Childhood Memories

When I was young we would typically get a Christmas Package from my grandmother. It would usually arrive in early December, to coincide with St. Nicholas Day — Sinterklaas — (December 6th), when the Dutch traditionally did their gift exchanges.

In the package would be a variety of things, much of which didn’t really interest me.

But a few things most definitely did.

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Supply Chain

This will be difficult to articulate, because it’s another of those things that folks tend to take completely for granted.

It’s also difficult to put the appreciation into words without coming across as arrogant or condescending. My intent, of course, is neither.

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A Blender?

You might notice along my little path of gratitude that I’ve not mentioned many things, focusing as much as possible on people, opportunities, and situations.

This one’s different. It’s a thing.

Specifically, it’s a blender. But it’s not just any blender…

It’s a Vitamix.

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This may sound a little odd to some, but I’m grateful to be an only child.

I’m sure that if I’d had siblings today’s stop on my sixty days of gratitude trip would be about them instead, but — honestly — being “an only” has worked out well for me, and I’m thankful for that.

Particularly when I compare my situation to some others with siblings.

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Good Customer Service

I’ve been fortunate when it comes to most of my customer service experiences, and I was fortunate again today.

I had a question about my mobile data plan — the type of question that’s really best dealt with in person. Essentially I was looking for connectivity options for my cousin’s upcoming trip from Europe. She’ll be here for five weeks, but plans to travel in Canada as well as the US. Connectivity — while not essential — is definitely an exceptional convenience when available.

So I went to the Verizon Wireless store.

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Connectivity and the Technology to Use It

My site was down.

Worse, Ask Leo! ( was, instead of displaying its content, displaying sensitive configuration information including the username and password to the master database.

And even worse … I was out of the office, running errands.

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Yes, I’m grateful for World of Warcraft.

Actually I’m grateful not just for the class of entertainment and diversion it provides, but also for reasons which will become very clear.

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Keeping the Wheels On

Everytime I get sick, or hurt myself — which fortunately isn’t that often for either — I end up reminding myself to be grateful for my generally good health when I’m feeling better.

Then, of course, I completely forget as the fog or pain or whatever lifts and I go on living my life.

I’m not sick. I haven’t hurt myself. It’s time.

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The Warmth of Friends

… we thank
thee most of
all for warmth of
friends who come to call…

That’s a portion of a prayer that I memorized as a child. Not because I had to, but because it was printed on a decorative cutting board that was always in our kitchen or dining room. I was always looking at it, and it stuck.

Now, these many years later, the verse on friends rings truer than ever.

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Working For Yourself

When you’re a “solopreneur”, as it’s now refered to — an individual working for yourself, especially online – you can look at each week either of two ways:

  • Every day is a potential day of work. Weekends are nothing special; they’re just another couple of days.
  • Every day is a potential day off. Weekdays are nothing special either.

It requires some self-discipline, but I’m exceptionally grateful for both ways of looking at things.

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What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

In 1983 I was working for a small company making microprocessor-based data entry terminals. I’ve often referred to it as being on a “reverse growth” trajectory.

When I started they were 25 employees strong. When I left there were 5. When I started I was the latest addition to the three person software department. When I left, I was the software department. (And, no, it wasn’t me, I swear!)

You get the idea. The writing was on the wall well before I left, so I’d started keeping my eyes peeled. And I encountered an advertisement in the local paper.

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Halfway There

Today marks the half-way point in my “60 Days of Gratitude” project. If you’re slogging through with me in this little exercise … well, I’m grateful you’re here. 🙂

Today, I’m also grateful for the grateful.

Let me explain…

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Veterinary Medicine

Pictured above is Dagmar. She’s a 13+ year old Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

Dagmar has lymphoma, a type of cancer.

What makes Dagmar remarkable is that as I write this she’s been in remission for well over a year and a half. Later this year we’ll celebrate two years since diagnosis. That’s well above average, and definitely puts her at the far end of the bell curve of cancer survival.

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An Abundance Of Information and Opportunity

We have, today, available at our fingertips a wealth of knowledge that was unthinkable just a few decades ago. While it’s not exactly as he originally envisioned it, Bill Gates’ “Information At Your Fingertips” has come to pass in ways that most of us would never have considered 20 years ago.

And yet we take it all for granted. Bill Murray captured it correctly just a few years ago: “My iPhone has 2 million times the storage of the 1969 Apollo 11 spacecraft computer. They went to the moon. I throw birds at pig houses.”

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It’s Good to be A Geek

It’s something I’ve said on many occasions: it’s good to be a geek. It’s good to be comfortable with and somewhat knowledgeable about technology. It opens doors, makes classes of problems not problems at all, and just generally makes my life more interesting and fun.

It’s also what allows me to help others; from Ask Leo! to select friends and neighbors, my comfort with technology serves me well and allows me to serve others.

Though I do wish more people weren’t quite so timid when it comes to technology — it could serve them better as well.

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A mastermind group is a peer-to-peer mentoring concept used to help members solve their problems with input and advice from the other group members. —Wikipedia

This post will have to be intentionally vague on specifics, for reasons which will become clear.

In 2001 I was invited to join a mastermind group of online internet entrepreneurs. Doing so changed my life.

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I chose good parents.

While there are a lot of things we can, and often should, do to keep ourselves healthy and long-lived, there are two that are major influences that are completely out of our control: genetics and random chance.

I keep seeing reports that some are starting to believe that it’s chance — the luck of the draw — that’s responsible for more cancer than previously understood. I guess I’m grateful for my luck so far, but honestly … it’s my genes I appreciate more.

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Power of Attorney

One of the greatest gifts my parents ever gave me was power of attorney.

I know, it doesn’t sound particularly romantic, or fun, or even special, but I can tell you that it was incredibly pragmatic and saved me no end of trouble when I finally needed it.

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