Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year!

Yes, I'm back and ready to go. Hope the holidays were good for you and your travels were fulfilling, fun and entertaining.

Have you ever been to Africa? Beautiful place. Vast landscapes, wild animals and cultural variations that are found no where else in the world. If you have never been there, go at the first opportunity, you will not regret it.

Or the wilds of Western Canada? Also, an awesome trip - mountains, big rivers, trees and vast amounts of untamed land.....did I mention the fishing?

And if that isn't possible, go West. Montana, Wyoming, Idaho...........

Anyway, 2008 has come and gone and lots of stuff happened. I won't dwell on the obvious, but despite what many feel was a year to forget, I am most thankful for 2008. It was a good year from my perspective. My kids are doing well, I'm doing well, traveled extensively, bought a house after years of apartment living, and of course, I got married to a most wonderful woman.

What else??.................I hope I'm not boring you with this crap, but it's my train of thought now that I have a few minutes to sit and reflect. I won't be offended if you don't read this, but you'll miss some fine examples of literature.

Now for the highlights and lowlights of 2008 and what I learned if no particular order:

I really have only one lowlight, and this I only mention because it reveals the tenuousness of this one life each of us has the gift of. Early in 2008, one of my very favorite friends passed away at the early age of 48. No signs did fate show him, he just up and died one evening while watching a football game with his sons. And just this week, another dear friend passed away at the young age of 44 of cancer. She was only 44, full of life and humor, and only just beginning to raise her two young children. So, before I move on, there's only one life lesson here...........

The Future is NOW! Sure, I know, you've all heard it before. But have you HEARD it and Synthesized it in your gray matter? Live, love, seek, learn, see, feel, hear, taste every day as if it were your last. Oh, and laugh your ass off every chance you get........without regard for what anyone else may think.

Now for the highlights if I may:

A couple of books:

The Journals of Lewis and Clark - A vast, fascinating volume of a trip Jefferson entrusted to two bold pioneers. You think you have it hard some days? Forget it, you have no idea how good you have it. Read about what these two men and their companions went through traveling from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean and back from 1804-1806. Thanksgiving will have a whole new meaning for you.

Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace - An intellectual at your own risk. Touching, ironic, bizarre, sardonic, serious, and absolutely hilarious throughout. I've never laughed so many tears while reading a book.

Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer - Wow, fascinating book about a bright, disillusioned, fatally determined idealistic kid. The sound track by Eddie Vedder is good stuff, too.


Lots of good stuff:

Oscar Peterson - All of it, digitally remastered...........jazz piano at its finest.

Ray LaMontagne, Scott Weiland, James Taylor, Eddie Vedder

The Buena Vista Social Club - Latin, can't understand the words, but the music is tight.

Stanley Jordan - State of Nature - This guy has chops..............still.

Life is good. Get out there and live it!

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