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[Comments] (1) Wow: I look like a million bucks huh? I must confess, I wish I could capitalize on it somehow and produce said bucks. But it's true, clothing is my weakness. I have been better at my shopping habits as of late, greatly reducing my buyer's remorse. If anyone out there is truly curious in reducing this economic reality, say so and I'll explain the iterative process.

And no I am not begging for comments this way. I'm really busy right now and only want to explain it if it's worthwhile and/or helpful to the masses.

[Comments] (11) Inflation Pools: Like Alyson, Susie and I also went to the movies last night. And like Alyson, I would have liked to have seen The Polar Express, but Susie wouldn't hear of it. I suppose it has something to do with that old Richardson tradition of telling your child, shortly after leaving the womb, that Santa is indeed a farce. I sincerely hope that is not a Walsh tradition. But I digress already...

We saw The Incredibles and it was really good. I had my doubts about this one, thinking it would be a cliche movie hero movie, but I was proved wrong. We went to the last matinee of the day (5:30) to save $6. Some things in life just outstrip inflation, I suppose. Like medicine and college education, I guess movie making is just one of those items. Though one wonders. For example, for the past 3 or so years, movies have been advertising on screen before the show starts. This brings in revenue. But have ticket prices gone down as a result? No way Jose. I hear in Century City and Hollywood it costs $13 to see a movie. It is $9 in the OC. But Ernst & Young audits a movie chain, so I get discount tickets for $6. I have always wondered, what with Hollywood being so Democrat and all, why the stars have never made some of their features pro bono, as a way to thank the proletariat. I guess that is one of the many Democratic enigmas I am never allowed to understand, as an outsider. I guess since we all still pay the big bucks to see the flicks, that supply and demand still holds true. Maybe Rachel can calculate the elasticity of demand for me, as an econ graduate.

But I digress again. The point: The Incredibles was, well, incredible. It truly lived up to the Disney/Pixar name of its predecessors. I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up; fine holiday fun!

[Comments] (7) For Susie: Susie is mad that no one is posting these days, so I guess I'll say a word or two. First of all, I cannot believe that K-Mart bought Sears. I never really liked K-Mart, but was indifferent to Sears. According to the WSJ (the best newspaper out there), many K-Marts will now become Searses. They won't fool me though; I won't patronize either.

I have been stewing over a Christmas wish list the last few days and, unfortunately, I have all the tangible things I need right now. If anyone can conjure up a way for me to get my degree faster, well, I would be ok with that. But here is my attempt at Christmasosity:

1. Ties (from either Van Heusen, Geoffrey Beene, or J Crew). I am very particular about my ties.

2. Money for my "Susie earned a cruise to Mexico extravaganza" fund.

That's really it, for now at least. I'll keep the world posted as Susie tells me what else I want for Christmas.

[Comments] (3) Good Day: Today was fun. I was in a car accident on Thursday at the intersection of University Avenue and Bulldog. I was turning left at 9:00 pm and had a green turn arrow. Well, you know some pedestrians, they think they can cross the street when they are good and ready (Dostoevsky's Superman complex strikes again) and since it was dark I didn't see him until he was upon me (not literally, thankfully). I stopped in time to give him a dirty look, but the truck behind me didn't. I heard screeching, and then it was bumper cars. Just kidding, but the girl (Jordan) lightly nudged my car forward and left some pretty rubber stains on my bumper. She gave me her info and I went on my way.

Today I went to get an estimate on my damages and learned that rubbing alcohol was all that was needed. I called Jordan to tell her the good news (we didn't file a police or insurance report) and she called back later to thank me profusely for letting her off the hook. Well, of course I should, it was the masked, unnamed pedestrian who is to blame. Anyway, glad to be done with that.

Then Sus and I went to SLC. Susie wanted to go to this soup place under the freeway (which, rumor has it, is run by The Soup Nazi). But they are closed on Saturday. So there we were, in the snow, under the freeway, with a train barreling down on us. I darted us to safety only to end up in Rose Park, the scariest place in all of Utah. The things I'll do for my wife.

Well, we had to settle for eating at the Crossroads Mall, and then went and saw The Testaments. It was a sea of red up there, as the Utah Utes were all decked out to support their BCS-aspiring team. We BYU fans are more discreet this year. Then off to the distribution center. I wanted to buy Mr. Kreuger's Christmas, but Susie forbid it. That movie will always have a soft spot in my life, partly because Jimmy Stewart is in it, and partly because the first time I ever saw it was in Hong Kong in Chinese. It reminded me of what Christmas is like in the states and made me nostalgic and hopeful. Christmas in the Kong is a hodgepodge of eclectic neon lights and confused festivities. My favorite sign is still the one on the side of the mall in Ma On Shan that said Happy Christmas and had chickens dancing in it. I guess I must have missed that part in the Bible story where the chicken-herders came to worship the Lord. Either that or Christmas does come earlier each year, as it was really a quasi-Easter banner. But such is the Asian equation, and we will never know the truth.

