Turning four

Daniel turned four yesterday. The kid is getting huge but is still so sweet. He is the luckiest middle child. Instead of being forgotten in the middle (overshadowed by his older brother or ignored because his baby sister hogs all the attention), he gets best friends on both sides–a loving big brother to look up to and a sweet little sister that shadows him everywhere.

I posted when Daniel turned three and turned two, and it is baffling that it is already past time to post his birthday well wishes. Gabi also wrote some sweet words about our son on Facebook and included another picture of him in his Iron Man costume–which he’d probably always wear if we let him.

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Calvin and Hobbes Awaken

Brian Kesinger, a story artist at Disney animation, created a great collection of Star Wars: The Force Awakens drawings done in the style of Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes.

#Rey and #bb8 love sledding down the dunes of jakku! #mashup #calvinandhobbes #theforceawakens #StarWars

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#poedameron deals with the bullies of the first order. #calvinandhobbes #starwars #mashup #kyloren

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#finn and #Poe's escape from the star destroyer did not go as smoothly as planned. #calvinandhobbes #starwars #mashup

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More from the intrepid spaceman Finn! #calvinandhobbes #starwars #finn #spacemanspiff #rathtar

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Demographic rules

Age and productivity have an out-sized effect on the global economy. The challenge of the next hundred years is to figure out how fewer workers can support an increasingly older population. Greg Ip wrote an in-depth exploration in The Wall Street Journal of how shifting demographics are changing the global economy.

Ever since the global financial crisis, economists have groped for reasons to explain why growth in the U.S. and abroad has repeatedly disappointed, citing everything from fiscal austerity to the euro meltdown. They are now coming to realize that one of the stiffest headwinds is also one of the hardest to overcome: demographics.

Alien optimism

I really enjoyed the optimism Matt Damon exudes in his performance in The Martian. He stays positive and focused on solving every problem he encounters even the most hopeless of circumstances.

Fifteen things I’m thankful for in 2015

Last year I wrote a post of Fourteen things I’m thankful for in 2014. This has been another year filled with new challenges and joys, and I’m glad to be able to share another list of blessings. Here are some of the things I’m thankful for from 2015:

  1. For my wife who took good care of me all year, especially during the difficult times where she faithfully kept the ‘for worst’ part of our vows
  2. For a vacation with good friends to Cancun to celebrate friendship and an end of a hard summer
  3. For getting a great new job with wonderful coworkers at an amazing company just when I needed it most
  4. For taking my family to my sister Kelly’s wedding and spending time with my parents, sister, and new brother-in-law
  5. For a new iPad (for reading comics) and new iPhones (for everything else)
  6. For how the Star Wars movie reminded me of the great things of my childhood and gave me the opportunity to share that joy with my kids
  7. How Mad Max reminded me to confront problems rather than drive yourself crazy trying to run from them
  8. For fun work trips to exotic (and not so exotic) locations — Stamford, London, Orlando, Dallas
  9. For heros like Rey and Kara for my daughter to look up to in popular media.
  10. For my oldest son’s amazing progress in learning to read (he has a great teacher)
  11. For my younger son’s unending sweetness
  12. For my baby girl becoming less of a baby and more of a girl
  13. For finding a joy in running and pushing my body to its limits
  14. For another year of avoiding a traditional commute and biking to work
  15. For a ridiculously fun Christmas and New Year’s Eve with the family

This really was an exceptional year, and I’m looking forward to the challenges and joys of 2016.