Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Riders to the left of me. Riders to the right!

Ah, to be in a crowd of bikes right now, rolling down the road. Winter arrived early this year and we'll have a white Christmas in NH. The weather is warming somewhat but I suspect this mess will be here for a few days yet. No opportunity to ride in the next few months, unless I were to travel to warmer climes.

"I'm not going to get too sentimental, like those other sticky Valentines..."
I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and happy holidays, no matter what you celebrate. (Any Druids out there?)

It's been a good year overall. A lot happened (Sturgis trip) and another safe year under our collective belts. A couple of minor incidents but everyone seems to have recovered nicely (Box, I'm talkin' 'bout YOU.)

We all have a lot to look forward to in 2009.

So, Merry Christmas to my friends, fans and accidental passers-by. I hope you get what you wish for, what you deserve and that Spring comes early next year.

A low, slow wave,

Joe Rocket

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

'Tis the season...

With the frenzy of activity necessary to keep one's job, I realized that I have let a lot of things slip this year. It's hard to get in the holiday spirit when you see the axe fall all around you. This year has seen a series of lay-offs and terminations of friends across the country.

Yesterday I realized that I had not bought a gift for a co-worker who consistently makes my life easier and is one of the hardest workers I know. He's low on the corporate totem but I know we would miss him dearly should something happen to him. I want to let him know how much I appreciate his kindness, friendship and spirit. I need to run out today to find something worthy.

This year the term fiscal frugality has been tossed around quite a bit. With the unplanned expenses of a week in hotels (and dining out 3x/day) plus that shiny new generator (an unplanned purchase), etc., etc., and there goes any financial cushion I might have had. I feel like I'm on a fixed income and it just isn't enough. In debt, with no job security is a very uncomfortable feeling. I find it very easy to ignore the sale exhortations of the emails and retail commercials.

No matter what comes in the next year, quarter or month, I know that I have a solid set of skills and an excellent network of colleagues, associates and friends. The year ahead will be challenging, not only for me, but for many others as well. I know how cliche it is to make New Year's resolutions but the recent ice storm (and 7-day power outage) pointed out how unprepared we were for that event. What else am I unprepared for? What steps can I take avoid the same complications in my financial life? I intend to find out.

I've been procrastinating, I know. It's a bad habit. I don't have much energy left at the end of the day. I'll be reviving my efforts to do my own thing.

I hope we all make it through this season and the poor economy. Time to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.

A low, slow wave,

Joe Rocket