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Leaf Peeping: Susie and I have a date to go "leaf peeping" because it's fall. Susie hates the name and thinks the weather man made it up. But it's a true story......The semester is like a third over and I am already dying for reprieve. And since so much group work equals so little susie time, it can be rather frustrating.......On the plus side, I always study at home and not at the library, and I normally delegate a portion of all groupwork to myself and do it ahead of time to avoid the superflous team time.......

In other news, although I am a cold-hearted accountant at heart, in an effort to be well-rounded, I started reading all Wall Street Journal articles about the California political blunder....My interest comes a little late since I have no idea why people hate Gov. Davis, just that they do.......But I do know that we should all be relieved to welcome in a new face, Arnold....I don't know all the details, but I do know that his economic advisor is actually Warren Buffet.......So at least the economics of the sunshine state may turn around.

Explanation: In case you are wondering "why Traffic" it's my dog's name. He is a black scottish terrier, and looks like the puppy on lady and the tramp......

So in tax class we are working on court hearings for fractional jet ownership. I am already learning how important it is to be nice to clients because hey, if they own jets and want me to reduce their tax liabilities, they can afford to pay me. But first year accounting firm staff are only billed at $250 an hour.....(not that I get $250, but they get charged that)......However, it pales in comparison to my professor's hourly figure.....$900 an hour. I wonder how much of that he gets..........Back to work.

A brush with fame: So every Friday the Marriott Business School has a seminar for the graduate students. Normally, we have large CEO's and CFO's address us from such institutions as The Gap, Procter & Gamble, and Black & Decker. However, today was a special treat because it is e-business week. The guest speaker was none other than......Donny Osmond?

So while it was great to realize that Donny wrote "Puppy Love" (I never knew that before), seeing a washed up teeny-bopper dancing in a one-piece polyester jumper somehow left me unfulfilled......I'm still looking for the less-than-obvious link between a Mormon pop icon and the complicated networking possibilites that corporate America and the Internet are about to unvail.......It definately wasn't supply chain management, that's for sure. If anyone else can see it, please let me know.

Breaking the Law: In the spirit of tradition, BYU had their annual Homecoming parade this morning. It starts up by the Marriott Center and ends on our street. Lucky us, our street was closed all morning. To forseeably mitigate this dilemma, I proactively learned that at 10:00 all access on our street would be cut off. So Susie and I took the car to get an oil change early enough that we would arrive back home at 9:30.....

However, at 9:30 we pull up to a nice barricade in front of our complex. I get out to move it and this cop starts screaming at me about it like I was lighting up a doobie or something....Anyway, we minced words very loudly for about 5 minutes and when that got old I finally told him my wife was parking our car anyway so he should either step off or arrest me. He shouted and left.

I was tempted to tell him that I am a law student but since I am a TAX law student I was afraid I might trap myself. However, I doubt he would know the difference.........

So about 15 minutes later I had to go meet my tax group and walked by him again because their was just no avoiding it. He actually came up to me and apologized, renewing my faith (for now) in the police force.....We'll see how long that lasts.

But if anyone wants to research property rights and informative disclosure and let me know if they really can block off a parking garage without prior notice, I'd be interested to know. Until then, back to spending my weekend with Internal Revenue Code Section 280F (We're allowed to do that here....)

Stuffs: Saturday night Susie and I went on a very classy date to the $1 movie theater. We FINALLY, after waiting 5 months, saw Finding Nemo. It was really good, but probably not as good as Monsters, Inc. or A Bug's Life were. Now we have nothing to anticipate until Lord of the Rings. I'm dang excited about that one.

In other news, my LITTLE sister turns 21 in like 3 weeks. I really can't handle that. It still boggles my mind that Chad, my oldest nephew, is 10. Oh well.

Dependence: So we ran out of eggs around Sunday after I made pumpkin spice muffins and sweet and sour chicken. Anyway, I had no idea I was so dependent on them because I haven't enjoyed anything since we ran out. For example, last night Susie was going to make cookies but couldn't--we have no eggs. This morning I was once again deprived of waffles because of no eggs. And now someone has anonymously brought us cookies in the traditional Halloween fashion. How we will bake something to pass along still boggles me since we are out of eggs.

Susie actually hates eggs so I blame her for the whole "no eggs extravaganza." Who would have thought?

In other news, guess who got an A on their marketing mid-term? Like a 98%, and I don't even like marketing. It's not quantifiable. Tax is still pulling me along. I'm probably failing that class, but so is everyone else. The curve will defy all in that class......

Bummer: Our latest tax question had relevance in my life. When I leave my home in Provo to do an internship, may I deduct the cost of living as traveling costs in LA during the summer? IRC Section 162 says "Go ahead" while IRC Section 262 warns me against such. Because all the Regs were written in some ancient Gaelic form I am not familiar with (seriously), I had to turn to case law......

