Jar

As twenty-somethings, we were invincible — with no thought for tomorrow. In fact, we didn’t even think about the end of days, because we were consumed with squeezing every last drop of fun out of each day.

The idea of going faster was a joke — because, we were already running around with our hair on fire, billowing black smoke, and going in big circles. Yet, past that doorway threshold of thirty into a bit of dimness in energy, the light came on.

As thirty-somethings, using the math of Threescore and More (score is twenty), we felt a sense of urgency and discovered a jar half empty — or, half full. Either way, time became a more precious resource and priority in our thinking.

Imagine A World

Think about what our world could, should, and would be like if, only, the truth was spoken, there was adherence to moral principles, and sincerity of belief accompanied every action. In other words, rather than some individuals striving to be characters, everyone became self-disciplined in nurturing righteous character.

Just imagine the new frontiers…

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

Let’s catch a gear. 🙂

Real Deal

Love Today and TomorrowWhen I hear someone use the word try in a sentence, I cringe. Because I know, for a fact, they are more interested in the talk than they are living the walk.

Accordingly, it’s another humor Kim moment. In support of the above statement, take a pen into your hand. Now, try to drop it. See my point? You’re either going to hang onto it — or, you’re going to drop it. There’s no try to it.

Here’s another example — the word maybe. Those people, who refuse to make a decision, end up high-centering on the fork-in-the-road. Look at the word closer: ma-Y-be. See the fork-in-the-road? The people who are fond of maybe are reluctant to choose — left, or right, at Oak Street.

To encourage us to, always, make a decision, look at ma-Y-be, again.

Ma = Cry Baby
Be = A Creator
Y = Choose to Be

Just one more — how many times have you been promised something, someday? And, someday never came. Builders know this as the secret to accomplishment, “You must begin — and, begin again.” Because — they live by this creed.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

Begin it, now.

If we put all of this silliness together, we have, “Someday, maybe I’ll try.

There Is A Better Way

Much more than an audition for the opening night of the Broadway playbill, Life — this is the Real Deal.

So real, in fact, I want to share insight from my children. To be precise, they are young adults, who are taking Relationship Strategies to increasingly higher levels for the benefit of all.

Lindsey and Ryan are priceless gifts. Yet, at times, they will also purchase tangible expressions of reminders for me. On a Father’s Day, Ryan presented “Easy 88“, a bronze of a cowboy making a great ride on a bull. On another day, a beautiful bouquet of flowers arrived from Lindsey, in acknowledgment of birthday “Fifty-Five“.

Also, she has given me Words — inspiring words:

Family ~ Forever, For Always and No Matter What

Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes to us at midnight all clean and perfect and puts itself in our hands. And hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.

In regards to ‘Lessons Learned’ from yesterday, the most important one can be expressed by a single word:

Forgiveness ~ Let go of the notion that there can be a better, or different, yesterday.

The purest definition of a ‘Rut’ — a grave, with the ends kicked out.

When we replay the past in our minds, over and over, a rut forms — a pattern of thinking. Really, those familiar grooves are the equivalent of a broken record — ’round and ’round the same track, while expecting new music. Does insanity come to mind?!

Music

A common theme in my Family is music — always has been, always will be.

It is the best way to convey messages for us to remember.

Better Get To Livin’ (Video)
Artist: Dolly Parton

People always comin’ up to me and askin’
“Dolly, what’s your secret?
With all you do, your attitude
Just seems to be so good
How do you keep it?”
Well I’m not the Dalai Lama, but I’ll try
To offer up a few words of advice

Chorus:

You better get to livin’, givin’
Don’t forget to throw in a little forgivin’
And lovin’ on the way
You better get to knowin’, showin’
A little bit more concerned about where you’re goin’
Just a word unto the wise
You better get to livin’

A girlfriend came to my house
Started cryin’ on my shoulder Sunday evening
She was spinnin’ such a sad tale
I could not believe the yarn that she was weavin’
So negative the words she had to say
I said if I had a violin I’d play

I said you’d better get to livin’, givin’
Be willing and forgivin’
Cause all healing has to start with you
You better stop whining, pining
Get your dreams in line
And then just shine, design, refine
Until they come true
And you better get to livin’

Your life’s a wreck, your house is mess
And your wardrobe way outdated
All your plans just keep on falling through
Overweight and under paid, under appreciated
I’m no guru, but I’ll tell you
This I know is true

You better get to livin’, givin’
A little more thought about bein’
A little more willin’ to make a better way
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Keep your chin up
Just hang tough
And if it gets too rough
Fall on your knees and pray
And do that every day
Then you’ll get to livin’

The day we’re born we start to die
Don’t waste one minute of this life
Get to livin’
Share your dreams and share your laughter
Make some points for the great hereafter

Better start carin’
Better start sharin’
Better start tryin’
Better start smiling
And you better get to livin’

When we do it right, the livin’ that Dolly encourages is more like playing, than working. Although, as with all things in Life, there is a fine line. On the one hand, we must acknowledge this is serious business. Because, at the end of our Play, all of the props go back in the box. On the other hand, we learn the most when we are playing and having fun.

