Happy New Year!
Let’s reflect on 2014:
Family-wise, I was fortunate enough to visit my parents three times this year, and they were able to visit me once. I surprised my mother for her 63rd birthday, which was quite an experience. I also made a summer cross-country trip and got to my parents, as well as took my traditional Christmas trip. I visited my grandfather on all three of those trips as well. On the Christmas trip, I got to see my cousin and his wife. I had not seen him since 2005, and never met his wife until this trip. I saw two uncles and two aunts over Christmas as well. After Christmas, I saw my girlfriend’s family: her brother, sister, three nephews, niece, two cousins, two cousin-in laws, four kids, and her aunt. When my parents came to visit, another uncle and aunt stopped by as well. I also got to see another cousin in Colorado back in March. I feel like I did much more visiting this year than in years past.
Friend-wise, I reconnected with a few old friends and made some new ones. I have been involved with Landmark Education since January, and have made a host of new friends there. I saw Martha and Eric M., old college friends in February. I saw Eric N., Carly and Brad, also old college friends, in December. I saw my friend Laura in August. I saw my old neighbors, Matthew (and his girlfriend), and Tim in December, as well as met one of my girlfriend’s high school friends a few nights ago. I feel more connected than I have been in the past.
Weather-wise, I posted on my weather blog more than I have ever posted before. I passed several meteorology classes, including an A in Synoptic Meteorology, and am cruising through my meteorology degree without too much difficulty. I had my first customer with High Plains Tours, LLC, and led a several day storm chase with her. I went chasing a total of 9 days this past year. I tried my hand at forecasting snow and hurricanes, both of which I had never tried before.
Job-wise, the post-Intel life has taken a toll on my finances. However, being able to focus at NMT has made it all worthwhile. My class is better than it has been before, and I took over a larger role in Unit Operations as well. I mentored a chemical engineering car team again. I also took on a job as an AVID tutor for Magdalena School, and have been doing that for a few hours a week. I had my first technical writing assignment, and made $200 writing an instruction manual. I did some online tutoring as well through Insta-EDU. I also led a volunteer tutoring group at the Boys’ and Girls’ Ranch, which has been tremendous fun. Job-wise, the pay hurts, but the jobs have been fantastic.
House-wise, I had a concrete slab poured for my shed. I have not yet moved my shed, but that is next on my list. I rearranged the “tv room.” This room is called the TV room, even though the TV has been unplugged for over a year, and hasn’t received cable or satellite signal in over five years.
Pet-wise, our pets are all doing well. I take Dog-Dog on runs, and miss the animals when I am in Socorro.
Vehicle-wise, the Malibu crossed 340,000 miles this year. I replaced quite a few things in that car this year (steering rack and radiator), but it is still ticking along. The Volvo uses oil and coolant quickly, so that will need to be addressed this year.
Travel-wise, I went to Phoenix for Landmark events twice in January, once in October and once in November. I went to Landmark events in Denver once in March and once in August. I went storm chasing for 9 days, though I stayed in Texas and New Mexico for those. I drove to Oklahoma for a race that my girlfriend ran back in February, as well as a number of New Mexico runs all over the state. In June, I took a trip with my girlfriend’s family to Utah and Colorado to see Dinosaur National Monument, Black Canyon, and Colorado National Monument. I went to Connecticut in July, driving through OK, MO, IL, KY, WV, MD, PA, NJ, NY, RI, MA, NH, VT, DE, VA, TN, AR and TX when we had completed the trip. I flew to MD and VA in March, and attended NI Week in Austin back in August. Our Christmas trip has brought us through TX, AR, TN, VA, WV, MD, DE, PA, OH, and IN thus far. All in all, we visited 24 states this year.
Health-wise, my weight has held steady, but I am healthier. I still battle soy, and have had a difficult time with it over the holidays. I did, however, start running again this year for the first time in many years. My biking (68.2 miles this year) suffered due to bike problems at home (I keep cutting the valve stem when I brake or corner), but I have been running to make up for it (ran 8 hours 46 minutes this year, which is more than the last 20 years combined). I would like to do Parkour, so I have been working towards that goal.
Radio-wise, I did not operate nearly as much as I would have liked to. I had no radio at all during storm chase season, which really hurt. I had my radio up and running during the NM QSO Party, but I recorded my QSOs on a tablet. That tablet was stolen, so I lost those QSOs. I had a running radio for all of my other travels in the second half of the year, so I made most of my contacts from July to December. I have not totaled them up, as I have some recorded on my phone. I did increase my SSB Sweepstakes score, my 10 meter contest score, and my Skywarn Recognition Day score.
Garden-wise, my garden was quite disappointing this year. I did have corn, okra, some pinto beans and tomatoes, but everything else was a flop. Squash bugs ruined my squash, zucchini and eggplant. The asparagus did nothing. My beans were too close together and mostly produced leaves. My grapes got decimated by something. I am changing the layout for next year.
Reading-wise, I read 160 magazines and e-zines, 14 books, and 35 books of the Bible. I would like to read more over the next year.
Writing-wise, I wrote 434,190 words on blogs, journals, and miscellaneous notes. My blogs have never been more active!
Hobby-wise, I did not do nearly enough camping this year. In fact, I did none. I did very little shooting as well. I am trying to set up my schedule this semester so that I can shoot air rifle practice, at least.
2014 was a good year for me, and I will make 2015 a great year.
Thank you for reading my post!