Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I know, I know, it’s technically the day after Thanksgiving here in the US, but as an American I reserve the right to take a single-day event and extend it over an entire 4-day weekend. Therefore, I will continue to be thankful for random things clear until next Monday, when I drag my sorry carcass back to work and give up being thankful for anything but caffeine. In that spirit, here is a quick list of the things I am currently feeling very thankful for:
- My friends who allow me to infiltrate their family holidays and feed me all the Tofurkey I can eat (approx. two slices followed by eighteen helpings of cornbread stuffing and half a pie).
- The same friends, who support the silly, overly optimistic things I do with my spare time, like Tracy who has helped pull together the calendars. Last week, I came up with a fun skeptical project to try out. I mentioned it to my friends, who immediately began troubleshooting, offering advice according to their expertise and offering to help in a variety of ways. If it weren’t for their unwavering encouragement and help, I’d still be spending my evenings playing Internet poker. And making a lot more money than I am now, of course, but not really helping anybody else in the process. Except my bank manager. I’ll stop there so I can continue to be thankful.
- The readers of this site and listeners of the podcast, who also offer help and encouragement on a scale that constantly surprises me. I get dozens of emails a week letting me know how I’m helping and offering ideas on how I can help even more. When I know I’m unable to do something, I realize that I can just send out a call for help, and people will step forward to help. Diane, who helps organize submissions for the site, Donna who runs the book club, Beleth, TJ, and JD who moderate the forums, James and Zach who offer great legal assistance, Cam who is redesigning the site, Imrational from the Skepchick forum who is helping us with a cool project, Wendy Chao who has graciously offered to help with yet another cool project in the works, and all the people who have come out to the Boston lectures and introduced themselves. And of course, I won’t forget the hundreds of people who have ordered Skepchick and Skepdude calendars. It feels good to know that I’m helping create something that other people also enjoy.
- The other skeptics who continue to inspire me with the cool stuff they do, like James Randi, Phil Plait, Ben Goldacre, Rodney Anonymous, Michael Shermer, Richard Dawkins, Richard Wiseman, the funny folks at Rinderpest, the crazy Skeptics in the Pub, the gorgeous Jennifer Ouellette, a crapload of people in the most recent Skeptic’s Circle, and of course all the rest of the guys on the podcast. I’m happy to be able to call a lot of these people friends. Not the podcast guys, of course — they will always be my hated enemies in order to heighten the tension on each show.
- My former landlady, who allowed my bathroom ceiling to collapse and then told me that if I didn’t like it, I could just leave. Just leaving was the best idea ever! Thanks, former landlady.
- My few friends and family who don’t call themselves skeptics and think I’m a little weird for devoting all my time to such a venture. I appreciate the way they seem to accept me as idiosyncratic, as opposed to just delusional.
- All the people in the calendars! Yes, some of these bullet points overlap. No, my former landlady is not in the calendar though she was skeptical of my two-year claim that the heat didn’t work properly.
- My boss, who lets me post things like this in between huge projects because he knows my work is better when I am happy.
So, happy Thanksgiving everybody!