A small design tweak here as the calendar flips. It gives me the chance to use vertically formatted photographs on the index page while keeping within my strict visual standards for layout, standards instituted after complaints, mostly from elderly readers, about having to lift a withered finger to push a button to scroll down to see info they want.
I'm here to serve.
Service is what the past year has been all about for many of us, particularly after 9/11. It has, at least, found a higher slot on the list of life's priorities.
I lost a boyhood friend this year, a guy I hadn't seen in thirty years but who was and will remain an important part of my life in the way that our childhood friends inevitably help to shape the character and attitude of our selves. Us kids on Ashwood Street knew him as Ronny, and he grew up to serve as a fireman, and he died in June. I hope the link lasts forever.
Overall, the generosity of friends and neighbors throughout the year is what keeps our tiny cluster of houses such a good place to live, a real good place to raise your kids up... in... at... with. I hope that with all the bad craziness that happened this year, the same dynamic is gettin' writ large in bigger places. Heck, turns out kindness is free. And its own reward. Why wasn't I told this sooner?
In the smallest place, within the walls and moat here at Stately Amaya Manor, service and generosity show up daily in the person of my wife, the lovely and talented Viv. It feels kinda gooey to say it here, but she does gobs of things, sacrifices lots of stuff, and asks that I kiss her feet with surprising infrequency. They don't come sweeter than she. And the sugarplum didn't fall far from the tree, either. Amy rocks. Thanks, kid. You're the best daughter a man could ask for.
Tonight the neighborhood New Year's Eve party is being held at Dave and Millie's around the corner, with gaming as the theme. We're bringing snacks, sodas, and cash. A cigar may be smoked. Fingers may be pointed. Somewhere a dog might bark. One thing I know for sure -- at midnight somebody's gonna get smacked.
Anyway, thanks for reading. I hope that you have a splendid year coming. May the game go your way.
"Thank You" -- Dido -- NO ANGEL
"The less you bet, the more you lose when you win."
- Bonetti's Law