Earlier this week, I took an overall look at 2014. But I’d also like to dive in a little deeper with a few things from the year. There were some fun things that happened, and other items I am starting to look into doing more of in 2015 and beyond.
As noted — the year wasn’t all perfect. That being said, it’s kind of funny that when I sat down to write these posts, I only remembered the negative things when I looked through the blog archives. That’s a good thing because I believe it shows 2014 was a good year overall and the positive things definitely had a greater weight.
I’m going to take a peek at a few things more in-depth with this post.
It’s hard to believe I’ve been caching for seven years.
Turns out this year was the weakest (number wise) since I started!
I had needed just a bit more than 400 finds to reach the 4,000 finds mark. If I don’t find any more caches before the calendar flips to 2015, I’ll end with 221 finds for the year. That’s an average of 0.6 per day! I also only had 37 days of caching and had two months — February and March — where I logged no finds. I also had two months — April and December — with two and one finds, respectively.
That’s something I had never done.
There were some good things, though. I still got out and found caches. There were events (three Megas), and some fun times without a doubt. I didn’t place as many as I would like, so I am going to fix that. I have a box full of caches (all different sizes) I need to place, so that will definitely be on my radar.
That being said, it’s harder to cache around where I am. There are fewer cachers it seems, well at least placing caches. Some of the more active cachers in the past don’t seem to geocache as much. There are a handful I need to grab around here, so hopefully I can do that soon and continue on.
Before 2014, the lowest total month I ever had was five finds in August, 2011. In fact, of the 82 months I’ve been caching, I’ve had fewer than 10 finds in a month 14 times — six of which came this year!
There are some reasons for this, though. The foot issue that took up the first part of the year, as well as the Summer of Baseball Tour that took up many weekends were part of it. Some of the people I cache with, too, don’t cache as much (and, honestly, it’s way more fun to cache with others than by myself).
I intend on changing this in 2015.
My goal is to hit four Mega events, so that should give me opportunities. I also want to start planning some caching trips just to get back into things. I want to place more caches, find a bunch (and, obviously reach 4,000 finds) and just remember why I enjoy the game so much.
I truly want to hit some more New York State parks this year for reasons beyond geocaching, but this will be a benefit as well. The reality is geocaching, when done right, can be a tremendous source of exercise and a way to relax. I need things like that in my life, so I look forward to letting these items become a major part of my life once again.
Summer of Baseball
One item that was a true blast was the Summer of Baseball. A friend had return to the area for work and we decided to hit many baseball games this summer — mainly minor league games.
We discovered many fun and cool ballparks, and at the same time found a few older and nostalgic ones that weren’t the best experiences in the world. But in the end, it was about baseball, which was a lot of fun.
Armed with my Baseball America Prospect Guide, we saw many top prospects and solid ballplayers. We saw MLB players rehabbing and youngsters starting their journey. Eventually, I still need to finish a post wrapping up the Summer of Baseball, which will have some statistics and such. I haven’t finished all of those, so that will be forthcoming.
Beyond the baseball, it also gave us the chance to find some really cool places to eat, some fun brew pubs and some other interesting places to stop. Both of us had other games we caught this year, but together we saw more than a dozen games in 11 stadiums, as well as going to a day of the Little League World Series in Williamsport.
There were some amazing stadiums (Lehigh Valley) and some not-so-great stadiums (Williamsport), as well as some amazingly good times (State College, Pa., on July 4). There were short trips and long ones as well as quick games and ones that didn’t seem they’d ever end.
But in the end, it was baseball. A summer full of America’s pastime and so worth the time.
This was also my main travel for the year, sans a few geocaching trips and, one to Pittsburgh in January and a jaunt to South Jersey (which I try and do yearly) in October. I had hopes for a few other spots, but they didn’t happen. Maybe in 2015, right?
This was one of the most fun years of softball I’ve had in a while. It probably helped that I played more than I had in recent years. I hit well, which made it more enjoyable than just running a team.
We also had a really memorable run.
At the end of the year, we only had one blemish on our season — a loss in Game 1 of the finals. But we turned around and won the next two games to win the league championship, completing the sweep of the regular season and playoff titles. In the end, we finished 18-1.
The nice part of the season was having the same group of guys there. We didn’t change the lineup too often and had people in the same spots most nights. We clicked as a team and got along, which is obviously an important thing when it comes to having a good team.
This is our third championship in five years, but it was nice because a couple of the guys won their first.
I had seriously thought about stepping away from softball after this season, but it was a lot of fun, so I’ll keep going with it. It’s also a good source of exercise. I think, too, that without a Summer of Baseball 2015, the season won’t feel so long as I’ll be around on weekends and not always be on the run.
I also played a handful of games in another league. Though I wasn’t eligible for the playoffs, that team won the league championship. So, it was nice to play — and contribute — to two championship squads.
This is something I didn’t do much of in 2014.
In fact, I had a bunch of kits and ingredients and after doing a couple at the end of 2013, I was stoked. Then I started worrying about health things and so many other things piled up that I threw it aside.
The thing is, I do small-batch brews. So it’s a tad easier and not as time consuming. Alas, on weekends, I never felt like it. So I didn’t really do much.
And that’s a shame because the small-batch brews also only produce about 9-12 beers. So it’s nice in that regard.
I never felt like I was going to be some big-time brewer and I know I am far from it. In fact, I just do it because it’s pretty fun. And if I can make myself some decent tasting beer, even better.
I finally broke down at the end of the year and put myself forward to get back to brewing and I did three (with the possibility of one more before the end of the year, or at least early in 2015), so I feel like I ended way better than I started. I look forward to seeing what the new year brings with brewing as I have some goals I’d like to try and get done with making my own beer.
Talk about stepping back some. Well, not really, but kind of.
I took quite a few photos in 2014, just not with my main camera. Most of the photos I took this year (non-work related) were done via my iPhone. And that’s not always a bad thing because the 5S takes some great images.
But it’s not the same.
I am not sure why I always leaned on it. Maybe it was convenience. Maybe it was that sometimes I just didn’t enjoy carrying my camera around. Maybe it was just that … well, I was always afraid my main camera was going to falter because of how old it was getting.
It could be many things.
But in the end, when I did come up with photo stuff, it was usually via the iPhone and, more than likely, Instagram. And though I am always going to use these two items (I love the social media aspect), I’m going to have to change this up as I truly miss taking photos with my actual camera and working on different aspects of photography.
So, in 2015, that hopefully will change. I have some goals and plans for the year (more on this when I do my 2015: Looking ahead post) that will hopefully not only make me want to use my camera more, but put some oomph in my love for photography again.
In the end, 2014 was a pretty good year. I’ve started to find happiness again and, despite some setbacks and down times, I can’t can’t complain. As always, there’s good and bad.
Life gives you some great turns and curves. Hopefully, this year, I took more good turns than bad and that I keep pushing forward.
When people ask me how I am doing, I often say “I am living the dream.” I’ve said this for a long time, and even more when I worked at a local baseball summer camp a year or so ago, but it’s something I truly believe. My health is getting to be decent (mostly), I smile more, I enjoy my job, and I have good friends and family. It’s hard to complain. One always needs to keep things in perspective and look around and understand what one has. I’m truly lucky to be where I am and look forward to 2015 and beyond to see where life takes me.
I still have a few things to write about for 2014 and 2015, so here’s the upcoming schedule on the blog for the next few days:
- Coming Friday: 2014 in Review: Blogging.
- Coming Saturday: Snapshot Saturday
- Coming Sunday: 2015: Looking ahead
- Coming Monday: The start of the 20 Days of Chill Writing Challenge
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