A New Me

Yesterday, I ran into an old friend that I used to work with at the local garden center and meeting up with this guy did a couple of things. First, it scared the living shit out of me. It reminded me of where I used to be (when we worked together), where I am now (unemployed) and where I might be going (employed somewhere new) and every single facet of this scared me. It was like being reminded of how much I enjoyed where I was and how scary the unknown of the future is all in one sitting.

But the more important thing that I got out of it is who am I? This guy always was someone I aspired to be. I saw a bit of myself in him, but a better version of me. Someone who I wanted to be. He was optimistic version, the outgoing version, the nicer version. He was who I want to be but can never figure out how to get there. A good example of who this guy is…. he once got tickets to go see Miley Cyrus in St. Louis, kind of on a whim. Not because he liked Miley Cyrus but more because he was getting sick of Madison (it was winter) and wanted to do something, anything likely. And largely because it would be a story that you could tell later. It is interesting. And that’s who he is. I worked with him maybe 6 months and during that time got a lot of similar stories out of him similar to that and was even part of a couple. He always wanted to do stuff and to make the most out of life, and yes that is something I aspire to as well.

And here I am, what am I doing? I have here an opportunity with my unemployment that honestly I have always wanted. And in this opportunity I have done a lot of gaming, something I do very much enjoy. But is that really what I wanted? Well kind of lol. You hear all the time of people getting laid off and making the most out of that chance, to advance their own personal interests and become a better person in life and I don’t entirely feel like I am doing that right now.

To tie in with this essence of how I am currently feeling… a few years ago I also got similarly inspired by a kickstarter of all things. There was a guy who had previously done a TED talk who was wanting to develop software that could take his TED idea into reality. The idea is to take a 1 second video every day of your life. Be that 1 thing good or bad or somewhere in between. Just take something to remember. And he found in doing that, that he made more of an effort to go out and do things to take that video clip for. If you want more on the idea, you should watch his TED talk, it is pretty cool. I backed the project, loved the idea. And when I got the software, I did it for a couple months (on and off) before I dropped off of it.

Back to this chance meeting with an old acquaintance and I had an epiphany. I need to wake up my  life and start doing new things with it. And to force myself to do these new things I need to record it 1 second style. So my concept is that every single day I think and do something new. Anything. Anything at all. New habit, New movie that I hadn’t seen before, New food I hadn’t eaten before, new TV show, new game, new page written, new schedule, new skill, new language, new project, new job interview, new job, new friend, new attitude, new word, new something. I gotta push myself forward and make myself better. And hopefully I can do it.

Honestly, I can’t even promise myself that I can do something new every day. I certainly can’t do something grand every day. I mean think of it. 365 new things done every single year. I have some things in mind. But there will be days where I will be sick and sleeping all day. What will I find new that day? New cough medicine? Lol. I imagine that things will vary. Some day I will have a big fun event like seeing Miley Cyrus for no reason other than to do it, some days will be going on a walk on a new trail that I had never ventured before. Today, my new thing is starting this idea. An introduction to what may come. It is small, but huge all at the same time. And maybe that is the beauty of it.

Goals of 2014-2015

Tis that time of year again where I review what happened to me in the previous year and think about what needs to occur in the coming  year. It was an off year for me and many of my goals from last year fell by the wayside unfortunately. This happened I think largely due to a depression that leaked into my  life an ultimately one of the larger goals I have going forward is getting out.

Online Life

I feel like my blog has been pretty regular over the past year. It has had ups and downs but overall I think I have been averaging 3-4 articles a month which is about where I want to be. I definitely want to get the number more regular for 2015 and closer to 4-6 a month. It’s funny looking back at previous years and seeing that I had updated around 12-15 a month at one time, but a lot of that was due to having extra time from being in school. Still, there are definitely moments in work that are dead that I could use the time to write blogs and I should use it as such more often.

I picked up playing Ingress this year which I consider to be an online game. It is both online and offline, a weird hybrid. This has gotten me involved in several real life get togethers and it has been a lot fun meeting new people in the area and region. I have been waning on my interest of the game of late but am sure I will continue to have small spurts of play.

BucketGeek had a small surge in postings. However, the postings have largely died. If anyone actually  followed the blog, I still do the bucket list items but overall I think I set myself up for failure on the blog. It takes almost as much time to blog about the items as it is to just check the items off my list. That puts it into a problem spot. Be that as it may, I do want to get that site back up with regular updates.

I am happy to say that I did in fact start putting out Let’s Play videos on Christmas Day this  year and so far have kept it up for the last week. This project I admit is bound to fail from time to time as it is an incredible amount of work getting the videos together and uploaded.  Still, I have been enjoying it so far and hope that the game aspect of it keeps me involved. I foresee the biggest problem with keeping up with Minecraft, and already have lowered production of my series to be from Monday, Wednesday  and Friday to just Monday and Friday. The problem is it really does take way more time to produce than other videos. I also do The Witcher and Zeus+Poseidon and for both those games I can sit down and record and in an hour I will have two episodes, then another hour and both of those episodes are fully edited. For Minecraft, if I put in an hour I am lucky to have a single episode and it’d likely take an hour to edit that episode. I wager that it actually is 3 to 4 times the effort to do Minecraft than it is to do the other series. But I kind of see Minecraft as the longterm glue for the channel… the thing that will always be there as other games come and go.

