I’m Married!

We Look Happy...

We Look Happy...

So, if you’re my friend on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or know me in person than you already know this but I felt I had to give the moment its proper due and to document it appropriately.  On September 4, 2009, I, Jonathon Rudd Howard married Diana Elizabeth Burkart-Waco.  We had a simple ceremony done by my friend Dave Rosenberg, the presiding judge of Yolo County Superior Court at the Woodland Courthouse.  It was a simple affair but its already supplanted every other moment in my life that I once regarded as the most important.  Diana is a wonderful woman and I feel truly blessed to have found her and, somehow, convinced her to spend her life with me!

We’ve moved into a home and got a dog, all we need know is the 1.5 children and we’d be the average American family (shudder).  Things are great though and I don’t know if I’ve ever been happier.. without pharmaceutical assistance.  Diana has her own blog too, by the way, Origins of the Cook.  If I knew how to create a blog roll her’s would definitely be in it, and bonus I sometimes make a guest appearance over there (because I can cook too, Ladies.)  Diana writes about the food she cooks, I help by taking the pictures.  I can personally vouch for all of her recipes!

Now, that things have slowed down at work, I’m hoping to return to a regular posting schedule.  I’ll also be posting over at Hardcore Gaming 101 soon, I’m doing the King’s Quest games for them, as well as some misc. other Sierra games… I’ll provide links when appropriate

New Goals for my New Year

IMG_1119I know that one makes new goals on New year’s day but, for me, that only insured that I didn’t spend any amount of time actually thing about what I wanted to accomplish in that year and, worse, not following through.  Last year at the end of July I wrote out a large list of goals.  I gave myself a year to accomplish some of them, others I gave myself more time (five or ten years.)  That year recently came to an end and I wrote about how I did here (the short version: pretty darn well.)  I spent the last 2 weeks thinking about what I wanted to do this year and why, any time an idea came to me I jotted it down and then went back to whatever I was doing, after it was all over I had quite the list.  I then sat down and reviewed them, using a few criteria: why did I want to do this?  Could it realistically be accomplished in a year? Is this something that should be broken down into multiple goals? Does this make me a better/more interesting/smarter person?  With the criteria I whittled it down to a list that I felt was workable for the year and wit my multi-year goals.

Here is my list of goals for the year between August 4, 2009 – August 4, 2010

1. Get my scuba diving license

2. Go skydiving

3. Become an Oddfellow

4. Brush-up on my Latin – Read Harrius Potter et Philosphi Lapis

5. Write 10,000 word story (this is for NaNoWriMo)

6. Complete my BFG fleet, Horde army, and Chaos army (maybe too much here…)

7.  Make a gaming table

8. Climb Half-dome in Yosemite

9. Get in great shape (swimming, running, cycling, maybe I should look into Triathlons?)

Ending Tuesday Share

Copyright Myhaela

Copyright Myhaela

I’ve decided to end the Tuesday Share posts. I wasn’t getting any feedback on them, and they didn’t seem to draw any additional traffic. In the future items I find on the Internet that interest me enough will get full write-ups here. All other interesting items will be shared through Google Reader. You can see those items, as well as any comments I might have on them,  here.

From Idea to Law: Making Legislation in California Part 2

part 1 of this series can be found here.


The Duty of a Senator is to guard the liberty of the Commonwealth

The Duty of a Senator is to guard the liberty of the Commonwealth

Part 2.  The Policy Committee Process

In Part 1 I described how legislators introduce bills into their respective houses and the first few steps of the legislative process.  We left off with bills being assigned by the Rules Committee to a policy committee that.  The policy committee is where the public has an opportunity to address the legislature concerning each bill and legislators have the opportunity to question the bill’s author and those who support or oppose the bill.  Policy committees each cover a specific policy field and are staffed by legislators interested in that field.  The Assembly has 26 policy committees (and two fiscal):  Aging and Long-Term Care; Agriculture; Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media; Banking and Finance; Business and Professions; Education; Elections and Redistricting; Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials; Governmental Organization; Health; Higher Education; Housing and Community Development; Human Services; Insurance; Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy; Judiciary; Labor and Employment; Local Government; Natural Resources; Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security; Public Safety; Revenue and Taxation; Transportation; Utilities and Commerce; Veterans Affairs; and, Water, Parks and Wildlife.  The Senate has 19 policy committees (and 2 fiscal as well):  Banking, Finance and Insurance; Business, Professions and Economic Development; Education; Elections, Reapportionment and Constitutional Amendments; Energy, Utilities and Communications; Environmental Quality; Food and Agriculture; Governmental Organization; Health; Human Services; Judiciary; Labor and Industrial Relations; Local Government; Natural Resources and Water; Public Employment and Retirement; Public Safety; Revenue and Taxation; Transportation and Housing; and, Veterans Affairs.

Once a bill has been assigned to a policy committee it is put on the committees agenda (State law requires that 4 days notice be given for bill hearings) and the committee accepts letters from the public and private sectors regarding it.  At a committee hearing the author presents their bill and then those who are in support of the bill are allowed to make a presentation, and the public is allowed to comment.  Questions can and are often asked by committee members to the author and supporters of the bill,  debate often ensues.   After the supporters have finished presenting those who oppose the bill, if any, are given time to address the committee with their concerns, and proposals to remove their opposition to the bill.  After arguments for and against the bill have been heard the author gives a closing statement to the committee.  During the presentation of the bill amendments to the bill can be offered by committee members to the author, who can either reject or accept them, though bills can, and are, amended without the consent of the author.  Once discussion of the bill has ceased the Committee will vote on the bill.  If the bill receives a majority vote to pass it on, then it continues through the legislative process, if it fails passage the bill is dead.  Authors are generally granted reconsideration after a bill fails passage in committee, giving them time to talk to committee members and convince them to vote the bill out of committee.  Once a bill fails on reconsideration it is dead.

After a bill leaves a policy committee on a vote a number of things can happen.  If the bill has costs associated with it (over $250,000) it must go to the Appropriations committee before being heard on the floor (I’ll talk about this fiscal committee in a future post).  If the bill covers more than one policy area (say a bill about about college funding for Veterans that would be heard by both the Higher Education and the Veteran Affairs committees) it will go to the second committee it was referred to.  If the bill is going to be amended, it has to go to the Assembly desk to be amended, read a 2nd time, and then it goes to 3rd reading or referred back to committee.

If you remember from the first post every bill has to be read three times before moving out of its house of origin.  Next time I’ll explain 2nd and 3rd reading and talk about the two fiscal committees.