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It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: Much of 2020 has been an abysmal dumpster-fire of a year.

Between election insanity ongoing political divisiveness and disfunction, systemic racism, economic inequality, the still-raging pandemic and the vast number of individual tragedies that have been caused by it, and the ever-looming disaster of climate change, uncertainty and fears about our future are seemingly everywhere.

In spite of all this — or perhaps because of it — I wanted to list some of the things I am thankful for.

Thankful for Family

I’m thankful for my wonderful, smart, loving wife Cindy, and or amazing and funny born-leader of a son Gabe. There two of them bring me so much joy. I never imagined I would love two people as much as I do, and with each passing year that love has only grown. 🤗

Everyone in my family is healthy. Cindy and Gabe are both doing well. Remote schooling is going fine even though Gabe the extrovert misses in-person classes. Our black pug, Pickles, is awesome and helps keep us sane. We live in the beautiful city of Seattle, and we love our neighborhood. We’re warm and dry and safe.

My extended family are also healthy, with work, roofs over our heads, happy kids, and plenty to eat. We’re all in the Pacific Northwest now, and have even managed to see each other a few times – very carefully – during the pandemic. Cindy’s family are back east, and like mine, they’re also all healthy and generally happy.

I am thankful that we’re all hanging in there through this incredibly challenging time, and have been relatively unaffected by the pandemic and horrible political climate we’ve been living in. Love to all of you!

I Have a Job I Love

In April, I was let go from Rover.com where I’d been working for just over a year, due to the impacts of COVID-19. I immediately made it my full-time job to find work, knowing that many people would be doing the same and there would be a lot of competition. I was amazed at how the tech community very quickly built networks and resources for everyone who now found themselves in the same position as myself. Especially here in Seattle, we really rallied, both for the people we knew personally, and for those we didn’t.

For me, the search ended after about six weeks, when I landed a full-time position with Amazon Music, via a referral from Phil Kimmey who was my manager at Rover, through his cousin who worked at Amazon Music.

Starting a new job 100% remotely hasn’t been without its challenges, but I am loving it so far. And I am incredibly thankful not just for the work itself, but also that I’m again working in a space that overlaps my two passions – technology and music.

America Came Through for Biden

I won’t go into any details. There’s quite enough of that to go around elsewhere on the Internet.

I am extremely thankful that America came through for Biden and therefore for itself. There are still many huge problems to solve, and now that the election is finally behind us and the transition has started, we again have hope that we can make progress on solutions.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and here’s an early toast to 2021! 🍾

P.S.: I almost forgot! We now have multiple vaccines that appear to be highly effective, along with evidence that the immunity they imbue will be long-lasting. Now that America has come through for itself with the election, there’s a very good chance that many or most of us could receive one of these in 2021, and once we’re past the crisis-point in this epidemic, we will be able to take on the other huge issues that face our nation and the world.

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What Trump thinks happened in tonight’s debate against Joe Biden:

What actually happened:

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Two weeks ago I started a new job as a Technical Program Manager at Amazon Music, after sadly having been part of the COVID-19 layoffs at Rover.com back in the end of March.

The collision of music and tech has been a recurring theme for me for decades now, going all the way back to my teenage years when I was teaching myself Microsoft BASIC on my dad’s IBM PC by writing a simple music sequencer.

With the perspective of a few decades, I can look back on my adult life squinting, just a little, and see that this new gig is another chapter in that story I started writing for myself when I was about twelve: Take music … and software … and smash them together to see out what comes out.

It’s exciting to find myself in the supercollider again, still smashing particles of software together in a charged field of music, and looking for order in the creations that spiral out of those collisions. No doubt some of the fallout will be predictable or even mundane, but taking experience as a guide I’m pretty confident I’m going to find novel particles here and there, and maybe even an occasional hint at deeper meaning.

Also for the first time in 18 years, I’m working again at the same company as my friend Brent Simmons who I first met at UserLand Software around the turn of the last milennium. We started our new jobs on the same day if you can believe it, after having both found ourselves without jobs within a just day of each other because of the pandemic.

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