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The First in the Deck Series

Our most recent DIY experience through the process.

Out With The Old, In With The New

Gotta love a new beginning, right?

Peppermint Shortage

Just a funny afternoon.

Coffeyville, KS

I loved this experience so much that I had to write about it. Then, through e-mails it spread to Coffeyville itself.

Photo Restoration

I had a lot of fun with this "old school" photo. It turned out too cool to not blog about it.

Kitchen Remodel (part one)

This is the first of a nine-part series documenting the remodel of our 50-year-old kitchen in our 100-year-old home!

Dream Car

I was browsing the internet last night looking around at old cars and I asked myself "If I could have any car what one would I pick?". Well, the general response to this question is the most expensive car that one can think of. Then, they say, "I would sell it and get...". I gave the question a twist and added the following clause: You can't ever sell it, trade it, or otherwise dispose of it. This new clause made me put a lot of thought into my final answer.

For many years my favorite automobile of all time has been the 1936 Packard V12 Boattail Speedster. It has class that modern automobiles will never know. Today, if you purchase a top-of-the-line car, you get a bunch of plastic and a steel body that is so thin that it dents if you spit on it. The old Packards had the most plush materials found on the market at the time. It had trim made of the finest hardwoods that were sanded and stained to perfection. It had a frame that was sturdier than most modern work trucks and body panels that were practically bullet proof.

Some people don't like this car at first glance, but imagine yourself driving one and your opinion may start to change. Despite my love for this classic, my answer to my own question was not yet answered. As much as I would love to have one, the fact that it is only a two-seater brought me to the conclusion that this wouldn't be for me.

I'm a family man and I like my family, so therefore I would be in need of more space. After careful consideration and a very detailed thought process I came to find my answer: a 1959 Ford Thunderbird. Some call it the "Square-bird" because it was during Ford's brief square cab design on the Thunderbird. I love it, though.
It's a muscle car with tons of accentuated lines of flair. I could easily see myself driving around town with the whole family enjoying it's awesome interior. And if any young punk in his "Fast and Furious" style piece of crap decided to scoff, I would hammer down the accelerator and let the 460 under the hood blow his doors off, just temporarily risking the lives of the Felton clan for the sake of proving the worth of a carbureated vehicle.

So, I ask you. What would your vehicle be if you could have anything ever made? But, keep in mind that whatever you choose you would be stuck with for life.

Head Injury


Most of my friends have at one time or another heard this story (or compilation of stories) so I apologize if this is old news to you. Wait a minute. I don't apologize. I take that back. If you don't want to read this you can simply stop reading it. No apologies necessary.

I have been hospitalized four times for head injuries. The first was at a mere few weeks old when I rolled over for the first time. You parents out there are thinking, "rolled over at a few weeks old? no way!" Well, I did and my mom wasn't expecting it either. She was changing my diaper. That's funny. I used to wear diapers. Ha ha. (head injuries: bare with me) Anyway, she turned around to grab a clean diaper and turned back around to see me rolling right off the counter and falling to the not-yet-tiled-cement-floor. Not that tile would've been any softer. Anyway, after freaking out and taking me to the hospital to be checked out all I needed was a butterfly patch to stop the bleeding.

The second head injury took place at the age of four or was it five? (head injuries: bare with me) Anyway, I was unfortunate enough to be under the fireplace mantle at my grandparents house when a clock fell off and landed on my head. It was like the one pictured here but was in the shape of a maple leaf. It's not very light and it took many stitches to close the hole it left me with.

The third happened the summer I turned fifteen. Dustin and I were riding our bikes in the middle of the night down a hill in Ozark. I tried to make a turn that I missed and wound up rocketing off the curb at about 30 miles an hour. My bike and I crossed one of those ten-foot-deep, cement-lined drainage ditches in mid-air. I smacked the other side of it head first and fell down into it. I would've probably died that night, but Dustin was smarter than I was and wouldn't let me get up after I regained consciousness. (Note to Dustin: don't get too full of yourself. It's not difficult to be smarter than a guy who was dropped on his head as a baby) A three-day stint in ICU and one half an ear sewn back on later I got to go home again. Blood clots suck.