The Point

And, that, my friend, is the point — We are to learn, grow, care, share, and love.

There’s a story about a southern farmer who goes out into his field early one morning to catch his mule for the day’s work ahead. To his dismay that mule was nowhere in sight. As the farmer headed back to the house, he passed an old, abandoned, hand-dug well. Sure enough. At the bottom of that well was Clyde.

Since the farmer was poor, he had no money to hire the necessary equipment to lift that much weight, from that far down. He was rich in friends, though. So he asked his neighbors to bring their shovels. As sad as it was to lose Clyde, the right thing to do was to fill in that deathtrap.

From the mounds of dirt excavated when the well was originally dug, the farmers began the serious business of burying Clyde and making sure nothing else was ever harmed by the long ignored danger of a pit.

Making the best of a bad situation, they shoveled quickly. As they were finishing up their work and upon hearing something, they paused to look up. To their amazement, they watched Clyde jump out of the well.

You see, while they were shoveling dirt down the hole onto Clyde’s back, he simply shook it off and stepped up.

The gifts from Ryan and Lindsey are much more than plaques and bronzes, They are the evidence of their success in ‘shaking it off and stepping up‘. Through no fault of theirs, they have experienced The Pit and the Bad Hands of cards dealt to them.

With courage, poise, determination, and grace, they have chosen to shake it off and step up — time and time, again. Consequently, the bull and bouquet speak volumes about their character.

A Chosen Effort

From the mouths of babes and the examples of our young people, we learn to — Preserve a childlike sweetness and innocence, while growing out of our childishness.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

One thing I have, always, understood — Family and Work are the two legs carrying me across the stages of life.

I believe purpose in life is discovered by acknowledging a power greater than ourselves. As a result, accomplishment is possible by being a conduit for timeless and priceless gifts.

The greatest gift – LOVE – is a chosen, purposeful effort, often done in the face of fear, to nurture our own growth and the growth of others.

Let’s get to livin’!

Why and How

How and WhyThe secret to getting things done is to ask, “Who is going to do What by When?”

An even greater mystery to doing the right things is to know, “Why and How!”

There’s a story about a Montana rancher that goes something like this —

A country doctor is suturing a cut on the hand of a Montana rancher.Post Turtle

Rancher: “At least this hurt comes from building something. Just imagine the pain of a post turtle.”

Doctor: “Oh? What is a post turtle?”

Rancher: “Well, when you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top. That’s a post turtle. You know he didn’t get there by himself; he doesn’t belong there; he can’t get anything done while he’s up there; and, without help to get down, he’s stranded!”

How often do we get stuck?

Pedestals, Ivory Towers, and White Horses

Do we ever consider: “Why?” Is it because we allowed someone to place us on a pedestal, in an ivory tower, or on a white horse? It’s one thing to work hard to earn our place in the world — it’s quite another to be placed somewhere. Even more dangerous than the physical geography is the mental fantasy. It can be our mind playing tricks on us — or, the imaginations of another person projected onto us.

From our earliest memories we are indoctrinated with the propaganda that, to be somebody, we must rise above. Movies, novels and childhood stories revolve around the themes of a princess in an ivory tower attracting the knight in shining armor who gallops in on his trusty white steed.

Joy Is In The Doing

What goes up must come down. Down to the reality that the greatest joys in life are found by serving — not swooning. Life is all about attitude — not altitude. Love is defined as giving — not getting. Let’s all get down, to the business and pleasure of accepting others for who they, really, are — not who we want them to be.

While the grandeur of heights is intoxicating, the grounded efforts of servants produce harvests of abundance. Those who are the greatest, purposefully, take the lowest rank. They are recognized as true leaders by their efforts to serve.

They are the ones who know Why they are here; How they got here; What they are doing here; and, Who have absolutely no fear of falling down. When they stumble, it is to learn a new lesson on their way to another opportunity — of service.

Radical Acceptance

Radical AcceptanceIs anything bothering you – right now?

Are you uptight about any event, thing, or individual — who has caused you grief?

For most of us, the answer is, “Oh, let me count the ways!”

Yet — there is a secret to calming ourselves.

For the sake of conversation, pick an item, above. Odds are good that, if it’s: 1) an Event, you’re replaying the video in your mind of some action, or inaction, that might have gone better, 2) a Thing, you’re reminded of the expression, “We don’t own things — things own us,” and 3) an Individual, you’re either plotting revenge, or impatient for Karma to deliver their just desserts.

