(Note: I originally posted this in early January 2008 on my Yahoo! GeoCities blog.)
2007 is over, and 2008 started, innocently enough, with a New Year's Day party at my friend Jared's house. The drive home was a bitch; the snowstorm I had to deal with while heading south on M-5 was like the one in the 1980 movie The Shining. I did get home in one piece, no accidents, but I did see one spin-out while heading eastbound on I-696.
Now. It's time to pay final respects to the best year I've had in a long time, if ever. Forget Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, "don't tase me, bro," the O.J. Simpson hold-up, and the Vince McMahon limo explosion; the following are my biggest accomplishments of 2007:
- Getting the GM job (March 8) - I began 2007 working at Grainger, an industrial supply company. However, that job was no better than the one I had before (at ZF), in the sense that it turned out to be an unstimulating, unchallenging dead-end job. Fortunately, I found a better one, in the form of a position with GM's Global Learning Metrics & Evaluations team. The best job I've ever had, and the biggest reason why this year has been one of my best ever. Looking back at ZF and Grainger, I think to myself, they did me a favor when they let me go.
- Replacing the fridge (November) - The freezer in my old fridge was found guilty of prematurely freezer-burning my food by cycling off and back on again (partially thawing and re-freezing my frozen food). On top of that, that fridge was over 40 years old and probably used much more energy than a new one. I really should have replaced it much earlier than I did, but better late than never, I suppose. In any case, I'm happy with my new fridge (a Kenmore 14.8 cubic foot model). I got it for $371 at sears.com (I got it when they had it on sale, plus a 10% discount, plus free delivery and haul-away). Also, the new one is much better at defrosting frozen meat than the old one ever was.
- Getting new glasses for under $70 (December) - I know, this doesn't seem like a big accomplishment. But if you're me--terribly nearsighted--then the price of eyeglasses shoots way up. On top of that, they take longer to make (for example, in 2004, LensCrafters needed three days to make my glasses, rather than the one hour they brag about so much). But in November, I discovered Zenni Optical, a web site that offers eyeglasses at much lower prices. They sent me a new pair a little over a week after I submitted my order. I'd certainly rather wait 10 days to get a pair for $70 than three days to get a similar pair for $270.
- Getting Ferndale Foods to get their web site working (July) - A demonstration of why being pro-active is so important. In 2005, I discovered that Ferndale Foods, a local supermarket, had put up its own web site. It was in the "Under Construction" phase at that time, and I kept checking back every now and then to see if they had made any useful improvements (like posting the weekly sale ad, for example). I kept checking back for two years and they did nothing. In July, I finally wrote to them about this useless web site and they explained to me why they hadn't made any changes--the reason was that they didn't even know it existed. Starting in August, they have posted their weekly sale ad to their web site, and since then, I've made three trips down there to buy various sale items. I wish I had written those guys sooner--maybe if I had written them in 2006, they would have started putting the web site to good use back then.
- Winning the CLOUT championship (September) - I've been in the CyberLeague of United Teams for 12 years. It's a very competitive league, and a lot of the owners have been in it since its inception in 1995. In 2006, my pitching had been terrible and I finished in the middle of the pack. Given that, plus the fact that there are 20 teams in the league, I didn't expect to win in 2007. But a number of factors worked in my favor at the same time. It's also the first time I've won a rotisserie baseball title. I generally find roto ball unrealistic because it tends to overvalue steals and saves, but what the heck, one big reason I won was that I had plenty of both.
- Winning a "Survivor" fantasy football league I've been in since 2004. My Canadian friend Jeff Rathburn has not only run that league since then, but he won each of the first three seasons. The rules are simple: Each week, you select one quarterback, one running back and one wide receiver or tight end. Each yard counts for a point; each passing touchdown is 30 points, and each running/receiving touchdown is 60. In 2007, finally, I got some big breaks (most notably Donovan McNabb in Week 3 against the Lions, and the combo of Browns QB Derek Anderson and WR Braylon Edwards in Week 5).
- In TUFF, Todd's Ultimate Fantasy Football, I was heading for a 4-10 record (as I mentioned in my December 1 blog entry, when I talked about what a terrible draft I had in that league). I was 4-8 at that time. But to my surprise, I won the final two games, and then from there, won a postseason consolation tournament (known as the TUFF S*** Bowl), which basically means I won $85. Huge!
So long, 2007; I will look back on you with rose-colored glasses. Look out, 2008, here I come!