The fourth, and the last one hopefully, was when I was eighteen and I spun out in the snow while delivering a pizza (ironically on the same highway about a mile from my third head injury site) and spun 270 degrees around to get broadsided by a Bronco going the other direction. My head went through the driver's side window and I wound up with a chunk of "safety-glass" that broke through my skull still inside my head. They found it with an x-ray and pulled it out with a pair of large surgical tweezers. A couple more stitches later I was as good as new.

The reason I write this blog is because last night my son, Jacob, got his first hospitalization due to a head injury. He's in Arkansas with his mother for the summer and apparently a horse kicked him in the head. It was "one of the new ponies" and I'm told that it just grazed him more that hitting him square. She rushed him to the hospital despite appearing to be okay after the inital shock. The hospital gave him a CAT scan which ruled out any injury. So, he was left with just a scratch down his face where the hoof caught him. I'm still more shaken up by the phone call than he is from the horse. Hopefully I haven't started a new Felton traditon.

My reply to St. Petersburg Times article

I wrote the author of this article an e-mail and the following is the e-mail that I sent him:

You may not even remember this article since it dates back to 2003. However, I thought that since you generously spread your opinion and apparently continue to do so as the article can still be found hanging out on your employer's servers, that I would reply to you with my own opinion.

First, I enjoyed your opinionated writing style. I always enjoy reading a piece that playfully takes pot-shots at the intended target. However, I happen to be one of those intended targets. Naturally, this article isn’t wrong as it is entirely opinion. On the other hand, it clearly demonstrates the backwards thoughtless thinking of Americans today. The problem is that so many Americans today are conditioned to believe that they owe federal income taxes. And as you said, you just sign the dotted line. By signing that dotted line you agree that “under penalty of perjury” you owe taxes even though I’m willing to bet that you have never read through Article 26 of the congressional statues. If you were capable of letting go of all your pre-conceived “knowledge” and just read through Article 26 along with the corresponding regulations and, of course, the Constitution that gives Congress the power to even write the statutes in the first place, then I’m sure that you could find out the truth.

However, like the majority of Americans, you will most likely dismiss what I am saying to you since it does not agree with what you have always believed. In all probability, your pride will cause you to either refuse to research it yourself or will jump on the first finding that agrees with what you have always thought to be the truth. In doing this, you will feel good knowing that I haven’t a clue what I speak of and that your superior knowledge of the subject has won you another victory in which you can bask in all your wondrous glory.

Unfortunately, for you and all Americans, this scenario will reluctantly leave you to continue believing “common knowledge” over actual research. I could fully write out the explanation as to how it is interpreted that most Americans don’t owe any federal income tax, but it is not an easy road. Congress has made sure of the difficulty of finding the truth over the years. So, rather than lose you with the long drawn out evidence, I will instead leave you with a simple question and a link to a video that will lay out all the evidence in front of you so that you can come up with your own informed and educated opinion as opposed to your previous uninformed, uneducated one.

The link is http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7521758492370018023&q=theft+by+deception . The question is “If it is not unconstitutional (allowed by the Constitution) for Congress to pass laws requiring that American citizens pay federal income taxes on the income that they earn exclusively from within the United States, then why isn’t there a law stating this clearly and precise?” Because, the fact of the matter is that in Article 26 it states that one’s “taxable income” is simply their “gross income” minus “allowable deductions”. Well that was simple, right? However, let’s not assume that we know what they mean when they use these phrases. Legal wording is not always defined the same by the legal document as it may be defined by common knowledge. “Gross income”, it turns out is defined as “income from whatever sources derived within the United States ”. Once again it sounds simple. Surely, that means wherever your money comes from inside the U.S. , right? One would think, but let’s see what they say about ”sources from within the Untied States.” This is defined by the section that you are referred to (Section 861) as non-resident aliens who have income inside the U.S., U.S. citizens that have income from outside the U.S., and those who have income from investments in U.S. territories (such as Guam, Puerto Rico, etc.). This is the extent of the list of types of income that would be considered to be “gross income” as defined by the official tax code. They don’t want you to know that since the U.S. Constitution only empowered Congress SPECIFIC abilities and that taxing domestic income wasn’t listed as one of them, they have no right to pass a law requiring such a tax. Therefore, the only way that they could tax domestic transactions was to word the tax for foreign affairs in such a way that it appeared to be for ALL income domestic and foreign. The IRS has never officially answered the thousands of letters asking this exact question. And they never will as long as people keep mindlessly handing over huge portions of their earnings.

