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Some Thoughts About Giving Thanks

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Last Saturday the Tugboat Captain and I took what will probably be our final walk in the surf for 2016. The water, which has been getting colder by the week, was barely bearable. It’s possible that we’ll go to the beach again at some point this winter, but I’m pretty sure we’ll keep our shoes on.

These surf walks have been great. In addition to posting photos of them here on Uni Watch, I’ve also shared pics on Facebook, and many of my friends have responded by saying something along the lines of, “Wow, you guys look so happy. Glad everything’s going so well for you!” Maybe some of you have thought the same thing.

The reality is a bit more complicated. Although the surf walks were part of my “Best Summer Ever” mantra, this summer — and, really, much of this year — has not been the best. Among other things: I had a serious medical scare that resulted in surgery; I have a separate ongoing medical issue that has made me feel like I’m at war with much of my own body, and has resisted everything my doctors have thrown at it; I’ve been having major sleep difficulties that have made me feel sluggish during the day and exhausted at night (and have no doubt contributed to the rising number of typos and coding errors on the site lately, ugh); my brother had a stroke; one of my cats had an ongoing medical issue of his own; several people close to me or to the cultural scene where I spend most of my social time passed away; two of my closest friends endured a personal crisis that is now threatening their marriage; the industry I work in has continued its steady death spiral, which is troubling on many levels and has also stymied some creative projects I had hoped to launch; I recently got word that my rent will be increasing by 10%, my health insurance premiums will be increasing by 20%, and my car will soon need repairs that are so expensive that it’ll actually make more sense to just buy a new car; just yesterday I received word that a member of the Uni Watch community had passed away (I’ll have more to say about that tomorrow); the presidential campaign and its aftermath seemed to bring out the worst in a tremendous number of people, which I continue to find incredibly depressing; and, worst of all, my wonderful girlfriend endured a series of work- and housing-related troubles that have made her year and even her future — and therefore our year and our future — very problematic.

I realize that much of this is just the regular up-and-down cycle of life. I also realize there are many people out there — probably including some of you who are reading this — who are going through much rougher times than anything I’ve experienced. I don’t mean to dismiss or be insensitive to anyone else’s troubles, and I certainly don’t mean to sound self-pitying. I’m just saying that a lot of this year has felt like it’s been more uphill than usual — not just for me, but for many of the people and things I love. The walks in the surf have been little oases of bliss within that turmoil, small junctures where the uphill climb leveled out for a few minutes, my troubles melted away, and I could just enjoy the earthy intersection of water, sand, and foot. I’ll miss doing that, at least until spring rolls around.

All of which is a lengthy way of saying that Thanksgiving couldn’t have come at a better time, because it helps put things in perspective. So: I’m thankful that my brother, my cat, and I all came through our respective medical scares relatively okay. I’m thankful that my 92-year-old mom had no medical scares this year at all, and seems like she might actually be the healthiest member of the family at the moment. I’m thankful that while my industry may be in turmoil, I still have a good job, at least for now. I’m thankful that I was able to launch two new creative projects this year — Gromm•It and Key Ring Chronicles. I’m thankful that my favorite team, the team I live and die with, made it to the playoffs. I’m thankful that curling season has started up again, and that my team is playing well. I’m thankful to have so many amazing friends, and that we’re always there for each other during difficult times. I’m thankful that my wonderful girlfriend and I still have each other.

And of course I’m thankful for all the people who continue to make Uni Watch possible, including Ticker assistants Mike Chamernik and Alex Hider; “Collector’s Corner” columnist Brinke Guthrie; membership card designer Scott M.X. Turner; T-Shirt Club designer Bryan Molloy; all our weekend contributors, including Terry Duroncelet Jr., Joe Ringham, Ethan Dimitroff, Rex Henry, Dennis Bolt, Kyle Acker, Leo Strawn Jr., Jim Vilk, George Chilvers, and many others; webmaster John Ekdahl; and, especially, deputy editor Phil Hecken, the most devoted bench coach I could ever hope to have.

