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2009: A Year In Blogging

As the New Year Long Weekend draws to a close, I figured I'd take a look at my posts on this web log and Facebook over the past twelve months; celebrate the good and reflect on the bad in order to get me on some sort of course for 2010.

Of course, getting Facebook to spit out your old posts for a twelve-month period is an exercise in tedium, so instead I'm going to stick with the IMAGinES web log. This is going to be a combination of "best-of" links and general commentary.

To paraphrase Bartholomew J. Simpson, let me start from the start and then take it away. The first post of the year is a nice piece of contrast:

I was just reading Wil Wheaton's web log and he's gone and done one of those retrospective thingies wherein he highlights some of his posts from last year. I was struck with two things: One, the thought of doing something retrospective-y and resolution-y for my own log, and two, how coherent thought-destroyingly hot and humid it is in Cairns today.

So bugger it.

I came off my Cory Doctorow binge with a post about piracy and the Internet age (it's interesting to see how the old models have insisted on persisting, right up to the closure of the Pirate Bay) and prepared for the release of The Dark Knight with Bat Blog. Even though it seemed the little blighter drowned in the ensuing rains, we have the feeling he/she was just drying off and flapped his/her way out of the garden later. I hope we get an Australia Day visitor for the third year running!

We also got another grandchild up here! Amanda had a rocky first few months in Cairns , but she's now renting her own place and doing a job she loves. It's been great getting to know her (and her mother Jenny, when she came up for visits) better!

In February, I started a trend which I will hereby dub "Spaceballs 2009: The Search for More Money." As part of an overall trend of putting away childish things, I decided that some of my old gaming paraphernalia could be auctioned off to someone who would use it more than I. Out the door this year were a throttle-and-stick game controller and my Heavy Gear and Sorcerer RPG books.

At the end of February I made a fist at trying to get myself organised. The results have been mixed (maily due to my spotty effort in that regard) but generally positive, although I wound up spending around $100 on assorted organisational paraphernalia.

Come April we were working on improving our health. I wound up shedding around sixteen kilos between swimming at the Lagoon, using the gym gear donated by my stepson Karl and the eating plans Vickie adopted upon joining the Biggest Loser Club. Vickie also wound up losing over twelve kilos!

On the entertainment front, I discovered two authors named Vaugh(a)n: Carrie Vaughn, author of the Kitty Norville novels, and Elizabeth Vaughan, who penned the Warlands and Star series romantic fantasies. I planned my summer blockbuster schedule (pretty good, in the end - of the eight listed movies I saw six at the cinema; we decided not to see Night at the Museum 2 and Wolverine, and Vickie didn't join me for Terminator Salvation) and I continued to review books for the Cairns Post, although the schedule was so all over the place I couldn't keep track of what got published when.

Speaking of reviews, I got my second game review in the paper and also tackled Star Trek, Terminator Salvation and Avatar. I promised a review of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen which never eventuated.

We made another attempt at getting the vegetable garden growing again, but it's been a tough one; the weather hasn't been ideal and we've not been able to refertilise the bed as we'd have liked.

I had something of a blank period in June and July, finishing the month with a trio of posts on the same day. The Tron Legacy tech demo premiered on the web and I've showed it to all and sundry since. Having seen Avatar I'm really looking forward to 3D lightcycles in December.

In August, I received the Employee of the Month award for June, sharing it with another Rob in the editorial department. The $100 gift voucher was most definitely appreciated, and while I didn't win the Employee of the Year award it was a great run!

I finally caught up with blogging in mid-September, where I discussed our joining the Ever After Cafe Bookstore's book club. It's been a great night excuse to get out of the house fo an evening for Vickie and I; we've made some great new friends through it, although we've lost two when they moved back down south.

The Book Club was also the prompt that got me back to my long-standing fiction project, namely Slamdance. I've been doing more making and collating notes of late, but the short story I've written so far has already got raves from everyone I've given it to.

On the tech front, I started seriously getting into Linux this year, although it hit a snag when an upgrade removed my installation's ability to play sound. I've been meaning to do a rebuild for months, especially as Windows XP has been very flaky for a while, but I never make time or inclination. I followed pro Halo 3 player Walshy from his longtime team Final Boss to Instinct and then on to Carbon, whom I hope can pull the Major League Gaming National Championship in Orlando in a week's time. I lost my taste for competitive gaming but discovered "got your back gaming", an idea which I managed to turn into my first article published in an actual newspaper. I hoped that my coverage of a midnight launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 would make it into the paper, but that didn't eventuate.

As the end of the year approached, we joined the Liberal National Party right before a rocky period and a resultant long quiet. Although things haven't exactly been smooth with regard to the party, we've made another slew of good mates out of it.

Tabletop gaming made a resurgence in November. I played my first game of the 4th Edition of the venerable Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game and discovered the beta test version of the upcoming FreeMarket tabletop roleplaying game in time to organise a game in the first weeks of 2010.

I also briefly mentioned a surgery in mid-November. Vickie had a gynae issue develop over the year, and thankfully she got a surgery date at Cairns Base prior to Christmas. Vickie's still recovering and I'm doing a lot - okay, a bit - more around the house so that she can relax and recuperate. If you now Vickie, though, you'll know she's never content with just sitting around!

Finally, I wound up 2009 with a wholesale rejection of modern society's approach to the giving of gifts. Interestingly enough, we had a good, trouble-free Christmas Day this year.

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