Why wouldn’t you outsource book keeping?

For most small business owners, you would have to be absolutely crazy to employ your own accountants and book keepers when you can outsource all of that work to professionals and save money at the same time. It would be completely realistic to reduce your costs by 50% when you factor in salary, leave, down time and other inefficiencies. Outsourcers can achieve economies of scale with things like payroll because it is what they specialise in, they are more efficient at it and they do it well and consistently day in, day out. This results in direct savings for you the business owner. Bookkeepers Melbourne are a good example of the right kind of company to outsource your accounting, payroll and other financial management needs to. Leave all the nitty gritty number crunching to professionals so you can free your time up to concentrate on other areas of your business where you are most effective, whether that be sales, marketing, people management, product development, relationship building or whatever your speciality is. Adam Smith was right – focus on your areas of competitive advantage and everyone wins – especially your bottom line!

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Fun gift ideas for green-friendly families

Well it’s nearly that time of year again, stores will be putting up decorations, people will be buying trees, carols will be sung. That’s right… Christmas shopping time is upon us! I’ve started looking for gifts early, and given that I blog about environmental issues it is always nice to find related products I can give as gifts. I found these little retro-styled christmas labels at http://www.brightstarkids.com.au/Vintage-Christmas-Labels.aspx?p774 and bought a bunch. What I love about them is they add a nice stylish finish to your gift wrapping (and look awesome on green wrapping paper). You could also put them on home made Christmas cards, on the christmas card envelopes – be creative and think of other ideas for how you could use these on your own gifts and cards. From the same site you could also take a look at their name labels perfect for kids clothes, school bags, shoes – make sure you dont lose any of your kid’s clothing again. You can even get laundry ones so you don’t mix up which clothes belong to who! Your kids will love some of the colorful labels with cartoon animals and other cool pictures on them, and you will probably love the convenience.

 

 

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Over 1 year later pollution is still ongoing…

Researchers from Auburn University found the environmental impact of the spill is continuing 17 months since oil leaked into the ocean, after an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon.

They found that “mats” submerged in the seabed for more than a year had been broken up by tropical storms and gave off the tar balls.

The pollution found on Alabama beaches this month had “essentially identical” chemical composition to those from after the spill.

Researchers now “question the validity of the widely-held belief that submerged oil from the Deepwater Horizon accident is substantially weathered and depleted”.

BP said it would “continue to have crews out collecting tarballs as the reports come in” but the report would not change its immediate plans.

On Wednesday, BP’s share price dropped 1.3pc to 409.1p as it also emerged that the group of obscure Russian investors suing BP and two of its senior staff have almost doubled their claim to £3.1bn.

The lawsuit follows ongoing tensions at TNK-BP between its joint owners, BP and four oligarchs.

Small shareholders in TNK-BP, led by Andrey Prokhorov, claim the British company caused the joint venture to be excluded from a £10bn deal with Russian state oil company Rosneft. They originally filed a claim for £1.75bn, strongly contested by BP, but they now allege that losses are higher as they had not included overseas opportunities.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/8780060/New-tar-balls-on-Gulf-of-Mexico-beaches-come-from-BP-oil-spill.html

 

This begs the question: for how long will things like this keep happening? If there are “mats” under the sea breaking up 17 months later who knows what other timebombs are lurking ready to explode in 6 years, 10 years, 20 years?

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Professional development for health workers

In any career, investing in your professional development is a valuable and necessary investment to make. For doctors and other medical practitioners this is equally true, if not more so. It is so important to keep up with new developments in your field, and for UK-based doctors and health consultants I have found one website that offers literally hundreds of options to improve your training and expertise. Oxford Medical offer a comprehensive consultant interview course that will have you handling interview situations like an experienced old hand. Fancy moving into the field of medical education? This is a massively growing sector with great career opportunities so why not take a medical teaching course? A teaching course like this is ideal for senior doctors and consultants who wish to add to their repertoire as educators as well as practitioners. Like any industry, as doctors move up the ranks they need to develop their leadership and management skills. Fortunately Oxford provide the option of taking a medical management course. This one is delivered by expert NHS doctors and managers and will add to your depth and skill-set when managing people within a medical environment. Still wishing to go further with medical education? You could always learn to train the trainer by studying a teach the teacher course, it could be the valuable next step in furthering your medical career. Good luck, and always be striving to improve!

