I was travelling to visit relatives most of the last week.  This article is a hodge-podge of topics I discussed with my college age children during a combined 24 hours of car travel.

Politics

I live in Iowa and will be participating in the Caucus.  All of the voting age people in my house will be going participating as well.  Our participation is more to understand what the positions of the candidates are and what the major issues that will be championed by the party will be.  Yes we get to be part of the first in the nation guidance for the primary season, but that is secondary to learning as much as possible.  My father lives in Texas and will call shortly after the caucus to tell me if Iowa chose correctly or not.  Last time he was correct for both parties, as far as who the final nominees were.  Crunchy’s article about the caucuses matches my experience, except she left out the part about the cookies that are provided.  Ok, I guess that is not really important

Sports – College Bowl Games

The college football bowl season is moving along nicely.  We only have about thirty bowls to go (just kidding).  I have watched several of the bowls.  Most of them have been competitive.  Most of them have also had what appears to be low attendance.  This may be because of the venues (Yankee Stadium is not the best for football viewing and using professional stadiums that hold 100,000 people for a bowl that traditionally has 50,000 spectators will make it appear empty).  The best games are still to come, although my personal opinion is that the championship game is sort of a waste.  Why would you ever have a bowl with two teams from the same conference?  If Alabama wins, will they really be the champions or will it be shared with LSU since they would each have beaten the other once?

Sports – Professional Football

The playoffs are set.  I think it was great that the final week of the season actually meant something this year.  There was positioning as well as qualifying at stake, even in the last game late Sunday night.  The match-ups look good with some rematches.  Tim Tebow will be there, at least the first round, to keep the story line of the religious quarterback going.  Just a note, most football players have a strong and public faith life.  This comes from the fact that on any play, they can be injured and could be prevented from playing the game they love (and their livelihood).

In some ways it is the same teams in the playoffs again; New England, Baltimore, Pittsburg, Green Bay, New Orleans and New York have all been to the Super Bowl or at least conference championships over the last few years.  The notable new comers are the Houston Texas – congratulations on you first playoff appearance.  The notable missing team are the Indianapolis Colts – what a difference a quarterback makes.

Writing

I have been writing while I have been off for the holidays, but not nearly enough.  I am challenging myself to actually get my first book into the various electronic formats and out for the world to consider.  I am also challenging myself to actually complete my second book.  Then I have to actually work on my third effort, the one I failed to even get 50,000 words written for NaNoWriMo this year.  For Christmas, I received a short book on how to write and publish by an English Professor.  Although it was interesting to read his ideas, I would recommend Kosmo’s guide.  The main difference is that Kosmo provides actual advice, the professional drops of names and brags about his own publishing record, but provides little concrete help.

Productive Hobbies

A couple of articles ago, I commented that I was crocheting in my spare time.  I am happy to report that I have (almost) completed a afghan for my daughter to take back to college with her.  My next effort will have to be a little more complex to help me grow in my capabilities.  I have found that crocheting while watching TV has actually helped me in my quest to lose weight.  My hands are occupied and the urge to grab a snack or even sip a soft drink is really reduced.  So to sum up, Politics, Football, Football, Writing and keeping busy.

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Martin writes about writing in his weekly column Ramblings from Martin.

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