Work Life

December Already

U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack
U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack

LAKE MACBRIDE— The stack of holiday requests for money is growing, and this year there is not much extra to spread around, which makes the picking easy. In fact, besides paying annual dues to a couple of national organizations, no other organization will be getting anything. That’s the way it is going this year.

The last of the red delicious apples were used for a family dinner on Sunday, ending the Thanksgiving holiday season cooking with a few extra pounds of weight and a refrigerator full of leftovers. Or, as I posted on twitter, “baking apple crisp for family dinner across town. #localfood is great, but done with cooking in favor of leftovers for a long, long while.” While preparing a menu for our Thanksgiving meal, I realized how much food we have in the house, and it’s a lot, especially if one likes daikon radishes. We won’t have to buy many groceries except milk, lemons and limes between now and New Year’s Day. That frees up time for other things.

What are those other things? A short list includes finalizing a decision about our health and dental insurance during the annual open enrollment period (I’ll post about that when I do), cleaning house with my spouse, decorating for the holidays, and most importantly building a business plan for 2014. If 2013 was a hodgepodge of turbulent activities, I expect next year to be more orderly and sensible. The key aspect of the research and development of a business plan is networking with people to identify opportunities. In practical terms, that means becoming more social, and instead of turning down invitations, accepting them more. The agenda will rapidly become packed.

This also means keeping to my schedule of devoting a few hours each morning to writing. Not only here, but a larger project, the results of which I hope to self publish on More on that as the plot thickens, literally.

Lastly, I attended an event with our U.S. Congressman Dave Loebsack yesterday. It is something to see the changes in him since he was a college professor challenging a 30-year incumbent, and he got excited and involved every time a person wrote a letter to the editor supporting his campaign, to someone who wants to get re-elected and has to deal with more than 750,000 constituents.

The League of Conservation Voters, that evaluates members of congress on environmental issues, gave Loebsack an 87 percent lifetime score, which means his views are similar to mine when it comes to his voting record. The only higher score in the Iowa delegation is Rep. Bruce Braley at 88 percent. U.S. Senator Tom Harkin is rated at 93 percent in 2012, with a lifetime score of 83 percent. The Republicans in the delegation are scored very low. Loebsack’s 2012 score is 69 percent, which reflects his growing movement to the center based upon having a much different district than he did when we first elected him in 2006.

What that means is on rare occasions like yesterday, when I get one-on-one time with him, I feel a need to briefly and succinctly talk about the need to put a price on carbon. I believe he shares my views, but has to suppress them in a move to the center to get re-elected. Among the many things he said during his remarks yesterday, was that he wanted to get re-elected, and the district has diverse views. I too would like to see him re-elected.

December will soon be gone, but there is a lot of living to do before it ends. Better get to some of that post haste.