In other words, we feel trapped in a world beyond our choosing.

But… what if, I can guarantee to change that feeling — immediately?

The Secret

Radical Acceptance

That’s right — simply, unconditionally, accept what is – iiWii – It Is What It Is.

That event you’re replaying over and over in your mind. Stop it! Wrap your mind around this, “Forgiveness is letting go of the notion that there can be a different, or better, yesterday.” The event is done, over, and in the Past — where it belongs. Move forward into the Present and set your mind on a dream of the Future.

That thing you’re obsessing about. Fix it, give it to someone less fortunate, or be as happy with it as the day you bought it. And, if none of that works, absorb the lesson of, “Beware the impulse shopping purchase and sleep on any major decision requiring resources of time and money.”

That individual you’re imagining in Hades. Let them go. They have made their choices — now, make yours. Decide that you can’t fix Stupid. Take back the power you have given them over your Thoughts. Change their role in your life and think this, “When I give, I’m all in — but, when I’m done there’s no looking back.”

Forgoing All Others

There is something magical about making a choice. Notice the adjective “a” — singular. While there are multiple options, we are stressed — uncertain about which one to choose. At the moment we pick one, we forgo all other choices.

Again, it’s radical acceptance of that one option.

Doesn’t it feel good?

It is our Independence Day.

We have found freedom from the outside influence of anything or anybody.

Foundations

FoundationsI’ll bet some pretty good money it’s been a while since you thought about the foundation of your home.

Yet, of all the parts and pieces of your beautiful home, the foundation is the most important.

The same can be said about the structure of YOU.

Each of us has a foundation. The majority of it was formed in childhood and as young adults. There are some people who obsess about their foundation. They want to regale us with the stories of abuse — because they had ‘bad’ parents.

Granted, there are evil people who engender children — and, those children have bragging rights. For the rest of us older kids, we can acknowledge we had regular parents — imperfect ones. And, as a parent, I fit right in that category.

Let’s take a look at the similarity of our foundation and the one designed for a beautiful home. In fact, we might start with the home, itself — and, see that the home fits the foundation.

In other words, if you live in a McMansion, the foundation is massive and somewhat of an architectural wonder — with all of its various depths and offsets. For the more humble of abodes, the foundation will be much more plain and straightforward.

In the olden days, most log cabins were built on a foundation of four large stones — one at each corner of a four-sided structure. The old-timers did their best with what they had. For the skyscrapers of today, months – and, sometimes years – are invested to provide the necessary support for what rises above.

Here is another of those ‘humor Kim moments” — examine the structure of YOU. Are you a Cabin? A new-fangled Modular? Or, maybe you are an honest-to-goodness Mansion. There’s no right, or wrong, to this mental exercise.

However, I can guarantee the structure each of us has built fits and matches our foundation. And, to be clear, I’m not talking about the physical manifestation of who we are. I’m making reference to the emotional, mental, and spiritual components of the real individuals underneath our personas.

I’ll bet some more money that those individuals who experienced hardship in childhood and as young adults have the strongest foundations. Those hardships are the rebar and aggregate (rock, sand, and gravel) binding with cement to support the multi-story complex of these individuals.

The good news for all of us is that we can continue to build. For those with a massive foundation, they will keep on adding stories.* For those with a structure they have grown to dislike, there is the option to remodel — which, generally, requires new foundations.

I hope each of us examines our foundations, revisits our blueprints, and, then, sets our hands to the construction of somebody magnificent.

* Stories — and, Chapters to the Book of their Life. 🙂

Builders

BuildersThere are two types of People in this world — Builders and Janitors.

There are three types of Builders — Constructive, Creative, and Conscientious.

There are three types of Janitors — Lazy, 9-to-5’ers, and Trust Fund Babies.

Those Who Maintain

Lazy is a condition of idleness. For the hard-working men and women, this is a daydream of ours. To kick back and take it easy. Yet, when we do, there is an underlying uneasiness — of wondering, “What’s so great about this?” Imagine a lifetime on the couch with a clicker. No joy there.

9-to-5’ers make it through each of their days, doing what is asked of them — and, no more. They work for a paycheck and have no interest in making the world a better place. They are self-absorbed and, simply, wait for their shift to be over — so, they can pursue a hobby of their choice.

Trust Fund Babies are born on third base — believing they hit a home run. They are full of arrogance and ignorance, which makes them dangerous. They play not to lose and have no clue how to win. Since they have no idea of how to make anything of value, their favorite tactic is to nickel-and-dime everyone else.

The Good News

Before we examine the lives of Builders, let’s offer hope to the Janitors.

We have been created with freewill — the ability to choose our destiny. At any moment, at any time, we can make a choice to have a different life. The world is what we make of it — if it doesn’t fit we can make alterations.

