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Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023
Good morning to you!

“Get a load of this!” That was the marketing slogan for a concrete company in my hometown when I was a kid. Those five words were painted on the rotating mixer tank of the truck that my friends and I were so fascinated with. It helped that the truck drivers would almost always respond to our arm-pump requests by honking their horns. They smiled as much as we did.

Years later, I found myself getting up close and personal with concrete. As a young man, I worked for some great guys who taught me how to do concrete work. To be honest, they taught me how to push a wheel barrow full of concrete. If I had paid more attention, I might have learned how to frame and finish and could replace my own driveway now. But I was focused on other things back then. I did learn one steadfast rule, though: If I dumped a wheel barrow of concrete, I had to buy a case of beer for the crew after work. That one I learned quickly.

As much as I worked with this construction material, I never truly knew the difference between concrete and cement. Like many of you, I thought the words were one and the same. For years, I believed that the wet stuff was cement, and the hard stuff was concrete. I thought wrong.

I now know that cement is actually an ingredient in concrete, kind of like milk being an ingredient in ice cream. Concrete is a mixture of cement, aggregate and water. The aggregate — such as sand, stone and gravel — makes up about 75% of concrete.

Cement is manufactured from a mix of iron, aluminum, silicon, calcium and other substances that are found in limestone, shells, chalk, clay, iron ore and silica sand. These “ingredients” are heated to a high temperature to create a rock-like substance that is ground into fine powder, which is cement.

Now you know. Meanwhile, concrete is among the most widely used construction materials in both residential and commercial applications. It is strong and durable and practical and, as such, desirable.

Like most things in life, pouring concrete properly is a learned skill, even an art. Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours theory holds true, which is apparent by the three-year-old crumbling concrete in my driveway that was completed by some guys who thought anyone could pour concrete. Their work may have been faulty, but I hope they at least honked their horns and made the neighborhood kids smile.

Have a terrific Tuesday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman 

President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

View Shane Goodman's archived columns from past issues here.

CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®
The polls have closed and a record number of readers have cast their votes in the latest CITYVIEW'S Best Of Des Moines readers' poll — the metro's original and largest poll of its kind.
Winners will be announced in the February 2024 issue of CITYVIEW!

Your Clear Mortgage forecast

It'll be breezy again today, but this time from the south, allowing for slightly warmer temperatures. We'll be in the 50s after that through Sunday. Slight rain chance late Thursday into Friday, with a better chance Christmas Eve.

For help with pre-approvals or refinancing, get in touch with Originating Branch Manager Carrie Hansen at carrie.mortgage.

Featured home for sale
Attention, Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
4659 180th St.
Waukee, IA 50263
Introducing Cosgriff Development's Modern European ranch! This stunning new elevation boasts an open concept great room to kitchen and dining area complete with a stone fireplace, upgraded light fixtures, and a beautiful arched doorway to the mudroom. The kitchen features white cabinetry with a taupe island, quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, a walk-in pantry, and is right off of the covered deck perfect for summer cook-outs and entertaining.
See More Homes For Sale

Paraguayan cattle are eligible for import to the U.S. after a 25-year ban. Cattlemen are furious with the USDA ruling because the ban was enforced in response to breakouts of hoof & mouth disease, which has never been eradicated in Paraguay. Some warn a breakout in the U.S. could cost $200 billion.

Beavers are making a comeback in California. The government is re-introducing them to rivers in the northern half of the state — for diversity, of course. Some cherry tree huggers in DC would like to donate their beavers. They are eating trees there.

The Federal Trade Commission is seeking a ban on restaurant convenience fees for using credit cards, which merely cover the high fees restaurants are charged for swipes, and also service fees, which compensate for higher labor costs, many imposed by state legislatures or Governors like Gavin Newsom. The National Restaurant Association is fighting the ban. Is there a fairer way to cover added costs? The FTC power play would surely either raise menu prices across the board or bankrupt many restaurants.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com


FROM KCCI: Des Moines City Council votes to lower the speed limit on Fleur Drive to 35 mph

DES MOINES, Iowa — Get ready to slow down on one of the city's busiest roads. On Monday night, the Des Moines City Council voted to lower the speed limit on Fleur Drive from 40 mph to 35 mph.... READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Flu hospitalizations jump 250% in Iowa

POLK COUNTY, Iowa — Health leaders said on Monday that flu hospitalizations in the state jumped by 250% in the past four weeks. Health leaders also say Iowa is at a “medium” level in hospital admissions for COVID-19 with the rate of admission jumping 58%. RSV hospitalizations have jumped 60%. ..READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Brave, big-hearted and generous: 6 Iowans recognized for heroic acts at ceremony

DES MOINES, Iowa — Six Iowans were recognized for acts of bravery during the 2023 Governor's Lifesaving Awards and Sullivan Brothers' Award of Valor ceremony Monday morning.....READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5


National Wreaths Across America Day

National Wreaths Across America Day is an event that takes place each December across the country. Its mission is to remember fallen veterans, honor those who serve and teach the next generation the value of freedom with the placement of a fresh balsam wreath on each veterans grave and saying their name. Photo taken at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery by Paul Houston.


Sports notes
NFL: Eagles 17 Seahawks 20
From the Iowa Living magazines


Albums of memories

By Jackie Wilson

If you sent a Christmas card to Shelley Gudorf in the past 15 years, your card is most likely displayed in one of Shelley’s overflowing scrapbooks.

Her scrapbooks are filled with photo cards she's received since 2007. She also keeps the family photo card she sends out in the same album. And, that’s not all. She saves all the other traditional cards and Christmas letters in labeled boxes and bags.

She began sending out photos with Christmas cards to share pictures of her kids. She writes an update about each of her three sons on a photo collage card.

Now, with the photo cards, it’s easier to put together more photos of pictures taken throughout the year. 

Read more in the West Des Moines/Jordan Creek Living magazine.

Birthdays and notables!

These celebrities were born on this date: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rosa Blasi, Alyssa Milano, Jorge Blanco, Richard Hammond, Alexis Sánchez, Criss Angel, Tyson Beckford

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

What happened after the cops arrested the guy who beat his victims with lunch meat? HE WAS SENT TO THE SALAMA-ER! - Shane Goodman. AND CHARGED WITH BALONEY-EOUS ASSAULT! - Gail Tomlinson. Or, His attorney said the charges were baloney! - Carolyn Rogers. Or, He was charged with cold cut assault! - Rex Post.

Today's riddle

Why did the Greek man finally stop eating deli cheese?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in this daily newsletter, contact Jolene Goodman at jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com, or call 515-953-4822 ext. 319.

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