Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: A Year

Part of me looks at the last day of the year as just another day of the year. I haven't been known to celebrate a new year by attending a party, or hanging out with friends, I just reflect and make sure I hold on to what I learned as best I can. This was a year of learning, not just for me, but for the world.

In January, while I was installing a new computer system and database at work, tides of revolution began to sweep through Africa and the Middle East. While I tried to find the thief of our garbage bin, the world rocked with heavy earthquakes. While trying to decide who would play me in the future untitled movie about me, we all  got to know the bravery of Rep. Giffords after being shot by a deranged gunman in Arizona.

In February, while I was celebrating a Super Bowl win from my beloved Packers and relished at the Lombardi trophy returning to Green Bay, Sudan splits raising a democratic southern state from the ashes and years of strife.  While I was travelling the state, and celebrating family birthdays, Borders Bookstores announce their closing, beginning a closing chapter on brick and mortar retail stores. While I enjoyed a massive phone upgrade, we denounce the leadership of Moammar Gadhafi and begin to help revolutionaries unseat him from power.

In March, while I celebrated a 37th year on earth, Shuttle Discovery takes its last flight. While bringing in the spring and cleaning the yard for summer, Japan is wrecked by a massive earthquake. As I begin to write for a new blog, revolution boils on the eastern hemisphere. March Madness over here puts two Richmond schools in position to win the NCAA Men's basketball championship.

In April we watch as VCU falls just short of that championship, reaching the Final Four. While we begin to bail out Greece and Portugal, beginning a long year for European countries, we struggle over here with over 14 trillion dollars in debt, While enjoying a quiet month and warmer weather, we're also treated to a Presidential birth certificate. Thank goodness that mess is over.

In May, while celebrating the release of Portal 2, we find and kill the head of the snake responsible for the events on September 11, 2001. While fixing my lawnmower, churches in Egypt burn, highlighting the real fear I had with this 'Arab Spring', a rise of intolerant, extreme religious aggression. While getting to see Picasso's work at the art museum, May 21st comes and goes, proving Harold Camping, a so called man of God predicting the end of the world, to be wrong. Again.

In June, while I celebrate the Miami Heat not winning an NBA championship, we all unfortunately get to see too much Weiner. Anthony Weiner that is. While I'm in New Orleans with Janine, touring probably one of the most fascinating places in the US if not the world, the world comes together to stave Greece from bankruptcy, potentially saving the Euro. All the while wondering if they will come to our aid when our now 15 trillion dollar debt becomes too cumbersome.

In July, Janine and I concluded a decade long journey, watching the last Harry Potter movie. While I was playing with turntable.fm, we got to see the final launch of the Space Shuttle program. While watching the US Women's Soccer team lose to an inspired Japan team, we lose an inspirational lady, Betty Ford. I'm reminded that most all of us deal with addiction, with ourselves and with our families.

In August, we were hit with a 5.5 magnitude earthquake. Virginia and its residents were not accustomed or prepared for such a thing. For days we all were mindful of the ground beneath us as we were hit by days of aftershocks. The Midwest was rocked by strong tornadoes, we survived Hurricane Irene losing only one branch, and the longest week ever began. A week where our house was without power. One does not realize the comforts given to us by electricity. Once that luxury is gone, life suddenly became too simple and too frustrating. August will be remembered as one of the craziest months ever.

In September, while thankful to make it through summer, we head to South Carolina again for our annual vacation. Young people in the United States began to 'Occupy Wall Street'. I did well to avoid opinion on either side during these protests. I've always worked for what I've obtained in life and rely on self determination and wise choices to make me a better person in a better society. While welcoming the beginning of Autumn, I defend Netflix in their decision to spin off their DVD service. I still feel that they may have been early with their move, eventually physical media will lose out. I also learned some valuable lessons after my first car accident. I never talked about it in the blog, but I learned to be prepared for anything and that sure enough, more and more people are not paying attention to their driving.

In October we see more earthquakes, more revolutions, democracy blooming, more concerns for the Euro. We in the tech community lose a great leader, Steve Jobs. He had stepped down a couple months prior  because of his poor health and fighting pancreatic cancer. We reflected on his drive to innovate and we all hope that his star will shine forever. In October, 2011, Gadhafi is no more.

In November, while Janine and I celebrate yet another phone upgrade and her birthday, we remember Andy Rooney and reflect on a style of old media that many of us may never see again. Sure, as we get older, curmudgeonly commentary will continue, but an era is passed in our society, one of true journalism. We have become accustomed to our 24 hour up to the second news cycle, but I hope we can return to a day of thorough, unbiased reporting.

Lastly, this December as winter approaches, we celebrate Christmas with our families. Our troops leave Iraq per their insistence with hopefully enough work done to make our struggle their the past six years worthwhile. North Korean dictator, Kim Jung Il, dies, and we all wonder how we could top this crazy, wonderful act in 2012.

I don't even have too many thoughts on the past year. I hold out confidence that all of us will see better days ahead. I also illustrated the simplicity and ease of my own life while contrasting it to the difficulties experience around the world. After all of this, I only have one prediction for the new year - the Mayans were terribly wrong about next year being the end of world. Embarrassingly and terribly wrong.