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When Harry Potter’s name emerges from the Goblet of Fire, he becomes a competitor in a grueling battle for glory among three wizarding schools – the Triwizard Tournament. But since Harry never submitted his name for the Tournament, who did? Now Harry must confront a deadly dragon, fierce water demons and an enchanted maze only to find himself in the cruel grasp of He Who Must Not Be Named. In this fourth film adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, everything changes as Harry, Ron and Hermione leave childhood forever and take on challenges greater than anything they could have imagined.

2011: My Year in Review


Last year I did a big post on those that we lost and big news stories. This year, I’m changing formats. I’m focusing more on myself and the changes that have occurred within my life, while still bringing in some of the big stories. I won’t go month by month, I’ll go story by story instead.

2011 brought the biggest change that I could have imagined, and one that I did not plan for. Sure, it was always in the back of my mind that it was possible, but I never expected it to happen. My fiancé decided that she no longer wanted to get married, and subsequently moved out. Yeah, it was a big change. To this day, I am still not 100% sure what the main catalyst for her decision was, nor will I ever truly know. I tried to get her to stay, but it didn’t work. I can’t say that I don’t miss having her around, because that would be lying. I was expecting to grow old with her, despite the fact that she never said she was old, that was my job, to be old. But now it won’t happen. The hardest part is that my best friend decided that I was no longer what she needed. It’s hard to live with that fact. Despite her leaving, I still support in whatever she decides to do. Alas, that was my big story of 2011.

Another thing happened during the year, both of my sisters had kids. My Niece, Zoie, and my Nephew Aiden are rather cute kids. Zoie seems to like me for some strange reason, I’m not sure why. It’s probably my fleece sweatshirt that she like and not really me. I hope to spend more time with them.

World events shaped 2011. From the Arab Spring uprising that began in December of 2010, and continued all the way through 2011, to the Earthquake in Japan, and subsequent Fukushima Nuclear power plant meltdown, and even Osama Bin Laden’s death, and the resignation of Apple Founder and CEO Steve Jobs.

The biggest stories of the year cover a wide range of topics, from big resignations, to high profile deaths, to scandals, and even uprisings and speaking out. The biggest story , that affected me, was the resignation, on August 24th, and death, on October 5th, of Apple’s Founder and CEO Steve Jobs. I’m not afraid to admit it, I cried. Why did I cry, good question. I think I cried because it was a big loss for the technology community, a loss for Apple, and the loss of an icon. Steve Jobs helped Apple push technology forward and setup a company that is envied by many of its rivals. Apple is the juggernaut that every technology company tries to emulate, and re-create the same success for themselves. Steve Jobs will definitely be missed, let’s hope Apple keeps up the momentum. Steve Jobs never took crap from anybody, was a tough individual and knew what he wanted and was not afraid to speak his mind. There are a lot of admirable qualities that Steve Jobs had that one could admire.

The second biggest story is the Death of Osama Bin Laden. On May 2nd, 2011, Osama Bin Laden was killed by US Forces in an attack on his base in Afghanistan. Why is this such a big story, it broke on Twitter before other mediums. It was also big news, because it may had brought some closure to the troops, and families of those who have died fighting for freedom and in trying to bring Osama Bin Laden down. As details of how Bin Laden kept up his communications began to be reported, I found myself wondering why all of this high-technology that we have was fooled by the use of sneakernet. In case you were not aware, Osama bin Laden was holed up in a bunker with 10+ foot high walls, and no telephone or internet connection. How does the most elusive man in the world still communicate without telephone or internet, simple, have a lackey do his dirty work and local internet cafes. That’s how. Billions spent on a war, where the enemy used somebody else to do his dirty work. Way to go US Government.

The third big story that had an impact on my life was the Death of World War II Major Dick Winters. Major Winters was a main character in the 2001 HBO Mini-Series Band of Brothers. Despite never meeting Major Winters, through the mini-series, as well as books regarding the 101st Airborne Division, including his own “Beyond Band of Brothers”, Major Winters was an inspiration for the type of leadership, as well as the type of person that I want to be.

The next story that caused some shock, was the Death of North Korea’s Kim Jong Il. North Korea has been the biggest fear of the US, regarding Nuclear power, since Russia during the cold war. It came as a shock to many, and the story again, broke on twitter.

Another death, which affected me more than Osama and Kim Jong Il, was the death of Actor Harry Morgan. Harry Morgan was Colonel Sherman T. Potter in the show M*A*S*H, and Detective Bill Gannon in Dragnet. M*A*S*H has provided me with countless hours of entertainment, and Harry Morgan will forever be remember for his role in the biggest show featuring the happenings of the Korean War.

One of the most memorable shows from the past 30 years is 60 Minutes. If you watched 60 Minutes for any number of weeks you would know the name Andy Rooney. Andy Rooney was a beloved commentator and satirist. His insights and voice will be missed by many.

The racing world lost a driver this year, Dan Wheldon. Wheldon was only 33 years old when he died from his injuries suffered at the Las Vegas International Speedway. I’m not a big racing fan, but I know he will be missed by the fans.

Singer/Songwriter Amy Winehouse became part of the “27 Club”. The “27 Club” is a club where the members all died at the age of 27. Some others include Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, and Jim Morrison. Winehouse was loved by fans, and had a great career ahead of her, she died too young.

Television lost another famous person, Sherwood Schwartz, creator of the “The Brady Bunch” and “Gilligan’s Island”. He was 94 when he died, but his ideas will live on forever.

Author Lilian Jackson Braun, creator of the book series “The Cat Who…”, died at the age of 97. Her work, like many others, will be read by future generations.

You may not know the name Lynn Hauldren, but you sure know the jingle, 1-800-Empire. Lynn Hauldren, was the face of Empire Carpet. For those in Chicagoland, you will never forget 800-588-2300 Empire.

Anybody who knows anything about car or home stereos, knows the name Harman-Kardon. Sidney Harman, owner of Newsweek, and namesake in Harmon-Kardon died at the age of 92.

Actress Elizabeth Taylor died on March 23rd, she was 79. Not enough can be said about the three-time Academy Award Winning actress.

Other big stories have occurred during 2011, including the end of NASA’s space shuttle missions. When they announced that the Space Shuttle missions would be ending, it was a big blow to America’s space efforts. While it is expensive to send somebody to the moon, it is our mission to explore beyond our boundaries, beyond our planet to see what our Solar System and Universe have to show us. It is a big mistake to cease space shuttle missions, if anything we should have more of them, not fewer.

The last big story of 2011 is the formal declaration, by the United States, that the War in Iraq has officially ended. It was something that came way too late, and should have been done before 2011.

Some final thoughts. A heartfelt thanks goes out of a group of people who helped me through my big story of 2011. Those people include, but are not necessarily limited to, Steffanie Housman, Joel Housman, Alison McQuade, Tori Sproat, Samantha F, Moriah_XO, Joanna Kenyon, Jenn Messina, Jen Clayton, Amanda Parziale and my family. Without you guys, I don’t know what I would have done.

Here’s to 2012. A Year that I hope brings joy and good changes.

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