October 2005


…is junk mail.

This week I’ve received several credit card applications, a magazine I never ordered and two of the exact same invitation packets from BMG. I know people are always complaining about junk emails, but at least it only takes a second to delete them. With junk¬† mail it’s a little more difficult, especially with credit card applications, because you don’t want anyone finding it in the garbage and signing you up and ruining your credit, right? I just hate, hate, hate junk mail. I even hate regular mail. I hate getting bills and bank statements that I don’t even look at and I just have to shred later. It’s a complete waste of paper, time and effort on everyone’s part.

AND the weekly ads! Good lord, nobody even looks at those. At my old apartment complex they had a garbage can in the mail room that was used specifically for everyone to throw away the ads that came once a week and it would be overflowing! We tried to request that no more ads/junk mail be sent, but the post office said the reason they send it is to keep the price of stamps low and there was no way they could refuse to deliver it.

At least with telemarketers you don’t have a big pile of junk lying around later to remind you of the annoyance. Once you hang up, they’re gone. Last night I went through a huge pile of mail on my dresser and only kept three items. That tells me there’s a definite problem with the system. I wonder if there’s anything that can be done??? If you know, please tell me!

PS I do know that you can get some of these things sent electronically and I do, but I still get WAY too much mail for one human being and it makes me sick.

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In Utah, instead of water towers in each city, they have the letter of the city on the side of the mountain. In Provo they have a Y for BYU instead of a P and I’ve always wanted to hike up to it, so today I finally did!

It wasn’t as impressive as I had thought it would be up close though. In fact, you can’t even tell it’s a Y when you’re up close:

But it was a great hike, considering it was practically straight up hill and me and my sister got some really cool pictures of us with the city in the background:

After the hike though I learned that I have an affinity for people who don’t know that stop means stop. You all know I got in a car accident last month (so not my fault) where I was rear-ended at a stop light. Well, today I was rear-ended at a stop sign. Did the rules of the road change and someone forgot to tell me? I just got a new bumper and now it looks like this:

So not fair! A higher power is definitely trying to ruin this trip for me, but it’s not gonna work. Nahnananananah!

Here’s the second half of the propositions for the upcoming election. If you missed the first half you can click here or go straight to the voter pamphlet. You can click on the link for more information about a specific measure. And remember, the last day to register is MONDAY Oct. 24. And please remember, these are not MY opinions, these are for your education so you can be better prepared to vote and decide for yourself about the issues. But don’t you worry, I plan to put up my vote, well at least on some of them…

Here we go:

Proposition 78: Prescription Drug Discounts

What a YES vote means: This will create a new drug discount program for people who do not already have coverage from a government program or private insurance. Californians in families with incomes up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level (about $29,000 for oner person or about $58,000 for a family of four) could get a drug discount card for $15 per year. The card would be used to buy drugs at a set discount at participating pharmacies. The cost to run the program could range from millions to tens of million of dollars each year.

Proposition 79: Prescription Drug Discounts and Medi-Cal

What a YES vote means: This will create a new drug discount program for people not in Medi-Cal or Healthy Families. Califonians in families with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level (about $38,000 for one person or about $77,000 for a family of four) could get a drug discount card for $10 per year. The card would be used to buy drugs at a set discount at participating pharmacies. Cost to the state would be in the low tens of millions of dollars per year.

Proposition 80: Regulation of electric service

What a YES vote means: This will increase state control (“regulation”) over California’s electricity market and make it harder to reduce state control. Prop 80 would make permanent the current ban on customers switching from the major utility companies to other providers. The state PUC could regulate the rates of all electric service providers except utilities owned by local governments. All PUC-controlled electric sellers would also be required to use more renewable energy resources, with a goal of 20 percent moved up to 2010 (instead of by 2017). The cost to the state would be $4 million per year, paid by electricity customers (aka YOU). <—-I couldn’t resist just a little bit of commentary.

Alright everyone that’s it! Now make sure to study up on these and get out and vote. AND if you don’t understand a proposition, you aren’t REQUIRED to vote on it, so at least vote for the ones you feel strongly about. Keep democracy working!

Today me and the fam went for a short hike at a place called cascade springs and it was so gorgeous. Yay for fall colors:

Here’s my two favorite girls in the whole world:

And I finally learned how to use the timer on my camera so here’s me and some of the rest of my family that is out here visiting right now:

Unfortunately it’s a little late in Autumn for Utah so a lot of the trees have already lost their leaves:

My little brother dropped his shoe in the stream and Jess had to rescue it before it flowed to far away…

Even with that face, he’s adorable:

Look! A little acorn:

For the most part it was a fabulous day, except I got stung by a bee on my hand. I’ve never been stung before and it super hurts!

