Saturday, February 05, 2005


We have a few plans for the day. I've promised Shawn that I will sit with her and help her do her taxes this morning. Ugh! I don't mind doing the taxes, but Shawn gets caught up in the details since she doesn't understand all of the issues involved. We use TurboTax so that takes some of the pain out of it (believe me, if she had to do this the old fashioned way it would be FAR more painful). Shawn commented to me this week about how little she thought that she'd get back this year. My jaw dropped - we have the interest on the house as a write off and she didn't think we could write that off this year as we did last year. She's in for a big surprise. This will be the first full year we'll be able to write off interest on the house.

Later, Shawn's going off to get her hair cut at noon. I might just go to the health club while she's doing that. Heh, we work off our steam in different ways. Shawn's still trying to decide whether or not she can make it out to our friend, Kathleen's, birthday party tonight. I'm going to make it, but Shawn has a lot of work to do for school. She really wants to go and I suspect that she will. She says that she needs contact with other people. She went out last night with her aunt Jeannie and Jeannie's friends for dinner and a concert at The Triple Door (where we have tickets to see Los Mocosos on April 15th). I went out with friends Phil and Adam, both from a former employer, and their friends to the Pike Street Brewery. Phil commented on my will power for being able to sit sipping Coke while he and the boys drank 4 or 5 pitchers of beer. As I pointed out, I even ordered the first pitcher and sat with it and 2 glasses filled with XXXXX Stout at the bar waiting for him and Adam without sipping any. Phil was dumbfounded.

No plans for tomorrow yet, other than the health club. I took yesterday off, so I'm going to make a point of getting in today and tomorrow. Shawn might join me one of those days. She actually got into her club three times this week. That's cool. I might be inspiring her to actually make it in. Hopefully, she'll be able to do the same when my motivation wanes.

Now, for Dickie's quickies:

We've been following the Enron story very closely as our county's utility has taken the lead on uncovering information about their corrupt practices. It's costing Snohomish County's PUD (public utility district) a lot of cash to do what the fucking federal government should be doing in the first place. The PUD's motivation? They are trying to cancel a contract because it was based on fraud. They continue to make their case and the feds continue to drag their feet on authorizing the cancellation. If the feds do that, then other utilities will have a case to do this and Enron will finally die the death it deserves. I cannot explain to you, dear reader, how proud I am of the PUD's work on this - I don't care how much it is costing us, we'll save a bundle in the long run. When Clinton ordered that our utilities in the Pacific Northwest supply California with power at a discount, forcing our utilities to sign contracts at inflated prices, I was furious. As the story unfolds, I'm even angrier. Here's the NY Times story on the latest transcripts of tapes from the debacle in 2001. Further tapes and memos show that the manipulation occured as early as 1998. Grrrr.............

In more pleasant news, New York state has a court that has outlawed bans on gay marriage. Good for them! Here's the complete transcript of the judge's ruling. In it, among other items, she points out that if traditional marriage was not an ammendable concept, then we wouldn't have laws making it illegal for a husband to rape his own wife.

I was listening to Tim Eyman on the radio yesterday (he's a local conservative gadfly who gets a lot of voter initiatives on the ballots here and many pass, but many are ruled illegal in the courts - most cut taxes in one form or another...for the record, I typically disagree with him, even though I'm a beneficiary of his initiatives). Eyman was speaking about an initiative in Washington state that essentially outlawed affirmative action. Seattle's schools are talking about reinstating mild affirmative action practices when it comes to assigning students to certain schools (using race as a tie breaker), a move which Eyman opposes. Eyman was saying that treating one group of people differently in the law than another group of people is wrong. OK, fine, how do he and his supporters feel about gay marriage, then? Hmmmm?

Finally, in entertainment, The Kleptones have a new release via BitTorrent. Their last release, "A Night At the Hip-Hopera" was a brilliant mash-up using Queen songs as it's source. I haven't heard this new one yet, but will be downloading it shortly. It should be great.

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