Well, it's the first day of 2009 (why does the late Peter Boyle on "Everybody Loves Raymond" express me so well these days? I keep hearing him say "Holy crap!" in my mind's ear. Two thousand NINE?!? Holy crap!). Time for resolutions for the year to come, and time to thank others for the year just passed.
As far as resolutions are concerned, I have three:
- "Moar Bookshelve"
- New speakers (the old ones were purchased as a temporary stopgap...12 years ago)
- Time to get a mortgage.
And as for people to thank, well, I have lots of those. First and foremost, thanks to everyone who read one or more of our posts in 2008. Incrementally more thanks to regular visitors/readers...and those who comment. I get many people telling me how much they learn from the comments section, and I do too. Some of our comments are as good as our posts (in fact, comments occasionally become posts), so thanks to all of you who put your time, effort and knowledge into them.
Not to be forgotten: everyone who sent me a tip or a link this past year! I try, but don't always reply to all of these (we get several hundred a month). But I do check them all out if I can, and even though many don't find their way on to the site, I really appreciate people taking the trouble to send them. Thanks.
Next, thanks to the small but supportive cadre of intrepid souls who made direct contributions in baldfaced attempts to encourage me. (It worked, obviously.) At the end of 2007 Ken T. donated a dollar a day for all of 2008; now that 2008's history I'll have to remember to ask him whether he thinks it was worth it! At least a dozen people made contributions of more than $100, and several dozen made smaller ones. You all know who you are, and thank you.
Thanks to all of you who bought prints!
And speaking of supporters, many thanks to Michael Tapes and all the rest of our advertisers, who do so much to help support this site.
Last but not least, two important groups of people. First, all those who ordered a lot or a little through our links to Amazon and B&H and our other affiliates this past year. That's the coal that stokes this particular little engine. I know it's not always easy for people to remember to do this, but it's basically what keeps the heat on in my house and food on my kid's plate, so I am grateful. And finally, heartfelt thanks to all of our writers and contributors—Ctein, Carl Weese, Geoff Wittig, Eamon Hickey, Edward Taylor, and many others—the people who wrote posts for us or gave permission for their work to be reprinted here. Much obliged!
A special word to those among our readership who suffered losses in 2008, or have been affected by global strife, natural disasters, setbacks in the bad economy or other difficulties: We're thinking of you.
To one and all: May your troubles wither, your joys increase, and your loved ones be safe and healthy in 2009.
—Mike, TOP's Head Editor, Mucker-Abouter, and Toiler in the Trenches
Featured Comment by Ken Tanaka: "'At the end of 2007 Ken T. donated a dollar a day for all of 2008; now that 2008's history I'll have to remember to ask him whether he thinks it was worth it!' Apparently so, since I've repeated the contribution for 2009. I receive at least as much, and often much more, enjoyment from TOP each day as I do from any number of other sources that cost me at least a buck a day. If I had to choose between satellite TV or TOP I would require at least a day of deliberation to decide. Seriously."
Mike replies: This gives me a chance to thank you in public, Ken. You're very generous and very kind. I should probably pay you, considering that you're one of the site's best commenters! Thanks to you and to everyone else who contributes to TOP in any of the many ways people do so.