My 2011 - Happy New Year 2012

My 2011 – Happy New Year 2012

Happy New Year
Let us defer talking about the New Year for a moment and give more than a passing nod to 2011. The best years are like cocktail trees, and 2011 was no exception.

On some level, we all like annual “best” and “worst” lists. They offer guidance of where we might (notice I say might not should) have gone and—this is the best part—can make us feel smart by confirming our real-time choices. As much as I love a list-suggested missed album (how did the Black Keys’ El Camino get so big, so fast…and do they know that’s NOT an El Camino in the photos?) or an overlooked movie (how is Rise of the Planet of the Apes on “best” lists when the trailer looked so scary and uninteresting?); it is all the more gratifying to have jumped on early (such as Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris and The Decemberists).

Be that as it may, I have assembled a less conventional list of my own Top 10 for 2011 (quick note: why did some critics feel obliged to foist an eleventh list item on us this year? This sort of list creep will render lists unreadable by 2015).

1) Fogel’s Focus launches. My personal corner of the Internet launched as a twice-monthly email and a website. I kept my green promise and didn’t mail you useless pieces of paper. Thank you for reading and commenting on my emails and web posts. This fulfilled a long desire to share both my thoughts and photos.

2) Three-Hour Marathon. En route to my goal of running 26.2 miles in under three hours, I ran 3:00:27 on October 2 in Milwaukee. This cemented in my mind that the goal is for real. I am giving it another shot on January 15 in Houston. Stay tuned.

3) 1957 Yashica Mat. A good friend gave me the working antique historic camera I used for the photo above. It has changed my approach to taking photos by slowing me down and making me think (I can always do more of that).

4) Historic Mortgage Rates. 2011 was the year of numbers like 2, 3, and 4 appearing to the left of the decimal point. Expect that to continue in the near term.

5) Green Bay Packers win the Super Bowl. This was exciting in my house. Maybe not in yours.

6) Coffee. Coffee in some form finds its way onto my list annually. This year I discovered Ipsento in Chicago. The coffee is roasted on site, is delicious, and the people who serve it are great.

7) Family Driving Trip. It was typical family fare, but our stop at Gettysburg; my run with a high school cross-country team in Morgantown, WV; and even my trite run to the Rocky Statue left lasting memories.

8) Great Family Stuff. A stirring Bat Mitzvah performance by my eldest, coupled with good report cards, base hits, soccer goals, and touchdown passes (both thrown and caught) all made 2011 great.

9) Paul Simon at the Vic. My hesitation to buy a ticket for the large-venue Chicago Theatre show was rewarded by a subsequently announced show at the much cozier Vic. My wife and I shared an amazing performance that I had waited 25 years to see.

10) Two Dogs, One House. In January, we added a second dog — a Lab mix, rescue dog we named Woodson (for future Hall-of-Fame Packer cornerback Charles W). I start each day playing with the dogs regardless of weather.

Welcome to 2012
A new year, and a chance to start fresh and make new choices (put something new in your cart). If your year will include the purchase of a new home or you are interested in learning about mortgage rates and programs that are right for you, please let me know. Thank you for reading and sharing this with friends who may be buying or need to refinance.

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