Interstate Travel:

As most of you know, I just returned from Oregon yesterday. Tony and I visited for five days and quite enjoyed all of the quirks that are Portland. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures to share with you though because Tony accidently left our camera at the airport security checkpoint in Sacramento. Luckily it was recovered, but not until we returned home.

While we were there we had a discussion about how the U.S. international borders are not the only borders that matter. Every time we cross a state border it’s like entering into a whole new country. Granted, the federal laws remain intact and we have the same president. But governmental organization and the English language are about as much as most states have in common. It’s intriguing to learn the laws of other states and wonder how they came about their decision to outlaw shopping carts or plastic bags.

For those of you who don’t know, which I doubt there are many, Oregon has some very interesting and often controversial laws. One of the most controversial is their support of euthanasia. They also have a very successful needle trade-in program.

But it’s the quirky laws that I love best about Oregon. For instance, if you cross the state line into Oregon, you are no longer aloud to pump your own gas. Instead, an attendant meets you at your car, asks you how much gas you want, pumps it, and takes your cash. Oregon is also well known for it’s lack of sales tax. And while I was there I learned that Portland has a law against sitting on the sidewalk, ostensibly to keep homeless people from gathering on city streets. They also have a law that if someone has overpowering body odor on a public bus or tram, you can request that they be removed – and they must oblige! I think that’s by far my favorite of the Oregon laws.

Anyway, I was just thinking how weird it is that different states and cities have such different laws even though we’re all the same country. I think it’s cool that our founding fathers thought far enough ahead to realize that it would be impossible for one president to control an entire nation the size of the U.S.

The Most Important Person Who Never Lived:

I just picked up three more books from the public library (yay for free reading), one of which is “The 101 most influential people who never lived.” Some of the people written about in the book include Prince Charming, Hercules and Uncle Sam. One of the main reasons I decided to read this book was because I wanted to know who the authors considered to be the most influential person who never lived. I’ll tell you right now, it isn’t anyone I’d thought of.

I’m not going to spoil it for you, but I was wondering who you’d consider the most influential person who never lived. Uncle Tom? Mickey Mouse? And why would you pick them as opposed to any other fictional character?