Goodbye, For Now

Well, we’ve finally made it to the last year of 2016 and that means that I’ve reach the end of a journey here at this blog.  On January 1st of this year I began posting regularly on the blog and made it a goal to post something everyday.  I had different reasons for that and I spelled those out in the initial post for 2016.

Did I reach any of those goals?  I’ve made some progress with some and not so much with others.  And as the year swung into full force, I didn’t have as much time to write as I would have liked and, therefore, I didn’t get to go as deep into certain areas as I would have liked.  But such is life.

If my tally is correct, I wound up posting on 364 of 366 days.  I made the daily  posting goal up until December and then missed two days.  But that’s OK.  The planet is still spinning and that leaves that goal intact for another year.

I’m not sure when or if I’ll ever post again on this blog.  Something could be posted tomorrow or there may never be anything else.

I appreciate all of those who have paused to read some of the things here.  I hope something has been beneficial.




The Day After Christmas

Well, our family successfully navigated through the Christmas holiday. of 2016. We stepped through a very busy Christmas Eve and continued a good pace through a Christmas day that included family time, church and a trip to see Sweet Wife’s family.  All in all it was a very good couple of days and we consider ourselves very blessed.

Now comes the day after Christmas.

This day will hopefully include the repackaging of all of the Christmas ornaments and decorations back into their respective boxes and the placing of those boxes back into the attic.  I’m very much looking forward to this!

But the day after Christmas also brings something else for me: a burst of renewal as I sense the arrival of a new year.  I’m not sure why this happens with me, but it tends to happen every year.  As the flipping of the calendar approaches, I just sort of get revived.  It’s a new beginning, a new start.  It’s a time to start new things and to end others.  It’s a defining moment in time that sort of naturally allows for new patterns and beginnings.

This year, for example, I decided to try to post something to this blog every day.  In years past, I’ve done things like started a project to journal every day or to read through the Bible in a year.  It just makes sense to start something like this on January 1.

This year, I don’t plan any regular activities like these.  Instead, for 2017 I just feel a general renewal type feeling.  I have complained regularly that 2016 has been hard, but what I’m ready to do in 2017 is to start again with renewed energy and apply the lessons that I’ve learned this year.  What are these lessons?  Well, that’s something that I’ll hopefully comment on in a day or two, but I am happy to have learned these lessons and I’m ready to apply them.

I Blew It: The Streak is Over

My attempt to post every day this year is over.  I blew it yesterday after 11 straight months and with only 31 days to go.  The cause was actually something I thought would catch me much earlier:  work.

Yesterday I had a project that took me out of town and kept me there longer than expected.  When I returned to town, I had more work to do at the office and by the time I officially made it home, I was too pooped to pop.  I woke up some time in the night with a panic:  I forgot to write something.  I took a quick look at my phone and saw the time was after one a.m. and I knew it was over.

I hate stuff like this, but it happens and life goes on.  Oh well.

11 Months In, 31 Days Left

Here at the blog, my goal for this year has been to post something every day.  As best I can tell, I’ve done so for 11 months and there are 31 precious days left.

Believe it or not, in blog terms, this is a decent-sized goal.  When you’re sitting at the beginning of the year, you’re looking at 366 posts (this is a leap year).  That’s a lot of stuff and lot’s of things can happen during the year to knock you off course.  There’s the process of getting a habit of posting started, there are days you don’t feel well, days (or weeks) when work is bad, there are (hopefully) vacation times…plus a whole lot of other streak-stopping things that can happen.

What I usually do to help this, if I can, is to try to write several posts at one sitting.  This let’s me keep a pipeline of posts ahead of me so that I can work from ahead and not behind.  This isn’t always possible, though (see the list above) and there have been a couple of late evening posts to check the box and keep things going.

So, we need 31 more of these…let’s see what happens.

10 Months Down

Wow.  It’s already November.  In a lot of ways, this year is really flying by [and in some others it’s not].

Counting today, there are 61 days left in the year, and because this is a leap year, that means 305 days of 2016 have elapsed.  That also means that this is the 306th day of consecutive posts on this blog as I try to work through the plan of posting something everyday this year.

To be candid, I’m surprised I’ve made it this far.  Life can be sort of herky-jerky and busy and I’m prone to giving up and tossing in the towel when things go rough.  To be further candid, on one or two occasions this year, I thought about hitting the kill switch.

But, nevertheless, here we are.  These blog posts aren’t must-read and they aren’t life changing for anyone, but I enjoy writing and I do enjoy this process and if I one day make it to the old folk’s home, I’m sure I will bore everyone to tears talking about the year I blogged everyday.

Education Week

For CPA’s in Alabama, there’s an annual requirement of 40 hours of continuing education and those training hours must be completed by September 30th of each year.  This year, I stumbled around and only completed one course before this week, so I’m spending most of this week in a class room.

There are all sorts of ways to get what we call CPE.  You can do self-study courses, you can attend webinars, go to meetings, or as I tend to do each year, pay for and attend classes sponsored by our state society of CPAs.  On average I wind up spending about $1,250 a year on these things and, of course, a week’s worth of time.  Over the course of my 26 year career, I spent at least 1,040 hours in classes and during my 16 years of basically being self-employed, I’ve spent roughly $20,000.

Ouch times two.

However, I guess the main question is whether or not my education is being furthered.  I think the answer to that is definitely yes, because I do learn some things, but I’m not sure I’ve learned $20,000 worth.

Saturday Music: Come On Eileen

Let’s go back to 1983 and travel to a very small school located in central Alabama.  Let’s go back to spring of that year and baseball season.   Have you made it yet?  Good.

That was my school and I was on that team.  Though our school was really small, that year we had an especially large baseball team.  That was due in part to a lot of seniors on that team and due in part to an unusually large number of us freshmen on for the team.

One of my classmates on that team was a guy with a last name of “Rettig.”  Being the clever school boys that we were, we quickly hung the nickname of “Otis” on him because his last name was way too close to Retting, the last name of the guy who sang “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.”  Otis didn’t like being called Otis and that made things even better.

That brings us to today’s musical entry, “Come On Eileen,” the one-hit of one-hit band Dexy’s Midnight Runners.  This song was released in 1982 and by the spring of 1983 it was still in heavy rotation on Birmingham radio stations.  Also, it was in heavy rotation on the boom boxes carried along on the athletic bus that drove our baseball team to its away games.

How does that relate to Otis?  Well, the words of this song were quickly adapted from “come on Eileen” to “come on Otis” and every time the song was played, the bus turned into our own little version of High School Musical as we serenaded Otis.

It might have been funny for a time if we sang it a few times and then moved on to something else, but this song infiltrated all of life.  We sang it — at least snippets of it — for years on the high school bus, we’d sing it when Otis was waiting in the on-deck circle or when he was batting and we sang it in the school halls.

Hopefully, Otis gave us a pass on wearing this into the ground because he was definitely a good friend and we loved him.  But to this day when I hear this song, I can’t help but hum “come on Otis…”

“Saturday Music” is a weekly blog series about the music of our lives.  Click here to read all of the posts in this series.