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November 2013
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May 2014

December 2013

2013: It's a Wrap

2013 words, phrases, ideas and people that can just go away 

  • Use of "hashtag" outside of Twitter
  • "Disrupt ___"
  • Selfie
  • Cancer
  • Mind blown
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Periods between every word in a phrase (a carryover from last year)
  • CNN news articles with spelling and grammatical errors
  • Like us on facebook
  • "Ninja" or "rockstar", used as an adjective to describe a desired software developer
  • Dysfunctional Congress
  • Crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, crowdanything
  • Yoga pants outside of yoga class
  • Affluenza
  • Big data
  • Warantless wiretapping
  • Skeumorphism
  • Hipster hats
  • Pajamas in public
  • Any Taylor Swift song about being wronged or having her heart broken

It's a Wonderful Life


The angels came, and saved my son. 

That's all I need to say about 2013.  Sure, lots of other things happened.  There were trips to new places, improving financials, a new (leased) car; even a vacation.  None of these things can compare to the miracle that happened. 

Sean went to the hospital in (when? It's all a blur) February or March, not long after returning from his honeymoon with Danielle.  He was in a lot of pain, and didn't know why.  After being misdiagnosed and ultimately released from the hospital, his employers swept in.  In no time at all Sean was in front of the leading doctors at Stanford, who immediately diagnosed him with testicular cancer.  What followed was nine weeks of intensive treatment.  Happily, Sean has cleared all of his checkup's since being treated and has returned to the work he loves on the ranch.

These angels did what I could not do, did not know how to do.  They brought the medical attention he needed to catch this cancer at a stage where treatment and a cure was highly likely.  They battled the medical/health insurance system for Sean.  They made sure he had the best chance to focus on his treatment and recovery.  They brought his ranch buddies down to visit him.  They arranged a welcome-home party.

They held our hands when we were scared.  They hugged us when we cried. 

Why did they do all this? Because they could. Because they're wired to help others.  They could have stopped at many points along the way, saying, "OK, we've helped enough."  But they didn't.  They helped until there was nothing more that needed to be done. 

And although we thanked them profusely, it's clear they didn't help for the grateful praise.  In fact, they refused every offer of thanks that would have put them in the spotlight. 

Yes, they had more resources to help than others might.  But it didn't start with resources.  It started with an orientation to help, to see through to a person's true nature and to respond with love. 

I call that miraculous. 

Remember how George Bailey, in It's a Wonderful Life, gets a chance to see what kind of difference he's made in the world?  That's kind of how I feel this Christmas season.  I hope I can pay that kindness forward next year, and every year after that. 

Merry Christmas.

One Fine Day in San Francisco

My wife and I went on a shopping trip to San Francisco last weekend, the second-annual edition of an event put on by her employer.  We took a bus up to The City (as they say) and spent the day doing a little bit of shopping, some lunching, and a lot of walking.

All of these things happened during our visit.  To quote the great Dave Barry, folks, we are not making this up.

  • Santa-Con (highlights included Elvis Santa)
  • Some tourists found out that when the N-line trolley honks at you, you'd best get out of the way
  • I had to haggle with a Buddhist monk over the size of my donation
  • Kids (and adults) played in the artificial snow falling inside the Hyatt Regency
  • A Crate and Barrel employee had a bell-ringing competition with a Salvation Army Volunteer
  • The folks at Yak Sing will stop coming by with dim sum when they want to turn over your lunch table
  • It can take 90 minutes to get a bus out of downtown San Francisco on a Saturday evening
  • Double-parking is alive and well, and that includes Muni buses
  • Three Santas walked into a bar...

San Francisco at Christmastime, you have to love it.