somebody liked my idea

Check it out. This was my way of celebrating the Fourth of July.


fair tax research

I have recently become particularly interested in the tax proposal with the focus group-approved name FairTax to replace all federal taxes with a flat national sales tax. There are a number of nuances that make the proposal interesting, and I have started a couple in-depth discussions with some people about this.

When it comes right down to it, I am currently quite opposed to the details of the plan. However, I do respect their attempt to radically alter our tax code, which I think does need to be done, and most of their approach, as well. For example, they actually want to change the Constitution, which is how I think radical things should be done (such as Prohibition under the 18th amendment vs. our current war on drugs).

So, looking for two things. First, if you are interested in this or know someone who is, let me know. Second, if there are details or outside research you would like to fill me in on to change my mind, I would certainly welcome such information. (In other words, don't give me stuff from their website or by affiliated individuals and organizations)

Here's the website for the movement.


full circle

If all goes well, apparently this post will end up on my Facebook profile. Sweetness. If not, my apologies in advance for not being as technically gifted with these newfangled toys the kiddies have these days. And I thought Facebook Mobile was stepping across the line.

Life is back to being busy again, with me craving more sleep than I'm actually getting, which must be how my body really likes it, because I keep returning to such a state after bits of lazier respite. This winter I couldn't find enough to do so I finally had time to explore the world of swing dancing, which is pretty much as difficult as I thought it would be, by the way, but recently I have basically ditched the people I met there because I haven't had time to squeeze it in. At times I do miss it, and it was nice getting a little regular exercise for a change, but I don't seem to do anything about it, and actions are the true indicator. It's the kind of thing that if you immerse yourself in it can be a lot of fun, but it is difficult to do more casually, which, outside of perhaps Civilization and travel, is pretty much how I do life.

Jodi had me go to Habitat orientation with her and we're doing siding and roofing and whatnot on a house off of Grand north of the Fox theater this Saturday (we have to be there at 7:50am. As in, in the morning am, on a Saturday). Habitat's a great organization, but particularly with my job, I'm not exactly looking for more service/volunteer kinds of organizations. Me time is good, too. I tell Jodi that if she wants to meet boys, having me go with her is not the way to do it, but alas comfort seems to win out over strategy rather frequently. I never thought I would think about someone else that they could really use a drink...hehe, but that's for a different post. This one's about me!

Work has been good recently. After several months of discussion, it was agreed that Nora and I would be eligible for overtime when our major new grants started, and they made it retroactive to July 1 (several of our major programs have fiscal years running from July 1 to June 30, so we often end/start things at that time). So, that definitely helps with the fun we had recently where effectively a funder took back some money that was designated for employee compensation (it was not an insignificant amount per person). Of course, this comes at a time where there were lots of other priorities (in particular, moving our operations to a new building), so we weren't getting a lot of feedback about longer term roles with the agency. Combined with other people going back to school, I had then started thinking about my own plans, hence part of the desire to go out to California and visit Stanford. Which is really great, by the way; that would be a fun place to spend a couple years. And I hear they have a half decent school, too. Anyway, so now that I have started thinking seriously about going back to school, I start getting feedback at work that maybe they would like to have us on board for a while (we represent half the under-30 crowd in the entire agency, which is interesting in it's own right). Isn't that how life works, one moment, neither work nor school seem particularly attractive longer term, and the next, you're not sure which to go for?

One thing I am not going for is marriage. I know that comes as a shock to anyone who has known me more than five minutes. Went to Kelli and Nicholas' couples shower (or is it Nickolas? gotta love future mothers-in-law) this past weekend. After initial awkwardness of only knowing 5% of the guests, it was kinda fun. Nick has several cousins spread out around St. Louis, so it was interesting to hear bits and pieces about different city neighborhoods. This world of locals is still relatively new; it's an interesting reminder how transient Wash U folks are. Also an interesting reminder of how bizarre some of our wedding rituals are. For example, there was lots of info on line about various showers and wedding registries and what presents are appropriate and whatnot. But I couldn't get one simple question answered. Is the present at a couple's shower the wedding present, or is it a separate present? After consultation with Julie that went something like this: who cares about what's appropriate, get something you want, and me going: I care, I'm not going to just show up at a wedding shower without a present, and her going: these are just designed to make people give presents, and basically her calling me on not caring about the formalities yet not being willing to break them, either. So I did a compromise that was me. Bought something off the registry for their wedding present, and I added a couple essential game items for the shower. Clearly poker chips were not on the list because Kelli wouldn't let Nick put them on. Serious card for the wedding, grumpy Care Bears card for the shower. My apologies to fans of the cartoon characters; I don't know their real names. He had a thunderstorm or something and needed a hug.

I am not-so-subtlely reminding Julie of the wedding date because I think she would enjoy meeting my friends back home, and I know they want to meet her. And anyway, I went to a wedding with her up in noco. I didn't know a single guest. She owes me.


what to do

Essembly and traveling and Civilization seem to be conspiring against me having time left for blogging. Grrr.


what to do in palo alto

Me: Ooh, why haven't we gone go-cart racing yet? [driving past a place to race go carts]

Doug: Maybe because we're not nine years old anymore.


i'm in heaven

And by that, I mean eating a nice dinner in a restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean as the sun is setting behind the waves.