As far as your article is concerned, it saddens me that someone, such as yourself, would openly admit to not knowing anything about taxes or how to prepare a return properly and turn around and insult those who refuse to accept a belief simply because uninformed people, such as yourself, will cowardly believe it never asking for a shred of evidence of why they must pay it. Patriots fought to build this country, men who wouldn’t accept the tyrannical oppression of the elite. Today, that same oppressive force comes from new faces that threaten to take away our possessions, our families, and even our freedom if we don’t submit to their unjust reign. Patriots will not accept this. Men who just sign the dotted line know nothing of heroism.

St. Petersburg Times article



Theft by Deception


Last night I watched a video on google Video that was an hour and a half long. Wait, let me back up. I was told about a year or so ago that the money that I earn isn't taxable by our federal government. I had heard rumors about his sort of thing. Maybe you have, too? I heard statements like "It's unconstitutional to charge taxes on every American citizen" and "Did you know that we were never to be taxed on the money we make?". Well, because of these statements I started beleiving that indeed my earnings shouldn't be taxed by the federal government. I just never knew why.

The majority of Americans also don't know why. They don't know why they pay taxes. They think they do, but they don't really know. To the question "why do you pay taxes?" most Americans will say something like "I have to", "so that our government will have money for programs like public education", "so that the IRS won't arrest me", and so forth. But, despite everything they may know about taxes and how they are calcualted, they have no knowledge whatsoever of the laws that make them think they have to pay taxes.

I'm going to do something awesome for my blog readers. I'm going to give you a 90 minute educational video in a nutshell. However, I strongly suggest watching this video if you have the time. It explains in much greater detail what I am going to attempt to make clear in a much shorter description.

To begin, you must first understand the process in which the tax law is derived. The Constitution authorizes Congress to pass laws regarding certain specific issues. Congress then enacts laws relating to these matters which are then encoded into the Statutes of the United States code. The code is divided into 50 titles. Title 26 is the federal tax title. Laws passed by Congress may add new sections, delete old sections, or change the wording of existing sections of the code however the basic scope of the income tax laws have mostly remained the same. It's important to know that the Statutes are not the end of the law. Congress is merely the Legislative branch. They only make the law according to the power given to them by the Constitution. It's up to the Executive branch to enforce the law. So, the Executive branch has written the Regulations as the official notice to the public for what is required of them. The Regulations were written to mirror the applicable Statute. Much of the wording is exactly the same, however the Regulations tend to expand into greater detail the specifics that the Statutes only generalize. All federal power of the law must go through these motions: The Constitution grants power to Congress to write a Statute in which a Regulation is written by the Executive branch to enforce this statute. Looking at this backwards, there can be no regulation requiring the public to do something without a statute that requires it. And, there can be no statute requiring something that the Constitution does not specifically authorize Congress to write.

