Ringing out 2012

I hope everyone has had a good year; for my part I think 2012 was pretty darn good overall. Obviously if you’ve been following this particular blog for the past year (or more) then you’ll note that I haven’t posted much (once a month, on average); a big part of the reason for that is the amount of time and effort I’ve been putting into my beer blog and Bend blog, both of which I’m very proud of, though it does tend to detract from my personal ramblings here (not to mention actual work getting in the way…!).

At any rate, one of my goals is to get more writing done in the year(s) to come, so hopefully I’ll buckle down to include this blog in that goal.

In the meantime, happy New Year everyone! Let’s toast 2012 tonight and ring in 2013 with fanfare!

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone’s having a great Christmas this year! I know I am so far, and since it was just my birthday two days ago as well, I’ll soon write up the usual post of my haul. And we saw the Tintin movie on my birthday, which was awesome, so I’ll have more to say about that as well.

Merry Christmas!

November wrap-up

Much of November was uneventful—it mostly consisted of the usual routine for the first few weeks minus a kid’s birthday—but for the week of Thanksgiving we visited Burbank to spend the holiday with my brother and his family.

That trip started out slightly awry, as we tried to leave town on Friday the 18th, right after work, and only managed to travel all of 50 miles or so to Crescent before being stopped for several hours only to learn that the road (Highway 97) was closed entirely. See, that was the night of the big statewide winter storm that dumped snow and ice everywhere. So instead of getting to Redding that Friday night we ended up turning around and coming back home (after about 5 hours on the road) and left again the next morning. That was more successful; there was still snow on the roads but it was daylight and the road was open, and once we crossed over into California the roads were pretty much cleared up.

So we drove all the way through to Burbank (north of Los Angeles) in the one day. Which isn’t as bad as all the way to San Diego in one day (we’ve done that one too) but still makes for a long drive all in one sitting.

The rest of the holiday week was good; we drank a lot of good beer, toured the Warner Brothers Studios lot, checked out Burbank and the area a bit, and had a nice Thanksgiving.

Coming back was easy in some respects—as far as the drive went as we split it out over two days—and hard in others (whaddya mean I gotta go back to work?). We got back Sunday relatively early which left time for unpacking and cleaning and such but not a lot of decompression time before going right back into the routine.

Let’s see, what else went on in November… read a good book that I’d recommend, Ready Player One, which has its flaws but is a fun, clever, engaging read. It’s essentially a caper novel masquerading as a near-future/video game/pop-culture/MMO sci-fi adventure, set some 30 years in the future and mostly taking place in an online game/virtual world. And it heavily mines the pop culture of the 80s (and 70s to a lesser extent), particularly that of music, movies, and videogames, which makes it catnip to the contemporary Gen X geek who spent a lot of time playing with computers and videogames during the 80s.

Hmm… is it bad when that’s all I have for the highlights for the month? The rest has been filled with work, and the family stuff—a school concert and other school functions, birthday parties, the usual kind of things.

But! We’re going into the Christmas season, which is one of my favorite times of the year. That always livens things up!

Yuri’s Night

Tomorrow, April 12th, is a pretty momentous date: it is the 50th anniversary of the first human being to launch into space (which took place on April 12, 1961) by Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. Appropriately enough, the 12th is also when Yuri’s Night is celebrated, a sort of unofficial holiday “world space party” that commemorates that first flight.

As someone who grew up with a deep interest in space and astronomy (not to mention science and science fiction) I love the idea of Yuri’s Night and I love what the website is doing: presenting a registry of events that are taking place around the world for the event, and letting people register more at no cost. Mostly it seems entirely fitting to celebrate the occasion; it would be neat to have a Yuri’s Night event here in Bend, but it seems the nearest is Portland.

50 years of manned spaceflight. That’s something to think about.