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Highlights of 2008


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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted December 30 2008 - 09:22 AM

I like this thread: http://www.hometheat....-2007-you.html

So I am following up Posted Image

What were the highlights of 2008 for you?

Me:

- The first few hours of 2008 in Paris, with long time friends.

- First time hosting a Superbowl party. My (since departed) Infocus projector's finest hour. That and finally *getting* football. It only took 12 years.

- B'day weekend with the kid, including an exhausting day at Six Flags.

- Law school acceptance letter (my first choice!) Ended up deferring my admission (booo) but yeah, I had this stupid smile plastered on my face for days.

- Montreal Jazz Festival. Montreal rules, period.

- My closest friend's successful dissertation defense. The rewarding end to a 5 years ordeal of which I was the prime witness (and shoulder).

- Midnight swim in the Bahamas. I've always thought tropical vacations a waste of time and $$$ (growing up in the tropics might have some something to do with it.) Why would I go slothfully lounge around some resort beach when I could be running around some exotic, exuberant city, when I could immerse myself in a completely alien culture or stand in awe of the full weight of history in front of some centuries old building or millennia-old ruins? That remains my travel philosophy, but I've gained new respect for the tropical vacation. Ocean so quiet, so clear, so warm... man that was awesome.Posted Image For a weekend getaway, during some hideously stressful times, it was perfect.

- November 5th 2008. I think most, regardless of politics, can appreciate what a HUGE day this was for some of us. Well, I hope anyway. I was on the phone with my father back in Africa for much of the evening (all night over there -- they stayed up.) Frankly, just indescribable. The stuff you tell your grandkids about. At the end of the day, this country can inspire like no other.

Uh... that's it.

--
H

#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted December 30 2008 - 11:56 AM