Able and willing are two, very, different concepts — because, even, though we are able to do something does not guarantee we will be willing.

A mind changed against its will — will be of the same opinion still.

As an eternal optimist, I believe in possibilities. I just don’t believe the odds are very good — that Janitors will choose to become Builders.

Those Who Create

Constructive builders have something to show for their hard work at the end of their days. Every tangible blessing we enjoy has been built by the hands of the industrious. Up before dawn to draft their Blueprints, driven through the day to produce Value, and through the evening they review their Accomplishments.

Creative builders operate in the realm of Intellectual Property. Their goal is to build up People. In the intangible realms of mental, emotional, and spiritual, the creative types bring into existence thoughts never before shared with the World. From those Thoughts, flow Decisions, and Actions for the good of humankind.

Conscientious builders oftentimes can be found at the end of a shovel, or broom. Maybe, because of the hand of fate – or, by design – these individuals are diligent in their high calling — to Serve. They are not servants. They do, however, offer themselves in service for the good of all. Whatever their hands find to do, they proudly do it with their might.

One, Or The Other

In today’s society, many individuals seem to be zombies trudging through their days with an attitude of Fifty Shades of Grey. To them, there is no light or dark — their world is, simply, various shades of dullness.

If distressed jeans are any indication to the mood of the wearer, then, we have many distressed individuals, today. Through the 24/7 propaganda machine of the media, these individuals have become convinced they are powerless to make a decision. So, they float back and forth on the spectrum of choice. Which shade of grey will it be, today?

Yet, they have the ability to make a black and white choice – a decision – for a different ending to their life Story. They can shun the grey pale of drudgery, turn their back against the dark forces, and open their minds to the colorful goodness of heaven on earth.

I Can Hear The Whining

Those happy in their ruts (graves with the ends kicked out) will start their chorus of whining — about what they don’t have, what they can’t do, and how they are the victims of the victorious.

On the other hand, I can hear a few – putting their foot in the throttle – who are determined to wind up the RPMs (until their engines whine), catch some gears, and make progress down a road toward their new destinations. I love the sound of Progress. 🙂

DNA, or DME (Doesn’t Make Excuses)

I’m a Builder. My dad was a Builder. His dad was a Builder. And, his dad escaped from a life of luxury on the East Coast to homestead in Fishtail, Montana. Yes, he was a Builder, too.

So — the question becomes, did my son, Ryan, have no choice but to be a Builder? As the owner of Crosswire, Inc. is it simply a matter of DNA? Maybe, although, I’m more of the belief it’s because of his DME. He doesn’t make excuses — because, Builders don’t.

Builders accept responsibility for each of their decisions. They want to earn Respect.

Janitors, on the other hand, want to be Liked. They have no idea how to earn anything, so they manipulate. In the simplest of terms, they truly are wannabes.

The Secret

Unless we are growing, we are dying — the default condition of the physical realm is decay.

How do we escape?

Start with nothing and build something special.

Too simple for the complexity of our modern world?

There is one powerful concept often ignored by the masses, “Keep It Simple Sweetheart.” — affectionately known as the KISS Principle. Try it, you’ll like it.

By bringing into existence that which was formerly unknown, YOU become a creator. Since we’re made in the image of a Higher Power, a small leap of faith brings us to the realization that the Joy is in the building, the creating, and the serving.

Birds Of A Feather

Have you noticed that Eagles do not cavort with Turkeys? Or, that Bluebirds don’t spend much time visiting with the Pigeons? And, that the Meadowlark has no use for the Prairie Hawk?

So, evidently, it is true, “Birds of a feather flock, together.”

If we choose a life of doing, we escape the Thanksgiving table fate of the Turkey.

In fact, we will soar on wings like Eagles.

Let’s build on that premise!

We The People

We The PeopleIf you wonder why you feel tired, it’s because you are. Day after day we fight enemies near and far. The greatest threat to our peace and freedom is our own government.

I’ve heard the expression, “We get the government we deserve.”

That is simply wrong. After paying 40% on our earnings, each year, in Federal and Montana income taxes, for the ‘greater good’ of Society, I don’t deserve to be used and abused — and, neither do you. We are guilty in one aspect, only, “We get what we allow.”

As hard-working people of Montana, we take great pride in pushing through (the snow drifts), gritting our teeth to take the next step forward (against 60 mph winds), and otherwise thriving on whatever comes our way (in people and events).

So, we might be guilty of allowing dysfunction at the highest levels of government — yet, the intent was pure.

We thought, “Surely, elected officials — sworn to uphold the law as Public Servants — will bring along their Cowboy Ethics and do the right things.”

We tend to give the benefit of doubt — until there is doubt to the benefit.