The Tax Court says yes, but the Circuit Court says no. Unfortunately, I think I have to trust the circuit court on this one.....no deduction for me!

Consequently, this law was enacted to allow CONGRESS the right to deduct their expenses in Washington, DC since they must have two homes as per representation. Their job requires it, whereas mine does not. Where's Mr. Smith when you need him?

[Comments] (5) Red Tape: So our wireless internet (that we are now getting charged for) still doesn't work. I know it's not my computer because I used it on campus today and it seemed to like the wireless connection in the Tanner Building quite well.

In marketing today we did a presentation on Harry Potter and how bookstores and publishers are trying to use the next two books release dates to time other bookstore developments. However, since JK Rowling is so hard to predict when it comes to release dates (re-writing books on the fly), they are struggling with the concept. Anyway, we brought candy bars and watched a segment from the movie so we got our cheer level up to 1.2 decibles. That's a new record, up from 1.16 decibles.

I guess I should mention we get graded on the level of noise we generate, thus the snickers. Apparently, who needs content? However, I do suspect the teacher tweaks the noise reader to his own liking. After all, we got the highest score so far and Harry Potter is his favorite movie.....

Besides that, if anyone has any enlightening insights into beta and Weighted Average Cost of Capital, I'd be happy to hear it since I have a 6-page thesis due on it that I really don't want to write.

X-Tax is coming!

[Comments] (3) It's a small world after all.....: In other news, I processed a refund for a man in Djibouti. Oddly enough, we withdrew from American History. Why he was taking it in the first place remains to be known. I guess he could be an ex-pat....

For those of you who don't know where Djibouti is (like my boss), it's in Africa.

[Comments] (2) More frustration: So Saturday we get to my mom's house about 4:30 and I decide to go outside and wash the car. My mom somehow talks me into taking it to this $5 place (because she gave me the $5) and I sit in my car while the wash goes on this conveyer belt thing. It's like a ride at Disneyland......

Unfortunately, it resembled Big Thunder Mountain the most. For those of you that don't know, the famous train at Disneyland derailed about one month ago, killing one man and injuring countless others. Anywho, I hear this POW and there went my driver's side mirror. Of course it startled me and I put my foot on the brake, which stops the entire line. So some pimply 15-year old yells at me about reducing their efficiencies, etc. when I mention his machine ate my car!!!

The good news is that they ordered a new one and are paying for it. The bad news is that it takes a couple days and they are in Salt Lake and I am in Provo. Also, x-tax rules my life for the next 3 weeks. Oh well, one day at a time. It could be worse after all....

[Comments] (1) The Winds of Change...: So Tuesday we were sitting here in Provo minding our own business in a nice 76 degree weather day and boom. Today it snowed. I had to clean my car off at the temple.

Just in time for Halloween. Oh well, I guess our Indian Summer couldn't last forever.

A minor response to Rachel's most recent reply to my rebuttal of said elasticity of demand of fire--you lead a nice fantasy life. But actually, my sister who lives in Mission Viejo owns time share in Arrowhead that is most likely gone now. But the good news is that the beetles up there were eating all the trees on Bear Mountain. Thus, nature really DID order a fire to clear out said beetles ASAP. Touche, sis.

Halloween Spooks: So my boss calls me into her office today to tell me that I make too much money to get campus-wide cost of living raises or department evaluation raises. I was so confused because I'm not even asking for a raise. Anyway, then she tells me that because she likes me she is giving me a $0.50 raise regardless. At first I wondered why she went through all that preliminary effort, but oh well, a raise is a raise. I'm catching up to Susie's salary. Another $2.50 to go (plus I don't pay taxes working on campus). YEA!

[Comments] (3) Dinner: So Susie got a free $25 to Red Lobster and so we went there for dinner. I ate Shrimp and Lobster Scampi and it was delicious. Susie, however, who is anti-seafood, had nachos. It's like my dad always says "It takes all kinds...." I keep telling her that she shouldn't be allowed to complain when our future children won't eat anything because she won't either. But her plan is to only cook things she will eat so the kids will never be the wiser....Now I am on to my own mother's schemes it seems....

I guess that's the perks of being the mommy. Anyway, for anyone missing the winter season, you can trade places with me for awhile. How long until graduation again?

Trouble in River City...: John loves Susie, in case you were all wondering......

[Comments] (2) Trouble in River City...: Well, if you thought the US tax code is hard, try International Tax. Between repatriation, expatriation, and reverse repatriation, I am going crazy. Tax havens, transfer pricing, loophole after endless loophole....I'll be glad when this research competition is over next week and all put behind me.