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HEAVEN AS NOTHING BUT THE DISTANCE BY JOSHUA ROBBINS

 

Heaven As Nothing but Distance
Maybe it was enough to believe
the Zodiac’s blazing entirety
would be cast from the sky,
an effortless handful of salt

scattered to the Kansas plains’
red wheat. Out West,
souls every day were shedding
their Earthly inheritance—the refused

histories of cause and effect,
blight, hunger with a trace
of Santa Fe Railway coal
dusting grocers’ displays—

and so my grandfather, too,
who, having left Topeka
for Los Angeles’s early sprawl,
exits the train station’s dim

into day’s white flash,
takes one step onto his upturned
apple crate, a new Bible
in his palm, and he begins

to explain why all things are fire,
what it is that makes you ache
awake, and why this must
be so. Once, on a gritty

city beach in California—flies,
stinking strands of kelp
rotting, Styrofoam—he
and I sat watching a gull choir

first eyeball, then swoop,
then peck, almost in unison,
something tangled in a blue tarp
washed-in above the tide-pull.

A drowning victim, maybe.
A vagrant. And though unable
to see what was there, when he
put his hand in mine

I could not have even counted
all the things I wished
to believe in, and which would still
be true if what I remembered

was the sound of the waves landing,
but now there is only the lungless
hot breath of L.A.
on my cheek, the cries of gulls,

their wings ruffling into flight.
The night after his memorial,
someone dug a hole into
Kansas silt loam, dropped

into it the plastic baggie
with his ashen remains.
Nothing then but distance in every
direction. Above us, a satellite’s

beacon begged the horizon
for home, the heavens’ scales
measured the darkness, and that’s all.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Joshua Robbins is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Tennessee where he teaches poetry and fiction writing, and serves as Editor for Grist: The Journal for Writers. His awards include the James Wright Poetry Award, the New South Prize, as well as multiple Pushcart Prize nominations. His work appears in Best New Poets, Mid-American ReviewThird CoastHayden’s Ferry ReviewVerse DailyCopper NickelSouthern Poetry Review, and elsewhere.

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GUMBO by George Comeaux

Gumbo

I

Oil and Water have always mixed well here –
Priest and prostitute; Anglo; Creole;
Plantation owner; wet nurses; sharecropper –
Gumbo stirring in everyone’s soul.

Acadians trapped in the swamps no one wanted;
Africans danced to the auctioneer’s song;
Battered by strong winds, and social upheaval,
Twice reconstructed, more fertile and strong.

II

It’s not Oil and Water, it’s Black Gold and Brine!
Treasures embracing, to taunt destiny…
Mother Earth pierced, lubricants flowing
In post-partem sorrow to Grandmother Sea.

Life from the past, dueling life for tomorrow,
Clouding the bon temps that want to roulez;
Wings weighted, grounded; gills suffocating;
Shrimp boats aren’t a’sailin’ on Ponchartrain Bay.

III

Blame the pusher, the user, investor, producer;
Add up to total, send out the bill.
God said He’d forgive human transgression…
I don’t think Mother Nature will.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

STATEMENT

Oil and water have had significant impacts on my life. My parents grew up on Louisiana farms near the Mississippi River, My father worked as a teenager with his father clearing swamps for the levees near Baton Rouge. My spent his career at Humble Oil in Baytown, Texas, on the Houston Ship Channel. Humble income helped fund my college experience. My hope and prayer are that the perpetual inter-dependence and conflict between Nature and Industry will favor the health and well-being of the larger family.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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CHANNEL BY KATHERINE FACTOR

Channel

We all live downstream. Osteoblast
rings are an enormous thing. Have you
ever seen inside the heart? If you have, you have entered
a forest. Ventricles abound. Now lie down on its floor.
Looking up is the miasma of trees; leucocytes
scan the scene – can you believe it? You are watching your chest -
I am here thinking it is a man’s, the men I love
that is the you in this poem and you are under
the parasoling canopy. Parasols are protectors: that is me.
And past the chest is the plasma TV. And I am
watching Micheline on America’s Got Talent, she
is the younger sister of my puppy love, assistant to the magician
Antonio, a man with Zappa zombie raging hair. And fire. And blood.
The zapper instructs us on. Down another
chamber, the dolphins are hemorrhaging from Corexit.
What has fallen is vexed –
foul fruit has fallen from the tree, mutinous breadfruit. Beaches are aflame.
The workers are pleading, I mean bleeding.
Is this why my left brain hurts? The headache, I think, is fallout or pollen or waves.
And the water children build sandcastles, moats retort an invisible oil,
the solvent explodes. So what if I am angry, will this solve it?
At Squaw Valley, that name, poets write about birds drenched in crude,
but we don’t want to say it. This is true: E – co-tro -city.
It feels weird to admit. To write it. I flip
back to Micheline. Everyone is so grateful
and loving, having their American dream. But BP is just
over there, the crab making every attempt to save
his house, a charcoaled shell. His moonmother was made for fish.
The gusher is now a leak shooting ink. The white man
with feathered trim croons the Reverend. Michael Grimm, the kind
with the two m’s, goes on singing. Even Al Green can’t clean
this. The heart pulsates. The molar undulates, is a mountain
made for cannibalism. This ends the show,
I mean home, I mean -What has happened?
Damn you, you hellmouth, this was supposed to be
a love poem.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

