Giving Thanks 2009

This is that time of year when we are expected to ruminate on just what we are thankful for. I have a lot to give thanks for - some fun, some ridiculous, some real.

  • The coffee plants in Kona, and the people who pick, process, and ship the beans. So I can grind and drink them.
  • The Copper River in Alaska, and the people who rigidly steward the river's salmon. So I can eat them.
  • The food cart scene the City of Portland has allowed to thrive. So far.
  • The pure creativity over such a broad spectrum of tastes and cuisines of the brains and hands behind the food carts. These people work long hours, they love their job, and I'm kind of jealous.
  • The fact this economic depression hasn't really impacted me personally. Which is good, since I've had to replace a furnace, water heater, microwave, stove, and dishwasher all in the last two years.
  • Sports on TV - saving me gas, dollars, and time every single weekend. And not having to stand in line for the bathroom.
  • The internet as a whole, because without it how else would I be entertained daily by things like ICanHasCheezburger and Very Demotivational?
  • The multitude of bakeries Portland has to offer - and I must try every single one.
  • Ditto the coffeeshops.
  • And the breakfasty places. I should stop - getting hungry.
  • Farmer's Markets, where I can find fantastically fresh fruit that then makes me just want to skip fruit all winter long rather than buy it in the grocery store.
  • Specialty stores like The Meadow on N. Mississippi in Portland, or Market Spice by Pike Place Market in Seattle, where you can find a range of items and flavors you never thought possible. And then realizing you are hooked for life.
  • A Civil War whose winner goes to the Rose Bowl - talk about fulfilling the dreams of an Oregon alum who has spent the last 10 years attending games at Reser Stadium. I won't lie, I'm conflicted on who to cheer for.
  • Internet access and email on my cell phone - no longer do I need to be tied to my office to get something done (and yes, that's probably as much or more a curse than something to necessarily be thankful for.)
  • To our three cats and our dog, who usually love us unconditionally. Other times they make us bleed. No, I never know which of those times is ever "now."
  • To Twitter, because without it how else would I ever know about that daily special from Koi Fusion?
  • To the people of this planet as a whole, because without them how else could I possibly be entertained and continually surprised with what they can do? And no, that's not necessarily a good thing.
  • To the state of Hawaii, for making all of their beaches public property. Otherwise my wedding would have been a lot more expensive.
  • To digital cameras, because now I can take as many pictures as I want without worrying about the cost of developing them all or having to carry multiple film canisters.
  • To email, so I no longer have to make phone calls. Can you tell I like technology?
  • To Netflix, so I can be a lazy ass and not walk or drive the four blocks to Blockbuster anymore.
  • My DVR, so I can skip the commercials and watch countless more hours of TV than I ever thought possible.
  • To Apple, because my iPod has now rendered my 400 CDs completely obsolete. And what exactly am I supposed to do with them now?!
  • To eBay, where I can find that one autographed football card of Sabby Piscitelli I never would have seen 12 years ago.
  • To Under Armour and The North Face (especially the TNF outlet in Woodburn), for helping me spend my money.
  • To Jillian Michaels, whom after watching The Biggest Loser for six seasons finally convinced me to get off my ass and lose 30 pounds (so far).
  • To the Washington County library system, whose online catalog and request system has convinced me I no longer need to buy a book ever again, and where I never have to browse again unless I want to. Goes back to the lazy thing. And about those 500 books I own...
And most of all, I give thanks every waking moment (and some sleeping ones) for my wonderful and beautiful wife, who is understanding enough to allow me my 5,000 written words a day across two jobs and 60-70 hour work weeks - and loves me anyway. Without you honey, nothing else matters. :)

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