Thursday, January 01, 2009

2008 Wrap Up

Great to see family and friends at Christmas. People getting engaged, people getting pregnant, people staying happy in tough times.

Sad to see no new memories with my grampa who has Alzheimers. Sad that my other grandfather can't drive 1000 miles to see a Notre Dame football game in South Bend. As he said "if it were 20 years ago..."

I think my gold investments are the only investments I had on Jan 1 2008 that retained their value. Wow, it's been that bad of a year for everything.

USC played one bad quarter and missed out on the National Championship. At least Texas got screwed. The Cowboys faded and blew a year with so many good players in their prime. At least the Patriots missed the playoffs. I need to find comfort in the screwing of others.

There is a book called "Pornified" that I want to read about how Porn has becme mainstream and changed our daily lives. I agree as too many people, male and female, have discussed their downstairs grooming habits with me this year.

I got a Nintendo Wii. Woohoo. Because of this, I will finally get to buy a big, new TV. I love how the Wii brought my aunts and uncles in their 40s together with my cousins under 12 for lots of fun during our Christmas party. If only my grandfather would play golf on it, that would be a riot.

My grandfather showed me the random German stuff he grabbed while in Munich waiting to come home. Some medal with Hitler's dumb profile on it given to pilots and a random Nazi pin. He also told me how he sold the Luger he grabbed off a German for $5 in 1950. Weird. My other grampa has an SA knife. Weird what they would pick up; that would be a great movie with that as the premise. Not by Spike Lee though and gay. Just an old man talking to his grandson at a family gathering and taking him down to the basement and finding some random pieces amongst half dollars, old tools, etc.

I got to talk to a pilot on my flight back from Maine. Lots of fun to hear some behind the scenes things with the industry. It's a great thing that Southwest and Jet Blue have made flying accesible to everyone, but it's also brought the bus station to the sky.

This year is the year of a smaller Christmas, and I think next year will be the year without a Christmas for many folks. Lots of severance packages helped employees that were "let go" this fall, plus many announced layoffs have yet to be implemented. The next shoes to drop are the commercial real estate implosion and the retail industry layoffs. I know (i work in employee benefits) many employers are putting together early retirement packages as a first line in slimming down without having to fire people. If they do not get the desired numbers to take it, then they will have to make cuts.

Hey, Iraq is so peaceful, I barely heard about it after April of 2008. Awesome. Thank you armed forces, Gen Petraeus, and Pres. Bush for the surge that won the war.

I'm not an environmentalist tree hugger, but one of the most beautiful things you can witness in life is snow when the flakes are big and falling slowly. It's one of the greatest things in the world. When I was a teen, I'd set up a beach chair in the garage, open the doors and watch the flakes fall. When it is that cold, the air is so pure, and the snow looks like a show put on for you.

Good luck to all in 2009.

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