Finally, my thanks to all of you for visiting the site, for contributing content, and for putting up with my occasional (okay, maybe not-so-occasional) rants, ups and downs, indulgences, and so on.

If you’re traveling today, be safe. If you’re working today, please accept my thanks for keeping the world spinning while the rest of us have the day off. Me, I’ll be driving out to Long Island to spend the day with my family. However you’re spending your day, I hope it turns out to be a good one. Peace. ”” Paul


Comments (67)

    I heartily concur with my fellow uniwatchers on this point.

    All the best and remember that this humble blog brings uniformity to an ever expanding uni-verse.

    I strongly believe your best days and best works are yet to come and I am most thankful that we will be here to see it all happen.

    Happy Thanksgiving to Paul and everyone else out there in the Uni Watch community. I hope you enjoy your day.


    Probably doesn’t get said enough, but ‘Thank you’. It is so an ingrained part of my day to absolutely refuse to get down to work until I have read your daily posts, that I really can’t start without Uni-watch.

    Best to you and yours.


    Life can be pretty lousy. But I’ve found that the small pleasures are often what keep me going. Uni-Watch is one of them. Thanks, Paul.

    As Jerry said above, thank you for your posts. I look forward to them each and every day. My best to you and your family on this Thanksgiving.


    I’m thankful UNI-watch has daily postings, for the contributions of Paul and his team, and ironically will thank the almighty today for ending the gromm*it project about 3 months too late. ;)

    I’m glad I’m one of those who “get it”!


    Thanks so much for having the guts to venture out on your own and escape the cube farms of corporate America all those years ago. Just a thought that might help with some of challenges you listed above – MOVE! I lived in NYC for 9 years and then came to Memphis for same reasons you cite above. Cost of living for me was cut by 67%. I began feeling better immediately upon moving and the peace of mind I obtained through the monetary savings have had me sleeping like a baby ever since.

    There are some great cities with lots of great culture to offer (as you’ve pointed out in your travel logs). Why not give them a chance and log into UNI-watch from somewhere other than the 718?

    All the best to you, Ma Lukas, Bro Lukas, and the tugboat captain.

    Selah and come to Memphis some time. We’d love to have you!

    Happy Thanksgiving to all, and thanks Paul for being authenticly who,you are. It is good part of what makes this daily journey worthwhile.

    Paul, uniwatch is one of my daily stops on the information superhighway, I really am thankful for your dedication to your followers. I hope 2017 is a better one for you and really, everyone that is dealing with life’s setbacks.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!
    Hope everyone has a better 2017 than their current 2016.

    Happy Thanksgiving everybody and thank you everyone who contributes and makes the site everything I love about it!

    Wonderful thoughts, Paul — and Happy Turkey Day (to all).

    Also, Happy Birthday to George Chilvers across the pond.

    It was both hard and melancholy to read Paul’s words today, as he’s shared much of those thoughts with me throughout the year; knowing him over the years, I know 2016 has been an emotional roller coaster and a difficult one on many levels. But through it all, he’s persevered and still been able to bring all of us the best blog content on the Interwebs, despite all the travails life has brought. We’re all incredibly richer (and thankful) for that.

    I want to echo Paul’s thanks to all the folks on UW who help make the blog what it is — the SMUW guys and others who’ve helped me bring you the weekend (and August) content. Great stuff guys, and thank YOU so much. I couldn’t do it without you.

    And finally, thank you Paul, for all you do (both here and IRL). I could not ask for a better “boss” and friend. Let’s hope the coming year surpasses the current one in every way (and let’s take the curling title on the way there). You’re the best, buddy!

