25 Days of Thankfulness

I have decided write down at least one thing that I am grateful for every day until Christmas. Sometimes there will be a lot to write. Other times it may just be a sentence or two.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Bringing this full circle, I'm grateful for my family. I hope you have (or had, depending on when you are reading this) a merry Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2021

I know that I should probably write this tomorrow, as tomorrow is Christmas day, but I felt compelled to write this today. I'm thankful that God had such mercy and compassion upon his creation that He sent His only Son into this world to ultimately live as man and pay the price for man's sinfulness. We as humans certainly do not deserve God's mercy, yet we receive it every day. God gave us the ultimate gift in Jesus. Luke 2 says:

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

I am thankful for the kindness of others. Additionally, while I love my job and am very grateful for it, I am thankful to be off from now through the rest of the year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Today, I am thankful for the Bible. Timothy 3:16 (NIV) says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”. If you want to know more about the beginnings of the Bible, Andy Stanley has you covered.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Coinciding with yesterday's theme, today I am thankful for the game of Tetris. It is my favorite game of all time, and I play it at least once a day. Most of the time I play it on the old Gameboy Pocket referenced below. Sometimes I play the NES version. Sometimes I play it on my phone. It's just an awesome game that I cannot get enough of.

Monday, December 20, 2021

I am thankful for products that last and aren't susceptible to planned obsolescence. Take for example the Gameboy Pocket. With its black-and-white, non-backlit screen, it is outdated by modern portable gaming system standards. There are no downloadable games, and there is no connectivity. Yet, that lack of connectivity is a wonderful thing. The Gameboy Pocket is a device with one purpose, and even twenty-five years later, I can pop two AA batteries in my Gameboy Pocket and play Tetris. Everything still works. (It's been pretty well taken care of.) There are no software updates or security vulnerabilities. Ninetendo could not remotely brick it. It just works.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

I'm thankful that we were able to celebrate Christmas with my wife's sister, her husband, and their kids yesterday. Lots of good food and desserts. A good time was had by all.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

I am thankful for another day of life. I am also thankful for good teachers, like my beautiful wife. Teachers as a whole are vastly overworked and underpaid, and yet they have such an important job.

Friday, December 17, 2021

I am thankful for sunsets and beaches, like this one. I know that kind of sounds cliché, but I am a beach person (as opposed to a mountain person), and this morning, I woke up really missing the beach. While I cannot go there right now, I can be thankful for great memories at the beach, and I can look forward to the summer. I think I'll listen to Jimmy Buffett today while I work.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Today, I'm thankful for our two cats, Henry (Meowbert) and Violet. I have to be honest. I did not want these cats. When, I say this, dear reader, you'll probably think of me as a terrible person. However, I always considered myself to not be a pet person, and if I had to be a pet person, I was a dog person. (During the twenty years that we have been married, my wife and I have pretty much always had a dog. She loves dogs, and I love her.) However, it turns out, I really do like these cats. Yes, they are complete butt holes, and they destroy so many things, from carpet, to charging cables, to Christmas tree ornaments, to whole paper towel rolls, to lamps, to leather couches — the list can go on, but they are so cute and cuddly that in a strange and probably twisted way, it makes all of that destruction sort of okay. Plus, they make my wife and daughter very happy, and that makes me happy.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

I'm thankful for the car rides with my sixteen-year-old, Lucas, to and from school. I let them choose what we listen to on these car rides, and every day I am exposed to new music that I would not normally listen to — everything from Hyperpop to “modern” rappers to Japanese jazz. Lucas' musical tastes are eclectic, and I love that.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Today I'm thankful for the blog. With the advent of social media, the blog has sort of taken a back seat. But I think blogs are still very important, and there are still a lot of interesting people out there writing about interesting things. In no particular order, here are a few of my favorite blogs:

Execupundit — Lots of good stuff here on Michael Wade's site. I love that he still uses Blogger.

PCI Guru — A mutual friend, Art Cooper, introduced me to Jeff Hall's site. Jeff really is the “PCI guru”. He has probably forgotten more about PCI DSS than I know. If you have anything to do with PCI DSS, this site is a must read.

Patrick Rhone — I first discovered Patrick back in 2010, I think. At the time, he was hosting a fantastic site called Minimal Mac. Patrick is a super nice guy, and his current blog always offers interesting links and great advice. Patrick is also an author and home improvement guy. His other blog, Whoa to Wow, is a really interesting look into restoring an old house.

Seth Godin — Really good advice here. I love the positivity Seth brings to the table. I usually come away from reading Seth's posts inspired to be a better person.

Greg Morris — I recently found Greg's site, and I really appreciate his take on tech topics.

