2011 in review @ Churbuck.com

Predictions, reviews, resolutions …. such a cliche. But here goes some rear-mirror-ego-blogging:

  1. January:  I won a local indoor rowing race, making me the fastest old man ergometer rower on Cape Cod. I was very self-impressed. Good start to the year.
  2. February: I placed 14th in the Crash-B sprints (world champs of indoor rowing) and was disappointed. I then joined CrossFit Cape Cod which was one of the wisest decisions of the year. I started a 6 month consulting project with a large PR firm to study options around social media metrics.
  3. March:  renewed business travel for the consulting job — Washington, NYC and Chicago. Planted my peas on St. Pat’s.
  4. April: clone of March. The person who contracted me for the PR consulting job quits, thereby sealing the fate of the engagement.
  5. May: clone of March, launched my sailboat, planted my garden. Didn’t fish. In fact, didn’t fish once in 2011 which is a bad thing that must be rectified. My daughter graduates from the University of Virginia, proud doesn’t begin to describe how I feel.
  6. June: I climb my first White Mountain (Mount Madison) and wind down the consulting gig with the PR firm which runs through August. Start my first year as president of the Association of the Cotuit Mosquito Yacht Club, confirming to myself that I need to volunteer my time more.
  7. July began new job as an ecommerce/digital strategy advisor with two partners out of New York. Begin commuting to NYC and working out of midtown on an interesting project that cannot be discussed.
  8. August: slow month, lots of boat time, end of a terrible Cotuit Kettleers season (there is always next year, and 2010 was awesome) lots of headhunter inquiries for various marketing, ecommerce jobs.
  9. September: Hurricane (almost) Irene hits and the boat survives. The commute recommences to NYC. Our long-time and beloved pet, Ned the Skye Terrier falls sick with cancer and has to be put to sleep.
  10. October: clone of September, project begins to accelerate. After some soul searching pass on the marketing ecommerce jobs and decide the advisory life is the life for me. Boat is out of the water.
  11. November: to and fro from Cotuit to Manhattan, help youngest son with college applications.
  12. December: last visit of the year to NYC, great X-mas holiday in San Francisco with my in-laws. All children together for the first time in over a year.

Analysis: 2011 was a year of focus on trying to get in shape, reading some great books, getting my head into the impending empty-nest space, making a decision not to return to corporate life after four bureaucratic, PowerPoint-driven years of stifled creativity inside of a Fortune 100 company and being very zen and invigorated by the good will of two extremely smart business partners, a wonderful wife, and three children who suddenly have turned into three adults, the eldest two in California living on their own which is no small feat in a terrible economy for the 20-something generation. I also found myself drifting away from the technical noise of modern life, backing off from television, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, email and all that digital noise and focusing instead on this blog, good books, and more introspection versus the extroversion of the past. In all, I feel stronger thanks to CrossFit, and more relaxed about my place in the world than ever before.  Complacent? I don’t think so. 2012 is when my wife and I are going to be childless for the first time in 25 years, when Cotuit becomes more of an option and less of a must and the possibility of relocating to NYC or California increases.

Predictions?: Romney wins. Euro zone collapses. US unemployment eases 1 percentage point but the economy remains bogged down by the real estate collapse and lack of manufacturing jobs. S&P finishes 2012 up slightly. No PC maker makes any headway against the iPad. Facebook plateaus as more social media fatigue sets in. Some backlash against living life in front of screens, complete car phone usage bans begin to take hold nationally, e-books take off, print publishers consolidate and fight for relevance in the face of direct-publishing model, cable and satellite TV connections begin to decline as cords are cut and people go to IPTV. NYT reports increased earnings due to pay-wall success.

My favorite posts of 2011 out of the 120 I wrote:

January:  Erg racing, Data Havens

February: Mountain climbing books, Why My Next Tablet Won’t Be an iPad

March:  NYT Paywall (most read post of the year due to MSM pickup), Norman Hobday: RIP

April: Ad-Supported Hardware, on CrossFit, The Boat Shop

May: In which I buy a new/used outboard engine and tell you about it. (May was a slow month)

June:  My annual anti-McMansion rant. Climbing Mt. Madison, on local citizenship

July: 100 Days of Burpees (which I did not complete)

August: How to Fix Yourself, Irene

September: The Art of the Note,  Goodbye Ned, The Worst Board in History, Beach Bridge, Borges

October: Head of the Charles, Steve Jobs

November: The Wreck on Horseshoe Shoal, Zombies, Novels of Charles Pendexter Durrell

December:  Mola Mola

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