Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Year End Wrap Up

It's a little slow on the work front today, given that it is still Christmas week and all. Thought I'd
drop a post here on yee ol' blog, and talk about a few things before the year is up.

To start, I am unsure what is going on for new year's this year. Here it is, December 29th, and I still have made no real sound plans for it yet. I sincerely doubt I will do anything at all. A couple of friends are doing small intimate things, more so because they are in the same boat I am. There is one party with some great friends, but I just am not into the house party scene anymore. I always go and sit in front of the chip bowl and talk idly with whomever is sitting in front of me. I wouldn't mind doing downtown to the waterfront for the fireworks, but truthfully, the logistics of getting there, getting back, and all things in between make it more worth my while to stay home! Honestly, with the weather we've been having lately, we'd only see coloured fog anyway. :S So, it looks like a night with a glass of wine and my lovely wife. Not a bad thing at all.

Now What Day 2010 had to have been our most successful event of such type ever. With nearly 2 months of planning behind us, 7 grown men tipped a glass of their favorite alcoholic beverage to one another at 10am in the morning and thus began a day of revelling in our excesses. It was like we were all 21 again, at least for a day. It was glorious, not just in the sense that we all threw ourselves over to our geeky natures, but because it was also an opportunity for some of us to actually experience something new. In gaming, I myself have never been one to enjoy first person shooters. (I believe I've mentioned this here before). So, when the first voicings of "let's play Halo: Reach" came up, I was less than enthused, to say the least. I was looking forward to the annual run at level 50 in the horde for Gears of War 2, I was looking forward to some NHL 11 (Dave, if you are reading this, those were some KILLER games!!), I was looking forward to some Rock Band 2 or 3 (which, strangely enough, never truly materialized). But Halo? The most generic of generic shooters? Seriously? Anyway, I said to myself that this wasn't about me today, it was about us all. So I bit the bullet and gave it a go, and surprisingly enough, I had more fun playing this game than I have in play ANY game in recent memory. Even more surprisingly, I DIDN'T SUCK AT IT. :D I held my own and managed to get a few kills before it was all said and done. This is a memory that I will stick with me for some time. Lesson learned people lesson LEARNED! Anyway, through all the joy and bliss that was Now What Day, I was starting to feel my age. My 34 year old body just didn't feel the same way after hour 12 as it did after hour 2. With the debauchery that was Dominos, Don Cherry's Ultimate Wings, Bacon Cheese Burgers, KFC Variety bucket, and all the little snack stuffings in between, marinated all together with booze and coke, I just didn't feel very good in the end and the next day was really bad. I am thinking that if there is a next year, I'll be cutting back considerably.

My joy in the rebuilding of Table Hockey Boards is still in full swing. I'm just waiting on some parts I've ordered away for and I'll have 2 complete boards built. I have the original Coleco vintage board from the 70's, and a current model Stiga Stanley Cup Championship board. The Coleco board is the one that I've been sticking up all the printable players for in recent weeks, and the Stiga board has 3d players and a new, no dead zone board. We've done a little "rebuild" on the Stiga board here at work before Christmas, with a new playing surface and all new board and exterior decals. There was one broken rod, for which I am just waiting on via shipping from the official dealer of Stiga, Mark Schwartz down in Ohio has been selling these tables for over 10 years now, and has a great working knowledge on them. Sadly, I think he's a Leaf's fan. I guess nobody is perfect. :D