What follows is a real honest-to-goodness story about a recent experience with the Montana Department of Revenue. As you’ll see, it is simply another example of that from which I’ve protected my Clients, for 35+ years as a CPA. At the end of that Crusade, my health was poor, because I was burned-out, by the silliness of these kinds of games — which becomes the catalyst for this event in the first place.

Montana Department of Revenue sent me a Bill for $50. Yes, I was tempted to just pay their Usury Fee — much as in the corrupt end-of-days Roman Empire — yet, more than the money, it was and is the Principle of the thing.

(Note: If you prefer, you can read the actual Email thread from PDF copies located in this Google Drive Folder ~ MT Governor)

Request for Waiver of Penalty

Fri, Mar 30, 2018 at 3:56 PM

Kim Foard <kimfoard@gmail.com>
To: MT Business Tax <DORobjections@mt.gov>

Business Tax Division:

The purpose of this email is to file a Request for Informal Review.

Please, see the attached PDF of Form APLS101F — along with the Notice dated March 16, 2018.

If any questions, I can be reached at the Mobile phone number, below.

Thanks,

Kim

Give Me More Information

Tue, May 1, 2018 at 11:47 AM

Flaherty Settle, Kelly <KFlahertySettle@mt.gov>
To: “kimfoard@gmail.com” <kimfoard@gmail.com>

Kim,

Can you give me more information regarding the serious health issues you experienced. *

Kelly

* Notice that she chose to use a Period, rather than a Question Mark. She wasn’t asking — she was demanding an explanation.

Incredulous

Tue, May 1, 2018 at 6:26 PM

Kim Foard <kimfoard@gmail.com>
To: KFlahertySettle@mt.gov, serve@mt.gov

Kelly,

Really?!

Why are you willing to harass a good Citizen of this great State of Montana over $50?

Evidently, in the weekly Staff Meetings, your Supervisor — or, Department Head — has not reminded everyone that you are Public Servants.

YOU work for me — I do not work for your amusement.

This episode is worthy to share with our Governor, Steve Bullock. For resources of the Montana Taxpayers to be wasted in this way is very sad.

Since the Governor will probably want to know, please, share with me – via an Email response – what Value is provided to anyone by this (your) request of me.

Here’s my answer about the serious Health Issue, “After 35+ years as a CPA serving the Entrepreneurs and real Creators of Value (Farmers, Ranchers, Oil Producers, etc.), I grew tired — literally, worn out and burned out — of these types of silly and petty games played by bureaucrats of all stripes. From October 26, 2015, through January 11, 2018, I was holding on for dear life. Each day was a struggle to find the will to live. Now, after that period of rest and healing, I’m back in the game — with the new venture of SageTalk, LLC.”

Click the two hyperlinks, in the Signature Block below, to get a new perspective on your JOB. By focusing on the Three-E Formula, I intend to Enlighten, Empower, and Encourage everyone in my sphere of influence. That includes YOU.

Over the course of 50 Years of producing Value – and, hundreds of thousands of dollars paid in Real Estate and Income Taxes to provide for the salaries of “public servants” — I find it odd that you’re challenging the truthfulness of my original Statements.

You go ahead and waste more Time and Money to make a decision about the waiver of a $50 Late Filing Penalty on my final Form CLT-4S, Corporate Tax Return for an accounting practice that no longer exists because of Serious Health Issues.

I am amused.

Kim

Citizens Advocate Office

Wed, May 2, 2018 at 8:37 AM

Citizens Advocate <citizensadvocate@mt.gov>
To: “kimfoard@gmail.com” <kimfoard@gmail.com>
Cc: Serve Montana <serve@mt.gov>, “Bullock, Governor” <governor@mt.gov>

Dear Ms. Foard:

Thank you for contacting Governor Bullock’s Office about the issues you are having with the Montana Department of Revenue.

I have sent your email to the Director of Montana Department of Revenue for their review and they will be in contact soon. I’ll also make sure that Governor Bullock and his appropriate policy staff are able to review your comments.

Thanks again for contacting the Governor’s Office, let me know if you have any additional questions or information regarding this issue.

Sincerely,

Tyler J. Campbell

Hopeful of Progress

Wed, May 2, 2018 at 10:19 AM

Kim Foard <kimfoard@gmail.com>
To: citizensadvocate@mt.gov
Cc: ServeMontana <serve@mt.gov>, governor@mt.gov

Tyler,

Thank you for your timely Response.

I am available to share my Thoughts with any and all Stakeholders of our great State of Montana.

Best,

(Mr.) Kim

A Supervisor’s Comments

Mon, May 7, 2018 at 11:30 AM

Milne, Rachael <RMilne@mt.gov>
To: “kimfoard@gmail.com” <kimfoard@gmail.com>

Hello Mr. Foard,

The Governor’s office forwarded me your email regarding the late file penalty assessed on your 2015 S corporation return. I am Kelly’s supervisor.

