New Year’s Eve

Article posted on December 31, 2007

Happy New Year’s Eve!  I just got home from my last race of the year, needless to say.  I don’t know how many people did something crazy like this on New Year’s Eve, but I did.  I finished fifth in my age group (there were some ringers there from out of town).  My time officially was 16:12 for a 5k.  The real story is that the course was not very accurate and by everyone’s account, short.  This time was too good to be true but like a told a reporter friend who was running this evening, I just report the facts.  Tomorrow I head to session in Harrisburg.  Some of my family are going along to see the capitol and go out for lunch.  I have some paperwork to do at the capitol and I am recording a video for our student program, The William Penn Leadership Program, after session.  The constitution requires the legislature to be in session tomorrow so I will be there.  Most others won’t since we are not voting on anything.  I feel that this is my duty.

– John

Are things different in an election year?

Article posted on December 30, 2007

View As Web Page I had a solid 5 hours of work in today after church but feel that I don’t have much to show for it.  I want to continue to answer a few emails tonight from home as I watch TV with Charlotte.  The papers did have some year end stories today as I predicted.  Nothing earth shattering.  I am wondering what will be announced over the next week or so.  Some more retirements from the legislature and maybe some more challengers.  I have been told that an election year in the General Assembly is different because of the pace legislation moves and the will to move things that will make people look good at home.  Conversely, things won’t move that are controversial.  We wouldn’t want anyone to make a tough decision and have to answer to a special interest group for their vote.

– John

Work has a way of staying with you

Article posted on December 29, 2007

I was going to take it easy today, but work always has a way of staying with you, even on a Saturday.  I went to my men’s fellowship group this morning at 7:00 and had time for breakfast in Altoona with a group of guys that I enjoy.  I hit the office, got a haircut, and hit the office again.  I will be organizing things for a long time to come, but got more of that done today.  I also got quite a few emails caught up but have many more to go.  I could do emails all day some days.  There is not a lot of state news out there currently but that won’t last long into the new year.  I would assume that the Sunday papers will offer year end reviews tomorrow.  That will be interesting, I guess.

– John

Dogs are great

Article posted on December 28, 2007

I again accomplished some things today but not as many as I had hoped.  I got some paperwork done, did one newspaper interview, met with staff, did a few emails and attended a luncheon at a Duncansville business.  Charlotte and I are having some friends up to our house this evening and we have been on the phone comparing notes about things we need , cooking times and how Lilly our new pup is behaving.  She actually has done well with company, she just has a hard time leaving them alone.  Yesterday when I was running in the morning, a fellow runner came up next to me and stayed right with me for a while, I turned around and he kept his one pace distance speeding up or slowing down with me.  It was a young tan pug with a black face.  He escaped from his house about a block away.  I saw a young lady looking for him when I ran by moments before.  I grabbed him in my arms and returned him to his “mother”, who was still out searching the neighborhood.  He was a cutie and ran his little legs off staying up with me.  Dogs are great. 

– John

Another day slips by

Article posted on December 27, 2007

I had another day that seemed to slip by.  I got some things done but thought by now that I would be caught up on many things since this is a relatively slow week.  I have spent more time with people this week, one on one.  Everything has slowed down for Christmas and people seem less pushed and have more time to talk.  The stories today, in political circles, were about Senator Connie Williams’ decision not to run.  Columnists say that this will be the most expensive race of the year.  It very well could in that media market (Philly).  It will be interesting to see if it gets close to what was spent against me.

– John

The new year will bring new people to the Senate

Article posted on December 26, 2007

The news from the Senate first thing this morning was that Senator Connie Williams, a Democrat from Montgomery County, is not going to run for reelection next year.  This makes three official announcements of retirements so far.  Since only half of the 50 members are up for election, this is a pretty interesting number this early.  I think that we will see at least another announcement next week and maybe more that I am not aware of.  Then we will see who makes it through some tough Primary Election challenges and then, of course, the General. The last election cycle saw five new members, or ten percent of the entire Senate. It sounds already like there will be more new people next year.

– John

Merry Christmas

Article posted on December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!  I had a great day with family and after putting together a book case for Charlotte, am ready to sit down and watch some Perry Mason DVD’s; the first two seasons, one of Charlotte’s gifts to me.   Johnny was a lot of help getting some things done over the last two days.  I miss his help when he is in school, and his company too.  I hope that everyone had a blessed Christmas and remembers the true meaning of this day and the promise it holds for us all year. 

– John

Christmas Eve

Article posted on December 24, 2007

We were one of a few legislative offices that were open today.  I did let everyone off at 4:00 instead of 5:00.  We had some calls and visits in Hollidaysburg and I imagine the other offices had at least some activity.   We are in a service business and people expect us to be there for them when they are in need, I never forget that.  I did some running today and talked to some constituents as well.  I have two church services tonight but might only attend the earlier one so that I can get some things done at home for the family.  My wife is an organist at two local churches and is quite busy this time of year.   I always make hot cocoa on Christmas Eve and checked to make sure we had all of the ingredients this morning, we’re in good shape.  We have probably the nicest Christmas tree that we have had for a number of years; it’s a 9 1/2 foot Douglas Fir.  Charlotte decorated it herself, except for the angel on the top, that was my job.  I wish everyone a blessed Christmas Eve.

– John

Playing catch up

Article posted on December 23, 2007

After a four mile run then church this morning, I hit the office for a lot of paper work.  I shopped for a little while as well, I guess everybody shopped for a while today.  My son Johnny is home for Christmas break from school and it was the first time he saw the completed office.  He helped me design the office.  We did it one weekend what seems a long, long time ago.  We used a tape measure and drew out the original design on paper and on the tile floor.  When Johnny got back, he saw the updates, now he’s seen the final product.  In planning my week, I don’t have much on my schedule, but I have a lot to get caught up on.  I make notes to myself on Sundays for the week ahead, my list looks as bad as usual. 

– John

It’s nice to have the office finished

Article posted on December 22, 2007

After my men’s fellowship group this morning, I played with the Cove Community Band at the Giant Eagle grocery store in Roaring Spring.  We have played there for several years at Christmas time.  They put us in the produce section, I don’t know if there is any significance to that or not?  I ran some errands today and stopped at the office for a little while.  I promised Charlotte that I would help get the house ready for Christmas today so I have done some work at home as well.  It is so nice to have an office to come to where I can work.  Getting this office up and running was laborious but well worth it.

– John