I’m amazed that I am again about to write what I learned this year. I feel like it was around the corner when I wrote it last. This year, I found that time files when you are working a great deal. Sure, in general time does feel like it moves in a constant state of speeding up, yet especially if you are in the same place frequently –before you know it time has come and gone.

Consumer spending came back with a vengeance this year, and the economic collapse I expected did not occur. I think we’ve merely pushed it further into the future, every investment professional I know of is concentrating on real assets and resources. This tells me confidence is low in the U.S printing press.

I’m amazed that Douglas Spink was the most searched for term on this site this year…

Looking at my list from last year I can find a few things that I don’t feel differently about; this is a fact of which I am most proud. (the exceptions mainly are #7 in Vegans being morons, and #3 – Scotch being the drink of lions, of course!)

10. To become a man of principals, you must actually live them, rather than just know of them. I was confronted with a lot of decisions this year, many in which I felt divided. Staying on task in regards to my vision of the future, (like Captain Picard ) even when it requires hardship, I believe is the path I’ve been able to maintain. In corollary, what I say is irrelevant when it differs with my actions.

9. I am excessively sensitive, and at times selfish. Very seldom insult people with sincerity because of this fact. I pay a great deal of attention in how I address people, and how I am addressed. It annoys me when people tell me I should be so. I view sensitivity in this context (within the limits of good reason) as a heightened, and evolved sense. It seems the most advanced animals on the planet have the most developed sensitivities.

8. The more virtuous action in regards to human relationships is to be honest as early as possible, delay in any fashion only causes a greater amount of harm in at a later day. This is a large contrast to my previous notions of simply being kind and not expressing my feelings when they conflict with my actions. I have learned that is responsible to inhibit myself from interaction with others that I have no desire to continue for the long term. This was another huge one for me, as I have realized that a large part of maturity is the ability keep communication and action in accord.

7. While scotch is the drink of Lions, Wine is libation of Emperors. I suppose I have always known this, however this year I returned to my passion for grapes in building a private collection.

6. One of the most attractive qualities to me in anyone is to be a hard worker. I am most stimulated by those that I respect. If someone works in a capacity that I don’t find admirable, yet if they are a hard worker, I can still respect them to some degree. Furthermore, you can tell a great deal about a person from the books they they do, or do not read, the media they consume.

5. Art is communication and expression through emotion. I realized this staring at Chaos and Classicism at the Guggenheim (or maybe I read it somewhere…). I think there are people who prefer to communicate primarily through emotion, which is difficult for people like me, who prefer and cherish information. To me, the size, scope, mass, range, and potential of an object is far more fascinating than what feelings it evokes.

4. As I believe everything is temporary, I don’t particularly care for things that are purely based on the opinions of others. There are various exceptions to this, yet things like fashion to me are vapid and not terribly interesting. That said, I have taken the criticism to heart that all I wear are black t-shirts and jeans, recognizing that it is completely true. I talked about this last year… I think the problem is I’d much rather spend my money on artisanal cheese and wine than something to wear.

3. The fear of total economic collapse (on a personal level, as anyone who knows me knows I spend a great deal of time thinking about the apocalypse) that I’ve harbored for a long time now I think is largely subsided. Even in my frequent extended vacations I yearn to get back to some type of work. I think that this will ensure I am never broke, or without good charcuterie.

2. My fascination has always been with the restaurant, and within the restaurant lies my future. I plan on opening my own as well as producing my own wine.

1. There is a feeling that lives in Los Angeles, even in the crammed, over-crowded strip malls, or the vast deserts of the valleys you can feel it. People here want to be happy, and it is infectious. I never thought, as I do now that I would judge other places to live in what i’d have to give up in leaving L.A. I think the near future for this country is a more secular one, I visit other parts of America and I am amazed at how different “the middle” is. How much they like Fox News, Jesus, and carbohydrates. How unhealthy, overweight, uneducated, and parochial they are. I think I will stay on the outskirts for the foreseeable future.