It is customary for the department’s auditors to follow-up with taxpayers regarding their requests for waiver of penalty based on medical reasons. Kelly followed up with you to ensure that you met the reasonable cause guidelines outlined in the Administrative Rules of Montana (http://www.mtrules.org/gateway/ruleno.asp?RN=42%2E2%2E512)

Additionally – Montana law states that a pass-through entity is assessed a late file penalty when the owner(s) are not compliant with their filing and payment requirements. Since your business was an S corporation and you were the sole shareholder, we reviewed your income tax account to verify that you were up-to-date with your filing and payment. Unfortunately, we could not find your 2015 individual income tax return. If you can provide us with a copy with your Montana individual income tax return as well as provide us with more information regarding your request for waiver of penalty, we’d be happy to review it.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Rachael Milne, EA

The Plot Thickens

Mon, May 7, 2018 at 12:23 PM

Kim Foard <kimfoard@gmail.com>
To: RMilne@mt.gov, Citizens Advocate <citizensadvocate@mt.gov>, Steve Bullock <governor@mt.gov>

Rachael,

This just gets better and better, doesn’t it?

Now, we’re wasting another person’s time — yours.

And, it seems the Montana Department of Revenue has lost my 2015 Form 2, Individual Income Tax Return. A PDF copy is attached to this email.

Is it because the great State of Montana owes me a Refund of $1,017?

Did you even read the Narrative of my Serious Health Issue described in my email of May 1, 2018, below?

What part of “Close to Death” don’t you understand?

I suggest You, Citizens Advocate, and the Governor quit while you’re ahead — because this is already a “Great Story” to be shared with the Taxpayers of the World: https://kimfoard.com/blog-sagetalk/

After 35+ years of enduring Bureaucrats, I’ve had enough.

My purpose is to Enlighten, Empower, and Encourage “We The People” to take back our Lives.

Either do the right thing and resolve this $50 issue (after all you are a ‘public servant’) and join with me in this effort — or, continue to be part of the Problem.

The Best,

Kim

Finally

Mon, May 7, 2018 at 3:42 PM

Milne, Rachael <RMilne@mt.gov>
To: Kim Foard <kimfoard@gmail.com>, Citizens Advocate <citizensadvocate@mt.gov>, “Bullock, Governor”
<governor@mt.gov>

Hello Mr. Foard,

Thank you for your quick reply. We will process your return promptly and respond to you regarding your waiver request via mail to ensure we protect your confidentiality.

Thank you,

Rachael Milne, EA

I Have Only Just Begun

For the last 50 years, America has been at War. I’m 62 years old and remember a Time when we were proud to be an American.

Yes, the battles abroad have seen many casualties. Yet, our entire Country has not been affected by them as much as the Culture War — at Home.

From the Hippie free-lovers of the 60’s, to the Wall Street sharks of the 70’s, to the Go-Go dancers of the 80’s, to the Self-absorbed of the 90’s, to the Irreverent of the 00’s, to the Disrespectful of today, good people have been used and abused by those determined to tear our Society apart.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ~ Edmund Burke

Well, the Time has come when Good Men have had a belly full of the “No Rules – No Problems” crowd. Universal Principles (think Gravity) are for our benefit — and, the recognition and observance of them keep us Safe.

Good Men everywhere are Standing Up and are Committed to meeting the Enemy — with the appropriate Force — to bring back the High Standards of principled Life.

I’ve begun my new Crusade to give an answer for the Hope within me. So far, the results have been spectacular — from those Individuals in disbelief that I no longer will “Go Along To Get Along.” And, from the encouragement of those silently cheering the Warrior in me — I am determined to provide a Refuge for all of those in need.

Part of the Solution — Or, Part of the Problem?

Since I have heard nothing from our Governor, Steve Bullock, I intend to follow up regarding his silence. Was he not informed of this matter? Does he not care? Or, maybe, the comforts of the Governor’s Mansion have clouded his judgment?

Whatever the excuse, I intend to find out why he thinks our Constitution has limits.

Here are his proud pronouncements in USA Today – May 30, 2018:

Americans calling for protection of the Second Amendment want their families to be safe. I know because I’m a gun owner who believes in the Constitution, yet also recognizes its limits.

Thoughts and prayers are not solutions. They are excuses.

As governor, I hear directly from the people I serve. They want action. They recognize that like most policy issues, there is no single proposal or prescription that will solve the issue of gun safety. But they are tired of the enormity and complexity of the challenge being the excuse for inaction.

As individuals and as a nation, we can no longer be paralyzed. We have to act.

Well, big fellow, I’m going to find out what YOU intend to DO about the miscreants you’ve allowed into My Government.

