December 2008

It's been a year (or two) of firsts for me. Most exciting was the arrival of my first niece, Drue Elizabeth (Pete & Dena), 18 months ago. Her brother, Peyton, and her cousin Nick (Phil & Elaine) both started pre-school this fall; her cousin Trevor (Linda & Mike) is enrolled in kindergarten at my alma mater. My refrigerator door continues to overflow with pictures of my three cute nephews and adorable niece.

In February, I was on stage for the first time since college: the Lakeside Performing Arts Company produced The Odd Couple (female version) as its second show at the new Whitmore Lake high school theater; I played Manolo Costazuela. For LPAC's two summer productions, I've helped build the sets and worked backstage.

Performing firsts continued after that: in April I played the third trumpet part with the Ypsilanti Community Band in my first concert since high school graduation. In the fall of 2007, the band started holding its weekly rehearsals in the WLHS band room; hearing strains of Finlandia during play practice was too much to resist. Although I find some of the music rather challenging, it's a lot of fun to literally "blow my own horn."

There aren't any particular firsts of note at the office, which given the current economic climate might be a good thing. I've now been at Autodesk almost eleven years and still very much enjoy developing software. There's always something new to learn, right now I'm absorbing new versions of C# and LINQ.

On November 20, I started serving my first four-year term as an elected Northfield Township Trustee (similar to city council). Nearly every weekend during the fall I spent time canvassing door-to-door which paid off on Election Day. The Board meets twice each month; as luck would have it, the meetings are the same night as band rehearsal!

Finally, I'm still living in the first house I bought which is:
    328 N. Pointe Dr., Whitmore Lake, MI 48189
    (734) 449–2985, mail@jdanielsmith.name
This spring, the main level got its first new paint. My moving options are now more limited because as an elected official I have to reside in the township.

Wishing you a very “Merry Christmas” (yes, some politicians will still say that) and a Happy New Year!