The last several months have been rocky for me, as I've struggled to cobble together enough income from temp work and odd jobs to stay afloat. But I'm healthy, I only have student loans left in terms of debt, and there's a lot of good memories scattered within. Among them:
  • A week in Ireland with my earliest childhood friend - I was finally getting my bachelor's and my friend was finishing up her studies in Sicily. We met halfway at Dublin, my first time across the Atlantic. Our travel plans fell through, jet lag threw my whole body into disrepair, and I lost my cellphone. But being forced to rely on public transportation had its advantages. I saw more of the "real" Ireland than I ever would have had we done a tour. We visited some incredible places. And I got some great stories (and memories) out of the deal.
  • Finally got my undergraduate degree - After a false start and many twists and turns, I received my Bachelor of Science in Print & Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College in May. I graduated Magna Cum Laude and Gold Key Honor Society, which thrilled my parents. One of the proudest days of my life.
  • Waterfalls - Being strapped for cash required me to find more creative ways to be fun. I visited Kaaterskill Falls with my friend Alex in June, the tallest falls in New York State, which was just beautiful. What a great afternoon. Later in the month, I visited Buttermilk Falls in the Adirondacks with my parents, which is less impressive but an equally beautiful location. On a March visit home back before I graduated, my dad and I also hiked (well, more or less slid) down the trail to Mine Kill Falls in the center of the state, which just roars out of a split in the sheer rock wall. Seeing the water rush out of the frozen ice was spectacular, and we'd visited the longest single span covered bridge in Blenheim earlier the same day. My last falls this year came in mid July, when my friend Ryan and I found the site of the old Mount Lebanon Shaker Society and then continued east to Bash Bish Falls, the tallest in Massachusetts. What an amazing location, and we couldn't have asked for better weather.
  • Mountains - I hiked two mountains this year. The first, Vroman's Nose, I hiked with my dad in August. This summer was the first I'd hiked with my dad in years; until his heart surgery last year, he just wasn't physically capable of it. That surgery has literally seemed to give me my dad back, which has been such a great gift. The view from the tip of the Nose was a breathtaking panorama of the rural Scoharie valley below. The second peak, Mount Poke O-Moonshine in the Adirondacks, I'll cover in more detail below.
  • Fourth of July Picnic at Thatcher Park - My friend Alex and I threw our first picnic this Fourth of July, up along the cliffs at Thatcher Park, which is perched on hills outside Albany. The weather was perfect, a dozen or so people showed up and everybody had a good time. I got a speeding ticket for driving 45mph just before the speed limit changed from 30 to 55, but even that couldn't stop a great day. That night, the friend I traveled Ireland with and my old college roommate watched the fireworks at the Empire State Plaza, my very favorite fireworks. One of those days that reminds you how great life can be.
  • Cleaning up tremendous damage from storm - While I was seeing The Dark Knight with a friend, a massive storm tore threw Albany, bringing down lots of trees and snapping the telephone pole by my parents' house in half. When I stopped by after the movie, I couldn't even get in the driveway: it was covered in pine trees. Miraculously, all of the cars and the house escaped any major damage, though they had to call in an electrician to connect the power back to the house. Despite only having 800 sq. foot house, my parents live on five acres of land with two yards. I spent the next couple weeks chopping up and hauling fallen trees and digging trenches to rebury the phone and cable lines. In a very frustrating and uncertain point in my life, the sheer physical labor gave me something to focus on and a sense of accomplishment that I desperately needed at that point.
  • Visiting my Grandmother in Potsdam, NY - One of the few advantages to lacking steady employment is the freedom it gives you. I took a long weekend in August to visit my 88-year-old grandmother at her home in Potsdam, NY. For me it was a couple days of not stressing about life, and she was thrilled I'd made the effort. I don't know how many more chances I'm going to get to do it, so I'm so glad I did. On the way back I visited abolitionist John Brown's grave, drove through Lake Placid, and got my second speeding ticket in as many months. That was a very unhappy end to a wonderful weekend and adventure.
  • Day the Races - My mother's cousin Stan spent his summers at Saratoga betting on the horses. He passed away last summer, so this year his long-time friend got a race named after him on August 18. We all got the V.I.P. treatment, and it was just nice to see him remembered that way at a place he loved.
  • Plattsburgh Trip in October - My former college roommate and I took our second annual road trip to visit a mutual friend in Plattsburgh. I was still stressed to the max at this point, and a weekend spent in the middle of nowhere was just the slow down I needed. The first night we were there, the three of us and one of his roommates went out drinking. What a different (and, in my opinion, superior) difference to a night out in the city. All of the bars were clustered around one block downtown. No bouncers, no ID checks, no pretentious bullcrap. The music was loud, but not so loud you can't hear the person next to you. And the prices were much more reasonable. A little after midnight, we headed out and the whole downtown was still alive, including food vendors. We took the food back to his apartment and caught up with a movie on in the background.
    The next day was more ambitious. We dragged our severely hung-over friend out the door by noon, hit up a little diner, and then found the new trailhead for Mount Poke O-Moonshine, which I'd learned around on the website of the local paper. It was a three to four mile hike instead of a half-mile like the original, but less brutally steep and more importantly less eroded. I wish I'd remembered to look for the fire tower, but the view from the top was still spectacular. We hit it when the leaves were near peak color. Here's one of the photos I took, which I've been using as my wallpaper:
    Posted Image
    We took the original trail back down (which was insane) and followed the road back to our care. From there we headed north to Québec with the idea of checking out Parc national du Mont-Saint-Bruno. By the time we crossed the border, though, we knew we wouldn't make it before it got dark. So we tooled around in Montréal instead. Didn't do too much there, but had a great time doing it. (And got a picture in front of the Olympic Stadium!)
    The next morning, my roommate and I hit the road after checking out the Plattsburgh waterfront with our friend. We took the Port Kent ferry over Lake Champlain into Burlington, Vermont. After exploring downtown, we got lunch at a hippie sandwich place just off Church Street Marketplace, one of America's "Great Public Spaces" for 2008, according to the American Planning Association. From there, we checked out Ethan Allen's homestead and then drove aimlessly through the hills just soaking up the countryside. I found a Quality Inn motor lodge with a AAA discount in an old guidebook, so we spent the night there, catching dinner at a local Italian place (which was awful) and Ghost Town at a local theater (which was delightful).
    The next morning, we drove up to Smuggler's Notch and climbed up the side of the mountain in a couple places, some trails some not. As his car hustled up the narrow and twisty mountain roads, it was raining technicolor leaves -- just a unique moment to be there for. The cave was neat too. We took the long way back to Albany, checking out Moss Glen Falls along the way. Unfortunately, the parking lot was closed, so we parked a pull off half a mile back, and walked the road to the falls. That area of the state was neat to see, because a classmate of mine the last semester was from Warren and talked up Vermont quite a bit. In a strange way, I probably had more fun on this trip as I did in Ireland, mainly because I wasn't horribly sick the whole time.
    Election Night - I'm a rabid political junkie. Have been for years. Usually presidential elections go like this: my least favorite of the frontrunners for each party gets the nomination. My least favorite of the two least favorites wins the presidency, and I vote third party. This year was just the opposite. My favorite candidates from each party won the nomination, either of whom I would have been willing to vote for under the right circumstances, and my favorite of the two favorites (the first and only political campaign I've ever donated money to) won. There was some nastiness toward the end, but it could have gotten a lot worse with lesser candidates. I saw Obama at a rally in Boston my last year of college. Now I can say I sat on a hill less than a football field away from a president. And I don't think we'll see anything like the celebrations that broke out across the country and, indeed, the world when the networks called it. Whatever happens from here, that was a good night to be an American, and I feel so lucky to have been alive for it.
  • Sledding at Albany Muni. Golf Course - Strange as it might sound, my most recent highlight came when my friend Alex invited me along with his girlfriend and her old college friend to go sledding. There was something incredibly fun about doing something so childish and simple. Teenagers and twenty-somethings outnumbered families with young children probably two to one. I'm not sure if this is because Generation Y doesn't know how to grow up, or because today's parents don't let their children do anything dangerous.
Looking back through that list, it's hard to complain too much about 2008. A couple of those highlights count among the greatest experiences of my life.