These were my sister’s directions to her “house”:

“Okay, my address is xxxx east xxxx north. Just get off at University and you should be able to find it.”

I know, I know. I’m at fault too for not asking more questions, but you have to realize that Utah is built on a grid so if you know the difference from north, south, east and west then you can just about find anything. Unless of course your sister lives in an apartment, not a house. Hello!?!? Wouldn’t you normally think to give that information up front?

So I get here. Drive to the given address, but in the wrong city (Orem) then headed back south til I got to the same address in her city. No luck. I can’t find it. So I’m thinking this address is avaialable in EVERY city in Utah! I could still be in the wrong place!

I eventually give up, defeated and frustrated. I drive to a 7 eleven and buy a phone card. Yeah, my cell phone doesn’t work outside of Sacramento (the reason I didn’t just call in the first place). And I call my sister, who isn’t even home! If someone was driving 10 hours to see me, I think I’d be there when they arrived.

Anyway, I’m here and I’m safe.

Moral of the story: Get real directions, apartment numbers and the name of the city if you ever visit Utah.

If you’re going to buy wool sweaters, be sure to buy moth balls. I thought for sure my sweaters would be fine because I had them all cleaned at the end of winter last year then stored them in a nice, new plastic bin with a lid and everything. BUT I didn’t want my sweaters to smell like moth balls so I decided my sweaters would be fine. Well, I was wrong.

I dug out a few of my sweaters recently and wore one of my favorites to work today. It’s pink and made of merino wool (aka expensive yarn). I just bought it near the end of the season last year and even on sale it still cost me $50 and now I just noticed a moth hole in it and I’m devastated.¬† I’m working today so I haven’t had a chance to check the rest of my sweaters, but I’m sure they’re all the same. Sad, I know.

I can’t even begin to tell you how sad I am right now. There’s no way I can afford to buy new sweaters this year. I haven’t even been able to buy new shoes for work yet and mine have holes in the soles of them…holes seem to be a common theme in my clothing these days.

Moral of the story: Either buy cheap synthetic sweaters or buy moth balls and just wear perfume to cover up the smell.

Alright boys and girls I’m a little distraught right now because I just found out my roommate isn’t voting in the upcoming election and his mom has been a teacher for 20 years! SO I’ve decided to educate you all on the issues. This will be the first in a series of blogs on the upcoming election. In this edition I will not be giving my opinion, just the facts, straight out of the voter pamphlet. I know you are all probably sick of hearing about the election already, but I bet not one of you could tell me what Prop. 74 would do so read this then register to vote then go to the polls or sign up for absentee voting.

With that said, here we go:

Proposition 73: A constitutional amendment (in California) requiring parental notification before termination of a minor’s pregnancy.

What a YES vote means: A yes vote would change the State Constitution to require a doctor to notify a parent or guardian at least 48 hours before performing an abortion on a pregnant minor. Exceptions would be made in the case of a medical emergency or if the minor gets approval from juvenile court.

Doctors would be required to report to the state on all abortions performed on minors. The minor’s identity would be kept confidential in these reports and in any court proceedings.

A possible increase in state costs of several million dollars per year for health and welfare programs as well as court expenses is expected.

Proposition 74: Public School Teachers – initiative to increase waiting period for permanent status and change dismissal terms.

What a YES vote means: The trial period for new teachers would go up to five years instead of two years. It would also make it easier to fire a permanent teacher who has received two unsatisfactory evaluations in a row.

Proposition 75: Government Employee Union Dues

What a YES vote means: Government employee unions would be required to get written agreement from each worker before using that worker’s dues or nonmember fees for political contributions.

Proposition 76: State Budget and School Funding

What a YES vote means: It means changing the State Constitution about how the state budget is managed. It would:

a.) Add a new spending limit to the last year’s budget plus an average of the past 3 years’ income growth

b.) Give the governor greater poer to cut state spending. If state income falls below expected levels, the legislature would have 45 days to fix the problem. If the legislature and the governor could not agree on a solution, then the governor would have the power to cut programs.

c.) And change how the minimum funding level is calculated for schools and community colleges.

Proposition 77: Political Districts

What a YES vote means: It means changing the State Constitution to give authority for setting up political district lines every ten years to a panel of three retired judges, instead of the state legislature. Prop 77 also requires new district lines to be set up for the statewide elections in 2006. These new districts would have to be approved by voters in 2006. If voters reject the new district lines, then another three judges will be selected to redraw the boundaries for elections in 2008. The initial cost of redrawing the districts is $1.5 million for the state and another $1 million per county.

Okay boys and girls. Study up on those and I will do the rest for you in a few days. I think this should be enough to get you started.

PS I know these are confusing so I will have an in-depth blog on each one in the weeks to come.

PPS In case you were wondering, a NO vote means the law stays the way it is (aka nothing changes).

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