Friday, January 23, 2009's been an interesting start to 2009 to say the least....

On the more trivial side of life The Giants flames out in the play-offs against Philadeplhia. Philly was the only team I was afraid off an unfortunately my foreboding came to pass. Still it was a good season.

Our small group at Church took a hit when one couple left. However, the two remaining couples have decided to stay together and also find a new church together. So far, this has resulted in a much closer relationship between us all and I believe it will be good thing.

Work has been really tough. We had a big RIF (reduction in force) a couple of weeks ago. This meant I had to lay two people off. This is one of the hardest things I have had to do, primarily because it was two good people who did not deserve it. Firing is one thing, that is self inflicted and deserved. A RIF. not the case. I have a major conflict about it because my faith say we are to live a fair, compassionate life so this action goes against this. However, as a Christian I am also called to do the best I can in everything I do and this includes work (as long as it is does not go against God's teachings) so therefore as this was a required I did the best I could. A great paradox of trying to be Christ-Like living in the World. Plenty to ponder going forward.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I finished reading:

"The Book of the Navajo" written by Raymond Friday Focke. 464 pages.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's been a tough week in so many ways. 2009 has not started off particularly well, but, today whilst in line at the grocery store I had to smile. The person two places in front of my could not afford all her groceries. As she left the store the guy behind her and in front of me paid for the item that was left and got the cashier to run out and give it to her. A small gesture that did not cost much, but, that is what life is about, not the corporate greed, violence and hate we see everyday.


Monday, January 05, 2009

I listened t0:

"WOW Hits 2009" a 2 CD compilation.


Friday, January 02, 2009

2008 - The Review....and.... 2009 - The Hopes

It's always hard to write a review of a year as there is always good, the indifferent and the bad. So, I will try and compartmentalize it into sections -

  • Church - This was a tough year as far a church was concerened. We got to the point where we are more and more dissatisfied with the one we were attending. However, we are still part of a good small group that has generally made a lot of progress. For 2009 the goal is simple and this is perhaps the most important one that I have, we need to find a church were are comfortable in, can attend regularly and be involved.
  • Friends / Family - This was a tough year for so many people we know. We ourselves lost Jenn's Grandmother. We also got closer to some people through this to where I would say we have much stronger bonds with more people than we have since we moved to North Carolina. For 2009 it is simple I hope and pray that everyone has a much better and "smooth" year.
  • Snowflake - A good year for us for Snowflake. We adopted out nearly 30 cats and saved about the same amount. For the group as a whole we adopted out about 115 and saved about 120 with only less than 20 getting returned. For 2009 we want to pull back slightly in what we do to allow is time to focus on things such as Church, relationships and above all to have some valuable down time. Something that did not happen much in 2008.
  • Work - No changes (for once) in the job that I am doing, but, it was a very stressful year with the economy starting to hit. I had to travel more this year than I have had to previously. I guess for 2009 it is a matter of hoping for Status Quo with jobs being slashed around the globe surviving would be good!!
  • Sports - 2008 was a good year on the sporting front. It started well with the Giants winning the Super Bowl. Football (soccer) was good from the point of view that The Earthquakes are back and did better than expected. Hartlepool United survived in League 1, but, seem to have gone slightly backwards. The RailHawks were very disappointing in their second season. I also started to play indoors again, a very scary proposition. Alas, the level of play is still no good!! On the Rugby front West Hartlepool one their league to be promoted to North Division 1 and so far they have held their own with a solid mid-table position at the half way point. The only bad thing was losing to Rovers (albeit with a much weekend team) on Boxing Day. Durham became county champions in cricket which was an outstanding performance. These are the teams that I really care about. For the others that I follow they all had mediocre seasons. For 2009 another Championship would be good, with The Giants giving me the best shot with a repeat, although, I fear that is unlikely.
  • Citizenship - A guess my biggest personnel achievement becoming an American Citizen in October just in time to vote. I think this qualifies for the photo of the year (below).

In Summary 2008 was a very busy, too busy and way too stressful. It's by far the most stressed I've felt in my life. For 2009, yes it's going to be busy and stressful, but, I need to reduce it somewhat and I think actions like cutting back a bit here and there, finding a good church, continuing to read, listen and play music and continuing to develop close friendships will help.

Happy 2009!!!

I finished reading (well not strictly!!):

"The Long Valley" written by John Steinbeck.

This a collection of short stories written by Steinbeck. Although generally I am not a fan of short stories I really liked this collection. The reason I said I had "not strictly" finished this book is that I have already read the two stories last year in a separate book, "The Red Pony" so I did not read them again. The stories I read were - "The Chrysanthemums", "The White Quail". "Flight", "The Snake", "Breakfast", "The Raid", "The Harness", "The Vigilante", "Johnny Bear", "The Murder" and "Saint Katy the Virgin".

The part of the book I read was 198 pages.