Attempting 2016 Resolutions Again

I think I skipped last year with a resolution post for 2015. I think I failed my 2014 so miserably that I thought doing one for 2015 was a waste of time. Also, a reminder of what a year of failure I had. Well, even though I did not have a list, I would of failed at it. I think last year was very unmotivating to me. I tried to escape this year with minimal effort and I’m sure it showed from time to time.

I say it every year, but this year is going to be different. I hope. Every thing needs to be reviewed and looked upon in a new light. This is my last full year before I turn 40. I’m halfway through a life and have a lot of work ahead of me.

I started looking over older lists and realized I had either recurring items or just items I never accomplished so just carried it over from year to year. These recycled items are:

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A different elf puts something on our shelf on NYE

We never had an elf on the shelf. Never had to hunt for elves a month prior to Christmas. Snooping around our house. However an elf does break into our house on New Year’s Eve. It all started last year when a strange letter was left on our coffee table.  It was a letter from Nerd Y. the Elf who is Santa’s head elf in charge of “nerdy” subjects like comic books and games. Nerd Y. also shares the same initials as New Year’s Eve. So, this is one of his favorite holidays.

The elf took notice to our family’s NYE tradition of playing games all day long with each other. We break out the cards, dice, the classics, and any new editions we got for Christmas. Video games are also played but we try to downplay them and go with a different type of interactive game. Nerdy loved the tradition and his buddies get together and roll a d20 by the fireplace up north. He wanted to add to our excitement so he hid a game somewhere in our house on the morning of New Year’s Eve. The game was Munchkin by Steven Jackson and is one of our favorite card games of dungeon crawling and back stabbing.

This New Year’s Eve I know the elf will be back but what will he bring? I hear its a game with a fun word to say like Qwirkle or Babaganush. We already got 2 games for Christmas and one of them is becoming a top favorite,  Apples to Apples.  The other game is the starter set for Dungeons and Dragons (red box). I never played so I guess I should read the rules so lil Eddie knows what he is doing. Some of the other games we will likely play on NYE is Munchkin, Clue, Magic the Gathering, 3 man chess/checkers, Scrabble, cards, Dungeon Run, and more.

I hope a lot of other families could be visited by Nerdy. Gather around a table with family and friends too. Put Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve on in the background. Order a pizza. Make a drink. Roll some dice, flip a card, kill a meeple this New Year’s Eve. Stay in and don’t battle the roads with drunken revelers.

This has become a great family tradition. I know my kids love it. I hope this carries over to their families when the time comes.

Goals/Gameplan for 2013

135149571435cxJLHere we go again. It’s a new year and it’s time to post up my list of goals to do this year. These aren’t resolutions because resolutions never last. I will probably break a resolution by the time I am done typing this post. This is also not meant to boast because I think I am far off from others on being able to boast. I am just throwing these items out there into the blogosphere to create some sort of accountability that I need to accomplish more than half of the items below. I feel better about myself when I can physically see items being crossed off of my list. Sure, I can easily keep all my goals in my head but it is not the same.

It is not specific but the items towards the top of the list are more important to me than ones towards the bottom. They all carry some weight in the grand scheme of things but I would rather take my kids camping than replacing all the light switches and outlets in the house. Scratch that. I’m not going to waste any brain cycles on prioritizing them.

So without further ado, here is the 2013 goals:

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Gamestop Ruins Second Christmas

Tis the season to be merry and buying presents that will wipe out your bank accounts. Our family Christmas went well. The boys were excited and got some tech items they wanted. Eddie got an iPod Touch and Mason got a Nintendo 3DS. I even did good this year and bought Sarah something she really loves. I guess I can pick out good jewelry. I knew she always wanted something with her birthstone on it.

The boys also got a ton of gift cards. They always ask for Gamestop gift cards because they love the 2nd Christmas festivities they get to partake in with there dear old dad. For years, Gamestop always held a buy 2 get 1 free used sale right after Christmas. We take all our gift cards and spend them all in one shot and usually walk away with 6-9 games. We renew our Gamestop Rewards card and also grab a new controller for one of our systems. We don’t buy video games for December 25th. We let the boys pick out what they want.

winter-een-mas

For some reason Gamestop is not holding their holiday tradition and they are holding some other bogus sale offer. The kids are heart broken. Gift cards sit there burning a hole where ever you set them. Mason is wanting a Mario game for his 3DS. Eddie is looking forward to being a Spartan in Halo 4. My friend who works for Gamestop is also surprised that the sale is not going on. It’s not like Gamestop needs to offer this sale every year and they don’t need to explain why it is not going on. I’m just saying its a let down.