There is an expression known as a fact in the Private Sector, “The work will always match the people — and, the People will always match the Work.” In my experience, only two out of ten State employees are doing the work — of solving problems. The other eight are part of the problem. After ridding our Government of the unproductive, this proverb will ring true, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.”

While it is sad to lose even one life because of a nut with a gun, what do you say about all of the lives you are allowing to be ruined in Montana — from the action and inaction of Government Employees?

If, only, I could line up the People ruined by Bureaucrats and call the Media to take photos, your little soapbox rant about guns would pale into insignificance.

Unless you choose to resign, YOU are responsible for wasting vast amounts of Time and Money over a $50 Usury Fee. Those state Employees work for YOU.

What improvements have been made in the last two months to prevent your minions from harming another single Montana Citizen?

You’re right, “I want action.”

Conduits of Goodness

Conduits of GoodnessIf you’re ever in need of a conversation starter, just look right into the eyes of another person and ask this question, “What is the passion at the core of everything you do?”

One of two things is guaranteed to happen: Immediate animation, as the person begins to share that passion with you. Or, a deer-in-the-headlights look, with a really long, awkward, pause, as the individual painfully looks for a way to escape.

Escape from what — their own life?! All we want is to understand what makes them tick — that which empowers them to take a licking and keep on ticking.

Boundaries

Recently, I was the beneficiary of these questions from a young man:

How do you set boundaries?

How do you keep your boundaries from being a box that you live in and one that keeps you from fulfilling your potential?

His questions, above, came several days after a conversation, which included me asking him the question, “What is the passion at the core of everything you do?” His response, “I do not know.”

Passion At The Core

Do you, know?

Can each of us answer these questions?

Why do I exist?

How can I make a difference in the lives of others?

What is the best way for delivering my value to the world?

For those who know (and, those who don’t) the answer is, “Become wonderful chunks of conduit — for the goodness from above to flow through us for the benefit of others.”

Wonderful Chunks Of Conduit

You know — conduit: a hollow tube for the transference and protection of something valuable.

Those without a connection to the source of goodness and void of a desire to share are, simply, an empty tube. In other words, they have no purpose and worthless boundaries. Tap on them and they ring hollow. Squeeze them and they collapse into a wrinkled mess.

Yet, imagine conduit connected to streams of living waters — bubbling, high-pressured, and dynamic at the source. At the destination are beneficiaries eagerly waiting to be served.

Service

Service — now, that’s a novel idea — Bended knee, Caring attitude, Humble heart, Patient spirit, Kind mind, Generous soul, and Helping hands. Yes, please.

So, it’s really quite simple to discover the Passion at the core.

Hint: It comes from the Source above.

As for boundaries, the secret is to say, “Yes, please,” to everything that makes us better conduits — and, “No, thanks,” to everything else.

In fact, we have complete freedom to manage our boundaries. Boundaries are, simply, the outside diameter dimensions of our conduit. Individually, we have the right and responsibility to expand them for the benefit of those in our sphere of influence.

In the physical realm of steel conduit, expansion requires cutting, grinding, torching, bending, and welding new pieces into what already exists, to make the core larger. In the emotional, mental, and spiritual realms, the process will feel about the same.

Living Streams

If we have a passion for what flows through us, we are constantly pushing at the boundaries of the Why, How, and What of our existence. In fact, we will be busily learning and growing to become, better, “Conduits — for the goodness from above to flow through us for the benefit of others.”

Steel and Velvet

Steel and VelvetLife is experienced on a tightrope.

Fine lines of distinction separate This from That.

As an example, the short riddle below, comprised of two sentences, is deserving of being solved. It will be our segue into the Thought Du Jour.

Each sentence is accurate.

Together, they become powerful in thought and deed.

Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are.

Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation.

While appearing contradictory, the Secret is within each of us, at our core. If we know who we are and are generous of spirit, the ‘answer’ becomes obvious:

We refuse to follow a foolish person down rabbit trails — and, we boldly share our beliefs with them.

Men of Steel and Velvet

You might ask, “What does this have to do with men of Steel and Velvet?”

The answer, “They can be firm and soft — at the same time.”

In fact, they are who they are — yet, they generously share of themselves. The perception of these differences become reality when interacting with the individuals who approach them. For example — these men of Steel and Velvet have the patience of a Saint. Some people will recognize the character trait as a virtue — others will perceive the same trait as weakness.

Two Sides of Same Coin

The first group will experience the softness flowing from mutual respect — as stories are shared. The second group will experience the hardness resulting from a rude awakening — as they are jolted from their ill-conceived perception to the harsh reality of a definitive limit. While giving the benefit of the doubt, these men of Steel and Velvet will defend their boundaries — for the benefit of those who seek protection.

