Traffic for 2005 September

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[Comments] (5) Why?: Why are such terrible things happening to those poor people in Louisiana? Our firm announced today that they are matching dollar for dollar what we as employees contribute. This reminds me of what happened 8 months ago in Indonesia. Except something seems to be missing: donations from around the world. Do I read the wrong newspapers, or is it true that the so-called "big brother" of the world has no one to turn to when it's sick?

In other news, KPMG, one of EY's competitors, has settled to pay $456 million to defer tax-fraud charges. Our firm settled for about $20 million. Clearly, the times of creative accounting are over and the government wants its money. It is interesting that only the accountants are in trouble and not the wealthy individuals who signed off on such accounts. One could argue they didn't know what was going on, but I think that's pure hogwash. People that rich know how money works, or else they wouldn't be that rich. Why do they get off the hook while the accountant suffers? Don't get me wrong, the accountant should be held accountable; but he isn't alone in these transactions.

In honor of Labor Day, I'm working. The firm gets a four-day weekend, but not me. Oh well, I get to take my holidays later, and have already planned out such days. So, back to work.

[Comments] (6) Oily Times: Gas is now $2.99 here. I am told it is $2.85 in Youtah. Rather than complain, I'll just accept it for what it is. Consumer demand sets prices, not wars in Iraq and quasi-oligopolies such as OPEC. So it's all our faults for fueling the fire. Nuff said.

I'm not sure how the topic came up, but Susie was talking about writing for her high school pape. She couldn't remember the name, so I helped her remember. Being the drillers and all, I thought "Oily Times" would be a clever name, if accompanied with the following tag line: "It was the best of times, it was Oily Times." We laughed. Will you? I wonder if this is one of those stories where you had to be there, cuz we really laughed.

Work is going well. Thank the Lord for deadlines, otherwise this project would drag on way past September 15. And I am more than ready for 70-hour weeks to come to an end.

Last Friday night Susie and I went to, guess where, California Adventure. Upon disembarking Tower of Terror, there was a boy at the bottom of the stairs crying. Susie took pity on him and volunteered to wait with him until his parents got off the ride--he chickened out at the last minute and was quite disoriented by the emergency exit. I think people are generally willing to help in such situations, but often don't. They are afraid that, instead of being praised for their service, the parent will play the abductor card and, next thing you know, you're on the "list" or something. It's sad to think it's come to that. But this little boy was glad for the comfort he received while waiting for mom and dad.

[Comments] (2) Waiting for dinner: The federal tax return and 17 state returns are due tomorrow. While I wait for the binding process to finish (and wait for dinner), I've been thinking a lot lately about Allison's recent remarks re raising children. I often think about how I will raise my kids, and have more than once said to myself "Regarding blah blah blah, I will not do that how my parents did it." Not that my parents did it wrong; I just plan on doing it differently.

That said, I should hever have married someone with a birthday in September. My parents were wonderful and showed me lots of love. But I never really felt it on my birthday. I guess I was too sentimental cuz on teevee kids always got these cool surprises, etc on their birthdays. I always knew ahead of time the game plan for the day. So I am starting by preparing a multitude of surprises for my wife this year. Which has not been easy. By the time I get off work (including the weekends) stores are closed. That, and Susie is always home. So I've had to make quick little getaways from work to accomplish this mission impossible of mine. I'm exhausted. My credit card is exhausted. My gas tank is empty. My coworkers are wary of my leaving. But I still think this is going to be one of those "teevee birthdays" for my sweet baboo. I hope so. Time will tell. Tax returns still printing. Can I go home yet?

[Comments] (9) H20?: Susie and I had a most relaxing day off. We went to the temple this morning and went to Fashion Island for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Once our waiter found out we wanted water, the service we received changed drastically. This happens to us a lot. We'll drink water and split a meal and then split dessert. The net effect is basically the same as if we had our own meals, especially at CF because we had to get two pieces of cheesecake.

But the waiter was so rude. When Susie asked for a straw for her water she got the glare. Why should only soda and iced tea be enjoyed through a straw? The problem then starts in my head: Should I tell him when I first get seated that we are getting dessert so he knows not to freak out about drinking water? Should I dock his tip because of bad service based upon H20, thus further proliferating the Pygmalion effect that water drinkers are bad tippers? Or do I prove him wrong with my normal tip, even though I'll probably never see him again in my life to ensure decent future service? These are the dilemmas I face as a generous tipper slash water drinker.

I spent the remainder of my day off studying, showering Susie with gifts, wandering around South Coast Plaza, and reading more of Brown's Deception Point. Tomorrow is Disneyland with EY, Rachel, and Chris. I better live it up; Monday comes fast!

[Comments] (5) What Comes of Being Stupid:: Saying stupid things. I've had it up to my knee caps with people blaming the President for not stopping an act of God from attacking our country. Republican or Democrat, no man can sway an act of God. The questions that beg answering include: What about the ignored warnings? The local leader's responsibilities? The taxpayer's refusing hikes to fix an aging levee? All this I can handle.

What I cannot handle is what a liberal reader from Fairway, KS has to say about this trajedy: "The problem with New Orleans is that it "looks French." Since the president and his Republican administration regect anything that's French, the French Quarter should have changed its name to the Freedom Quarter. Maybe federal help would have arrived faster."

Where does one even begin? I guess by giving, and not by blaming.

[Comments] (7) Mixed Emotions: Susie and I were called to be the Nursery leaders in church yesterday. I'm excited cuz I like kids at that age, I get to play with toys at church for two hours, and it may just be that natural birth control Susie needs in here life right now.... I'm also glad cuz it's one of those "sunday only" callings, as I don't have a lot of time during the week to give to other church organizations.

But I'm also a little bummed. We're new to the ward, Susie and I were just making friends, and now we'll never see them anymore. Also, since we are doing this solo, we really need to be there every week, meaning that visiting B-town just got a lot more difficult.

Yesterday I took VeggieTales silly songs to my sister's house to watch with Tyler. But Chad and Justin liked it so much they watched it twice. Then for dinner we had cheeseburgers, so of course we all started singing the cheeseburger song, which led to singing all the other songs. I think my sister is a little worried now about our potential influence on her little ones. Good thing David was out of town.

I'm tired of working on Saturdays.


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