I do hope the B2G1 sale occurs before January 25th. Why this date you ask? That is the first day of Wintereenmas, a 7-day holiday celebrating video games. It was created by the crew of Ctrl-Alt-Del comics to help pass the late winter months when no good gaming titles are released. It’s not like I’m going to let the boys play for 7 days straight but I’m sure they would rather play with something by then instead of staring at the gift cards one month after Christmas.

 

Year 2012 is Coming to an End

We are almost 2 weeks away from closing out this year but only 6 days away from the end of the world. We will see if the ancient predictions hold any truth. I highly doubt it so we all might as well go out and finish Christmas shopping and think of the year to come. I’m hoping my 2013 will be the year of the reboot. This year was not one of my better years but I can’t sign off on it as being the worst. One of the things I learned through my ongoing Tao readings is change or the threat of change allows our life not to be stagnant. No one wants to drink from the cup of life if it contains stagnant Koolaid. Externally things could always be better but internally I learned a lot about myself and I hope to continue down that path.

I don’t want to drone on and on in this specific post but I just want to quickly chronicle how I progressed through my goals I set at the beginning of the year. Not for the world to see but for myself in case I go senile and need to remember what it is I did for my life.

-Stay well under 200lbs. [Optional goal is 180lbs.] (This has been my goal for the last couple of years and been successful.) Completed as well as the optional kicker. Somehow I dropped almost 40 lbs.
-Complete 2 certifications for work. Fail! I’m dropping this for 2013 because I don’t want to feel forced to care about work.
-Play more disc golf.  Sure I would love to play more but I think I got out more than previous years.
-Disc golf in 2 new states.  I try to do a new one a year and missed 2011. I failed to do 2 but I did play in Maryland so I’m counting it.
-Go fishing with the kids more. Fail! I went fishing in NY but nothing local that I could take the kids to.
-Take the kids camping. The boys and I had a great time after the quick storm we had setting up our tent. Can’t wait to do it again in 2013.
-Get all the rooms on the first floor painted. Only the hallway and kitchen remain.
-Insulate 2 of the 3 crawlspaces. Didn’t even hit the planning stages.
-Replace the ceiling fan. Not only replaced the old one but added one to the dining room.
-Replace the garbage disposal. After some bloody knuckles and Jaegermeister, this was done.
-Replace all electrical outlets and light switches. Only the second floor was partially completed.
-Expand the garden and hook up a rain barrel system. Garden was expanded and I have the design plans and the barrel so I am counting it.
-Build a compost pile. Maybe 2013.
-Decommission one of my servers. This should be done around the start of January so I’m on track at removing this from my plate of worries.
-Write 12 blog posts to this blog or any reincarnated form. (Actually 11 if you count this one.) Nailed this early in the year when I started writing game reviews for Boardgamegeek.com regarding boardgames on IOS devices. However I did drop off their radar without a notice. I feel bad and might try to repair that relationship.
-Hook up a surround sound system in family room. Does buying a Surround sound 5.1 Turtle Beach headset for my Xbox 360 count? Didn’t think so.
-Earn Xbox Gamerscore of 13500. Actually one of the failed goals that I’m glad I didn’t hit. That just means I spent less time this year playing video games. I’m currently at 11151. So I was way off my goal. I’m glad I didn’t go with my original 15000 mark.
-Read 10 books. I should hit 15 by the end of the year.
-Learn a new geeky/nerdish trait or skill. Well, I wouldn’t say I mastered editing documents using vi but I am better at it than I was before.

Sure that only works out to be a 50% completion rate but it is better than a ‘I gave up on January 2nd’ completion rate. Now to adjust some of my ongoing goals and add some new ones in there.