In other news, did you know that Dr. Pepper isn't a cola? It's a "blend of fruit flavors and spices." Anywho, I never drink the stuff but apparently it's a true story...

I got a new office at work today. But I am currently "hoteling" my office because we are short two computers in our department and I don't have a phone yet. The upside is, no irate Scout den mother can get a hold of me to complain about her $15. Well, onward and upward....

PS--For Rachel's benefit, I guess I should explain that this whole time, its been John speaking and NOT Susie.

[Comments] (2) The Winds of Change...: So I am finally moved into my new office at work. It's a lot quieter than before, and I still don't have a new phone. All the excitement comes when people walk by and say "Oh, John, what are you doing here?" I normally respond that I do work here....

I don't have a view unless I turn around, but oh well. One more week to x-Tax!

[Comments] (2) Things that go bump in the night.......: So last night I woke up with quite a fright because Susie was talking about papers? Apparently she was sleep-talking, something she has never done before. It really startled me, but I tried to have fun with it by asking her questions until she woke up.

But it doesn't end there. She then proceeded to sleepwalk into the vanity so she could FLOSS. I'm telling you, I started to wonder what had happended to my Susie at this point.

These last two nights I have been at school until 9:00 at night. The next two days look no less promising for a reprieve. At least I knew it was coming and know it won't happen again (at least not this semester). Is it Friday yet?

Another Day Another Dollar.: This just in from tax class: the nuances of divorce court are messy enough just from a tax standpoint I wouldn't even dream of going there. Front loading alimony, gross income recapture, for AGI deductions, what a mess.

But just in case you were wondering, if any part of alimony looks like a child support payment, smells like a child support payment, and acts like a child support payment, the IRS will indeed declare it a child support payment. All beware!

[Comments] (1) Settling for Second Best....: And the x-Tax winners are....not my group. We did however score second, something I didn't think possible. We still get the same prize money as first place and similar bragging rights, but no trip to regionals, no chance at the 10-fold nationals prize money, and no trip to Washington DC.

I didn't do it for the winning factor anyway. I did it for networking purposes (and to get out of the mini-case). It was totally fun though!! It was just wierd because all week I was thinking to myself "Self, we are going to get second place." But you can't tell people that. Anyway, we did though. Maybe I should submit that story to the Friend or the Ensign..........(kidding by the way)!

[Comments] (4) Scary Moment..: So Tuesday I was minding my own business and checking emails on my laptop when I noticed a strange one from "Paypal.com." Normally I delete this stuff right away but for some odd reason I felt compelled to open it. Of course, it infected my computer with a virus not yet known to my Norton Antivirus system. It couldn't clean it or quarantine it. Luckily, after rebooting my computer only once I realized it was a .exe file, meaning that it would spread to more and more of my computer each time I rebooted. So from there on out I always put my computer on standby instead of shutdown to minimize the dilemma. Currently, it had infected 131 of my files.

So anyway my mom's nerdy e-mail friend came to the rescue. He sent me to a site, www.symantec.com, which helped me get rid of the malicious virus forever. Apparently this virus attatches to your computer and steals information, then wreaks havoc on your computer. Fortunately for me, I own nothing worth stealing! I still feel used, however. But I am glad it's over.

I sent a rather rude message to paypal.com, informing them that someone inside or outside of their company was sending out virus email spam messages, and that doing such was a federal offense punishable by fines and/or jail time. Although I am sure they are already aware of all such implications, it just felt good to vent at such a time. But peace has been restored (for now)....

[Comments] (1) Pleasant Surprise...: Normally the mail run is less than stellar: It encompasses bills, junk mail, bills, junk mail, and bills.

However, today we received a rather pleasant surprise: A POSTCARD FROM SUMANA!! It was very thoughtful and witty. I laughed. Too bad it was just a postcard--it doesn't have a return address. I think someone has too much free time on her hands with Leonard in Arkansas!!

Thanksgiving Thus Far....: Well we made it to Mission Viejo and spent Wed and Th there. Thanksgiving Day was spent at Disneyland. The weather was very coopretative, being mildly warm all day and only mildly cold at night. I forget how in California it gets lighter earlier and darker earlier than in Utah. It was like 4:45 and the sun was setting in Disneyland. We are still disappointed at Fantasmic!, but thouroughly enjoyed the remake of the Haunted House for Christmas.

Plus my nephews were fun. Tyler turns 2 on Sunday and enjoyed leading me by the hand all over the house. Susie spent most of her time avoiding Chad & Justin's new pet crabs......

But now we are in Bakersfield waiting for Frances and Rachel, cleaning Susie's room, and catching up on homework, etc. We're excited to have them for 2 days now, even though it is noticeably colder here in b-town.