#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted December 31 2008 - 08:31 AM

Cool stuff Adam. Congrats on your graduation. Apparently everyone beside us had a flat, highlight-free year Posted Image

Been looking for a good retrospective video/montage of the year in news on youtube without success.

--
H

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   mylan

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Posted December 31 2008 - 09:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holadem
Apparently everyone beside us had a flat, highlight-free year Posted Image



--
H

2008 cannot leave fast enough for me. I got food poisoning so bad I passed out from lack of nutrition ( I am hypo-glycemic) and ended up in the hospital, I am still paying for that one, the only good to come out of it was that I lost three pounds in two days.

My brother-in-law was hit by an SUV while riding his motorcycle and for awhile there it was touch and go as to even survive, then possible amputation of his leg was another concern. That was in May and he still cannot walk without assistance and may never fully recover.

On July 4th, my 77 y.o. father was walking across the parking lot of a Wal-Mart and was hit by a car. She claimed she never saw him as he tried in vain to flag her down. He broke his knee-cap and spent the next six weeks in the hospital and rehab. In October he finally walked without the assistance of a cane or walker but will never regain full use. He won a settlement from her insurance but it is still tied up in legal and will not began to cover his loss of use and quality of life.

The year saw my (and others) 401K fund lose half its value, thankfully I am years from retirement and sold my other stocks before it crashed.

The rising price of gas put a final nail of any plans I had for a vacation this year. I had two trips scheduled and financial concerns and workload were threatening anyway but gas prices sealed it. I had a "staycation" instead and did yardwork and some outside painting. It wasn't all bad, I do have an in-ground pool so I made full use of that but sometimes a guy needs to get away.

Yeah, 2008, good times......
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#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted December 31 2008 - 11:35 AM

Well.

Listing the highlights of '08 by no means meant that it was a wonderful year for me either Posted Image Those are, quite literally, the highlights. I would the first to say good riddance '08 if I had any reason to believe that things would start improving after midnight tonight.

--
H

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted December 31 2008 - 05:43 PM

Yeah, I thought the rules were to pick out the good stuff from the flaming pile of shit that was 2008. It's right up there with 2004 among the worst years of my life. And like y'all, 2009 doesn't look too much better. Still, there were good things and I tried to highlight them.

Did anything good happen for you in 2008, mylan?

P.S. Holadem: Thanks for the congrats!

#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Matt Gordon

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Posted January 01 2009 - 04:08 AM

Nice topic, Holadem.

A few of my 2008 highlights...

