Category Archives:Uncategorized

Language: dividing or uniting?

Language is a powerful tool. When people speak a common language they feel part of a shared experience.  Think about the way you order a soft drink. In the South it’s called a “Coke”, in New England you hear “Pop” or “Soda” . Out here, folks  just go for a “non fat espresso latte ” instead.  But when someone steps up to the counter to place an order you can generally tell where they are from. By having knowledge of the vernacular, you are united with others who use the same language. When you don’t have the right words, you feel …

“Picking” tomatoes

One my favorite things to do after tax season each year is to select tomato varieties for the coming gardening season. 

First tomato set- Paul Robeson )_1.JPG

Around seven years ago, before I expanded my lawn into what had been my vegetable garden area in the interest of making my house more “marketable”, I had the …

John Wooden (October 14, 1910-June 04, 2010)

I was lucky enough to meet John Wooden twice in person.  When I was 21, I went to work for an LA sporting goods store at the corner of Westwood and LaConte, near the main entrance of UCLA.  The owner of the store was a 1940’s UCLA football star, Milt Smith.  The store had a Hermes  engraving machine and we engraved some of the trophies for UCLA.  Being the young guy I was, guess who did the engraving? Needless to say, it was a somewhat tedious task.

One time Milt had me engrave John Wooden’s  Pyramid of Success.  That was the first time …

About the Jump Start Class

See what Kathy Bourassa has to say about our Jump Start Training class, which was offered in conjunction with the Napa Valley Vintners and Silicon Valley Bank.

Watch the video : Jump Start

The next class begins June 25th.

Unhappy report

Most of our blogs are pretty upbeat and a few may even be interesting.  This one is sad.

 I learned last night that Warren Warner Jr’s son, Warren Warner III passed away after a very tough battle with bacterial meningitis.   Warren Warner is a partner at another local CPA firm, Brown, Holder and Alfaro.  Our hearts go out to Warren, his family, and the whole team at his CPA firm.  Warren Warner III graduated from Justin- Siena with my daughter Kristen in 2008.  He was just 19 years old.  My daughter knew him well and when I heard the news I …

Craig checks to see if there will be 6 more weeks of tax season


The View from the Gutter

Life lessons from the bowling alley. 

Brotemarkle, Davis and Company proudly fielded two co-ed teams of 5 people each to participate in the Wine Industry Network 2010 Gutterball Classic fundraiser last Saturday. 


First of all, you have to wonder who decided to associate all of those unfavorable words with this game.  You play the entire game in an “alley” for goodness sakes. That doesn’t sound like the kind of place you want to be after dark.

And then there’s the “gutter”, which for some of …

Lightening and Rainbows


I arrived at the airport parking lot to see the dark clouds moving closer. Before I could exit the car the lightening began to strike all around.  Not being a big fan of flying, I felt my anxiety level rise.   I scurried off to the terminal to get out of the downpour.

I quickly forgot about the threatening weather as I moved through the security line, then fumbled to get my shoes on, and looked up to read the monitor one more time in search of the correct gate number. Off I …

Are you swimming with sharks?

I learned the importance of strong controls the hard way. This summer, I left for a short vacation. I have a 100 gallon salt water coral fish tank and I thought I had prepared for every possible aquarium contingency before I left.

I had carefully lined up a part-time resource to cover me. I had applied all of the right technology. I had a monitoring system in place. The corals were starting to grow, algae was under control, and everything looked happy.

But, when I returned from my brief trip, my tank was destroyed, with 90% of my corals  either …

One quilter’s thoughts about taxes

While driving down the valley, I was struck by the variety of shapes, colors, and textures in the surrounding landscape and unbidden, my long-term interest in quilt making sprang to mind.

quilt image sm3

The making of quilts began as a “thrift” craft hundreds of years ago.  Odd scraps of fabric left over from making clothing, empty sacks from flour and feed,  and salvageable parts of worn out household items were sewn together to form warm bedding.  In addition to being functional, many of these quilts were …