Traffic for 2007 December

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[Comments] (3) Let It Blow: It snowed pretty much all day yesterday. I am definitely glad that it decided to blizzard on a Saturday than on a work day. I actually got to enjoy it! Susie and I got to shovel the walk twice, and it wasn't that bad. Also, we live in a cool area because our roads were clear by 11 (my mom's and brother's neighborhoods still weren't clear by 4). I guess we must pay more taxes for the added benefit of early snow removal.

We also accosted a free Christmas tree yesterday from one of my mom's neighbors, whose roads were atrocious at 3 pm. The pathfinder slid every which way down her street. That is, until we put it into 4-wheel drive. I don't know what possessed Frances to have 4-wheel drive in CA, but we sure are benefiting from it in UT. Anyway, free Christmas tree!

The tree had lights on it, but they were colored. So I removed them all and strung 800 lights on this 7-foot tree that will be a permanent fixture thereon. Today in the paper, I was looking at the ads for trees, basking in the fact that mine was free. Anyway, it appears that most pre-lit, 7-foot trees come with around 500-600 lights. I repeat, ours has 800. I hope airplanes don't try to land in our front room. But I think it looks better with the extras.

So stringing the tree is how I spent a snowed-in day. It probably took me 2-3 hours to put all those lights on, because I did it the right way. There had better not be any rogue bulbs in the batch, or the tree may find itself rolling down the street.

And it would. It is always so windy here on South Mountain. Which basically means now that snowbanks are forming from the wind re-shuffling the snow. Once again, glad I don't have to drive in it.

Tomorrow I become better than the average driver--my commute moves to the carpool lane!

[Comments] (7) Neverending Snowy: This past week was pretty eventful. Wednesday I got to go to a client in Provo. We went to lunch at Los Hermanos, which was a blast from the past. But alas, I still have not been away from Happy Valley long enough to miss it. I was happy to get back on the right side of the point.

Thursday I took TRAX to work. It was nice not to have to drive, but it does get crowded for the last leg of the journey. People have told me they study for school/CPA exams on the TRAX, and I must admit I find that hard to believe. All the people on their cell phones are pretty distracting. That night Susie picked me up from work to go to our work Christmas party. It was held at Rice-Eccles Stadium up in the box. The view was awesome and the food was not bad. They had Brie, and the dessert was this pumpkin-cinnamon with pears thing that was quite festive. I also won an iTunes gift card and movie passes. We were entertained by a comedian that recently came from NYC. I wonder if Sumana ever saw his act. But I can't remember his name. He started off slow, but finished pretty funny.

Friday morning I took my UT Laws & Rules test, and passed. So I'm now one step closer to receiving UT reciprocity with my CPA license. I think the last step is waiting impatiently for the government and to pay lots of money. That night it began raining. It turned to snowfall by dark and still hasn't stopped.

Friday night Justin & Tyler slept over. Tyler is afraid of Maggie. He says she hurts him whenever she touches him. He also begged me to get Maggie off his coat. He said she would rip it. Not sure how that is playing out in his head. Tyler had a busy day yesterday. The school buses at his elementary are labeled by animal instead of by number. He takes the flower bus to school and the bear bus home. Yesterday it appears that he conscientiously decided to take the monkey bus home. Some parent recognized him when he got off the bus and drove him around town until he recognized his house.

I mentioned to Susie that this is why a laminated info card should accompany any child's backpack that is not old enough to memorize a phone number or address. Unfortunately, though, that would not have helped. He left his backpack on the school bus.

This morning was our ward party, breakfast with Santa. Maggie didn't seem too traumatized when he made his grand entrance and came up to us and said hello to her. She did, however, scream when placed on his lap. The photographer mentioned that maybe Maggie's brother should hold her. Maggie's brother? Do we look old enough to have a 13 year-old? I'm offended. Do I look like that kind of Utahn?

Lunch and the afternoon were spent at Boondocks. Justin & Tyler occupied their time with laser tag and video games. I occupied my time trying to keep track of them in that madhouse.

My last bit of weekly news involves me riding in the carpool lane the rest of the month. For only $50, I bought a pass to ride in the carpool lane! Considering that one toll road in CA costs $9 each way, I think I got a very good deal. Rush hour is now my favorite part of the day!

