There was a very special reason for my being unavailable yesterday. It's a wonderful life.
I hired my first outsourced person, a Ukrainian programmer, 11 years ago. For several years, we suffered with his bad electric, phone and computer problems. Meanwhile, he kept not getting promised high-paying U.S. jobs, due to the dot com bust. This became especially important when he learned that his fast growing daughter was accumulating Chernobyl radiation.
I finally suggested I sponsor him. I would pay less than he would get from his unrealized job offers, but double what he had been earning. We felt that ending his bad electric, phone and computer problems would make this worthwhile. He, his wife, his daughter and their dog soon arrived, with a large amount of luggage. My computer friend and his son needed two vans to drive them to their very good, but inexpensive, rental house.
For years, my family and I took them to dinners, movies, bowling, fishing, museums, computer clubs and much more. I also arranged for higher paying work, as we always agreed he would take a better job as soon as he could.
He soon had his Green Card, a much better job and his own home. Yesterday my wife and I attended an inspiring ceremony, with him and his wife, as our good friends became citizens. We then celebrated this and my birthday, knowing that their daughter remains in perfect health and will soon join them as talented and well educated citizens.
I finally returned to the largest number of happy birthday wishes I ever got. I appreciated them all, so I hope this is a better thank you than a short individual thank you to each of you. It's a wonderful life. Thank you again very much.