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

    Paul –

    I hear you. I’ve been contemplating the state of my life as we near the end of 2016. In this country, we are (somewhat) prepared for growing up, but we aren’t prepared for growing old. My health matters this year, as well as those of my parents have had me thinking “what becomes of this life once I pass”. I mean I have forty years worth of sports memorabilia that I’d either like for my sons to have (although they haven’t shown interest) or I would like to get them into the hands of a collector that will appreciate them. Do you ever think of that? I mean, what’s going to happen to Uni Watch after you are gone? Will Phil take over the helm? Will we, your devoted followers keep it going? I’m sure when you started this site you had no idea it would take off like it did. It feels bigger than just one or two individuals. Anyway, not trying to be morbid, just being reflective during this holiday time and wondering what the future holds. Have a great Thanksgiving! It’s time for me to put the turkey on the smoker!

    Amen to all that has been written already. Thanks to Paul and the Uniwatch team and community for being a treasured piece of sanity and joy.

    Haaaaaaaappppyyyyyyyy Thaaaaaaaaannnkkksgiving from S… t… L… Marty! What a sight ladies and gentlemen! What a sight!

    And what a site Uni Watch is. It’s the best. Thanks Paul and Phil.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all as well from another Canadian devotee of all things uni-watch. thanks to Paul (and all contributors) for the this wonderful site. all the best for the rest of 2016 and onwards


    From the Great White North, a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and the TC, and to all of the UniWatch communnity south of the border. Enjoy a little TFTS…Turkey for Turkey’s Sake! Thank you for all that you do…

    Paul, for what little it may be worth, I am more thankful for you than for any other single person on the entire internet. For a subject that is so utterly inconsequential to the grand scheme of the universe, your journalistic endeavors here are curious, captivating, often whimsical, and above all else, thoroughly sincere and without pretense in their pursuit.

    As a man who has spent much of his life admiring icons of various industries and subject matters, I find your simultaneous contributions to the sports, fashion, and journalistic enterntianment industries every bit as worthy of iconic status as any man who has ever set pen to paper.

    The notion of the “American Dream” is at best vague and cliched, and at worst, a trite piece of illusory jingoism. Yet, your ability to turn an obscure subject into a career that has brought joy to so many of us, should probably be looked at as a shining example of the American dream realized.

    Thank you.

    “your journalistic endeavors here are curious, captivating, often whimsical, and above all else, thoroughly sincere and without pretense in their pursuit.”


    Thank you, Paul, for your tireless, day-in-and-day-out work here! I’m amazed at all the seemingly trivial uni-related items you and many readers are able to dig up every single day. Thanks for making this one of about 3 sites I’m able to check and read on a daily basis!

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

    Paul, you should know (and I am thinking that you do) that what you do brings joy into the tedium of the everyday lives of many, and for that we are all thankful. Sorry to hear about your troubles, and I hope that the coming year is a better one. Uni-watchers all over are pulling for you!

    Happy Thanksgiving Paul! It’s great to relax on a low-key Thanksgiving day and reflect. Your contributions go farther than you know.

    Paul — I am thankful today for you and this site. I have enjoyed it virtually every day since I found it several years ago. It is a consistent source of enjoyment for me toward the beginning of each day regardless of what else is going on in my life. Thanks to you and everyone else who makes the site possible. Have a great Thanksgiving.

    Since I’m not really partial to sand in the feet Uni Watch has effectively become my proverbial walk in the water each morning. It’s a time for me to unwind, de-stress and enjoy great discourse without the nastiness that creeps into the other areas of my life.

    I’m sorry for the struggles that you’ve endured this year and hope 2017 brings better everything. Happy Thanksgiving to you and the rest of the Uni (not big Uni) community.

    Paul – Thank you for keeping up with the site. I am a long time reader, first time commenter. I found your site many years ago and check in daily to see what is new in the uni-world. I enjoy, do not always agree with, what you and your team is putting forward and I have even used some of the content in my middle school classroom to show my students how the world is interrelated. I truly hope this next year has shines a more positive light on you and yours. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Thank you for giving us Uni-watch.
    No day would be complete without it.
    This year was really rough for me as well.
    Looking forward to a new year.
    Have a nice Thankgiving.
    Justin E.
    Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.

    Appreciate everything you do for Uni Watch Paul.Very sorry to hear about your rough year. Hope you and your loved ones stay in good health.

