Mission Accomplished, almost...

Monday - 1/6/2014, 2:00am EST

We did it. Again. Made it through Christmas and New Year's more or less intact. Easier for some than others.

I hope you were as successful as I was in accomplishing end-of-year/New Year goals. I'm on track to lose the 22 pounds I wanted to shed. All I need do is stay the course for another 12 years. Piece of cake.

Ditto for the exercise regimen, which I planned to kick start in mid-December. It has been put on hold until the afternoon. This time for sure.

Work on two novels is progressing nicely. I now have titles for both. All that's necessary is fill in the blank pages, find an agent and then, after a brief time, I will be taking time off for a whirlwind city-by-city book tour. Then probably off to Hollywood to decide who will play the hero (me) in book number one. If they want me to play myself, it will mean some plastic surgery and a leave of absence. Will get back to you on that.

The diet is going well, except cooked carrots aren't as good as I had hoped.

Work is promising. The year 2013 was bad for feds (which is good in the news business). Although 2014 is supposed to be a time for reconciliation between Congress and the bureaucracy — see the Ryan-Murray budget compromise — odds are some member will fan the flames. Then we are off and running. Again.

If the economy keeps improving, feds who stuck with their TSP's once-sagging stock funds (and kept buying at sale prices since 2008) will be sitting pretty. They will have to learn more about diversification, etc.

If the economy falters, for whatever reason, people who had planned to retire this year may have to hit the reset button and look to 2020.

The political script calls for no more shutdowns or layoffs. That, if it sticks, will be good news. But there is the possibility of layoffs here and there, a tighter hiring market in most agencies and new assaults on federal benefits.

So welcome to 2014. Last year was bad on the job front, but it could have been so much worse. Either way, keep those seat belts tightened. Good luck!


NEARLY USELESS FACTOID

Compiled by Jack Moore

Before he created fast food giant Taco Bell, entrepreneur and former Marine Glen Bell started out selling hot dogs. The first "Taco Bell," opened in Downey, Calif., in 1962. Prior to that, Bell's taco stands were simply called "El Tacos."

(Source. Today I Found Out)


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