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.

Free Comic Book Day is Just Around the Corner

 The first Saturday of May is becoming a special dad and son day with my boys. This Saturday is dubbed Free Comic Book Day. A day where your local friendly comic book store hands out special issues from publishers to all their customers. Each participating store will give out one free issue. Depending on the attendance to the store and their stock, you can get more. Our local store ended up giving us two issues each.

The first ever free handout of comic books started 10 years ago. That’s right, 2002. This event is orchestrated by all players in the comic book industry. (Retailers, publishers, suppliers, and Diamond Comic Distributors) If you live outside the US, do not worry. There are many participating shops in Canada and all over the globe. Check out www.freecomicbookday.com for their store locator to find the closest store(s) near you.

Not only is there free comic books but some locations will have artist signings, bands, and costume troops. Click here for a list.

What kind of free issues are available this year? Don’t worry its not a box full of crap. Click here for a list. I’m looking to pick up Avengers, Mouse Guard Labyrinth, and Star Wars. Maybe Zombie Kid but I’m going to recommend it to lil Eddie since the art style is like Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

**Also coming up is Free RPG Day on June 16th!

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.