Gaming Life

I feel my gaming life has picked up largely due to the let’s plays. I currently have 4 current games that I am playing for recording and have a couple other games I put a few moments to here and there that I don’t record. I definitely feel like the number of games I play has risen which is nice and bad all at once.

My game collection is also coming along. In 2014, I got a Dreamcast, a Genesis, and an X-Box 360, as well as several games for each. I also purchased a RetroN 5 and have purchased a couple dozen Super Famicom games imported from Japan. Most of the games that I have been collecting thus far have been centered around the RPGs and older games that I always wanted to own but couldn’t. In 2015, I’d like to expand my games even more and get a PS3 and Maybe a Sega Saturn.

My update of my computer did get completed last year. I even got a new keyboard and mouse which weren’t planned, but nice additions. I even got a second monitor, though it was gifted from my company and so isn’t particularly great. Thinking ahead to 2015… my computer related goals includes getting at least 2TB of HD space on my computer added in. I already have 7TB but almost my entire movie collection was digitized so I need more.

Work Life

I don’t have a ton to say. Work is good. I got a raise at the end of the year. I got moved to a project I love and have hopes of going to another project in 2015 that is related to my current one that I think I will enjoy. My only real complaint with my current job is that towards the second half of the year, a lot of the people I conversed with on a regular basis became part of a project in which I never see them so work life has gotten a lot more stale. Not much I can do about that. Can’t have everything, at least I enjoy the job.

Personal Life

Well drama occurred with the former work group that I was trying to get together on a regular basis for movie night and so that idea died early unfortunately. I may give it another go but I don’t have hopes at this point. That group is pretty well fractured at this point.

The RPG podcast and the game night have also not happened, I think to a lesser degree because of the above drama. I kind of have hopes of putting together a game day with another friend, we’ve had 2 thus far but it has been infrequent so far.

Unfortunately, at the end of 2014 my long standing Pen & Paper RPG group broke up. Not entirely sure what happened, we ended a Pathfinder campaign and when prompted to do something past that, one guy said he was out and others showed no interest at all. Towards the end of the campaign I had started having some issues with one of the guys and I wonder if that in combination with my general lack of roleplaying (it was a roleplay heavy group) led them to just kind of drop me off at this point. Or if people’s schedules just became too much to have the game as well. Not sure, there were a couple of people who were consistently showing up later and later, or not able to show up at all which was causing problems. So it might have just been a natural end to the group. Is too bad, but I needed a break from it anyway so I think it is good. Timing wise it gives me an extra night to get stuff done and I wasn’t a huge fan of Thursday nights as it made preparing for weekends with my daughter more difficult.

I did go through a few spurts of learning Japanese and found a new way to learn it which I think was working quite well. Unfortunately that dropped off a bit and I need to get back into doing that.

Updated Computer Core

It’s been a looong time since my computer saw an upgrade. I think I’ve gotten new RAM and DVD drive along the way, but by and large I have had the same computer for the last 5 years. Here’s my last blog update talking about my last upgrade. Unlike last upgrade, this one was far better planned. I had been slowly upgrading my computer for some time. I had already upgraded from a lowly 300GB hard drive to 4TB of space. And was well on the way to saving for the next upgrade. This particular core upgrade came about from a $1500 bonus that I got from work, for my new position that I had only been in for 3 months. Nice! Continue reading “Updated Computer Core”

Goals of 2013-2014

Happy New Years! I can’t believe it is already 2014, 2013 seemed go by in lightning time. It was a big year for me with a ton of changes. Hopefully most of the change in my life will settle down for 2014, but not too much. Here’s my yearly review of goals as well as proposing new goals on the year.

Online Life

Honestly, I feel like for the most part 2013 saw my blog get regular updates and I was proud of that. I decided at some point to mostly just work on making weekly updates rather than having updates twice a week. Though I do eventually want to increase it again, I think one time a week is attainable for me so I am hoping to at least continue that. I am strongly considering moving my host for my blog to a free service in 2014 as a way to save some money and to increase traffic. I must say that my blog saw the most traffic while I was still located at wordpress and have been playing around with blogspot and will likely review that sometime in the next couple of months. We’ll see if this happens in the future.

Asheron’s Call 2 ended a few months after it started. This largely occurred because too many people in the group I was playing with stopped playing, and the few who remained wouldn’t sit and help me level so that I could actually play with them. The problems of MMO life. I haven’t picked up any MMO at all since then really and I don’t plan to or want to. It was fun to play that for a few months, I had a good time.  But right now I don’t have the desire.

RPGComplex died as I anticipated it was going to. Too bad. For a time the person I was going to do that blog with was going to do a podcast with me about RPGs but that too died out I think. The second blog I was going to start was BucketGeek.com. This blog is still around though I haven’t posted on it. One goal for 2014 needs to be to get back at work for this blog. BucketGeek is a much more high maintenance blog due to needing to actually do stuff from my bucket list so I don’t expect weekly updates on it, but I do need to update it periodically. Right now I am playing with moving it to Blogspot before I do any major posts to it.

