31 December 2007

2007: My Year in Review

Its that time again: time for us to reflect on all of our achievements, mistakes, and formulate new ways to either improve for the next year. And for me, it is no different, and I would like to take this time to reflect on all the things that have happened either to me or around me. And since AJ has already posted his "Best of the Year," there's more a reason for me to post my own. And so, without further ado, I give you my Top 7 reasons 2007 was important to me (in ascending order of importance):

7 The News
I use Google Reader to read all of my news in one spot, and one thing that I've noticed this year is the massive amount of news from MSNBC. Besides the neverending list of world conflicts in this very temultuous year, the only other category that has been extremely active lately was
stories in the world of entertainment. Unless you've been living under a rock for the last year, you've probably heard enough to fill an entire lifetime about the escapades of Britney, Paris, and Lindsay. Unfortunately, for some, misfortune has launched relatively clean celebs into the firey pits of hell - erm, I mean gossip. By this, I mean the misfortunes of Jamie Lynn Spears and Mischa Barton.
Now, not everything is about the celebrities that we in America find so fascinating for some ridiculous reason. There have also been significant news that has even affected me. For example, the fires in Southern California left me stranded in San Diego Country for a day unable to return home. Global warming - something that has always been a problem now becoming the forefront of many politicians' and environmentalists' debates. And even computer technology has been blasted into the world of quantum computing with its own significant advances. And the year was also littered with rumors of a HALO movie only to end in a firery death that resulted in the disappointment of millions of fans.

6 Social Networking
In 2006 and previous years, MySpace was the place to be to meet with friends, find new ones and talk about stuff. However, with the rise of annoying advertisments and the never-ending bickering between people on MySpace over retarded things like who your top friends were, many MySpace users, like myself, found ourselves wanting a change. And so, I began to look for new options. I found Twitter, which is much like the Bulletin Board on MySpace but without the millions of annoying chain letters (due to the fact that you only have 160 characters to post what you're up to). In fact, it became such a novelty for my blogging that I built my own Twitter client for my phone (which I hope to release into the Open Source world for other people to use since I am dropping the project to work on other projects). Then along came Facebook. It answered many of my psuedo-prayers: it didn't have a stupid bulletin board that people could spam, it didn't have all those super-annoying music and background additives that make reading the page almost impossible, and you didn't have to worry about that whole "top friends" crapola. It was a simple social networking site with the ability to be nearly infinitely expandable with developer-made apps (nice for people like me who want new, unique stuff on our pages). And, the crowning glory for Facebook: mobile phone support (only recently has MySpace now provided a free mobile gateway into the site). Although I still have a MySpace since a lot of my friends haven't made the switch yet, my fiancee and I have found Facebook to be a lot more friendly for our "social needs."

5 Doing a 360
Microsoft this year admitted that their XBOX 360 console had a number of issues in them that caused pretty much every first few generations of the console to fail and require a costly repair if the unit was out of its quite short warranty period. Being one of those that bought the 360 the day it was unleashed upon these 50 states, it was a matter of time before my 360 became one of the many that returned to the whitecoats. Well, it happened, and invariably, I was pissed. Sending off my beloved $400+ piece of equipment to the wonderous void that is known as Microsoft, I found myself waiting for my repaired unit for weeks. It seemed as if it would never come back, and I began to wonder what else I could be doing with my time.... it scared me. Well, it finally returned free of the dreaded "red ring of death." Shortly afterwards, I found out that Microsoft finally acknowledged (probably under heavy pressure from an angered consumer base) that the units were prone to failure and needed an extension on their warranty. As such, I
received a refund for the costly repairs and was happy to be using XBOX Live again... until it broke just after Christmas... go figure.

4 3ntertainment
2007 gave us some real stinkers in the box office this year, but luckily I saw none of them. In fact, with the movies that I have seen this year, I was very, very impressed with how awesome they were. Movies like Spiderman 3, Pirates of the Carribean 3, Ocean's 13, Shrek 3, Transformers, Rush Hour 3, The Bourne Ultimatum and even the suprise of the year, I Am Legend (though I think the ending sucked - it was rushed in my opinion) definitely kept me entertained this year. And games like Halo 3 and Portal definitely made my time out of the theater even more entertaining. Unfortunately, because producers are out to make more money and give none of it to their bread-and-butter writers, 2008 may look very bleak for the entertainment world... we shall see...

3 Failures: The Automobile Edition
Now, I don't admit myself to be perfect in any way, but I do try often to prevent mistakes before they happen - especially in the car. But sometimes, reason and a sense of prevention sometimes escape us and we usually find ourselves then in the mercy of consequence. Such is the case this year when I found myself with a parking ticket, speeding ticket, a minor fender-bender, and a number of failing parts on my car and costly repairs. I won't go into it here, but all I know is that these problems usually occurred because I wasn't paying attention. One of my required goals this next year and forevermore: don't do this again...

2 A New Programmer Is Born
At the beginning of the year I was stuck in the mercy of a company that worked as an agent for what used to be Cingular Wireless who could care less what the customer really needed as long as you squeezed the most money out of them. After many tries to start my career into computer programming, I finally managed to get my career started - and boy, do I love it! I have to admit, not working with frustrating customers and working on what I do best has made me incredibly happy with where I work. And the people I work with make the job even better! Unlike the other jobs I have had, I actually feel at place here utilizing many of my innate and learned skills to make software that I know someone will actually use to make their life easier, a goal I've always had for myself.

1 A New Step Into My Shared Future
2 years ago I met a girl - a beautiful young woman actually - and I fell in love with her. From that point on until 5 months ago, I loved and charished her, and promised that I would never betray her, finding myself loving her more and more with every new day. 5 months ago, I made the committment of a lifetime and she said yes! It has been the single most important event in my life thus far and I know that the journey ahead of us will be presented with ever more difficult challenges as we face the oncoming prospect of permanent life together, but I look forward to it with an increase in confidence. I love her so much, and know that we will spend the rest of our lives together always wondering how we managed without each other.

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