    Enjoy life, get the new car – but apply your uni-watch rules to the purchase. Don’t get a purple one (yes, they’re out there) don’t go BFBS (unless it’s a mark known for cars that are black like the Model T) and by all means, don’t go monochromatic Gray/Gray which is the biggest crime perpetuated on the car driving public – and sports uniform loving public too. Yes, a car to many is just “transportation” but it is a statement whether you like it or not. May 2017 not suck as much for us all.

    Paul, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I think your walks on the beach are kind of symbolic of life and its challenges. We have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, we keep going. In the end, I guess it all gets washed out in the surf but the walk itself is what we should be thankful for.

    Thanks for the work you do, i read it every day and enjoy it thoroughly.
    Wishing you all the best,

    Happy U.S. Thanksgiving to my neighbours south of the border!

    Turns out I was able to get a day off work today, so I too will be able to delve into the NFL smorgasbord of games at times during the day.

    I want to give super thanks to Paul and everyone else noted that works on this site. I extremely appreciate your work and this site.

    I have learned that difficult times always pass and good times arrive in the future. It is important to keep you head up, accept difficulties exist as part of life, have a positive outlook, and enjoy the little pleasures. Things work out.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you Paul and all the Uni Watch family! I am thankful for all that you do to keep me informed and entertained about the uni-verse throughout the year.

    Thanks for all your tireless work. UniWatch is one of my favorite sites to read everyday, and I proudly wear a tshirt with your likeness on it.

    Happy Thanksgiving to Paul and Phil and all the Uni Watch readers and people who make this site happen. When I first heard about Uni Watch I thought it was great that I can find out about what all the teams are wearing and uniform changes they make on one site instead of going all over to different places to try to find this information. I never thought I would actually make a contribution one day to Uni Watch? It started with just a comment on the uniforms of the Southern California Sun, when my father asked my opinion of how they looked in 1974 when they came out to warm up in JFK stadium. I thought everyone had forgotten about the WFL but have been glad to share my stories here since I never wrote a book about all the crazy stuff I saw my father do on and off the field. I am getting ready to go to my sister’s house and watch football with my two nephews, one of which is now the QB for his high school. I will tell him the story today, how back in 1974, while at New Jersey with our family, instead of watching football, the KIng brought a movie projector put a sheet on the wall and the whole family had to watch his black and white grainy game film of him throwing 3 TD’s against the Southern California Sun. Everyone finally went into another room but I stayed while he went over each offensive play with me again….good times

    Happy Thanksgiving from another Canuck to all of my fellow uni-watchers in the US. Thank you to Paul and Phil for providing an enjoyable part of my every day routine for the past several years.

    Another well-thought-out and thought-provoking post.

    My best to you, Paul. I, too, know the frustration that comes when your body turns against you. In my case, a couple nasty auto-immune diseases. But doctors appointments also put you in contact with people far worse off than yourself, so there’s the matter of perspective.

    Daily, I find myself constantly impressed with your ability to sort through the minutia and focus on where uniformity falls short. I appreciate your social comments and amuse myself with the interaction among your followers.

    On the days when the comments are few I am reminded you once said you’re probably closer to the end of this blog than the beginning and I get this queasy feeling you’ll move on to another project. I hope that day doesn’t come for some time.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, you staff and all your followers.

    Happy Thanksgiving and a big thank you to everyone involved in running and posting on this site. A couple years ago I was looking too see what the new nike Unis where going to look like, after a little googling I found this site and have been hooked ever sence. Its fantastic! It’s the way I start my day. I can not really imagine the amount of dedication and work that goes into updating this everyday with fresh new content. The uni history that is also thrown perfectly into the mix is amazing. I find my self being on the other side of the fence sometimes but it’s cool. I like the radical uniforms it adds a to the entertainment of the games for me. But I also appreciate the “old school” classic styles as well. Uni-Watch show cases it all not just one persons idea of what’s cool. Show casing new old and how we got here. Thank you for all the hard work you put in Paul and everyone else who makes this ship sail!