[Comments] (11) For Rachel's Benefit: I decided not to write anymore because no one ever responds, meaning my writing dribble is both boring and pointless. But for Rachel's benefit, here we go.

I had a 48-Hour final this weekend. It was a research project on stock redemption (IRC Sections 301 & 302 for those in the know). Hope I did it right. One really needs a Urim & Thummim to understand such rulings and tests, not to even mention 318 constructive ownership rules...

I bought two Christmas presents for Susie and wrapped them and everything. They are under the halogen lamp, since we don't have a tree. Still nothing for me, though, meaning that I was especially naughty this year. One more week of school!

[Comments] (3) Back by Popular Demand.....: So I am currently sitting through another Moot Court case asking myself "How many more hours until the semester from hell is over?" We're getting there.

Speaking of which, I have two GROUP finals. What a joke! My group has 6 individuals, yet every project becomes a project for just 2 of us--Me and Jaron. I don't know how people live with themselves mooching their grade off of other people's efforts. It makes me wonder where I'll be in 10 years compared to them....

Hopefully I'll be senior manager, aspiring partner, at E & Y then. Though KPMG does treat a guy well, what with $26 steaks and all. PwC WILL be a good firm when I get my $200 from them! Anyway, back to ordinary v. capital gains.

Can't Wait Until Wed.....: Studied all day today and yesterday. Not to mention that I am having lots of fun on our group final....although the group has been helping a little bit more than I expected, it's still sub par.

Our Sub-4-Santa is going well--we're only 3 presents shy of collecting all the goods for 13 kids. We were shy a lot more until we found out that a bunch of presents were in a box at the church. Someone forgot to tell us about them. but we're just glad they weren't pilfered...

The United Way lady couldn't beleive how generous we were until we told her this whole thing was a ward effort. But it's fun to take a break from studying and do something for someone else. That whole Christmas spirit seems to allude self-interested college students and their sadist professors that think time grows on trees or something. I'm glad I can still take matters into my own hands and feel it!

They got him!: I'm not much of a political guru myself, but officials have confirmed the capture of Sadaam Hussein near his hometown near Tikrit. This is an exciting day for freedom fighters everywhere. The Wall Street Journal says he was simply hiding beneath the floorboards of a house. Not as high-tech chase as many had hoped, but an ending nonetheless.

[Comments] (3) Bored: Sitting in a presentation final. We were first and I am just listening to everyone else now. BORING! Will Friday ever come?

[Comments] (4) Epidemic: So after reading about mom and Leonard coming down with the flu (after getting shots) and the current epidemic in Utah, I started to get worried because I haven't had a flu shot yet. However, maybe NOT getting the flu shot was the wise choice here, because I am fit as a fiddle....

Anyway, I think I'll just forgo the shot. My condolences to the sick and/or afflicted.

Still Alive....: So we made it safe and sound to Bakersfield. There was an accident on the 58 that involved a helicopter on the highway. Luckily, our way wasn't closed. But the car was completely smashed, so I feel for the people involved.

I'm excited for Christmas. I got Susie lots of fun surprises that she probably won't like. But waiting in long lines to buy them sure was fun, considering I always have to say it's for my wife so I don't feel so silly in these types of stores. At least I don't have to go in them for another 6 months (our one year anniversary!)

[Comments] (1) Still Loved: I forgot to mention that last weekend we had a Chadwick weekend before we made the pilgrimage to b-town for the holidays. We saw "Return of the King" and slept over with my three nephews. Susie and I tried to sneak away and sleep upstairs, but Logan wouldn't hear of it. When I went downstairs for some blankets, he already had a place reserved next to him for Susie and I. That put Susie between a rock and a hard place--namely, me and the fireplace. We put two big pillows on the fireplace just in case she rolled over......It feels good to still be Uncle John.

I guess I should explain that. When I told my oldest nephew Chad I was getting married last April, he said "but who's going to take us to the movies now?" I felt like part of my life was over. But I've still got it!!

[Comments] (1) Let It Snow!: So we get home safe and sound to less than one foot of snow on the ground and I'm thinking, "My family couldn't leave huh?" I figured my sister wanted to stay longer anyway. So last night we made the brave trek up to SLC to be with the fam after work. WOW!! My parent's street isn't even cleaned off yet, and we were sliding everywhere in the car. They seriously have three feet of snow up there.

My parents were some of the lucky ones to be stranded without power for about 72 hours. Luckily they were all able to stay at my brother's new house, which is actually quite big. But upon returning home, they had to clean out both refrigerators and our freezer. Glad we came home to power, or else I would have died. How long will the insanity continue? Those gambling weathermen predict more and more.

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