I am holding this post hostage

Hopefully this’ll force me to write a real post to replace this. :)

California’s Prop 29 first came to my attention in one of the many petition activist emails I receive. It mentioned new legislation on the upcoming ballot, which the tobacco companies oppose. Easy enough, I thought. I’ll just vote against big tobacco, no deep soul-searching required there.

Wrong! Commercials started coming out on TV about Prop 29. The first one I saw had me guffawing. Prop 29 doesn’t put any money toward cancer research? Prop 29 doesn’t do this, it doesn’t do that. It just doesn’t go far enough, so it just shouldn’t be enacted at all!

But another commercial made me pause. Not because of what the official-looking doctor on the screen was saying, but because on the bottom of the screen it stated that the L.A. Times opposed the proposition. I’d never thought that anyone other than those with political or financial motives would oppose it.

I tracked down the Op-Ed piece (sorry, too lazy to find the page again) and it basically said that Prop 29 is flawed. California gets all these taxes and instead of putting it in the general fund, where it’s severely needed, it goes toward this whole new infrastructure where the people on the board can decide to send the money out of state. Additionally, it’s estimated that these taxes will decrease each year, as people quite smoking because of the higher expense.

At this point I wavered between my options: Yes or No? I’m not a fan of creating more bureacracy, and California could really use the money for things other than battling smoking. (People should just stop killing themselves and not smoke, simple as that, right?) And the decrease in taxes, if there’ll be less and less money going toward it, then why bother at all? Yet, I couldn’t bring myself to agree to vote with the tobacco companies.

But then the No on Prop 29 camp released another commercial, saying California’s tax dollars will be sent out of state, instead of creating jobs here, in-state. That argument never holds with me. (I am no statist! State elitist? … I don’t know.) I don’t care which state gets the jobs, as long as there are jobs being created. And calling them California’s tax dollars? The money came from people who smoke; it’s not my money.

So I took a step back and looked at the big picture: smokers will be paying money to … “fund cancer research, smoking reduction programs, and tobacco law enforcement.” (Ballotpedia on Prop 29) I’m fine with that! Count me in as a Yes vote!

And this way I won’t agree with any tobacco companies! ;)

[comments closed to combat spam]

My Little Blogging Corner

I came across this blog entry by Elena, who found a question posted on Thistlewood Farm:

Do you ever wonder where people blog?

Do you ever wonder how they write a post? […]

Why? When? Where? How? Do you blog?

I blog right here:

Where I Blog

At a desk set in one corner of my bedroom. Yes, I know it’s very cluttered. Which probably explains a lot of my life and why my blog goes unupdated. The pile, one of a few in my room, represents projects or tasks I have yet to complete.

But I never get around to them because I spend most of my time trying to catch up with all the social media updates: Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Livejournal, Youtube, and deviantArt when I can remember. (I’m a year behind on dA. *shame*) This by itself doesn’t take up much time, to be honest. But a lot of links are posted for such interesting articles or news items or random knowledge, I get stuck reading and reading and … reading …

After that on my list of priorities (which is topped by tv, sadly) is writing up my backlog of trips to Disneyland for my personal account. (The count is currently 15 trips over the past 8 or 9 months, waurrgh!)

At the end is writing at least one entry a month for my blog. I have a tiny list of ideas for blog entries. They are so unwieldy and require so much time to write, however, that I usually skip writing about them and go with the most recent idea that’s been floating around in my head for a couple weeks.

There’s no real process to writing for my blog. I just decide that Today Is the Day and I shouldn’t (or can’t!) put it off any longer, and I spend an hour or two writing. I don’t have drafts stored on my blog (mostly because WordPress’ storage of drafts as completely separate from and filling up the same database slots as published posts irks me), and I don’t write much of anything beforehand. It’s partially laziness and partially lack of time, but I think it’s mostly because when I do write out or plan out blog entries in my head, like during long commutes home from work, the thought or idea leaves my system, and I no longer feel a compulsion to post it up here.

That’s about it. Boring, I know. But I managed to fit in my “real” post for March! Yeah!

leaping over February this year

Oh gosh, I managed to do it again, not updating for over a month. At least I have a better excuse, because even though it’s a leap year, February still has fewer days than other months! February was also a busy month at work, not only were we finishing up the busy season but we had to put everything together for a big expo as well.

I also spent my extra day of the year very well, I think, at Disneyland’s One More Disney Day. Twenty-four hours straight of Disneyland! Woo! March 1st I spent in front of the tv, trying to recuperate.

Hopefully this won’t be my post of the month, because I do have ideas for blog entries, I just lack the time to formulate my thoughts and type them up here!

hot water living

About a month after our Zojirushi water boiler busts, and I think the results are in.

I asked Mum about trying a water boiler one last time, but she was adamant: “I already gave them my money; I don’t want to give them any more.” We’ve been living the old fashioned way ever since: boiling water kettle on the range.

However, today Mum confided to me, “Our gas bill is up to a hundred dollars now.” We aren’t sure if it’s worth the money, saving on electricity to run the hot water pot, if the gas bill is going so high.

I’ve been considering buying an electric water kettle, but wasn’t sure how accepting Mum would be. I think she’ll be more willing now that I heard about our gas bill. The electric kettle would only be used once or twice in the morning and once in the afternoon. Not too huge a drain on our electricity. And no hanging around to make sure the stove is turned off before the kettle screams!

our Zojirushi water boiler busts

I’m so disappointed, our Zojirushi water boiler bit the dust. The model we have is the CD-LCC30 3 Liter. (Called an “Electric Dispensing Pot” on Amazon? But that doesn’t describe its function very well…)

The other day my mom commented how her new coffee she’d bought tasted weird. She added more instant coffee and creamer and managed to finish her coffee.

Later, my green tea that I’d made had a funny taste as well, some sort of sickly sweet taste. Since I had another drink I set it aside, planning to ask my mom what was wrong with it.

Then I got a message from my mom, don’t drink my tea, there’s oil in the water boiler!

At home she explained that she’d found a film of oil on top of the water when she went to refill the pot. She cleaned it three times and there was still oil, which was coming up from underneath the area that stored water. Searching online, she found that these water boilers use oil to heat the water. (Although I can’t replicate her results, and wonder if she confused the electric pot with the home water heater tank.)

This was our second water boiler; our first was made by Panasonic and that one just up and quit on us after a year or two. We generally don’t buy Panasonic anymore. But this Zojirushi oil problem has me worried. The pot lasted us a little over a year, and the 1-year limited warranty of course has run out. I don’t know that the warranty would have covered our problem anyway. This is Zojirushi! Says right on the pot, “Made in Japan”!! It’s not supposed to bust in such an odd manner.

My mom has given up on the water boilers, but they are one of my favorite things! I love being able to make my little oyunomi of ocha at any time of the day, frequently or infrequently! The water kettle cools down too quickly for my tastes. (Need to reheat after only 20 minutes? Inconceivable!) People on Amazon write that their pots last up to 10 years, so maybe I can convince my mom that the third time’s a charm…