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[Comments] (8) Fiscal Fight: The UT legislature is busy working their 30 required days now, wrapping up the budget mostly. I have recently come to find out that it is written in the UT constitution that a balanced budget is required and debt is strictly prohibited. Thus the state is always in the black.

I for one think that's awesome. Some people here cry that all that means is that taxes are super high to ensure the budget can logically be balanced every year. But my research disagrees. Of the states polled, 19 have rates higher than UT, 15 have rates lower than UT, and 14 are substantially similar. I know, that only adds up to 48 + UT makes 49. Somehow in my haste to publish I missed a state. I'll blame TX. They're not a part of the Union anyhow =).

And it's true. I got a pay increase moving here. Not literally. But in take-home pay. Something like $40 a paycheck more than I got in Cal.

What would it be like to have such laws written into our federal constitution? Well, for one thing, spending on frivolities, like a war, would cease. Or at least it would curb the issue of $200 toilet seats being shipped to Iraq. What a different world that would be.

[Comments] (3) Unbelievable!: Our neighbors three doors up are selling their house. It's the same style as ours and I wanted to know the asking price. Unbelievable. The picture on the website is of OUR HOUSE!

I called the realtor to tell him his photographer did the wrong house and he says, get this, I KNOW! The neighbors haven't had a photographer yet so he just pulled ours from the file because you can't really see the address in the picture anyway. Do I have a problem with that, he asks?

I'm a reasonable human being, so I told him I guess not, since pictures of the real house will be up by Monday, Tuesday at the latest. But isn't this a violation of my privacy? Shouldn't he have to ask my permission first? I'm too lazy to look into the legal ramifications of this, but I have a feeling the law would be on my side.

[Comments] (1) Birthday Girl: Happy Birthday to the littlest princess. I think she knew something was up, because she sure was in great spirits all day. It's been a year full of learning experiences, sleepless nights, and snugglefests. Here's to a lot more where all that came from.

[Comments] (1) Somebody's poisoned the waterhole: Yesterday on the news they ran this whole segment on how they are finding significant trace amounts of various medications in our drinking water. No wonder my cholesterol is down.

This of course led me to reflect on a scene that occured shortly after Frances's passing. The home health nurse, and others at the scene, if my memory serves me, were urging Susie to dump three gallon-sized ziplock bags worth of old meds down the toilet. I really couldn't explain why at the time, but that really did not seem like a good idea to me. I really felt like dumping them in the garbage was the right answer. I know I know, dumpster divers would have had a field day. But still. I couldn't help but think that this was harming innocent fishies, let alone the human race.

As it turns out, in SL county at least, you can take your meds to the police station. They have bins to collect them that look like library return repositories. The officers weekly fire up the ovens. Wish we'd have known about this then. I still can't help but think how we were innocently cajoled into doing the wrong thing.

[Comments] (5) Yeah, right: Because Maggie is a smallish tot, the doctor advised us to feed her foods like butter. Am I the only one that thinks this is a bad idea? So instead at lunch today I let her have some of my coconut ice cream. I am giving her something less healthy but hey, at least it tastes good and won't clog her arteries.

We have had most of the snow melted in our yard for about a week. There is a patch that has been clinging on, and refused to go. Today it held out for friends, and now we have about three new inches in our backyard. I guess the American Puxatawny Phil was right, winter's here to stay.

Lastly, I need some boba. Do I dare quit my oh-so-great job (heh) and open a boba store here? I'd be the only one in UT, so I'd have a lock on the market. But on the other hand, maybe there's a reason there isn't one in Utah. Maybe boba's against the word of wisdom.

[Comments] (1) Sitting Pretty: Yay! Luck was an airplane this weekend, my friends. I had to go to San Jose Tuesday night for a one-day training on Wednesday that made me stay until Thursday morning because there were no flights out that night.

My flight to San Jose was absolutely deserted. I think some connecting flight didn't make it. I had a whole row to myself to read and take a nap in. Then on the way home the flight was full, so guess who got bumped up to first class? Moi! First time ever. It was awesome. At least, it was once all the people boarding the plane are seated. It's hard to look at them in the face, so I buried my nose in a Sudoku book. Really, they are still my peeps, and I'll be rejoining them when I go to Dallas in May. But it was fun to pretend for a day that I'm worth a seat that's too big for me!

[Comments] (15) VCP?: Our DVD player died. It was a wedding gift and I'm sure we registered for cheapest old thing. Susie wanted to get it repaired but I looked up new machines and decided that it's probably cheaper just to buy a new one. So for $60 we got a VCP/DVD. Our VCR is mine from high school and also only works when repeatedly banged on. This new combo machine is pretty cool. You can play a video and a DVD at the same time and toggle back and forth while both play simultaneously. Don't know when I would ever do this, but it's a nice touch. Also, I should point out that this new machine does not allow video recording, only playing. Thus it's a VCP, not a VCR. Just so's you know.

My NCAA bracket is failing miserably. I'm sure glad I didn't enter my work tax group bracket. It cost $5 to enter. I opted out, as I figured it constituted gambling. However, the boss, a stake president, entered. As did most of my mormon coworkers. I'm confused. When would it be considered gambling. $6? $10? Why is this not gambling? This is why I don't necessarily want to still live here when Maggie enters teenage-dom. It's so much easier to explain to kids why our family values are different from their friends when all of their friends are from different faiths. But when they are from the same faith: how to explain it then? I think it'll be easier to raise kids with the values I adhere to elsewhere.

[Comments] (4) Anti-Dentite: Last night I was dutifully flossing under my permanent retainer and poof, the glue holding the right side of the bar died. Needless to say, my tongue had an interesting night playing with it.

This morning I went to my old orthodontist. I've had the bar 9 years. The doctor said it's really only necessary to keep it for 6 years, so he could take it out. So now all my teeth are finally free! He also told me some people like to keep the bottom bar forever, and he'd reglue it if I wanted. I declined. He didn't charge me, and I only had to wait in his lobby for 10 minutes. All in all, not a bad start to the day.

[Comments] (2) Dancing Queen: Against Susie's better judgment, I got Maggie two Wiggles DVD's for her birthday. So loves them to pieces. She watched one of them three times in a row at Jamie's house, and when Erin was watching her the other day, she brought Erin the DVD case and pointed at the tv repeatedly until Erin turned it on. She really gets into them. I may have created a monster. Now Susie & I will only be able to watch our shows when she's asleep. Good thing we don't really have any shows to speak of.

I guess if we wanted to watch a show we could always put the Wiggles on the laptop while we watch on the tv. Or we could be mean and show Maggie who's the boss. Though I think we may be surprised at the answer to that one.

I can tell that Maggie is ready for busy season to end. Now whenever she sees me she clings to me hard and cries if even Susie tries to take her so I can get stuff done. Poor little thing. She knows who the moneymaker is!


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