Boundaries are simply ‘fine lines of distinction’. One of these fine lines separates forgiveness from flaccidity. Forgiveness is hard (to do) — flaccidity is (by its very definitionsoft. Forgiveness lets us enjoy the present moment — while moving forward into a future of opportunities. Flaccidity is for those who allow themselves to be a doormat for the feet of their enemies — while remaining tethered to the past.

Lambs to the Wolves

Lambs

Is it possible for lambs to move through a pack of wolves? What is the Secret to that?! Answer: “We are to be as wise as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

Wisdom is the forerunner to success. In fact, a four letter word is the pun intended to create a new beginning in our lives — Fore.

Yes — that which comes before. Have you ever wondered how generous people got to be that way? They give here, there, and everywhere. What came first? What is at the very beginning of their current efforts?

Answer, “Fore-give” — and, in the vernacular, Forgive.

Forgiveness

One of the best definitions of forgiveness was received in a place far removed from a religious setting. Yet, it dovetails with a belief in a Higher Power and summarizes the distinct black and white choice we will each make in our, individual, lives.

Forgiveness: Let go of the notion that there can be a better, or different, yesterday.

Simple enough. Yet, check your thoughts. Where are they? Dwelling on an episode, conversation, mistake, hurt, offense, etc. of the Past? If so, look again at the definition above.

“But”, you might say, “I have tried to forgive and that person does not deserve it, will not accept it, continues to do it, etc.” (the excuses continue on ad infinitum and ad nauseam)

DovesFore-giving is not about anyone else. It is about us and totally within our control.

Does it mean we condone the actions of another? No.

Does it mean we continue to allow another to use and abuse us? Heck, no!

Does it mean we forget, for now, with hopes of revenge, later? Again, the answer is — No.

We, simply — Let go of the notion that there can be a better, or different, yesterday.

Then, we assuage ourselves with, “Right here, right now, it’s great to be alive!”

The Offended

Many will choose to be offended. They will be envious of the peace and tranquility in our lives. The pathologically challenged will remain tethered to their past, while we move forward.

Each new day will bring the tightropes for us to walk boldly and in balance. Through it all, we retain our innocence by being able and willing to, quickly, ask for forgiveness when we are wrong and offering it freely to erase the foibles of others. By doing so we achieve —

The Reward

We ignore the foolish arguments — while sharing our core beliefs.

We wisely chart our course through danger — while being careful to remain harmless.

We forgive ourselves and others — while receiving an invitation to the future.

We, eventually, learn the inherent principle of Steel and Velvet
Easy is hard and Hard is easy.

Intelligence Test

Intelligence TestDad had an 8th Grade formal education and was one of the most intelligent men I have ever known.

He was from an era of the strong, silent type — and, when teased about being so quiet, he frequently said, “I learn more by listening.”

Today, listening seems to be a lost art form — and, we have several generations of fools.

Well, yes, that is blunt. Lest I be accused of being judgemental, let me rephrase — because, People have the God-given right to be the unique creations they are. Their behavior, though, is open to analysis. In other words, “I will not judge the People — yet, I can evaluate their Behaviors.”

Test For Foolishness

My worldview is based on the Three-E Formula — Enlighten, Empower, and Encourage. Yet, there are the Three Evil E’s  — Ego, Expectations, and Emotions.

To test anyone for foolishness, just tell them a Story — it doesn’t matter the subject. Share with them something about which you are passionate. And — see how often you are interrupted.

I’ll bet good money you will get interrupted 9 times out of 10 — because, People do not have the willpower to keep their Ego, Expectations, and Emotions under control.

Ego

Yes — it is important that we boldly approach our day.
No — it is not right to think the world revolves around us.

The People interrupting our good Stories will always have (in their mind) a better Story than ours — they are a Legend in their own Minds.

Expectations

Talk too slow, and People will try to finish your sentences.
Talk too fast, and People will look for other entertainment.

You see — those People have (in their mind) better things to do than listen to you share a Chapter from your Life. They expect you to fawn over them.

Emotions

Give too much to some People — they think you’re trying to manipulate.
Withhold your commentary and good advice — People will call you God.

Immature individuals are just like Toddlers — they whine, they pout, they cry, they throw things, they yell, and they make the ugliest faces — oh, and, when we laugh at their antics, they EXPLODE.

Test For Intelligence

When I asked Dad why he didn’t talk more, this was his reply, “Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.”

My frustration with that quote is — Dad was very wise. In fact, he had accumulated much Knowledge. Every day he applied – what he knew – to gain an Understanding of many things and People. The progression of Knowledge into Understanding resulted in a Wisdom unsurpassed by the educated idiots of our day.

Yes — I include myself in that category of People who wanted to be known by their initials: CPA, CITP, CGMA and all kinds of other Certified somethings.

That was yesterday. Now, I simply want to be measured by the Value that I contribute to the Whole Wide World.

I’ll — happily — let you be the judge of that.