Just a few odds and ends to wrap up 2004:
I think by now it is safe to reveal: this wickedly funny article by my cousin, Miriam Hill, at the Philadelphia Inquirer. I apologize for the delay; Miriam had the article framed and gave it to her mother, my Aunt Bunny, for Christmas. I pledged to keep it secret until Miriam bestowed the gift. By the way, Miriam is the former BusinessMonday feature reporter for the Plain Dealer.
My Favorite Christmas Gift this year: a laser level with stud finder. Very cool. A 100+ piece Dremel accessory kit came in a close second. Now I can finally get to work on my office remodeling job…
My Favorite Gig of 2004: believe it or not, reading scripture for Mass at Holy Cross Church.
My #1 Gripe of 2004: people who think that rules and laws don’t apply to them. I can’t believe the number of folks who think that just because they came in the store at 3:00 am looking to buy beer — only to find that it’s far too late — always think that they are special enough for me to break the law for them. This is only one example; tons of others come to mind as I pen this post. Enough, already!
Best Irony of 2004: Yesterday, we received a letter from the city of Euclid notifying us that the city is ending curbside recycling. We now must take our recycling to the recycling center, which is almost always in the opposite direction of where we need to go on a day-to-day basis. Check this: the city’s letterhead reads, “Euclid: the city of superior services.” Riiiiiiiiiight!
Worst News of 2004: Coming to Euclid next is a garbage collection tax, as if we weren’t taxed enough already. Euclid already has the highest personal income taxes in the state; further, its forgiveness rate (the amount of taxes earned in neighboring cities forgiven by the city) is the lowest in the area. Now the city wants to raise the income tax rate and further lower the forgiveness rate. I think a better idea would be to lower tax rates and try to lure businesses into the city. As it stands now, no sanely-run business in the world would even *think* of locating here.
My Favorite Moment of 2004: My sister-in-law, brother-in-law and their three little girls, ages 5, 3 and 15 months, came to stay at my mother-in-law’s house this week. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law went to Wednesday’s Cavaliers basketball game to see LeBron James (who was conveniently knocked out of the game with a facial injury). After they left, little Emily, my 15-month-old niece, cried viciously for her mother. My bride and I took her upstairs and laid her in her bed. I knelt down beside her, gently stroked her face and softly sang lullabyes to her until she dropped off to sleep. You know, I think I just might be able to do the daddy thing after all…
Lastly — please have a safe, happy and joyous New Year!