Have I lost you yet? I hope not. I'll get to the point and just save any further confusion. On the surface it would appear that the Statutes and applicable Regulations do authorize all income derived from within the United States to be taxable income. However, the problem with the language of the law (or legaleze) is that it uses words and phrases that most people assume they know the definitions to. But, if you look further into these Statutes and Regulations you will find that they have definitions for them. In these definitions one can find that the only revenue that should be being taxed is income dealing with foreign matters. For example, a non-resident alien making money from inside the U.S. or a U.S. company or individual making money by selling products outside the U.S. These were and still are the intentions of these Statutes and Regulations. Why then do we pay taxes? The answer: mass ignorance of the law. We aren't the only ones, though. IRS employees most likely haven't read the law. Or if they have, they haven't completely understood it for the same reason we don't understand it. It has been changed over the years in minor ways that make it more difficult to find the true intent of the law. Some may ask if Congress has changed the law so that it IS the law to pay federal income tax now despite it's original intent. This is not so. Congress can never pass a law making a statute directly requiring people to pay income taxes on income made domestically because the Constitution does not specifically grant them the power to do so. Congress has, however, over the years omitted certain statements in the Statutes that made the original intent more obvious. Now it is much more difficult to find the true meaning of the law, but is very easily found if you first study the history of that law. It can still be found today, however since most Americans assume we owe taxes they tend to disregard statements that contradict this. They think that they must have read it incorrectly when in reality they have stumbled upon the truth. Congress wants the people to believe that they owe taxes, and have made it quite a maze to find out the truth. It's extremely important to realize that this is not some loophole I speak of. This isn't trickery with the legal language. This is clear truth that our government has worked dilligently to hide. They have succeeded in creating a society where the people want to hand over their possessions. The IRS uses threats of imprisonment and the people never second guess the law. They just agree to pay taxes they don't owe. When we sign the bottom of our tax return forms we don't read what it says there. However, what you are agreeing to by signing it is that "under penalty of perjury" you state that you owe income taxes. They never say you owe them. You tell them by signing that you owe them. We're doing it to ourselves. We do it over and over again every year, because we've been conditioned to think that we owe them when in truth we do not owe them anything unless we had income coming in from investments in foreighn countries.

I cannot explain in such a short time exactly how it has come to be that the majority of Americans thoughtlessly hand over a huge portion of their income. So, I stress to you to watch this video and find out for yourself the how and why of it all. I will continue to do my own research for I want to be prepared with the knowledge of my right not to pay federal income taxes unjustly. The video can be found by going to www.video.google.com and searching "Theft by Deception".

I Made it!


Well, back in the day of my late teens and early twenties I took part in many a conversation that was about "Club 27". In case you haven't heard anything about this morbid subject then let me put it in a nutshell for you. Over the years there have been many famous musicians and even more not-so famous musicians die at the age of 27. The list that I've heard and possibly helped to spread includes many who died at various other ages, but the official list of the most widely known is as follows:

Brian Jones (Rolling Stones) - drowned in his own swimming pool
Jimi Hendrix (The Jimi Hendrix Experience) - drowned in his own vomit (after having overdosed on sleeping pills)
Janis Joplin (The Kosmic Blues band) - heroin overdose (said to have misjudged it's purity)
Jim Morrison (The Doors) - heart failure (of course, there is a certain mystery as to how his heart failed, most likely drugs or alcohol or both)
Kurt Cobain - (Nirvana) - suicide

I was reading through some of the not-so-famous Club 27 members and surprisingly saw Kristen Pfaff's name on the list. This drew a dramatic raised eyebrow from me (dramatic because of my disproportionately huge eyebrows) because this was the bass guitarist for the band called Hole in which the scary-looking Courtney Love is the frontman for. Or is it frontwoman? I don't know. Anyway, Wikipedia said she died of a heroin overdose. Oddly enough, heroin was also Kurt Cobain's drug of choice. Do you suppose Courtney Love is peddling heroin to everyone that she knows which happenned to result in the untimely deaths of both her bass guitarist and her husband? You don't? Yeah, neither do I. I was just playing. Or was I?

Anyway... I turned 28 today. So, I can officially say, "Olly-Olly-Ox-And-Free." I wonder if that's what Shannon Hoon, lead singer of Blind Melon, said on his 28th birthday which also became his last. Hmm...

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