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Dean Landsman's Web Log. A site on which we post matters of interest and concern, plus, of course, humor.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Official 2016 Entry

Whew, got here just in time to make it for this online outpost's annual entry.

2016, what a miserable year.  Musicians died at such a pace, one would think the Grim Reaper was planning a mega concert to raise funds.  Political figures died.  Stars of various sorts died.  Even the Democratic party died.

There were some good things. 

Gary Sanchez made his debut as a NY Yankee.  His bat was phenomenal, hitting 20 home runs, getting 60 hits and batting to a .299 average.  He and the rest of a slew of Yankee Youngsters give hope for a budding Youth Movement to pull the Yankees out of the doldrums caused by long term contracts resulting in aging players and thus a tired and debilitating and often injured team.

Here in NYC an alternative to Uber arose, Juno.  Lower prices!  Happier and better paid drivers!  And those Juno drivers may also get a piece of the company, on an earn-in basis.  This is unlike Uber (and Lyft, Gett, etc.) where the drivers are treated like chattel. 

We saw many plays and music this year.  Special mention for that goes to my sister-in-law Helen, who can get tickets, it seems, to all sorts of great and often unknown or little known gems. She also scores those extra seats that are available (if you subscribe to the right organizations, as she does) for many great performances.  We've been to the ballet, to Carnegie Hall many times, to Alvin Ailey, and other recitals, plus a few historic instruments performances where Mozart or Bach was played on instruments from back in the day when the music was composed.

It was a good year for PDEC.  That's the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium.  I'm the Executive Director, having been the Communications Director prior to that.  PDEC grew in certain ways.  Growth years have their growing pains, part of the process, but PDEC came through stronger and with a businesslike Board of Directors (commonly known in PDEC-speak as the Governance Board) and structure with a path of action for 2017.  In addition PDEC entered into agreements with other non profits in the Personal Data and Identity space, Kantara and OIX.  We signed those agreements at the Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) in October.  Working with those industry colleagues and with the board at PDEC has been very rewarding.

My daughter got her Masters degree this year. That's a big deal!  I'm proud of her and proud for her.  She found a professional path to pursue, one that brings her joy and accomplishment.  Such a deal!  In pursuit of the degree she made excellent contacts and now has working relationships and a road ahead that looks extremely promising.

My son is looking at what's ahead.  He makes his annual trek to NYC for the New Year. There could be big changes coming, but superstition indicates that it isn't wise to discuss it, or even to type about it for publication here.

This year my company enjoyed very good client relationships.  We were fortunate to have repeat business, always a good sign.  In one case it was repeat people-wise, new company.  Another was a new assignment, same client.  And new business came in the form of recommendation and referral, also always nice.  It wasn't the most active year, but it wasn't inactive.

The election left us feeling empty, with a visceral sense of loss and concern for what's to come.  But what led up to it, the Primaries, was no better.  I have a dark and dim view of what's ahead, but won't share that here.  After all, why should I darken your digital doorstep?

Sometime in 2017, provided I remember (it did take me until the 361st day of this year), I might go into it, and let you know if my predictions came true.  Some of them are for past 2017, so it might take more than a year.  I've spoken them and written them in emails to a few people, so there's that.  This isn't just an idle blog assertion.

This was a peculiar health year.  Mrs. Yankfan deserves an award for dealing with me and my maladies.  I was laid up with mysterious headaches for awhile early in the year.  Went to a neurologist who put me through any rounds of tests.  A zillion tests, it seemed.  The headaches were terrible. After all the tests showed it wasn't any number of dreadful things (brain cancer, brain tumor, Lymes Disease, stroke or mini-strokes, heart attack or mini-infarctions, and a host of other less harrowing possibilities), he said it seemed a better idea to treat it rather than keep trying to figure it out.  Treatment was medication he wanted to try out slowly, to work out how much to give me at what dosage during the day.  We worked it out, and the headaches went away.  That's the good news.  The bad news, however, is that with the medication came weight gain.  And the weight gain persisted.

I visited my regular doctor for a different reason and she asked about the weight gain.  I hadn't associated it with the headache medication, but that was the only change I'd made.  No diet change no other change.  She suggested I see an endocrinologist, who turned out to be very much in demand, the sort of doctor one waits 8 months for to get an appointment.  By luck (and a timely cancellation) I got one for later that week.

He reviewed my meds, looked at the medical history I'd provided, and suggested a change in headache meds.  He also had some dietary ideas and suggestions for handling other issues I have.  Well, bingo!  It's working, and over the months since then I've lost all the weight the headache meds added, and taken of a bunch more.  My blood sugar is under control and I continue to lose weight.  I have a constant battle with the insurance company, as they want to argue about almost every medication prescribed for me, but we plow through and get by.

It's well worth pointing out that this is not some BS diet, or drinking shakes or nuking fake food. He only slightly modified my regular diet, eliminated a few things, and told me to eat smaller portions.  Following his suggestions proved to be easy, and the results came rapidly.

Since then I've developed some odd stomach problem.  You by all means do not want details on that.  It is every bit as gross as you think.  I'm still stuck with it. Not much of an appetite, not keeping much food down.  Had a zillion more tests, still no clue what it is.  And, get this, stomach problem, but I've lost my voice! I can type, sure, but I can't speak. No voice whatsoever.  I can whisper.  That's that.

Makes the phone hard to use.

And that's this year's Welcome to Deanland (the blogspot version) entry.