2009: The Year In Review

What an odd year it has been, indeed. I got off to a very busy start and due to a number of larger customer projects, worked from 6 a.m to 8 p.m. six days a week for about the first half of the year. This is the primary reason that I have been so absent from here and from many of you; by the time the storm receded I was virtually burned out and became rather seclusive, at least, as much as normal daily life allows. Bouncing back to normal hasn’t completely been a success. In my humble opinion, this was also the cause for my light hypertension, causing my doctor to subscribe beta blockers to lower my bp.

In spring, my Dad stateside, after having successfully battled cancer the previous year, suffered a major heart attack that kept everyone on razor’s edge. Thankfully, he managed to recover and I finally got myself onto a plane in September to spend a week with mom & dad stateside. It was high time in any case, as I also finally got to meet my gorgeous and intelligent niece Kaitlyn,

kaitlyn

who is precocious in such a charming way as to be almost unbelieveable. My sister-in-law is a wonderful woman and I hope my brother knows what he has got in her.

In late spring, I happened upon a Honda Rebel standing around near the house and kinda fell in love with the soft chopper concept. However, the Rebel only comes in 125 or 250 ccm and that is not fast enough for me, I don’t like constantly riding at full throttle. However, seeing that beauty got me searching the used bike ads, and I fell in love with and promptly bought (for an unbelievably good price) this gorgeous 1986 Honda CM400T:

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1983 Honda CM400T

I immediately sold the 10-year old blue Piaggio scooter which I had bought last year as my ride to my part time job. The scooter never started well after standing around for a few days or after cold weather. Some research and a few conversations with a mechanic told me that this was due to the failing of the automatic choke (replacement part price well over 200 €) and I had learned to live with it, however, was not pleased. Needless to say, I was glad when this nice little Honda took its place as my primary everyday transportation. I still have the Honda TransAlp for the trips into the mountains though.

In late spring, my aunt Gisi had to part with the only functioning kidney that she had. She accepted her life of dialysis with good cheer and stuck religiously to her special diet, but the metastases that were discovered in late summer took her from us just five days before Christmas. I was in the car on my way to the hospital to visit her when the call reached me, saying she had passed in the early morning hours, but I continued into Munich to say my goodbyes nevertheless. Her death is a great loss to the entire family, this vibrant, good-hearted and cheery woman who never failed to make anyone laugh, even when she herself was down. It was at the tender age of four and at the wheel of her Ford Transit when I first got to “drive” a car; she was always the most fun of all the aunts because of her willingness to do all kinds of crazy stuff with us nieces. I miss her very much, and still cannot believe that she is gone.

gisi
Love you, dearest Gisi.

It has been a very odd 2009.

As they say in Bavaria, I wish everyone a nice “slide” into the New Year. May 2010 bring you health, happiness and joy.