This could be a long post. You may want to read it in shifts.
Shift 1: On Value
First and foremost, thanks to Drew Miller for finding me this fun new toy:
As a rule, with exactly one exception (QB rating) I don't ever put weight in numbers I don't know how to calculate. Nonetheless, I found this interesting. Here's the dollar value of other blogs listed here:
State 29: $35,566.02
Random Mentality: $0
Drew Miller: $11,290.80
Iowa Ennui: $5645.40
Bob Again: $0
Political Forecase: $22,017.06
Schweitzer for President: $12,984.42
Mr. Boothe: $7339.02
Iowa Ramblings: $0
I don't get it. Granted, I like being worth something, but nonetheless, I don't understand why I'm worth that. Or how I could possibly be worth more than Random.
Shift 2: On Value(s)
It finally got cold enough this week that I had to bust out my coat for the first time since spring. It produced some interesting discoveries.
First, I found my favorite pair of black sunglasses. That means I now have my favorite blues and blacks. The greens and reds are still missing.
Second, I found a pin. This pin was gained in a previous life, when I thought my career in politics had lived out its short life and drawn to a conclusion, and I was paying for my lavish life as a student by working as a part-time Wal Mart cashier. i'm probably also the only person in Democratic Party history to work for the party and Wal Mart at the same time. In hindsight, I'm not sure why I did that, or if the good/evil of one job outweighs the other.
Anyway, I was given the pin because of some momentus goal the store had achieved, I didn't know what it was then, and I still don't now. But the pin says "We did it."
Apparently I tucked the pin in my pocket and hadn't touched it since. In fact, it's still in the tiny plastic bag they distribute pins in. At the time, I was indifferent to Wal Mart. I didn't like it, and I certainly didn't like being employed there, but I did it with minimal sabotage for 9 months, and I shopped there pretty frequently.
But, of course, I returned to politics, months after I had quit my cashiering job. Then I found the pin. Now I almost see it as accusatory. It's like the pin says:
"Yes, noble co-conspirator. I share responsibility for the death of the American marketplace, the ruin of a large portion of the workforce and the decrease in average quality of goods sold in America. But I wasn't alone. You helped me. WE DID IT.
How does one pay pennance for that? How does one make up for an indiscretion that severe?
Shift 3: On the Value of Work vs Play:
I've been away from Des Moines since Friday afternoon, and won't be back til late tuesday. It's both the longest I've been away and the first time I've taken a weekday off since June. I've discovered something important.
I can't do this again.
Granted, working 40-60 hour weeks from now til June without a break would be a marathon, to put it mildly, then hopefully after the primary I'll get busier. But right now I feel like the guy who sits down in the middle of the marathon, saying he just needs a breather.
I was running along ok before Friday, then I left to come home. And it's not that I haven't relaxed at home. I've fit in some disc golf, some time with friends, and a lot of family. I've seen people I've missed for a long time, people I promised to come see multiple times and failed to visit, and people I really wish would come back into my life on an everyday basis.
But now that's over, and i'm nowhere near ready to go back to work. I'm going home tomorrow and into the office on Wednesday, and I feel both a) tremendously out of the loop and b) not all that interested in getting back into it.
Make no mistake, I love my job, the concept of what I'm trying to do still fascinates me, and once I get running again, I'll be ok.