Monday, January 28, 2008

"Tragic" Death?

Regarding the recent deaths of Heath Ledger and Gordon B Hinckley I have heard the terms "tragic" used. Maybe I'm just nuts, but I just don't think that the term "tragic" is appropriate when referring to either of these deaths.

First, it appears that Heath Ledger was abusing drugs and alcohol, so what makes his death "tragic"? The fact that he left a child behind is very saddening, but it's more tragic that the child's father cared so little.

Second, President Hinckley lived a long and happy life. He was able to say goodbye to all of his family, and he has now moved onto a MUCH better place, so what's "tragic" about his death?

Maybe I am just crazy, but I hope that when I die that people are happy and celebrate my life. I'd rather people spend money on throwing a big party and remember the good times they had with me, than throwing away money on flowers, fancy decorations, and a stupid box that is just gonna be buried in the ground. But maybe I'm just weird

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Diamonds and Guns

Our recent trip to Mexico reminded me that America is a land of excess and the new TV that we just bought is a perfect example of that. As you can see here, we just bought a 61" HDTV. Jenni really wanted to get a plasma TV so we could mount it on the wall like they always show in the commercials, but I was more interested in screen real estate (as evidenced by the difference between our old TV that I'm sitting on and the new one). I had been really hesitant to get one, but then we saw this one for a GREAT deal at Costco and I was sold.

We're still waiting for our Dish receiver to be upgraded to an HD signal, but it's already been fun to watch DVDs and such on my newest toy, and I can't wait to watch the big game in all of its HD glory. Everyone is invited to come and join the festivities, if you can just get yourself down here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I guess I should vote

I'm a little ashamed to admit this, but I've never voted before. I actually really wanted to vote in the last presidential election, but I was just too lazy to fill out the absentee ballot thing. I think it's good to be sure and voice your opinion, and the fact that the government is now taking a very large chunk of each of my paychecks, I have added incentive to be involved in who's deciding how big that chunk is. But here's my thoughts on each of the candidates (I have to admit that Jenni's actually been the driving influence in becoming informed on the issues and where each of the candidates stand):

Barack Obama
He's definitely a charismatic speaker, but he's just way too liberal on some issues. I also couldn't bring myself to vote for someone that smoked. I think that he's just a lot of talk when it comes to some issues too. Take for example the whole Iraq situation. He's very against it and says that he would fight to remove all troops from Iraq. I agree that it's an ugly war and a sad situation, but the sad reality is that we are all addicted to oil and if we leave now, we'll end up being screwed when Iran takes over. Basically, he's a lot of talk about pulling out of Iraq, but when push comes to shove, he'll stay involved to keep the United States from falling apart.

Hillary Clinton
Bill Clinton is an amazingly likable guy, but he's a complete scumbag (who writes a book called "Giving" but then still collects presidential "retirement" check of $191,000 even though he's making an estimated $10,000,000 every year?). Hillary stuck with Bill just for the political power that he brings to the table, and I just can't respect that.

John Edwards
To be completely honest, I just don't know that much about him, but I just agree with him that lobbyist and big business interests have become too powerful.

Mitt Romney
I know that it's "cool" that he's Mormon and all, but he's just too much of a politician for me (sways with public opinion, jumps right into the mudslinging, and is trying to win the election by throwing money at it). I do have to admit that I like that he's a business man and all, but I just can't get past how fake he feels.

Mike Huckabee
The thing that intrigues me most about Huckabee is his proposal of removing all federal income taxes. He would replace it with a federal sales tax of 30% called the Fair Tax. 30% probably seems like a lot, but I did some rough estimates and we would have actually paid a lot less in taxes under this system. Everyone would also receive a refund of about $200 a month to make the system be more like the current progressive system. Of course it would have it's own set of problems and challenges (like what would all the CPAs do for jobs?), but I think that it would be a MUCH better system. I also like his position and the other important issues and he's one of the two candidates that I'd actually consider voting for.

John McCain
I really didn't know all that much about McCain (other than the fact that he's a senator from Arizona), but I saw him speak a few times recently and I was really impressed. He's confident and respectful, but not cocky or pompous. He has firm beliefs and stands behind them. He's not swayed by public opinion and is always willing to respectfully discuss the different opinions and explain why he believes in his. Right now I like him the best, but we still have a long ways to go and who knows who I'll finally end up voting for.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Christmas and New Years

I know that Jenni already talked about this on her blog, but I just wanted to add the links to all of the pictures that we took. You can check out the pictures from everything we did in Sacramento in this Picasa Web Album or the two Facebook photo albums (the first one and the second one). You can also check out the pictures from Ensenada, Mexico in this Picasa Web Album or in this Facebook photo album.

We had a lot of fun spending time with family and catching up with old friends. The whole mountain/camping things was a lot of work but was a lot of fun (as you can tell from the chainsaw picture), and Jenni picked up some Mexican Jumping Beans that were definitely a hit. Basically, it was a really enjoyable and much needed break. The only bad part about it is that had to end and we had to go back to work today.