Well look at me, I TOTALLY forgot to talk about CHRISTMAS! Biggest thing to happen in the past month and I simply forget to talk about it up until now. SHOCKING. :P Anyway, this year for Christmas, my wife and I decided to go all out on each other and spend more than we normally would. This added up to a fantastic Christmas. I picked up lots of coffee for her Keurig K-Cup Coffee Makers, got her a Cakeboss Cookbook, some shirts, some chocolate, some DVD's, and a brand new I-Pod Touch. (Touch being a key word, since I don't think it's left her hands since she opened it!). Now you'd think that this would be a good haul for any tech loving, caffeine induced geek, but it wasn't. She TOTALLY trumped me and gave me a way better Christmas. Now you see, there are 3 things in life for Chris Dixon that everybody knows. I near legendary
obsession with the New York Islanders, my near fatal addiction to Coca Cola, and my painfully time consuming indulgence in all things Xbox 360. I also enjoy restoration projects and photography, but we'll stick with the first 3 for now. So, we stuck all of our gifts under the tree a day or so before, a kind of tease to each other to help build anticipation for Christmas Day. I looked at some of the wrapped presents and thought "oh! I think she's bought me a Kinect", and "oh! I think she has me a couple of scented candles! I do recall saying I enjoyed those". "Those look like they may be some strategy guides". "That big box, I'm not sure what that may be, likely some shirts for work, I need those". All of these things would have been wonderful and I would have loved them all. But my wife Steph, being the bundle of awesome that she is, decided to take it a step further. (Kudos on some very concealing, and deceptive wrapping dear.) You see, the box that I thought was a Kinect was actually a fun throwback to our first Christmas in our new home, and was a case of Coke. Oh baby. The scented candles were actually individually wrapped cans of coke. OH BABY. The shirts were actually AN AUTHENTIC NEW YORK ISLANDERS PRACTICE JERSEY! OH OH OH! THE STRATEGY GUIDES WERE ACTUALLY A BRAND FREAKIN' NEW 250 GIG XBOX 360 HOLIDAY BUNDLE!!! WOOOOO!!!! My eyes kept getting bigger and bigger as she passed me parcel after parcel. What a holiday. That wasn't even all of it, as I got some tools for the house (painfully needed), socks, pants, a Spiderman keychain (all boys and men need to have a Spidey on Christmas morning, it's a RULE!) and my favorite holiday movie ever, Elf with Will Ferrell.This was a fantastic Christmas. Thanks to one and all. We also bought each other a 46 inch LCD TV. Strange,that being an afterthought. :P

The Islanders went on a little streak of 4-0-1 over the holidays, with big wins over the Canadiens, the Lightning, and the Devils included in there. It's nice for the team to finally get a couple wins and give their fanbase a little relief. Yesterday, the Isles traded their supposed #1 defencemen, James Wisniewski to the Canadiens for a couple of draft picks. I'm a little puzzled by it, but I'm pretty sure that he would have left as a free agent by season's end anyway. Some of the comments he's made really showed him to be a little unhappy. It's too bad too. At least they got a couple of picks for him, a 2nd rounder at that. The Habs got a great player too. So, in the end, the Isles traded a 3rd rounder for a 2nd rounder and a 5th rounder. Not a terrible play at all.
In gaming, I've just recently started playing Mass Effect again. With the new TV, I'm interested in re-experiencing some of the games I've enjoyed the most over the past coupleof years, with Mass Effect being #1. I had a save file right during the final battle so I checked out the ending, and truth be told, it was a completely different and mindblowing experience for me. The end of Mass Effect 1 is incredibly epic as it is. To experience it again in HD and better sound was absolutely breathtaking. I started a brand new character and went with the Engineer, as I've always played a soldier or biotic. It's been quite fun. Next is Mass Effect 2.

I start my shoot for Altered Reality this weekend. My wife will model and it's going to be a sight to behold. I've set a deadline for January 6 to have 3 to 5 completed altered shots. It's going to be a lot of fun and it's truly the first real itch I've had to take a photo in quite some time. I love photography, but recently I've really felt burned out from it. It feels like work now. I have such a small palette to work from, given my ability to travel is non-existent and Newfoundland, for all it's beauty, has more shots taken of it than most of the world's seven wonders, making it painfully hard to not shoot something that has already been taken a million times over or having it be painfully predictable. This shoot offers me the chance to be creative and to add a little digital twist.

So that's a wrap for my first year in blogging. It's been fun and I've written and posted far more often than I had ever hoped. The fact that I'm still doing it is remarkable in itself, given the way life has become so busy and I don't need to fill random lunch hours any longer. To all my readers, the 5 or 6 of you who are anyway, thanks for reading and all the best in the new year.


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