STATEMENT

I wrote this poem in July at Squaw Valley Poetry Community of Writers, to me a heightened place of eco-poetries. I was thinking of that day’s teacher Dean Young – his influence and his ability to contain constellations in his writing – while watching television in my quarters. As I marveled at how closely programmed the dying earth could be with a hope-blow-out of a talent show, a projective notion came forth – to channel is to make a poem an organism, an artifact of our consciousness at the time.

 

In workshop, Dean calmly defended Channel when it was described “a rant,” suggesting that control marks and holds the emotion. I was, in fact, so aware of the amoebas of music released in the poems’ making, pushing the words toward mycorestoration because BP wouldn’t, at the same time needling in scorching disharmony of anti-accountability. I was trying, then, to take responsibility at least for language, dispersing the pollutant of imprisoning dark emotions by forcefully accepting poetic taxonomies. Instead of running from the evolving families of “political’ poetry, I found, then, that to admit the heart-driven is a way to allow the few remaining rights waters have guide the poem.
Katherine Factor was born near the Mississippi but now lives in the San Jacinto mountains. She has work forthcoming in Quarterly West and the Colorado Review.
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VEILED SPILL #1 BY JAN CLAUSEN

Veiled Spill #1

One/ This is the world: we agree on that much. Spilling, they loll on their mojo here and there, hurling much to the winds. Idle. Ashing. Desperately kindled. Roasting marshmallowy virgins on the points of bayonets. Muffled within the uncanny. Incandescent. Not to blame. (Above all, not to blame!) Regard their beautiful mugs and wistful abs. I hobbled, veiled, among them like a vendor on the strand. Like a démodé prophet, lip-synching codas, while they stoutly maintained that Being’s a self-starter, that whatever “takes place” would have done so anyway without our intervention, that politics is a reflex, superstitious behavior or else Tourette’s syndrome (This is the world, I said, and they said it didn’t matter.) We better get global warming figured out toot sweet, they moaned, cranking up the AC. They did it without a blush of irony. For them, it’s a no-brainer. This is the world. Where you can do anything. Synthesize a garden or tweet about Art. Pour concrete and sprinkle designer compost and sow exotic grasses. Draft an ars poetica on your mobile. Stock the second freezer with mice to feed the python. Where everything is superfluous like our bodies, but only an ant is more or less foolproof. I can’t get them out of my kitchen. This is the weird. Where nothing helps anything.

Two/ Veiled to the nines, I said we should cast them out.

Three/ An Ant! An Enemy! Morning!

Four/ This heat reminds me of something. I was traveling incognito as a child. And this was the world, and this was America. Riding, I remember, car windows rolled down, in the back seat of the Chevy station wagon, muffled within the uncanny, through some parched provincial state—Idaho, Montana. Stopped at a budget motel, chlorine pool by the parking lot. Dove in, displaying mediocre form. Some limb too much akimbo, Father said. Floated, blissfully far from criticism. And I ain’t got no home in this world anymore.

Five/ It seemed possible I’d spilled a little sugar on the counter.

Six/ I divide my time (now) between the cloud and the ledge. And this too is the world as seen from my brittle plenitude. (Cast it off. Loose it to the winds.) This was (is) the world in need of prayer or channeling. Anywhere—while arranging the white squares of ant traps!—you might experience a kundalini wakeup call. Divide the veil in two and pin it back. Think of the pubic bone’s halves like butterfly wings. Root down to the earth through your pelvic floor. Enjoy your teeth. Absorb your brush with breath. Be sure to wash your hands after handling the traps. The captain has turned on the sha-nah-nah sign. I presume we’re cleared for takeout. We’ll be on the ground in stitches.

