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Welcome to 2009!

The year 2008 ended quietly in the San Francisco Bay Area. As the result of a lack of TV coverage of New Year’s Eve events in California, those of us who did not attend the big celebrations would never know about the fireworks and bands. We spent the evening celebrating with friends and returned home to bring in the New Year by ourselves. The “bicoastals” could watch 3-hour-old reruns of Times Square, if they chose.

It were as though the Bay Area said, “Year 2008 is over. Bring on the new one!”

New Year’s Day, in contrast, brought several replays of the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, this time, with a 49.5-foot version of Honda’s ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative MObility).

Those folks with 30-GB Zunes :-) were learning that the internal clock of their devices could not handle the 366th day of a Leap Year gracefully. The learning curve is very steep for some folks. :-) (I worked at one place like that – very linear, group-thinking clusters that ignored or distorted input from their senses.) (Note added January 24, 2009: …but see THIS!) Some accompanying articles about a rumored 15,000-person layoff at Microsoft in January and about Apple’s increased total Internet share of about 10% (Mac + iPhone) make me believe that the learning curve is not so steep for others. January 24, 2009 will mark the 25th anniversary of the birth of Macintosh, so 2009 won’t be like 1984. :-)

I had to laugh to myself when I read the title, “2009: Nowhere to go but up” in this article. What a lack of imagination! :-) Things can ALWAYS get worse! :-) Besides, folks who live in their wallets and the artificial world of financial constructs barely touch the real world (of floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, and man-made disasters), anyway.

So what will 2009 be like? I hate to burst the bubbles of people who believe in “experts,” but nobody knows! My best hunch is that 2009 will be what we make of it, and that the two most needed changes are in our thinking (to more positive states of mind) and in our actions (where we put our real-life efforts behind that newly-acquired positive thinking).

From the global financial crisis to global terrorism to global warming, there are some real-life challenges that face ALL of us humans on the planet, and thousands of other species as well, RIGHT NOW. We can either believe that we can resolve these problems and collectively “roll up our sleeves” to do so, or we can face the consequences of our inaction, which should not be too long in coming.

The choice is really ours, and the future depends, to a very large extent, on us.

Let’s make it the very best one that we can!

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

You can view higher-resolution photos (*generally* 7-30 megabytes, compressed) at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. Apparel and other gifts decorated with some of our most popular photos can be ordered from the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Store on CafePress®. Both Shutterfly™ and CafePress® ship to most international locations worldwide! If you don’t see what you want or would like to receive an email when new photos are up on the site, send us an email at

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