02 Jan. 2009
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Your Year In This Space

If you're like almost everyone else, you didn't have a great 2008.

I'm like almost everyone else, at least in that respect, although I reserve the right to be different in others.  I have customarily done a quick, mostly personal recap of the past year on the occasion of a new one.  But I just don't feel like it right now.  2008 wasn't a disaster.  It wasn't my pleasure to have ever met Mr. Madoff.  2008 wasn't a boon year, either.  I didn't happen to guess right about any of the marvelous financial opportunities disguised as stock and bond market crashes or any of the number of mal- and mis-feasances that caused the penury of so many others.  In fact, I probably lost, in percentage terms, just about what you did.  I'm patient and I'll cope. 

2008 was just relentlessly nasty.  The markets, the economy, the interminable politics, the interminable talk about the interminable politics.  I'm glad it's over, and I've obtained agreement from almost everyone about that.  But I'm sure there are those who disagree, and so I'm presenting an opportunity.  Although this is my blog, there's no requirement that everything in it be mine.  I frequently quote the Wall Street Journal (when right) and CNN (when wrong).  So why not quote you?

If you had a 2008 worthy of a positive discourse, I'll happily substitute your year for mine.  Email your year to me and if it's entertaining and your account is not particularly scurrilous or at all libelous , you will find it here.

No rushthis blog is patient, too.

Used Years

Here are the years that have been donated.  Notice the relentless cheerfulness!

From Paul...

2008? Not a bad year for me, or even a mediocre one. I am among the million or so RIKLblog microreaders for whom 2008 was a GREAT year.  Why? This was the year in which I *didn't* buy a Blackberry Storm.

I confess to being an early adopter. I like my technology toys about as much as RIKL does (perhaps that's why we're such great friends). In 1972, when Barney Oliver invented the world's first scientific pocket calculator, I was the first kid on my block to acquire an HP-35. (This was no mean feat, considering that the block on which I then lived was in the heart of Silicon Valley.) When Adam Osborne brought out the first luggable computer, I was the first kid one my block to lug oneaway. When the home satellite TV receiver was invented, I was the first kid on *anyone's* block to have one. (OK, so I had to cheat, and invent it myself, in order to claim this distinction.) When Sharp came out with the Wizard, arguably the first practical PDA, of course I got one right away. There followed a good dozen other PDAs, one every year or two as the technology continued to improve. I was already on my third Blackberry by 2008, having upgraded with each significant improvement -- and then the Storm came out.

So, it should be no surprise that on Friday, 21 November 2008 (Blackberry Storm Unveiling Day), I was one of a couple of dozen nerds on the sidewalk in front of the local Verizon store well before 8 AM, waiting for the doors to open. I was, as it happens, thirteenth in line.

My local Verizon store had received a shipment of only ten Storms, so by the time I made it through the door, those were all gone. Fortunately, Verizon had two (not-for-sale) demo units hooked up, so I spent about an hour playing with one of these, as I waited for them to take my order for prompt delivery. 

I needn't tell you billions of nanoreaders how buggy I found the unit -- RIKL has already revealed all of that, in eight trillion recent picoblogitems. Bear in mind that his unit came with the second OS release, so multiply his number of reported bugs by an integer of your choosing, in imagining how the unpatched unit performed. After fighting with the touch screen for just long enough, I canceled my order.

I'm guessing that, in about a month, RIM will release yet another OS patch. When they do, I'll head back to the Verizon store to give the Storm another test drive. If it doesn't vaporize in my hands, I'll probably buy one. By then, RIKL will have downloaded the software upgrade, and his unit will probably work about as well as mine -- whichis to say, about as well as can be expected. Yes, that will make me a late adopter in his eyes. But, hey, why should I be an unpaid beta tester, when he's willing to do that for me?

From Deb...

Let's see:

1. Foot surgery in January. (On the good side, it yielded a very nice visit from YOU!) (Also, the surgery was a success, and now I can walk, hike and even ski without pain my left foot.)

2. Could not find a job. (However, I've been accepted to the Rutgers Master's of Library and Information Science degree program, which I start in a couple of weeks. So, perhaps I'll find a new career soon).

3. Tried to get my cookbook published, to no avail. (On the other hand, it allowed to me make many new friends and try lots of new stuff on the Altered Plates site.)

4. Very nasty stereotactic breast biopsy. (Negative results. 'Nuff said.)

5. Nightmare kitchen reconstruction. (However, it's nearly done and looks/functions far better than before, thanks in great part to John's ability to correct the contractor's errors.)

6. John had an increasingly stressful year at work. (Hey, he's still got a JOB! And, they do love him and the work he does.)

So, even without my very long gratitude list, my scales of the year tip quite healthily to the side of "good."

Room for more! 


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