All posts by Mark

Motorcycle Ride To Honeyrun Falls Near Howard, Ohio.

 

There are numerous ways to make the motorcycle ride from Newark, Ohio to Honeyrun Falls Park near Howard, Ohio and none of them are bad. This map is one of my favorite routes(at least as close as I get Google Maps to plot) that takes you past many Amish farms. The route can be changes to go through Martinsburg and Utica if you want a place to stop for gas or food.

The roads are rural rolling hills and the reward at the end is a beautiful small waterfall  with trails to explore.

Honeyrun Fall in Knox County, Ohio near the town of Howard.
Honeyrun Fall Near Howard, Ohio on Hazeldell Road. 

Living in Central Ohio so close to great places to ride is a blessing for a biker. Relaxing rides like this are just a turn of a key away from a great time.

Here is a good post for more detailed information about the natural specifics of Honeyrun Falls.

Newark, Ohio Community Garden

The Community Garden In Downtown Newark, Ohio
I like the community garden downtown Newark, Ohio. I don’t know the details about it, but it’s nice to see space not going to waste and I can compare how it’s doing compared to my own at home. I like the idea of a raised bed with cinder blocks and as soon as I come up with a reasonable and cost effective way to keep my dogs out of the garden, I’m going to try something similar in my back yard. 
I notice that they use the holes in the cinder blocks for strawberries and flowers. The strawberries will not spread out this way, so that makes sense, but I’m going to have to find out what flowers are used and why. 

Why Isn’t The Tax Rate On Your Fuel Receipt?

I’m trying to get a photo every day. I wanted to mix it up a little and take a photo of something shocking, even if just a little bit. I stopped for gas, looked at my receipt, and there was my photo for the day. Just a gas receipt.

What could be interesting and shocking about that? Every other receipt has the tax paid listed, but fuel doesn’t. It’s the only purchase I can think of that doesn’t show it. It doesn’t even seem legal, but I’m sure it is as it was a major corporation I bought from.

I’m tired of complaining about these type of things without taking any action. It’s not like I can change this, but I’ve just become a fan of high mpg transportation. I’ll point this out everywhere I can too as it’s not only a problem with fuel, it’s a problem of dishonesty and misrepresentation of taxation.

gas receipt falsely shows no tax paid
$0 tax paid? I don’t think so.
As any person who is awake at all should do, I turned to Google to find some answers to the questions. The first find was just a man ranting about it like I am. Not a polished video, but it’s good to see I’m not the only one who has a problem with this. He is wrong about the tax going up with the price of fuel. It remains constant per gallon until raised by federal or state lawmakers.

Then, there’s this video that attempts to explain how Ohio’s fuel tax works, but leaves me with more questions than answers. It goes into explaining how our dollar has magically lost value, how the pleas to drive less and use less fuel has produced the problem, and although it explains all of the transactions involved, it fails to tell you about the tax paid every one of these steps before the gas hits your tank.

Out of all of this information though, I cannot find the answer as to why it’s allowed to be hidden. Here’s the breakdown just from the $.464 tax amount from this chart showing the combined federal and Ohio state taxes.

13.439 gallons times $.464 = $6.24 cents paid. I spent $48.10, so that’s a 12.97% taxes on gasoline. If it were diesel, it would be even more and commercial vehicles have a complex scheme that pays in an entirely different way. About 13% of my money is paid and they don’t want me to know I paid it. Why?

I could put up a lot of comparisons too. State tax is only 7% for goods, why is gas 6% higher?

If you have an answer, I’d love to hear it. I already understand that in theory, this money pays for the infrastructure. You’d think that would be an infrastructure paved with gold at this rate, but I understand that theory. I understand Liberals want me to pay even more tax, but drive less, then complain that I didn’t pay enough. I understand that Republicans don’t even want to talk about this tax because they enjoy the fruits of it in a quiet way. I know that it’s “only” about $325/year if I bought this amount every week. All that I want to know is how is it legal for them to hide it and why. If this is a good, fair, and just tax in any way, shouldn’t they want me to be well-informed about how much it is and where the money goes?

Just A Sparrow

Sparrow In The Spring Rain

A sparrow from my front yard. Caught the mood of the day for me anyhow. It rained this morning and birds were all over at a furious pace feeding on worms and grubs. I watched them through the winter and they were usually feeding on berries and vegetation. Fun watching them feed on the easy bounty of a warm spring rain.

sparrow on twig
Sparrow

 

Buckeye Lake At Night With Full Moon

My attempts at night photography over the years have only yielded a few results that I’m proud of. Night photography is an art form that takes a while to get the results that you’re looking for. This night photo of a full moon over Buckeye Lake, Ohio is getting closer to what I’m after.

Full Moon Over Buckeye Lake in Ohio.

The Technical Stuff

To take this shot, I had the choice between a cell phone, a Canon G15, and a Canon SX50HS. The cell phone was out of the question, I didn’t like what I seen through the G15’s viewer, but the SX50 had the right look, so I went with it. I got out the tripod(shots like this are out of the question without one) and started testing different settings. I ended up getting what I wanted with a 13 second exposure, F8 aperture, manual focus set to infinity, and an ISO of 80.

I processed the photo with Photoshop and Nik Software. There was a huge problem with a “banding” effect that I need to look up a resolve to later. The adjustments had to be slight or I’d get these really bad looking bands of color all over the sky area.

Johnstown, Ohio Photos Added

On my way to take some photographs of Delaware County for the next county in the Ohio County Photo Project, I stopped to take a few in Johnstown, Ohio. Johnstown is a small town on the far west side of Licking County. I have many pictures of Licking County, but had not included Johnstown before now.

Johnstown, Ohio downtown clock.
There are so many of these clocks in downtown locations across Ohio, but this one of the better done setups. 

 

Green Peppers Are In The Ground

I put the peppers in the ground today as the weather was perfect and the plants were more than ready. I started the peppers from seed over a month ago. This is a first, both starting in a container from seed and planting peppers.

Peppers planted 18 May, 2013. 
If you haven’t started your garden, now is the time to do it in Ohio for quite a few plants. I use sproutrobot.com(now defunct website) to inform when is the best time to plant.

It’s fun to watch the miracle of plant growth from the start. It happens all around us, all of the time, but it’s different when you have a hand in it. Like anything worthwhile, you have to tend to them diligently, expect some losses, and hope to enjoy the fruits of your labor when it’s time.There are tomatoes and a bunch of other things planned for the garden this year. My focus is going to be on expanding and improving the areas that I have. I started the hobby last year and I enjoyed so much that I’m going to continue with it.

It’s A Good Day To Start A New Blog

Last night my old website crashed for the last time. I could fix it, but choose not to. The old way that I was doing things didn’t fit with what I really want to do with my website, take photos and write. Out with the old that requires constant monitoring, securing, expense, and configuration.

Newark, Ohio courthouse
Newark, Ohio Courthouse On a May Afternoon

My blog has been running since 2006, so this will be another major iteration in the progress of the blog. I’ll put some of the best posts from the old blog as time goes by.

The new blog will focus on life in Central Ohio, photography, and motorcycles.