Spreadsheet's Blog

Posted Friday, December 09, 2011 11:06 AM

Remember Anna Nicole Smith? She's back!!!!

Don't know about you, but there has been a huge void in my life since February 2007, when Anna Nicole Smith mixed the wrong drug cocktail and breathed her last breath at age 39 in a hotel room at a casino in Florida.

Her death was cruel irony, coming just before the big wave of reality shows made a lot of money for the likes of no-talent women like Coco (Ice-T's wife), Snookie and two generations of Kardashians. Smith was equally untalented and was more than willing to sell herself for a buck, but that was all before Jersey Shore et al, and she was forced to suffer the indignity of marrying a rich old man and waiting for him to check out before she could get her hands on serious cash.

Yes, Smith is gone, but her memory will live on -- thanks to the online Golden Palace Casino, which has announced that a new, no-doubt racy Anna Nicole Smith slot machine will soon be available to its customers. Golden Palace regrets that Smith's sexy likeness will not be seen on slots for people playing on Christmas morning, but everything should be good to go by early next year.

GP and Smith were actually somewhat joined at the hip back when Smith was on the right side of the grass. In fact, Smith allowed herself to be painted completely in gold (for her, no biggie, actually) for a Golden Palace promo that was scrapped when she took her 36 Double D's to the great beyond. The mourning period now over, GP figures it's time to roll her out again. It's not certain if Smith's ... [More]

Posted Wednesday, August 10, 2011 11:58 AM

Did 4-time lottery winner pull to an inside straight?

The emails used to come regularly, and they were brief. Often they would say only something like:

$240 million

It was understood that the Power Ball jackpot was getting high, and it was time to pool resources, buy 25 or 30 tickets, and hopefully cash in.

So I ponied up a buck or two. The idea was that we would hit it, rent a limo for the ride to the lottery office to get photographed in front of that huge check, stop back at work to give our two-week notices, then head to the local upscale steakhouse and party the night away.

We never hit big, of course, and over my protests even small winnings were used to buy even more losing tickets. It was a story played out in thousands of offices across North America.

Eventually I grew tired and decided smaller wins at casinos were better than chasing an unattainable jackpot, so I dropped out of the office pool. Since then I have not paid much attention to lotteries. I look at them kind of like an NBA no-call – if a lot of people want to try to buck ridiculous odds for the high likelihood of allowing a truck driver from Nebraska to get rich beyond his wildest dreams and blowing it in a few years, knock yourself out. I’ll try to grind out a hundred here or there at the blackjack table, and probably have a lot more fun doing it.

But a recent story about a Texas native who had hit it big four times – for total winnings of $25 million – got my attention. Joan Ginther is her name, and she now lives i... [More]

Posted Thursday, June 30, 2011 10:12 PM

Tax problems for England-based sites on horizon?

Do taxes bug you?

I mean, do you have a problem with the concept of taxes?

Not me.

In fact, I think we get a pretty good deal in the States. Property taxes got a cop at my house within minutes of a break-in several years ago, and the fire dept. and EMTs are ready in case something bad happens. The town plows my road in the winter, then in the spring repairs damage that the plows cause. When my kids were young, each of them got 12 years of good education.

State taxes allow me to take the dog on walks in state parks at no charge. Federal taxes will someday pay for my heath care, and provides for the common defense, even if we invade a few too many countries.

Bottom line: I'm OK with paying taxes, even if it pisses off a lot of my fellow citizens in the lower 48.

But I have problem with some taxes that will probably soon be imposed. In England.

Seems the Brits are a little short on funds, and rather than cut off the royals and make them go out and get jobs like the rest of us, they are hell bent on taking the easy way out and taxing online books.

Online gambling companies such as Ladbrokes and William Hill based in Great Britain have been able to avoid the heavy British tax burden that other companies face by locating their software elsewhere, such as Gibraltar, where taxes are as low as one percent of profits. Nice deal all around, and the lawmakers in England have been OK with it.

Bu... [More]