Then it was back to the mall, where we had to spend money to validate four hours of parking. So I got Susie a gift in Nordstrom's, and we got Rachel a gift as well. From there, it was off to the Gateway (this fab, upscale outdoor mall that makes one reminisent of Rodeo Drive on a really cold day). It wasn't all that for me, however. There we didn't find anything worth purchasing, and had to pay a $1 fee for the Gateway allowing us to tout their wares. But we did check out the planetarium while we were there, and have decided it is worthy of taking Leonard and Sumana to.

I like downtown SLC. It is clean, relatively safe, and has a nice blend of old school and new school. If only Provo could do that....

Note to Reader: Susie didn't really forbid me from getting Mr. Kreugar's Christmas. She just discouraged it. But it makes the story flow better my way.

One final note to Sumana. I hear you want a necktie? I am intrigued. Give me the details on what you are looking for in this necktie and I may be of assistance.

[Comments] (6) News Flash: I saw a bumper sticker the other day that, though outdated now, was quite catchy. It said: Save the Environment; Plant a Bush back in Texas. Anyway, I thought mom/Rachel/Alyson/Leonard/Sumana/countless others may have liked that.

My old roommate Jake just stopped by to visit. He is at UW in his first year of Medical School. We had a nice long talk (mostly about politics). He said I was the most educated, open-minded Republican he had ever met. I said thank you.

We leave tonight for the OC. My parents left last night and hit snow problems in Cedar City as well as in California that shut Victorville down. But they stayed in Primm anyway. Then this morning there was an oil truck spill in Zzxyx that shut the 15 down. We pray our journey will be less eventful.

This just in: The peppermint bark is a huge success (having passed Susie's rigorous pickiness test). Though she hates peppermint, she likes peppermint bark. Yay! There is still hope for seafood, in some shape and/or form!!

[Comments] (3) Krazy Kwanzaa: We had a very enjoyable Thanksgiving. It was fun to see my family in the OC, where Susie made scrapbooking packets with my sister while I jumped on the trampoline with Tyler. Tyler turns 3 tomorrow so we took him a present. He saw it and was so excited, calling it a "Game Board" over and over. It was actually a golf game, but he mostly seemed to like using the clubs to play Star Wars. A violent toy? I really must learn to analyze every toy better for its potential abuses.

Then it was up to B-town. But we paused only briefly to bid two silly dogs farewell and it was off to the big SF. Everyone kept trying to scare me about the driving, but it honestly didn't seem that bad. (The traffic, I mean; the hills definitely are a bit intimidating). Thanksgiving was fun, but my sickness started that day, so I mostly laid in a warm bed freezing (every time I went downstairs I got so cold).

Friday was a bit warmer and walking along the Golden Gate Bridge would have to qualify as a highlight of a life. It was very cathartic, especially due to some personal stuff I am sorting through right now. I didn't want to leave. If only there weren't noisy cars next to me, it may have been heaven. Kudos to Leonardr for the good times with a great oldie.

Then, since I "had never been to San Fran before," we went to Fisherman's Wharf and to Chinatown. As Leonardr noted, the seafood was nothing to sneeze about. But Chinatown was a nostalgic feast not only for the eyes, but for the olfactories as well. The smells took me back. All that was missing was blood in the streets, and a Hong Kong market it would be. I had a delightful time conversing in Chinese, as well as nibbling on some old Asian favorites from my days of yore.

I drove us home, where I got to experience Pea Soup for breakfast and we recovered mom's purse. Everyone slept the rest of the way so it was just me, the 5, and my thoughts (a rather dangerous thing). We made it home without a hitch until right before the 58 turnoff, wherein the accident of the day occurred. I don't see how anyone could have survived; did you see it in the paper, mom? It's funny how I always grumble about being stuck there until I see the wreckage and then suddenly realize just how grateful I am to be stuck in traffic, and not between a car and pavement.

Well, that was just the beginning of my feeling blessed. On the way home we laughed at all the people on the 15 headed from Vegas to LA, only to literally get what we paid for.

The 15 from Cedar City to Fillmore was pandemonium. Snow, wind, cold, and lots o' cars. I for one am glad for all of the traffic; it made it easy to stay on the road when you could see who to follow. Otherwise, we may have spent the night in an unsuspecting farmer's fields outside of Parowan-agonah-onihah-ites. Wow, those Southern Utah names. All told, we got to go 10 mph for about 4 hours in the dark. Susie's windshield blades stopped working because they were all icy, so I stuck my hand out the window and tried to break it off. Susie did an excellent job navigating the way. Though I did my part in keeping us from getting stuck as well. Susie desperately needed a bathroom but the exit she tried to take had three other cars already stuck on it, so I rerouted us to another, safer station. It was one of those rare times when the road less traveled should stay that way. Traversers of the 15 beware!

Other highlights include visiting Grandma Richardson, teasing Rachel about using mom's walker (sorry, Rach), taking the free tram around SF while some guy smiled at us out of his van window all along the Pier, and being with all of my wonderful in-laws!


© 2003-2015 John Chadwick.