Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Prediction time

One of my favorite sports is making predictions (and seeing if I am right (though I hope I am wrong this year)).  Most of my predictions are from my research and work but some are indeed more akin to 'gut' feeling (though based on some evidence).  Let's go through some of my favorite predictions:

  1. The USA economy continues to stagnate (and may even go into decline again).  The USA industrial sectors have not yet caught up to the realities of the new world economy.  Until further emphasis is placed on knowledge-based industries and away from traditional 'industrial' areas the economy will continue to flounder.  In order for the USA to once again rise into prominence, education and innovation must be emphasized ans supported.
    1. In order to create a stable economic base, the USA Government should make some unpopular choices.  For example, one could fix the deficit by: reducing defense spending by 10%; implementing a 2% national sales tax; and cutting the mortgage interest deduction in half.
    2. As a result of this, the average American will continue to see a lowering of their quality of life while the gap between the rich and poor continues to expand.
  2. Geo-political relations between EU nations and the Middle Eastern and African countries will become increasingly tense.  This has the potential for potential disaster.  Increased terrorism, increased social tensions and scape-coat politics will rear its ugly head.
  3. The Toronto Maple Leafs will continue to break my heart (along with the Raptors and Blue Jays).
  4. Tablet computers will become more prevalent.  Already tablet sales are showing a staggering rate of adoption.  This trend will continue while the traditional desktop computer continues to disappear.
    1. Also, do not sleep on 3D TV becoming a major force within the entertainment spectrum.
  5. We are in for a heck of a year weather wise in North America.  This year will see drought conditions through most of the breadbasket this year followed by increased hurricane activity for those on the Atlantic and Gulf Of Mexico coasts.  
  6. China will have a very difficult year.  First, there are large tensions with its Asian neighbors over its growing power and influence.  Second, there are increasing tensions within the country.  The economy there is beginning to slow and the political structure is being to show fractures.  This is going to be a very challenging year for the country that is growing into being a superpower whether it wants to be or not.
  7. The NFL will not be locked out while the NBA will have a lengthy work stoppage.  The NHL will move back to being on ESPN.  
So there you go.  My seven predictions for this year.  I truly believe that unfortunately, this will be a year of great turmoil which I hope does not become catastrophic.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Perspective - A Holiday Review

This holiday season could be perceived as trying.  My mom unfortunately had a heart attack with that our house in in rebellion (furnace issue) and the car needs work.  Add to that the usually stressful son with Autism, the two month old and the 12 year old with the fun pre-teen attitude in the house and life is pretty ummmm... interesting.  With all that being said, I would not have traded this holiday for anything.

My mom is okay.  I am happy that if she had to have this happen to her, it happened here where she had her support network.  It also provided a nice reminder of how much we care for each other as a family.  When something 'bad' happens we 'circle the wagons' and really take care of one another.  I do not know about you but that for me is what family should be about.  Though it was a scary and sobering incident, it also provided the reminder of what the holidays (and really everyday) should be about, celebrating and cherishing your loved ones.

As for the house rebellion.  Murphy's law dictates that when one is broke, things will break.  In this case, we had  a furnace issue and a car repair.  In each case though, safety features worked properly to ensure that a minor issue did not turn into a major one.  In the case of our furnace, yes, the circuit was blown and we had to get it replaced but it worked as it should making sure there was no fire.  In our car, the tire light went on and I was able to get it fixed before it blew (and you know it would have happened with my wife and the two boys in the car).  Yes, between our house and car an extra $1000.00 we didn't have was spent, but gaining perspective means that I understand that money is just that.  I am thankful that these devices worked as they should to ensure that my loved ones were safe.

In perspective, this holiday season I got the best gift of all.  My family safe, loving and together.