Travel
Went all over in 2008... Nevada, Georgia, Florida, Nebraska, South Dakota (twice), and France. And many of the trips brought highlights of their own: visiting my best friend since childhood in Nevada and meeting the girl of my dreams in France.

Moving
I moved from 56 miles from work (one way) to just 2.3 miles. And in a really great neighborhood, too. That's been awesome.

Work
Launching a new website for the company, which was the culmination of almost a year of labor. And adding some unique interactive features for my industry that have brought some great recognition to our group.
Spoiler tags are cool.

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Joe Karlosi

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Posted January 01 2009 - 04:25 AM

2008 was one of the worst years of my life. Health problems which began in 2007 and now continue to go into '09.

But here's hoping.

#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted January 04 2009 - 04:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holadem
Been looking for a good retrospective video/montage of the year in news on youtube without success.
Here's a sort of funny one my mother linked me to:
YouTube - Uncle Jay Explains: Year-end! 12-22-08

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   JonZ

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Posted January 04 2009 - 04:39 AM

The week I spent in Aruba in June.

One of the best weeks of my life.


I agree with Joe, 2008 pretty much sucked. Best of luck to you with your problems Joe.

#11 of 16 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted January 04 2009 - 06:43 AM

We went to Disney for vacation. Kind of anti-climatic. We had a good time and a lot of fun, but I can't see spending that amount of money on something that lasts only a week.

Including vacation time, holidays, and plant shutdowns due to lack of sales, I had 60 days off in 2008 - paid. Posted Image

My eyes went down hill drastically. For the first time in my life I need glasses.

My son got his braces off and got his drivers permit.

We built on an "in-law" suite for my Mother-in-law who has Parkinson's.

For me 2008 was not that bad of a year. Still hoping 2009 is better.

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted January 05 2009 - 05:55 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Lenhardt
# Mountains - I hiked two mountains this year. The first, Vroman's Nose, I hiked with my dad in August. This summer was the first I'd hiked with my dad in years; until his heart surgery last year, he just wasn't physically capable of it. That surgery has literally seemed to give me my dad back, which has been such a great gift. The view from the tip of the Nose was a breathtaking panorama of the rural Scoharie valley below. The second peak, Mount Poke O-Moonshine in the Adirondacks, I'll cover in more detail below.

Nice, Vroman's Nose is supposed to be a very nice hike, and Poke-o-moonshine is a nice firetower hike. Have you heard of the firetower challenge? Anyway, lots of nice firetowers in the catskills and the ADKs that you could hike with that you and your father would like. Most are pretty short... PM me for ideas if interested.

Highlights of 2008 for me?

Climbing Gannett Peak in WY's wind river range, a 25 mile monster approach and a beautiful climb to the 13,804' roof of Wyoming.

Climbing a whole bunch of winter peaks in the ADKs, enough so that I plan on finishing my winter 46r round this winter. I have 6 more to climb between now and the end of winter.

Having my house still standing and burning wood for heat.

Spending time in the White Mountains, working on my 48 peaks and the 115...
Jay
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#13 of 16 OFFLINE   JonZ

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Posted January 06 2009 - 11:09 AM

I got laid off today.

No more commute, no more going to a job I loathe hate and despise.... man I feel good.

#14 of 16 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted January 06 2009 - 12:05 PM

JonZ,
What did you used to do? Being with out a job has its advantages... until the money runs out. Posted Image

#15 of 16 OFFLINE   JonZ

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Posted January 06 2009 - 12:52 PM

Was IT support for IBM education. Basically involved in image creation and such for classes. HATED IT... because it was run by idiots douchebags and morons and I had a long commute.

My whole dept is gonna get the boot. All education is going oveseas and theres no money for anything.

Gonna rest, get my sanity back and find another job.

I have been going back to school recently and was planning on leaving this summer anyway.

IBMers are really in for it in 09.

#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Michael Warner

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Posted January 06 2009 - 03:06 PM

2008 has to have been one of the most boring and nondescript years of my life which, given the overall world situation, isn't really a bad thing at all.

Made one trip to Florida and Universal Studios and went camping a few times over the summer and that was about it. But everyone is in good health so I can't complain.
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