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[Comments] (14) Weekend of Bliss: Well, I finally did the unthinkable (for me, at least). I had a completely homework-free weekend. I don't think I have ever done that before. My test Friday took 90 minutes less than I planned it to, which was a bonus, cuz then the weekend began 90 minutes earlier.

I didn't watch as much conference as is ideal (only about 4 of the 10 hours) but I was busy playing Uncle John with Tyler so that others could enjoy the conference, so I felt good about that. And there's always the Ensign. I was excited to hear them mention the Newport Beach temple that is under construction.

Saturday afternoon we went to the cabin with Grandma June and the rest of the family. I took Tyler and Ember hiking, while the older nephews complained about there being no Nintendo up there. I really hope my kids aren't so into the video game scene. I'm not and neither is Susie, but then I have never ever seen Jamie or David touch the video games either so it must be one of those unexplainable generation gap things. Can't wait to deal with that one. It's an eternal debate between not giving in to letting them waste time with video games, but having my kids always want to be at the nieghbor's, who will more likely than not have them.

Sunday morning I made pumpkin spice muffins for breakfast and Susie made the cream cheese frosting for them. They were a big hit. Each kid ate about five of them. If only mom's chocolate milk hadn't been bad, the meal would have been perfect....

As of today, back into the daily grind already.

[Comments] (7) : You'll never guess who got a perfect score on their estates and trusts test. FYI--be very, very careful how you gift your wealth to others. The taxes are extremely high. That's donkeys for ya.

[Comments] (4) Curses: I only got a 97% on my Mergers & Acquisitions exam. A pox on IRC Section 338 elections.

[Comments] (7) Weekend: We watched the presidential debates while I studied Friday night. Saturday morning we took my Grandma to breakfast at IHOP. I had the pumpkin pancakes. Then we went back to her house. I looked at pictures with her while Susie played the piano. Then we had our eyes examined. Susie and I both have new glasses now. I wish my eyes would settle down, so that I can get Lasik.

Where can I go to read up on John Kerry's proposals? He says Bush is wrong this, Bush is wrong that, but the debates go by so fast that he never gets a chance to explain how he would do it differently. He better not lie to me about taxes....

[Comments] (7) Welcoming November 2: I am excited to vote for President for the first time ever. I didn't vote in Hong Kong--absentee ballots are the stupidest things. Could they make the process more difficult? Only if they turned it over to the IRS's jurisdiction.

I also welcome November 2 because by then my next round of tests will be over. In my major, we are required to have each class for 3 hours a week (hence a three credit hour class). By my teachers reserve the right in our schedules to instruct us for 4.5 hours a week. This leaves them with more flexibilty to do research, go to training meetings with the Big 4, etc. Right now I am hating it. I am being way overworked. But come November 2, the tests end and two of my tax classes go on hiatus until after Thanksgiving. That will be wonderful. Susie and I can go play everyday!

I just took a survey stating that I am more likely to vote for John Kerry (45% for him, 43% for Bush). Hmmm.... But after last night's debates I am feeling a little wary of Kerry. He wants to raise the minimum wage and at the same time increase job growth. It is my understanding, however, that the two proposals contradict each other. Maybe Senator Kerry could use a refresher in Freshman Econ. But over all, I am still an undecided voter.

Now onto my view of taxes vs. tithing. Tithing is a commandment, yet it is voluntary. Tithing is a faith-promoting experience that is all inclusive. You make income, you pay 10% of that income, regardless of whether it entails millions of dollars or only a widow's mite, so to speak. The blessings are the same in magnitude, regardless. We have a lay clergy in the church who support themselves, thus the tithes are strictly for building buildings, supporting missionaries, and overall "furthering the work of God" to us. Tithing is simply to raise funds. There are no deductions in computing tithing owed, AGI, AMT, etc. It simply is what it is.

Then there are taxes. Taxes too are a law, but could be seen as voluntary. For example, the early colonists wrote into law that not filing a tax return can send you to prison. Not paying, however, cannot. This has ties to English common law and the colonist's disgust with pauper's prisons. Taxes are not only a vehicle for raising revenue. They drive social policy. Those in favor of a flat tax are short-sighted. With a flat tax, much of the "altruism" in our nation would shrivel and die. Many individuals and corporations give to charity partly because of the tax deduction. Take that away in a flat tax environment, and you can kiss the United Way good-bye. Credits for environmentally safe companies go away, and the environment deteriorates. Having a graduated rate shows that our country still has a preference to having one spouse (normally the female, though in my family it was my father) stay at home and rear children, because there is a tax penalty, so to speak, for earning too much income. The penalty is an increased rate of tax, when you file jointly.

Taxes are not just to raise revenue. Intent underlies every rule. Thus, taxes are also a vehicle to keep society within bounds we set. That is, unless our elected officials don't follow us. But that's another can of worms.

OK, back to "work."

[Comments] (5) Hmm: I wonder when he'll dump her from the campaign trail, or if he agrees with what she said. "Click Me!"

In other news, the deer hunt starts tomorrow. Why is it that we have to manually "control" this population but we don't have a bear hunt, or chipmunk hunt, etc? Or is this the guise of NRA-happy hunters? I wonder. I was never into guns in scouts. I did the shooting thing every year at camp and never seemed to enjoy it, for whatever reason. But I do like venison.

Tonight we are babysitting the red-head kids Logan and Ember. We are going to a corn maize for some good "spooky" fun and then having a pajama party, with me and Logan in our room and Susie and Ember on the couch bed. hehehe. I'm really excited, but have a lot to accomplish today before I can "play" tonight. Unless someone wants to volunteer to study NOL limitations and 355 divisive spin-offs for me....

[Comments] (6) Sleepless In Seattle: All this cold rain lately has made me really reconsider moving to Seattle in five years. I hate getting up when it's dark and overcast, and feeling like it never got any lighter.

I hear Joe on the tests. I have three this week. But senioritis is kicking in, and I really don't care that much. I registered today for my last semester of school and I gotta say, it felt good.

Anyone have any fun Halloween plans?

All right: It's snowing. Who's jealous?

Man, I volunteered to take my niece and nephew trick-or-treating. It's going to be freezing. What was I thinking?

Pumpkin Butt: See above

Pumpkin Butt: Enjoy this

[Comments] (4) Pumpkin Butt: Enjoy this fun halloween activity on me!

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