Seven/ Veils on top of veils, all utterly transparent. The ants, a lot of them, had found a point of interest over by the stove. It seemed I could write it down, but nuances would vanish. Nobody would get it. I wrote what I overheard. Some consider it purloined. On the radio, journalists spoke of “driving eyeballs to the page.” I pictured (out of Buñuel or Dalí) a shepherd herding his ocular flock to pasture, then learned the phrase was only bloggerese for the effort to capture readers. For years on end, locked down in the seminar, I talked mainly to myself, but possibly it was healthy for the students to witness a female elder’s over-involvement with the text. I silently deplored their inveterate cleavage and spoke in tongues weakly from the parapet of my wimple. Discreetly, under the table, they checked their messages or IM’d fuck buddies. This is the world and this is human endeavor. He created an index card for each of his lovers, including a coded notation of penis size. She used the pen name Adonis for her man-on-man porn, but still couldn’t get an agent. She had a flawed idea of male arousal or possibly just the market. Note I said sow not spill (I meant the seed). While walking in the garden near the lacinato kale, I came upon a woman in a tank top. One shapely limb was raised above her head and what took away my breath (but only metaphorically) was the swirled tuft of hair licking up from the delicate hollow. I worshipped venery briefly in her sexual penumbra, as beads of water clung in the dimpled surfaces of cruciferous vegetable foliage. This was the world, where what I wanted didn’t count. “Shave your eardrums.” What was that you said. Oh, underarms. Armpits. Pluck your eyebrows while you’re at it. How do you “thread” an eyebrow? And how do you decide between “sow” and “spill”? Which do you do with seed? (Or—“sew” the seed, a frill.)

Eight/ The ants boil up through pinpoint holes between the counter tiles. I should be thinking of grouting, caulking.

Nine/ It didn’t matter what I wanted, nothing helps anything. A tummy tuck, a water cure, a pose on a sticky mat. Mad ants got into my stash of medjool dates. Extinction kept unfurling in the wings. This was the world and it was dying, blatantly. Had been at it so long I’d sort of gotten acclimated. From Day One, my lullaby had been, “Wake not the sleeping aporia. Mind the hypoxic zone.” Gaily decked out in mufti, one perceives no need for corsets. “And why would you need to put full makeup on just to read The Idiot and Theodicy?” Thus barricaded calmly within the wiki burqa, we loll and spill and sow and toil and maim, maintaining (startled, sorry, reminiscent) that Being’s a self-starter, that direct action is the whippet of the masses, that nothing takes place because of our tenderness. Thus do we palpate romance.

Ten/ The exterminator came in the heat of the afternoon: round-bodied, graying, wearing a dark blue uniform. He mopped his brow and spoke of the End of Days in a light West Indian accent. “I don’t know how religious you are, but there’s a man on the radio, maybe you’ve heard about him—he predicts that on May 11 of next year…that’s when He is coming to establish His kingdom. If that is true, our time is very short.” “But what do you think?” I wanted to know, always a sucker for eschatology. The exterminator paused, repositioning his nozzle. He appeared to be a man who took pride in his work. “I pay close attention when it says in the Bible: ‘You will know not the day nor the hour.’ I don’t see how anyone could know a thing like that.” While I was making out the check, he noticed my funny aloe plant, deformed by its affinity for indirect light. “Back home on my island, we break off a piece for any cut, bruise, or sting. That’s your pharmacy right there.”

Eleven/ She walks these hills in a long black limousine. She walks these hills in a crumpled Humvee. She walks these hills in a rusty old beater. She walks these hills in a knockout static kill. She walks these hills in a billowy blind shear ram. She walks these hills in a skimpy blowout preventer. Baby doll, baby doll.

Twelve/ I wondered: what would happen to the sky?