Last online life goal that I have is to start a Let’s Play series on Youtube. This will begin with revisiting all my MMOs of years past, but I might include a series on Minecraft as well. I had been planning on already starting on this, and even have some episodes recorded, but my current computer is too loud and the series has been put on hiatus until my computer can get fully upgraded.

Gaming Life

I did not play the RPGs I was intending to last year due to the fall of RPGComplex, and I also did not buy an arcade cabinet. The cabinet idea is nice and is a long term goal of mine, but I don’t think that this will happen in 2014. I will pen this to an idea in 2015. For this year, I do want to make my goal to not only play games for the let’s play but broaden my game playing a little. I admit that I tend to stick with 3 or 4 games and that’s it, I want to play more of the games I own. I already have started this with a lot of Rogue Legacy play early in the year.

I also need to fully update my computer. This has been an unwritten goal for some time, but I want to complete this goal this year and I think there is a good chance of that. I want it to be a better gaming rig and the current setup is near 5 years old so I need updating. This should be a shoe-in to get done.

Work Life

My goal for 2013 was to find a new position, preferably within the company and I am happy to say that this goal was in fact achieved back in September.  I was moved to the Systems team and am now a Business Analyst and testing our system for a big upgrade in 2014.  My main goal for work at this point for 2014 is to maintain my position and not get let go when the project is completed in 2014. And even to get a raise if possible.

I hate my writing habits to be honest. Again last year I failed at my writing, I did get in the hang of it for about 6 weeks and again got side tracked. I really need to see this as my long term job because I don’t think working at HP will suit me forever. So even if it is once a week i need to get in the habit of writing my book and get that out in 2015. I figure if i can get $5,000 a book a year long term, and get 1 book out a year… by 45 I will make $50,000 a year which might be suitable to not work anymore. Obviously more money is nice, but I think $5,000 per year per book is an attainable goal.

Personal Life

I did lose about 10 pounds permanently, meaning it is staying off. But this is not sufficient to what I want to do. I need to lose another 20 pounds in 2014 and keep it off. For this, I not only want to maintain and improve upon my diet. I need to get back into regularly exercising. For awhile I was doing DDR in the morning and that was helping, I may start that up again but don’t want to promise myself that. I might start doing Wii Fit U daily once I get that, but again who knows. I do want to set a goal for myself that if I don’t do the above two, that I at least do crunches twice a day, squats once a day, and small free weights once a day as a work out. In addition, once spring rolls out I want to get back in the habit of walking for a half hour a day.

I want to continue working at maintaining friendships outside of work. Working in a new position forces this somewhat and I am going to try to maintain a movie night with the old gang at least every 3 months. Also every 3 months, I want to dedicate myself to going to a friend’s house for a game night. Lastly, I need to maintain my RPG group or a similar RPG group. It was good this year, we added a new person into the group and I think every new person in my life is a positive.

Japanese is always something I’d like to do but who has the time. I need to come up with an idea to do this while doing other things.

Money Earning Site Yearly Summary

So on this Thanksgiving Day, I am going to post a summary of my earnings from various money earning websites. I figure it is good for me to post this sort of thing somewhere just so that I can look back and see how I did versus previous goals. I know that usually happens closer to New Years, but that will likely be taken by other yearly stuff that this doesn’t entirely fit with. Plus, to be honest, I really am thankful for these sites as they have helped me get by some hard times! Continue reading “Money Earning Site Yearly Summary”

A New Employment Era Dawns

This week is the culmination of five years at a company at a crap job, where I did get a promotion once, but that promotion was in essence the same job as was previous. This week was the last thing to change in my life in the last year. This week, I got a new job. I am now a Business Analyst, in the same company as always, but in a drastically different position in which I no longer have to take phone calls! YAY! I now get to do what I’ve always liked about my previous job but didn’t get the opportunity to do near enough, problem solving.

I like my last job quite a bit initially, at least until they started adding phone lines to my department which had very little to do with us. And these lines, while sometimes tolerable were one of the main things that drove me away. I’ve told more than one person that had they not done that, there would have been no way in hell that I would have accepted this position. Not that there is anything wrong with this position, but I just loved the old one that much.

One of the main reasons for that is that this position could potentially be a temporary one. The project that I am working on is only a project for the next 9 months. After that point, they could review the work that I have done and decide that they don’t want to keep me on and let me go. That is scary as heck to think about. However, the Business Lead in the area assured me that they don’t usually do that and they can’t think of any time that they have had to in the years that they worked here. Generally what happens is that once on project is over, you move to a different project. This I understand, but the concern is still there!

I realize that with this job, I need to hit the ground running. I want to prove that I was worth bringing in and that I am worth keeping around every minute that I am here. And hopefully when the end of this project comes, they not only move me to another good project, but potentially a better project with a better position. I do look at this particular position as a stepping stone to better ones. Continue reading “A New Employment Era Dawns”