Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanks Month, day 24 aka Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I've had to stay home while my wife and son go up to her parents' place for the holiday, because my cat is sick, we don't know exactly with what, and he needs an eye kept on him. I miss my family but I will be okay, gonna have dinner with friends here in LA. Which brings me to today's thanks...

21. I'm thankful for all the fine people in Honda's automotive and motorcycle divisions, who make some of the best-engineered, longest-lasting safest and most reliable vehicles on earth. Our Honda car keeps my wife and son safe and confortable on the long trip to Grandma's, and my bike gets me everywhere fast and has saved my life many times with its massive brakes, brutal acceleration and rock-like stability under radical maneuvering. Plus both of these vehicles cost so little to operate that we have more resources to put into other things. Thanks Honda!

22. I'm thankful that I've got good friends who'll take in an orphan on Thanksgiving and feed him baked ziti!

23. Though I miss my family, I'm thankful I was able to sleep in until 10am! Ahh... bliss.

24. I'm thankful for a new Zugale - my brother Matt's wife gave birth to their new baby boy last night! Mom and baby are healthy and doing well. Hooray for family!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanks Month, day 20

18. I'm thankful for the last 500 years of steady advance in communications and the spread of information to larger and larger percentages of humanity. From printing to broadcast media to the Internet, the number of people who have access to can learn and know things has gone from a tiny priveleged few to something like 75% of everyone. That has changed everything and hopefully has permanently changed the world's balance of power.

19. I'm thankful for cheeseburgers. I really love cheeseburgers.

20. Today is my 46th birthday, so I'm thankful I've made it once more around the Sun. Since I've already been thankful here for my family and a lot of other stuff that I remind myself is awesome about life on my birthdays, how about I'll be thankful for modern medicine, sanitation and nutrition, without which - say, 200 years ago - I'd probably already be dead or nearly so. Thanks for a long lifespan, all you innovators in medicine, pharmaceuticals, waste management and food production!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanks Month, day 17

14. I'm thankful that I'm neither heavily addicted to materialistic stuff nor completely opposed to it. I've been able to collect some nice stuff over the years, some of which is intrinsically valuable and some of which is more sentimental, but I feel like I've got just about the right amount of it (my wife might not agree). It's not as organized as it could be, but we're working on that.

15. I'm thankful that I was able to just pick myself up and move across the country from New Jersey to Los Angeles and make a new start here. It has worked out much better for me. No offense, NJ, but the stuff I do works a lot better here than there. Also, I can ride my motorcycle about 360 out of 365 days a year.

16. I'm thankful that I can ride a motorcycle, because here in LA it's not just a fun thing to do, it's a quality of life issue! Sitting in stop-n-go traffic makes Jeff a very unpleasant person to be around. Ask anyone here in LA who knows me, they'll tell you.

17. I'm thankful that there are such things as contracts and lawyers, and that making sure one uses them is extremely helpful, should there ever be any sort of disagreement between parties. Yes, lawyers can be expensive. It's because they're worth it. Artists and other creative friends: don't work without a contract, and make sure your lawyer reviews it. The cost of doing that is almost invariably cheaper than the cost of getting screwed.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thanks Month, day 13

Yeah it's a little hard to actually post every day, but still I've got plenty of thanks here...

9. I'm thankful for the talents and skills I've been able to develop, which I'm very thankful I'm able to put to good use and make a living and help support my family.

10. I'm thankful for my innate stubbornness, which has kept me from giving up on going after non-mainstream career choices.

11. I'm thankful for the hard work and sacrifice of the generations of people who've served in the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, because even though this country is far, far from perfect, the ideas behind its creation, the ideas about equality and freedom and human rights and law on which this country is based, are absolutely worth defending and upholding. Happy Belated Veterans Day, to all of my many friends and relations who've served or are serving now. I don't care what your personal reasons were for signing up; on top of those reasons you are doing a Great Thing. So thanks.

12. I'm thankful that Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak made their wonderful little machines, which have led to the rest of all this electronic productivity and connectivity that is inextricably central in my life - and probably yours too. There's several hundred other names I can add to these thanks (Gates, Hewlett, Packard, Berners-Lee, Cerf, Knoll, etc.) but I don't wanna stay up all night. I simply wouldn't be able to do what I do without this stuff, especially the really superior stuff Apple makes, like the iPad and bluetooth keyboard I'm typing this on. Man I am so bummed that Steve Jobs is gone.

13. I'm thankful for living in very interesting times indeed. Look around, it's fascinating to watch.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Thanks Month, day 8

8. I'm thankful for my son. Period.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Thanks Month, day 7

7. I'm thankful for my wife, because I really don't know what the hell I'd do without her. In so many important ways, she's just by far a better human being than I am. She sees me at my worst and still believes in me even when I really, really don't.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Thanks Month, day 6

Busy last few days, so now to catch up:

4. I'm thankful that my parents (and the rest of my immediate, blood-related family) are inherently decent, good people who tried their best to be good parents.

5. I'm thankful that my parents did not try to raise me in any sort of dogmatic milieu (i.e. religious, political, intellectual, cultural/philosophical), instead giving me access to as much information as they could make available and allowing me to make up my own mind.

6. I'm thankful that growing up I lived in both a big city and a small town and was able to see the advantages and disadvantages of both. I'd have to say I'm thankful that it was in that order and that I'm more comfortable in or near a big city.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Thanks Month, day 3

3. I'm thankful for being born a male caucasian American in the latter half of the 20th century. The sheer bulk of the mountain of luck contained in that set of circumstances is staggering, and it should really humble the crap out of every person who shares those circumstances. Sadly, that's not generally the case.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

A Month of Thanks

Taking a cue from the inestimable John Scalzi, I'm going to copycat him and post every day this month of November something I'm thankful for. I haven't counted my blessings for a while, so it's a good time to do that.

Have to post two today since I missed yesterday...

#1. I'm thankful that I'm alive and healthy. Pretty much everything starts from there.

#2. I'm thankful that I'm a human being. This means I have a pretty powerful brain, clever hands to make and do things my brain comes up with, and a pair of legs to move me around to lots of interesting places. It doesn't hurt to be a member of this planet's dominant land-based life form either. These things are easy to take for granted, but I'm not much without them.

More tomorrow...