[Comments] (6) Politically Correct: Rather than threadjack Joe's post, I have a few comments of my own. I've been considering the state of the Union, and how it can improve. I must admit, I do not think that Huckabee would help. If he is the embodiment of the Christian right, consider me not a Christian. Anyone who believes that AIDS victims should be quarantined, or that it's "ok" to hate certain groups of people (homosexuals, Mormons), or that the budget should be loosened even more to increase the debt of the nation is not in line with my vision for my America.

Having said that, I am not sure if Mitt is my man, either. Though I have no doubt whatsoever that he would act independent from the Church, perception can be powerful. In essence, I don't want every decision, good or bad, to be associated with the Church. The Church has no posterboy, unless of course you consider it to be Jesus Christ. Not that Mitt is proclaiming himself to be the Mormon posterboy. But I'm afraid the media would paint the picture as such.

I won't even discuss Guiliani. So I guess that leaves me with Clinton or Obama. Obama I like, I think, though I haven't studied him in depth. The whole Oprah frenzy is kind of a silly tactic, though, I must admit. Then there was Hillary. Once again, I don't know enough about her. But most people I know tell me they would never vote for her. When I ask why, their responses are vague and unconvincing.

In short, to coin a phrase, Huckabee, "thou almost convertest me to be a liberal!"

Lastly, Susie & I have been following a story of a Utah family who adopted a boy through LDS family services. The birth mother, in ID, gave him up for adoption. The sperm-donating father, nowhere to be seen during the past two years, wants him. And apparently he gets him. Give me a president willing to promote a change to this twisted type of judicial law and I'll have found my candidate.

[Comments] (3) Yay & Nay: Grr: Our garage door spring has snapped in two. I have to open the door manually (and it's cold and heavy) and it costs $450 to fix.

Yay: It's covered under our appliance warranty the seller's gave us.

Yay: Maggie has learned how to drink out of her sippy cup and likes to eat food chunks we give her (cheese, green beans, sweet potato puffs, gingerbread cookies, etc).

Grr: There's crummies all over my clean floor.

Yay: Only 10 days until Christmas!

Grr: Due to snowstorms and work, I haven't bought a thing.

Yay: It's Saturday! I get to spend the day with my Beet!

Christmastime is here: This morning we celebrated my Grandma June's 90th birthday with her. It was a very nice reception, and Grandma seemed to be in very high spirits today. Maggie also seemed to enjoy watching all 100 or so of us gathered together. She very slowly is getting over her stranger anxiety, and finally seems to recognize certain family members' doting as not being a threat to her well-being. Maggie really enjoyed Rachel, and warmed up to her very nicely. Rachel has already come and gone, and I think she's gonna miss Maggie more than she realizes.

I am taking the next week off to enjoy Christmas with my family. It looks like Maggie's first Christmas will be a white one (not that she cares in the least). My first gift arrived early, and I am now the proud owner of a LoveSac. I'm looking forward to spending our first Christmas in our place.

Don't Blink: The other day Maggie and I were playing downstairs. She toddled off around the corner, and I kept doing what I was doing. When I finally went to get her, she was nowhere to be found. Not in the hallway. Not on the stairs. So I turned the corner to go upstairs and there she was, 4 stairs from the top. All by herself! I was both excited and scared at the same time.

Now it appears to be her new favorite toy. All she ever wants to do is climb the stairs.

Merry Christmas!

Ready or Not: Grr. I just finished book 3 of the "Faith of our Fathers" series, which is historical fiction about the Civil War. I thought it was the last in the series, but there apparently is a fourth. I borrowed them from my dad, who does not seem to have the fourth. And to make matters worse, it's one of those snooty books that does not come in paperback. I suppose I could buy it and then give it to my dad for his birthday, as it seems rather silly for him to have the first three and me to have the fourth. But I'm not sure my dad reads anymore. Before I start any more of his serial collections, I'll have to make sure they are complete.

Maggie aroused herself around 5:45 so I snuggled her and she went back to sleep. I don't feel tired anymore, and December 31 seemed like a very fitting day to be awake well before the sun to ponder a few things alone. I've set some goals for next year. I don't remember last year's goals, but I usually get what I want, so for the sake of the argument, we'll just assume I achieved success. I know at least one goal from last year was to stop throwing my money away in rent and to buy a house, which I've done. Another was probably a copout goal, like having a baby, which obviously also happened, considering Susie was 7-months pregnant when 2007 began. I look forward to 2008 and think it has a lot of potential. Bring it on!


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