Goals or Resolutions for 2012

A new year is upon us and who knows it could be the last according to the Mayans. So, on the positive side of that doom and gloom, we only have to make a list of new year resolutions one more time. I hate calling them resolutions. I’m not trying to resolve some behavior or attitude. I want to accomplish something, yes. It makes it sound so much better than a resolution. A resolution makes it sound like I am an overweight, racist, cold hearty, unhealthy schmuck and I need to resolve or abolish an attitude to either stay alive, keep my marriage, or regain state custody over my kids.

So enough with that. This is what I want to get done this year. (We won’t discuss my progress from last year because I barely did a damn thing on that list. I’m going to keep track of my resolutions via a great app called Wunderlist.

-Stay well under 200lbs. [Optional goal is 180lbs.] (This has been my goal for the last couple of years and been successful.)
-Complete 2 certifications for work.
-Play more disc golf.
-Disc golf in 2 new states. (I try for one new state a year but I missed 2011.)
-Go fishing with the kids more.
-Take the kids camping.
-Get all the rooms on the first floor painted.
-Insulate 2 of the 3 crawlspaces.
-Replace the ceiling fan.
-Replace the garbage disposal.
-Replace all electrical outlets and light switches.
-Expand the garden and hook up a rain barrel system.
-Build a compost pile.
-Decommission one of my servers.
-Write 12 blog posts to this blog or any reincarnated form. (Actually 11 if you count this one.)
-Hook up a surround sound system in family room.
-Earn Xbox Gamerscore of 13500.
-Read 10 books.
-Learn a new geeky/nerdish trait or skill.

I keep making this list longer and longer. I should probably stop now or my end of the world will really be depressing since I might not complete most of these when the world implodes next December.

Becoming a Geek Dad

As a dad you can always instill certain beliefs and ideology and hobbies onto your kids. You might not mean for it to turn out that way, but they are such a helpless mound of clay ready for your kneading. We, as parents, tend to do in conscientiously…sometimes. I’m always for trying to push my kids in a certain direction as long as I am not narrow minded or don’t mind them choosing against it. I’ve done the typical root for this sports team, play this sport, do this, try that. I wouldn’t say I pushed lil Eddie into playing a trumpet but I helped him choose the instrument I played as a kid. He could of picked the saxophone like he originally wanted, but he didn’t like sucking on the reeds.

Anyways, a lot of stuff I push on my kids to do has its own level into geekdom. You could analyze it all you want and tag watching and rooting for a specific sports organization as a level of geek. (Especially when the fan starts spouting out statistics, strategies, and historical revelations about the game or team.) The more wide range of stuff I introduce my kids to, I realize that I am that geek dad. I think I am more of a geek now than I was 2 decades ago. Good thing too, I probably would of spent more money and acquired more stuff lying around the house if I did this when I was single.

A lot of the stuff I pushed or encouraged on my boys would of come naturally as they usually do for young American boys. You know the typical superhero, video game, Pokemon, and war. Sure I helped guide them along by taking them to comic book stores, introducing them to video games other than shooters (jRPG), Magic the Gathering, and old fashion strategy board games. My wife and I also helped them pick out good literature from Star War novels, Harry Potter, Eragon, Lord of the Rings, Kingdom Keepers, and others. (Eddie reads so many books that I may have to buy him a Kindle. We have three huge bookshelves filled with books.)

We do puzzles, models, science experiments, etc. We watch Discovery and the Science Channel. We go to museums to see exhibits like King Tut, Star Wars, Pirates, and Narnia. (All social exhibits at Ben Franklin Institute over the years.) I try to explain the technologies I deal with at work. We build things. (We once took all their Hot Wheels tracks and built the longest raceway that spanned two rooms.) Lil Eddie and I almost stayed up all night playing video games.

I can’t wait for this summer to start some new projects. We got The Dangerous Book for Boys, which has a few projects in there. Plus Eddie has some other book with all kinds of cool stuff from making Zombie makeup to laser pens. I’m also considering getting the Geek Dad book series which outlines a lot of other fun projects.

Don’t worry. No matter how much reading and imagination they use, they still play sports and are a huge hit with the ladies. Which is good, no matter how geeky they become, they are not living in my basement. (I have plans for my basement…that’s my domain!) Now excuse me while we get fresh water for our dinosaur plants.