Friday, December 31, 2010

Adios to another year - it didn't suck as bad as the last one

The good: My business recovered and even kinda improved. Health has been good for all three of us. I was able to get my act together and lose over 30 pounds through hard exercise and eating less. We're done with expensive home renovation projects for a while to come.

The bad: A lot of health issues in our extended families. Particularly my wife's. Between that and work, we didn't get to take a single vacation as a family this year. My wife went to her folks when her father was injured and wound up missing the annual Martha's Vineyard trip. I was busy enough to skip the Cape May trip. We did an overnight in Plymouth at the beginning of December - that was it. In other words, from a family perspective, 2010 was the Year Of Everybody But Us. I hope to fix that next year.

I have a lot of great long-term clients that we've been fortunate enough to retain. Towards the end of the year, I picked up one that was a total douchebag, but we're out of that toxic technical relationship (FYI, Mac menus are NOT the same as Windows, you tool), and what's left is good. We've even got an opportunity to expand the database/CRM business that we're taking.

In the rest of things - looks like people in hell may be about to get their sweaters on, because there just may be a CDMA iPhone about to happen. I still won't be convinced until the day it announces, but two things changed this year that have made it no longer a pipe dream: first, there is now an emerging VoRA (Voice over Rev. A EVDO) standard that would allow an iPhone to do simultaneous voice/data like they can in the current model, and second, the LTE rollout is just beginning now and will be continuing over a longer timeframe than I believed likely at first. So the existing CDMA infrastructure in the US, at least, still has another 2-3 years of life in it at least, and since 2 years is a typical cell contract that all works now.

iPad 2 is also rapidly approaching - just as other manufacturers start releasing their responses to iPad 1. In other words, I don't see anything that will cost Apple the market lead in tablets other than a whole lot of pre-announced vapor and some 7" devices that are aiming for what I believe is just a niche.

Our last voyage of the year was a trip to New Jersey to see my wife's family. We left on Christmas Day, and arrived mid-afternoon just before the big blizzard rolled in. We were snowed in at the Seaview Resort (in Galloway, NJ) for over 2 days. Same thing happened to us in 1993, when we visited for a March wedding and got stuck in the Blizzard of '93. The difference: 17 years ago there was no Internet everywhere to monitor news and weather. No HDTV to watch weather and news (along with football). And we didn't have a child with us to entertain.

So 17 years ago we responded to the storm with a lot of time in the pool and the (now removed) hot tubs, and a _lot_ more drinking. This time was OK, though.