We maintain our membership in the U.S. Chamber mainly to keep apprised of what is going on at the federal level that affects (or might affect) our small business members. As I've mentioned before, we don't agree with everything the U.S. Chamber espouses, therefore, we pick and choose the support we give for various issues.

Coming up in the 2011-12 session of Congress are issues that we will be following closely, including (but not limited to) doubling exports with the goal of creating American jobs; promoting tax policies that foster capital formation and job growth; repealing unnecessary and impossible information reporting required of businesses, and promoting tax policies that actually foster growth. We have to continue to eliminate barriers that derail job growth, and continue our battle against costly and burdensome regulations.

Yes, folks, it really is all about jobs, jobs, jobs.

The Bucket List

What is a Tasmanian Devil? I'll give you a hint ... it's not our chairman of the board, the first selectman, or my grandson, Matt. It's a little animal with very sharp teeth that growls, lunges, snarls and bares its teeth, and is found on the small island of Tasmania which is off the coast of southern Australia. The animal, which resembles a baby bear, is actually a carnivorous marsupial that can weigh up to 26 pounds.

Why am I telling you this? Because finally I made a decision regarding my vacation. You guessed it -- next month I'm going to Tasmania. This trip will include a flight into mainland Australia, and additional flights that will take me to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest of Far North Queensland, ending with a visit to Sydney, the stunning cosmopolitan melting pot of southwest Australia, and a guided climb up and over the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

Truth be told, I am petrified of heights, but I'm thinking I might end that fear by confronting it head on. This could backfire, however. I took flying lessons in my 30s, piloted a Cessna solo, got my student pilot's license, but didn't continue because I ran into too many nut cases flying around in my air space. Now when I take a flight somewhere, I just order a drink, sit back with my book, and try to pretend that the clanking noise that started off the right wing is really nothing at all. If that doesn't work, I order another drink. Of course, there is no cocktail bar on the climb going up or coming down the bridge.

Traveling to Tasmania, where the zip lines are said to be some of the best in the world, and then north into Australia, will mean I have visited all seven continents, putting an end to one goal on my Bucket List. Will this complete my desire to travel? Heck no! I've been to the bottom of the world (Antarctica), so maybe I should check out the top of the world (the Arctic). And then there's the gorillas of Rwanda, and the Towers of Paine in Patagonia.

So much to see, so little time.

New Fairfield Chamber of Commerce members

- COHEN AND WOLF, P.C.

Ari J. Hoffman

1115 Broad St., Bridgeport, CT 06604

- ON DECK CAPITAL

Todd Rowe

155 East 56th St., New York, NY 10022

- DaPIETRO'S RESTAURANT

Janine Scotti

36 Riverside Ave., Westport, CT 06880

- UNIVERSAL PRINTING & MAILING SERVICES INC.

Shelley Llewellyn

90 Tunxis Hill Road, Fairfield, CT 06825

- BK ATHLETICS

Ben Kelly

85 Mill Plain Road, Suite A, Fairfield, CT 06824

- INLINEADZ

Jamie Salerno

41 Oak St., Westport, CT06880

- NEW COUNTRY LEXUS OF WESTPORT

Eric Brennan

1317 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880

- MARI THE STUDIO

Mari Sherman

1997 Post Road, Fairfield, CT 06824