Birchtree — Matt Birchler's site is mainly tech focused. I found his blog after coming across his YouTube channel, A Better Computer. Like Greg Morris, I really appreciate his thoughts on all things tech.

Daniel Miessler — Daniel has a podcast and a newsletter too. His site is mainly security focused, and being a security practitioner myself, I really appreciate his insights.

Dave Rupert — I found Dave's site a few years back from Twitter. At the time he had switched to Windows, and the trending hashtag #davegoeswindows initially got my attention. Dave is a web designer and developer and is really talented.

Schneir on Security — Bruce Schneir is a super smart and respected security guy. His site is a must read for anyone in the security field.

Monday, December 13, 2021

This morning it is 27℉ outside. As such, I am thankful for heat, as I am very much not a cold weather person.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Yesterday was rainy and yucky. I'm thankful for sunny weather this morning.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

This one is sort of superficial, but I'm thankful the iOS update issue I was having late Friday seems to have resolved itself. I'm running the iOS 15 public betas, and yesterday while I was out and about, I received a notification that an update was ready. However, when I got home and went to install said update, which I thought was already downloaded based on the original message received, it instead tried to check to see if an update was there to download, and I received an error that said it was unable to check for the software update. I tried again after rebooting, but that did not work. I deleted my beta profile and rebooted. I then reinstalled the beta profile, but I received the same error after rebooting. Eventually, the update was finally able to be retrieved and installed later on in the evening, and I'm thankful I did not need to factory reset or anything like that. I guess the issue was on Apple's end (update server)?

Friday, December 10, 2021

Today I'm thankful that it's Friday. Friday has always been my favorite day of the week, and this partuicular week, while it has been a good week, has been a long week. I'm also thankful that I have most of my Christmas shopping complete. I have a few surprises for my wife this year that I think she will really like, and she currently has no idea what I'm getting for her. This year I have put a lot of thought into it.

I'm also thankful that I can still see out of my right eye. I was putting one of the ribbons back on the bottom of the tree from where one of the cats had pulled it off. As I was bending down, I stabbed myself in the right eye with a tree branch. It hurts (and I think I got some sap in my eye), but I can still see out of it.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

I am thankful for the humble composition book. Not only is the composition book ubiquitous, it is the Goldilocks of notebooks. At roughly 9 ¾ inches tall by 7 ½ inches wide, the composition book is not too small and not too large. As opposed to a loose leaf notebook, its pages do not easily fall out. The pages of the composition book also accept most ink types well. While I have gone back and forth between the humble composition book and more expensive journal or executive style notebooks, I always find myself coming back to the composition book.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

I got my COVID booster this morning. As such, I am thankful for all of the doctors and scientists who were able to create, test and roll out COVID vaccines in such a short time period.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

December 7 will always be “a date which will live in infamy”. I'm thankful for the men and women of the “greatest generation” who valiantly fought and held down the home front for the United States during World War II.

Monday, December 6, 2021

I am thankful that my company invests in their employees. As a cyber security professional, staying up to date on the ever changing technology and threat landscape is essential, and my company has provided all employees with free access to Udemy.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

I am thankful for a roof over my head and reliable transportation.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

I am thankful for open source software, and specifically all of the hard working developers of the Linux kernel and the various projects that allow Linux distros to be able to be used by end users like me. If it were not for open source software and their developers and maintainers, my 2008 iMac, which I still use just about every day, would essentially be a desktop paper weight, since Apple long ago ceased providing software updates for this machine.

Friday, December 3, 2021

Christmas is probably one of my least favorite holidays for a variety of reasons. However, today I am thankful for Christmas movies, but not the sappy ones like It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street, mind you. I enjoy a good Christmas comedy. They help make the season just a bit brighter.

My favorite Christmas movies in no particular order are National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, Earnest Saves Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the newish one), and Die Hard. (Yes, Die Hard is a Christmas movie. ;-) ) I also really enjoyed 8-Bit Christmas this year.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For grace you have been saved through faith; and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast”. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”. These two verses are incredibly comforting because I don't know about you, but I am far from perfect. Today I am thankful that there is absolutely nothing I can do to “earn” my salvation. Salvation is not earned by doing a certain number of good works or being perfect all the time. In fact, it is impossible for us as humans to live a perfect and sin free life. I'm thankful that God sent Jesus to die for everyone's sins, and that all we need to do is choose to believe, repent, and ask God to save us. Romans 10:13 says, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved”.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Today I am thankful for my family. I have been blessed with a beautiful, absolutely wonderful wife, two awesome sons, and a delightful daughter. I often make the mistake of taking my family for granted, and I shouldn't. I love them and would be lost without them.