The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

December 31, 2011

Random Thoughts: Year End Blowout Edition

Filed under: Random Stuff — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 12:46 pm

Second-to-last sunset of 2011.

Well, it’s just about time to put 2011 in the books and move onto 2012.  As tends to be the case with most of them, it’s certainly been an interesting year, and with the way things are going right now, I suspect that 2012 should prove equally interesting, albeit in completely different ways.  Then again, you can never truly tell what the future holds for you until you actually get around to living in it, so there’s really only one way to find out.  In the meantime, here’s a few random thoughts and loose ends to finish out 2011.

  • Two days before Christmas, our family got a somewhat unexpected surprise when my sister Jacki had her third son and my fifth nephew several weeks earlier than her expected due date.  Tyson John Keenan arrived into the world on December 23rd at roughly 10:30am, healthy and weighing 6 pounds 5 ounces.  Nonetheless, even giving birth two days beforehand wasn’t enough to deter my sister from attending our usual family Christmas get-together, where the above photo was taken of Tyson with his cousin Isla, born just about four months ago at the end of August.  With all the kids around these days and most of them being boys, I don’t think there’s such a thing as a quiet family get-together in our family anymore. 
  • Incidentally, I just spent a good 20 minutes digging through Facebook profiles to try to remember when Isla was born.  I suppose if I was a good uncle I’d actually remember this stuff…
  • As I’ve said in the past, I’ve never been big on the whole concept of New Year’s resolutions.  To me, the whole concept seems rather arbitrary.  Nonetheless, back at the beginning of the year I set a number of goals for things I’d like to do over the course of the then coming year, found in this post.  To be honest, I didn’t really get anywhere with any of these, although 2 of the three goals were things that, now that I go back and look at them, were pretty frivolous in the first place.  Granted, all three of the goals (write a PC game from scratch, build a supergun so I can play my collection of arcade boards, write something significant) are still things that I would like to do at some point, but aside from the writing, they’re pretty much things that I wouldn’t be too disappointed in myself if I ended up never getting them done. 
  • Speaking of writing, I think I’d still like to set a goal to do more of that in 2012, but I think I need to take a different approach to it.  For a number of years, I’ve had an idea or two for a novel in my head, but for some reason have never been able to develop it well enough to get much out of it.  I suspect that’s one of those things where I’m going to have to start small and work my way up to it.  Then again, sometimes these half-baked ideas may still be useful, but probably not at the scope I had originally envisioned.  Because of this, I would like to set a goal for myself to write a short story every month and post it here.  I have written a few of these here and there and posted them on the Blog (the most recent example being this one, written back in July)  but I’d like to do more of this.  Watch for more of these over the course of the next year.
  • In addition to this, I would really like to spend some more time writing about software testing (which is what I do for a living,) most likely in the form of a series of posts discussing some of the basics of testing and explaining how the process works.  Hopefully it’s the type of thing some people out there might find useful.
  • After months of putting up with the crummy office chair that I’ve been doing most of my Blogging from for the past several years, I finally got around to replacing it earlier this week.  I have actually been looking at new chairs for quite a while now, but quite frankly, I think for most people, the “perfect” office chair simply doesn’t exist, or at least it ends up being too expensive to bother with.  Even though I could probably afford one of the really nice ones like the dot-com bubble leftover I’ve got at my desk at work (a Herman Miller Mirra) it still seems like a lot of money to spend, even taking into account how much I would be using the thing.  In the end, I went with something that’s a little bit nicer than the gradually self-destructing Ikea chair I had before, but still tried not to spend a ton of money on it.  Chances are I’m just going to be replacing the thing in three years anyway, right?
  • Music stuck in my head recently:  Between the Humble Indie Bundles and the holiday sales over on Steam, lately I’ve been picking up a number of indie games and playing them on my PC.  One of my favorites this year has been Jamestown, a well-made 2D shoot-em-up based on a war between Britain and Spain in 15th century… on Mars (um, yeah… don’t expect much in the way of historical accuracy.)  Admittedly, 2D shooters are one of the few niche genres I tend to enjoy, but the orchestral soundtrack to this game is the part that stands out to me the most.  Perhaps the most notable song in the game is this, the Lost Temple of Croatoa Suite, the first part of which accompanies the game’s final level.  The rest of the soundtrack can be found here.
  • Somehow, I suspect that when I’m writing another one of these posts at the end of 2012, I’m going to find that there is quite a bit in my life that has changed significantly from where I am right now.  Of course, I can never really tell what the future is going to hold, but I do tend to think that things are (mostly) headed in the right direction. 
  • As usual, I should be putting up my annual statistical Overview post sometime tomorrow.  Overall, traffic is down a fair bit from last year, but still pretty reasonable.
  • Dear WordPress Spell Checker:  No, I did not misspell “from”, thank you very much for flagging it though.  Thanks, Brian.

Have a happy and safe New Year, and be sure to watch for more cool (or boring, depending on how motivated I’m feeling at the time) stuff here over the course of 2012.

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