First and foremost, I am thankful that 2011 has been a good year for me and my family. Not without its challenges, but all things considered, unquestionably a good one. Of the many things that took place in 2011, I am so proud and pleased to welcome my beautiful and joyful son to the family this past year.
The next biggest thing for me in 2011 was changing jobs. My career made a fairly big jump from enterprise software to the wonderful world of video games. Glad to be a Jobvite customer again for my fifth time (and completed my fourth implementation as project lead).
Probably the biggest downer of the year for me and many others was the loss of Steve Jobs. Most people knew he was a tyrant to those close to him, yet he lead and inspired so many to build and create and transform so much of the modern world. He remains at the top of my personal most admired list. Now if only I had the time to read through the authorized biography... (I'd previously read two earlier, unauthorized biographies).
Like many folks, I am now surrounded by Apple technology: MacBook Pro for work, older iMac at home, an iPad 2 and iPhone 4, and that doesn't count my wife's Apple gear that's around. I must say that while I do like and use my iPad 2 a lot, I really love love love my iPhone 4. It's not perfect, but my iPhone 4 is probably the most satisfying piece of electronics I have ever owned. I'm sure a new iPhone 4S would be a great upgrade, but I still marvel at how great the iPhone 4 is and how I can easily carry it around essentially everywhere.
2011 was a year of regional revolutions around the world. Come to think of it, both 2001 and 1991 were also years of great change in the world order. Well, good riddance to Osama Bin Laden ("su-prise su-prise"), Moammar Gaddafhi ("spell it anyway you like"), and Kim Jong Il (you funky dirty sick murderous bastard). It was also finally time to let my print subscription to The Economist expire (save a tree or ten).
For New Year's Eve Day, I enjoyed cooking both lunch and dinner for the family. Lunch was pork chops (bone-in center cut, medium thick, brined and pan fried). Dinner was caldo verde (Portuguese potato soup with thinly shredded kale and thinly sliced and browned linguica). For a late night snack, I was faced with leftover ground beef and only hot dog buns, no hamburger buns. What to do? Why, do what any pragmatic foodie would do: make hot dog bun length sliders! Toasted buns, real mayo, a touch of Sriracha sauce, Tillamook swiss cheese, and dill pickle relish rounded out the burgers.
For New Year's Day, I continued to cook for the family. Breakfast included eggs, bacon, and (canned) baked beans for the family. I then made a rather gluttonous grilled cheese sandwich using the bacon grease, Tillamook swiss cheese, Sriracha sauce, and dill pickle relish. The bread was pan fried to a fantastic crisp. For lunch, my wife picked up two large live Dungeness crabs from the market, which we steamed up with garlic and ginger for a delicious crab feed at home. For dinner, we had a simple meal of oven fried whole chicken wings, steamed broccoli, and brown rice.
Buh-bye, 2011. Time's up.
I wish a hearty and Happy New Year to all my friends, family, and blog readers. 2012 smells like it's gonna be great!