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And So It Begins

December 8, 2015
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

As I?sat at my computer thinking about the topic for this visit, a phrase I'd heard in a TV show the other night sort of elbowed its way into the forefront. "And so it begins."

If I?remember, it was from some science-fiction disaster movie where the hero looks at his cohorts and utters that phrase right before the aliens start zapping Las Vegas.

(I don't know, I?was sort of napping...)

Anyhow, as you think about that statement, there are a lot of subjects that could apply to.

For instance...

Even though the political landscape has been in turmoil for longer than we'd all care to think about, the closer we get to the actual election date in 2016, well, so it begins. If we think mud has been flung and innuendoes tossed about, we haven't seen anything yet. Past history tells us that things are going to get ugly and even meaner than ever, all for the sake of "serving the American People."

What ever happened to a "Kinder and Gentler" nation? IF those aliens are watching our TV broadcasts, they have to be just shaking their heads (or whatever) in utter amazement.

OK, so maybe that's a bit extreme.

How about a different idea?

The long-awaited decision on the Renewable Fuel Standard was released this past week. While it wasn't an all-out victory for the renewable fuels industry, there were some gains in the amounts of renewable fuels that the industry can produce. There were some cuts to renewable fuels, not as extreme as the big oil supporters wanted, and yet, there is still room for more production of renewable fuels, including cellulosic ethanol, that was not granted by the "decision makers" in our nation's capitol.

Locally, we understand what renewable fuels can do not only for our environment, but for our economy as a whole. Add in the benefits to the country in terms of security through less dependance on foreign sources of oil, and restricting such an industry really leaves on scratching their head.

Ah, well, mark that up as just another chapter in the ongoing saga of big oil vs common sense in America.

But, if you want to know what our magic phrase did for me, consider this.

December is here - for a sportswriter, "and so it begins."

Basketball for girls and boys is now in full swing for a busy three week period, along with wrestling. That means hours in gyms, listening to screaming fans, the sound of student athletes competing as hard as they can and the sights of the non-stop action.

It's a time of year where a lot gets crammed into a very short period of time before the Christmas and New Year's break. Then everything starts up for another six to eight week push that leads up to the state tournaments.

Throw in some holiday concerts with the music of the season, and the inherent beauty of this time of year with snow covering the landscape, and the approaching New Year, and it just makes sense.

And so it begins - time to reflect, to look to the future, and to give thanks for what has been and what will be in the future.



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