    As others have said, each and every morning includes dropping by your site and it is a consistent source of enjoyment regardless of what else life is throwing at me. I wish you the best and hope you understand how much your work is appreciated.

    Thanks for what you do here Paul and the rest of the UW team. I too make UW one of my morning stops. Prayers of support to all of you.

    I’m actually in Las Vegas right now, so I’m seeing the Golden Knights logo a lot. I really like it. It works up close and far away, so I’d bet you can make out the logo from the upper deck. Can’t wait to see the jerseys on the ice with the number typography!
    Thankful for this Uni Watch community. Always learn and see something new thanks to you. Hope everybody continues in good health.

    Thanks for all you do. I visit the site everyday and it has become a part of my daily routine. I hope that 2017 is better for you and your family. You do a great job and I wish you the best of luck in whatever you do.

    Happy Thanksgiving to Paul and everyone else in the Uni-Watch community. I very rarely post comments here but this site has been a place I’ve visited daily for eons and I’m so glad it exists.

    Hey Paul and Phil and all the other great people who have brought us Uni Watch for so many years — count one more reader who is very thankful for what you do.

    Happy thanksgiving from the Great White North

    Particular thanks today Paul for all the amazing content you produce. Uni-Watch, The Grommet Project, Keyring Chronicles, Permanent Record, and all of the one-off projects.

    Thanks in particular this year for the Best Summer Ever idea. Sorry its been so hard on you, if its any consolation its an idea I’ve tried to live as well this year and its brought our family great joy. Best wishes for better fortune in the next year.

    Thanks to Paul for creating this small space in the world that I was lucky enough to find seven or eight years ago. For years I thought I was the ‘only one’ who cared about the nuances and oddities of the uni world. Finding I wasn’t alone in my obsession was a wonderful thing.

    Paul, stay strong. I believe adversity, as painful and frustrating as it is does make us stronger if we let it.


    Happy Thanksgiving. I know Jerry (points up further in the comments) said that he refuses to start work till he has read the days post, well I am the same way. Help desk tickets be darned, I am gonna get through the most recent Uni-Watch post first. I have loved the Grommet Project, Keyring Chronicles, and Permanent Record. Because these are off the beaten path topics, I guess that is why I have become addicted to this YouTube channel on reviews of mechanical style computer keyboards (you can still buy them they just don’t come standard). Even those one off uniform stories that pop up from time to time is the reason that I guess I need to read the site before work. It puts me in a better mood before facing the day, which I have needed especially this year.


    Many thanks to Paul and Phil and the entire uni-watch team and all of those who comment. It’s an important part of my day, visiting this site.

    Hope you’re having a Happy Thanksgiving, Paul. Thank you for all the work you’ve done for this website: I appreciate all the coverage you’ve provided in this aspect of sports. I’m sorry to hear about all the adversity you’ve faced this year, but it appears you’re doing well in spite of it all. Here’s hoping the coming year will be much better for you.

    I wasn’t going to check in today…figured it would just be an open thread day. But now that the guests are gone and the dishes are (FINALLY) done, I had some time to wind down and read. Glad I did. One of your best thought pieces, Paul.

    With some exceptions, I’m not going to miss this year when it ends. It’s been really stressful for me and exceedingly hard for many of those close to me. There appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel, though. Hopefully there will be a light for you, and for all of my fellow readers, as well. Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night.

    A very happy thanksgiving to you, Paul. I hope things will start looking up for you and TC very soon. And I hope you’ve got some holiday decorations that can be put up in the near future. After a year like this, the joy of the holiday season is needed more than ever.

    Again, best wishes to you and yours.

    I’ve been reading this site for years but never commented before. I appreciate for it for a variety of reasons. Great content, one of the few websites where the authors and commenters are consistently kind and respectful, interesting peeks into the lives of interesting people. Several people above noted that they start every day here; I finish every day here as it helps me put work and family stress aside and fall asleep in peace. Thank you.

    From strength to strength, holy brother. Thanks for the inspiration and reminder that perspective is everything.

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