Friday, December 26, 2008

End of the Year (again !)

Well hi there!
It's the end of the year again, and a lot's been happening in 2008. Here's a few of the moments in review:
  • I brought my new wife to Pennsylvania.Well, that actually happened in 2007, but only just!
  • In Ireland the Garda are the guys who wear blue uniforms and point you in the right direction when you're lost. Here in Ameria they seem to be doing a bit of "moonlighting" ! Not so much money laundering as money moving, but you never know that it might all be part of the same thing !
  • We spent seven months in Bensalem, PA. It turns out that this is also the place with the cemetery for the police in Philadelphia. We saw about four funerals in those months, which was, I like to believe, an unusually high number. So far the police report "only" 325 murders this year, compared to 390 last year. Maybe people are running short of ammo!
  • We saw The Yarn Harlot in Annapolis, and then again at the book fair in Philadelphia, where she "accused" us of "almost stalking" ! We're all great friends, though.
  • We found lots of friendly people in lots of unlikely places, all working diligently for pleasure with sheep shavings. These are better known as knitters, of whom the Yarn Harlot is a prominent example. Our "local" is a very friendly shop called WoolBearers, in Mount Holly. I hope my next post will have lots of woolly pictures. Here you see the front of the shop graced by an icy sheep. Every year there's an ice sculpting competition in Mt. Holly - hence the sheep !
  • Fuel rose to $4.50 per gallon and I changed jobs to one back in NJ, so my commute costs became astronomical. In addition, I had to take a hefty pay cut, so was rapidly going broke!
  • We moved to Marlton, NJ. Still broke, but the hemorrhaging was stopped. Mostly.
  • Visited the Jersey shore with the Offspring and our very good friend D. Unfortunately D upped and left a few months later, going home to California to resume studies. I guess some people just don't know when they're well-off (or maybe ...). Well, anyway, we all had a great time at the beach and around Barnegat Lighthouse (the picture). Long Beach Island is a fun place to go.
  • Went to NYC to visit bro-in-law Luke, along with wife and her daughter. We all had a fun day out being tourists in the big apple.
  • Fuel came back down in price again - to about $1.65 - so things are getting somewhat better. However, I have no doubt that SUV sales are on the up again, to rescue Ford and G.M.
  • The main project that I'd been working on almost the whole year finally crawled towards an end. The client announced that they were happy and would send a final set of test data. A week later and it hasn't arrived ...
  • Christmas was quiet, but enjoyable. My son (the Offspring) came to stay for Christmas Eve, and we all ate well, and then went to Mass. At the end of Mass the priest beckoned a rather shy girl up to the altar, and then announced that her name was Noëlle (or Nowell, as in the hymn book ?), and that she had been born just eight years before, so we all sang Happy Birthday to her ... yes ! the whole congregation (about 800 people !). The Offspring nudged me and asked, of course, if I was next. I'll confess to rather hoping that the priest would ask if there were any other people with birthdays that day !
  • Then back to work until New Year. This was definitely the quietest New Year on record: we were so tired for lots of other things that we lay down at about 9.30 in the evening and didn't wake up for 12 hours straight! No fireworks, no bubbly, nothing ! No hangover either, which was kind of nice :)
So that was the year, that was ! Looking back, I think we came out ahead in most ways, which is good. Hopefully 2009 will let us improve in the areas we didn't do too well in in 2008. More frequent blogging included !