Thirteen/ Within its wild veil, the gritty scatter of the belly. This was the world. Why are they hurting it here? (And so I hunkered down and played with fire.) It strikes me that I know so very little in the round, about creation’s lumps and lunges, all its sore latitudes. That humming umbilical engine, under-girding everything, muffled within the din of spill&cleanup. (And so I hunkered down and burned with art.) A gulf is a gulf of relations—this much was clear to me, though I’m not even a woman in the regular sense (for instead of multiplying, I want to be alone, protected by the thick, opaque curtains of sentences that enfold my face and body). It was just water. It was just trees. It was just grass. It was just time. It was there for the living and I’ve never forgotten, here in my cloistered purview, no longer beset by ants, whose antics made me think of the old-fashioned raves my students used to frequent. Everyone would rush to find a party in some warehouse and their rushing in a crowd was the party. “I used to walk to the self along with others” (Darwish). I’m missing them already though they drove me up the wall when I found them in my oatmeal, in my tea. In Spain the pretty bimbos sported fabulous torture-shoes, adorable balls and arches lifted up in flagrant pedi-crucifixions over Roman paving stones. Newspapers filled their pages with debates about the banning of a simple facial garment. I hiked through art museums full of annunciations, flayings. Flew home (enlarging my carbon footprint) and found much the same—cheap amalgam of racialized hooey and imperial conflagration. Autos de fé. Everything twice as tacky as it was before lunch. Why were they hurting it here? I prophesied. I veiled. I came too late to drive the demons out.

Fourteen/ This was the world: belly-land, belly-sea. A bayoneted cradle was blocking the road. Earth lay before me, disemboweled to the horizon. It didn’t matter what I wanted.

Fifteen/ I spilled and spilled.

Sixteen/ I wanted the world to live.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jan Clausen’s eleven books include five volumes of poetry, the novels Sinking, Stealing and The Prosperine Papers, and the memoir Apples and Orange. Her most recent poetry titles, From a Glass House (IKON) and If You Like Difficulty (Harbor Mountain Press), both came out in 2007. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, Coconut, Drunken Boat, Fence, Hanging Loose, The Hat, Heliotrope, Kenyon Review, North American Review, the Library of America volume Poems from the Women’s Movement, Ploughshares, Tarpaulin Sky, and The Village Voice, in addition to many other journals and anthologies. Clausen frequently reviews books and the literary scene for publications including Boston Review, Ms., The Nation, Poets and Writers, and The Women’s Review of Books. A feminist activist since the 1970’s, she was a founding editor of the lesbian feminist literary journal Conditions. The recipient of writing grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and NYFA, she teaches creative writing in the Goddard College MFA in Writing Program.

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THE NINTH STAR BY MAI’A ‘

The Ninth Star

When the hurricane hit New Orleans black and white newspaper image in my coworkers hands. Her black curls, her white skin. I went back to sipping black coffee in a white mug and only said, my family’s from there but thats another story, Yankee.
This story the tiger who pulled me to his bed and made me forgive him like pretty princesses always.
The ninth ward is gone now overgrown with blue trees. put the earth in my pockets and hide from the bad dreams.

I hear you got oil in the bay now seeping into earth making eyes glitter. Dont forget me, girl, now that you’ve become rich.
You know they used to call your coat black gold you black like me now you old.

The earth is not the only who knows my name and I too will be called like star to gravity like milk to pink teeth thy will be done new orleans gone.

My skin drifts light in the winter like the color is trying to escape.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Mai’a ‘who should have been named Nikki’ according to the poet, Nikki Giovanni, is a visionary and media maker. She has lived and worked in the Middle East, southern Mexico and east Africa with refugee and displaced women under the threat of violence, also she has organized and accompanied communities and persons within the US/Canadian urban landscape, engaging in issues including: race, working poor, sex work, prisons, drug addiction, police brutality, and queer rights. Living in Cairo, Egypt, she is a free lance writer, poet, journalist, zinester, photographer, multi-media performer, and outlaw midwife. She has dedicated her body and life to stopping by any means necessary and possible the violence (whether it be state, military, communitarian, medical, domestic, etc.) that threatens our survival on this earth and to co-creating with you revolutionary, liberatory communities.

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A BLESSING FOR THE WATER BY JUDITH ROCHE

blessing for the water
 
beginning no end
circle the earth
blesséd water
blood of life
~~~~~~~~~~
STATEMENT
This is the text of a public art installation at the Brightwater Treatment Plant in King County, Washington. Jane Tsong is the visual artist, who proposed making three “blessings” for the water treatment plant: for water, air and the biosolids. I wrote the blessing for the water and for the Biosolids. The short shown poem here is the water blessing. The letters are cut out of steel and larger than they look in the photo- the first line is almost 4 foot tall. When fully functional (which it is not yet) water will be sluicing over the text and it will be, by design, barely
readable – but not totally obscured- by the rushing water.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Judith Roche has added text to several public art installations in and around Seattle, Washington. Her most recent book is Wisdom of the BodyBlack Heron Press, and won an American Book Award. 
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