Merry Christmas to All!

Merry Christmas!

I’m writing this from Karey’s parent’s house in Burgettstown, and while they are wonderful people in every respect, they are not early birds – even on Christmas. So it’s 10:11 AM and the plethora of Christmas gifts are still unopened, and Karey & I are the only two awake in this house of 7. The aforementioned plethora of gifts (as shown above) will have to wait!

I wanted to take a moment, however, and write this post to say Merry Christmas to the many people I hang out with, work with, and talk with over the year. While I know some of the people below don’t celebrate Christmas proper (as they observe different religions), I’m hoping the message of peace and love will be received by all.

Merry Christmas to my parents, Al and Dianne, and Lily the troublemaking cat and Mr. Bird (A parakeet who, in bird years, is the most senior of us all). Thank you for simply everything – I can’t say more!

Merry Christmas to Karey’s family, Dan & Sue, Greg, Scott, and Mark. I couldn’t ask for better in-laws! Also Merry Christmas to Karey’s Aunt Maryann and Uncle Bob (And Mandy!), and my Aunt Lois and Uncle Bud for coming to my graduation!

Merry Christmas to my friends, co-workers, mentors, advisors, assistants, collaborators, followers (and followed!), and a plethora of people that come to mind as I sit here on Christmas Morning. They’re listed below, in no particular order, and of course my Christmas Greetings and wishes are extended not only to them but also their family & loved ones:

  • Steve Jocke
  • Tony Rylow
  • Erika Rylow
  • Maria Gaglio
  • Marie Batteiger
  • Michael Batteiger
  • Jason Dunn
  • JD Jasper
  • Eric Johnson
  • Elke Weber
  • Martine Baldassi
  • Bernd Figner
  • Annie Ma
  • Julie Zelmanova
  • Ye Li
  • Ariana Garrote
  • Ashley Newman
  • The grad students left at U of T – you guys will be done sooner than you think!
  • The grad students at CU – a great group of people to work with and support!
  • Holly Feiler
  • Darius, Ed, Janak, & all the rest of the Thoughts Media Clan
  • Linda, Dave, Jim, & Katie Spurrier
  • Paul Culbertson
  • Mike Fosmire
  • Rebecca Rodriguez, Tara Reineck, and the rest of my former students at U of T!
  • Trella Williams
  • Will Loeffler
  • Jim Bradford
  • My MS MVP homies, as well as the tech writers I’ve worked with, joked with, and hung out with in the past year!
  • My CCD RCIA group at Assumption (Christian, Nester, Ana, Vanessa, Georgina, Marcos, Daisy, and Erik)
  • A slew of old High School friends (and teachers) who have followed me and kept up with my antics!
  • A ton of Twitter Followers (Yes, I suppose even the Spambots, it’s not their fault they’re spammy)
  • A lot of Facebook friends that I can’t begin to type all the names of. It’s following all of your adventures that makes me feel more connected to my past, present, and future goals!
  • The random people who read JonWestfall.Com and the actual humans who have posted comments!
  • And lastly, to anyone I’ve forgotten and even complete strangers (Yes, I’m covering my bases here!): MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Well, I hope that about wraps up this post. Now it’s off to motivate some Himmels to open presents and enjoy the day!

Give Yourself A Present: Less Commercial E-mail

So how do you give yourself this present of less e-mail? You Unsubscribe to legitimate commercial e-mail! And this is the best time of the year to do it. Why? Well because everyone you have any sort of relationship is trying to sell you something this time of year. So you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take the 2 seconds per e-mail item to open it, scroll to the bottom, and hit “unsubscribe” or “manage my e-mail preferences”.

Now I’m sure some people think “Yea… they’ll just send me more!”. While this was true of illegitimate SPAM e-mail in the past, legit companies (the ones who are likely to make it to your inbox) should honor an unsubscribe request. I’ve been designating 2-3 weeks a year “unsubscribe” weeks where each commercial e-mail I see that I’d rather not in the future gets the unsubscribe ax. Over the last year I’ve noticed a marked decrease in e-mail traffic. Most weekend days I get only 5 or so e-mails a day, all legitimate and all directed just at me. On Weekdays, I’ve seen commercial traffic decrease from 3-4 pieces a day down to perhaps 1.

So for the next week go through and unsubscribe (and report illegitimate SPAM as usual to your provider or filtering software). You’ll enjoy the lower inbox counts all year long!