With this post, my final look back at 2013, I wanted to get a little more direct — as in looking at certain aspects of the year. Though most with be upbeat, there were some things I look back and wish I did more of certain things.
I’ll see this — despite all of the issues I had this year, I did find time to do some really fun things.
From geocaching to a little bit of traveling when I could to whatever else, I always found a way to keep myself occupied. Here’s a look back at some of those things a little closer.
This past year marked my sixth year of geocaching. It’s kind of crazy, if I think about it. Geocaching has been one of the best hobbies I’ve ever started. It continually shows me new places, allows me to meet people and really gives me a chance to get outside.
My main hopes and goals with geocaching this year were pretty simple — don’t have the year with my fewest finds and try and find some fun with the hobby again.
I finished with 432 finds for 2013 in 69 days of caching. That gave me an average of 6.3 finds per caching day and 1.2 finds per day overall. I am pretty happy about that, considering the schedule I rand in the summer months didn’t leave me a lot of time to cache. Maybe this summer will treat me a little better in regard to that.
Because of a cruise (to be mentioned in the travel section of this post), I also had the chance to add a new state (Florida) and a new country (Bahamas).
The 69 days, however, is my fewest days caching in a year since I started. I’ll have to try and amend that next year, too!
On the other side of it, I did place 22 geocaches this year (seven of which were events), bringing my total to 77 (I don’t count four, which I had adopted from another cacher). That brings me closer to 100 placed caches, a milestone I hope to cross this year.
I also have some goals I hope to accomplish in 2014, but I’ll cover those in a future post. In the end, 2013 was a pretty decent year for geocaching on my end. It was immensely helpful in getting me through some tough times, that’s for sure.
As many of you know, I’m somewhat of a disc golfer. Here’s the problem — I barely played this year. That also made it tough on the disc golf blog I run as when you’re not playing, it’s hard to find the interest to write about it.
I played in a tournament in March — one I always play in. I love that tournament and look forward to continuing to play in it.
Outside of that, however, I didn’t play much at all. I know I played once in May and another time in September. I can’t remember any other time where I went and played. Pretty sad, right?
I had worked to try and get a small course locally, and despite some apparent support, it fell away and I haven’t heard anything. One can push only so hard for something before hearing the same thing over and over gets old and it becomes obvious that getting something like this — which could benefit many people — isn’t going to happen. So, for now, there’s nothing there. If that course had been installed, I think I’d be more into the disc golf world. As it is, it’s hard to stay interested because the nearest decent courses are an hour and change away.
Here’s to hoping 2014 is better for me with disc golf, that’s for sure. I have a whole heap of discs that need throwing!
One thing I didn’t do enough of is read.
I had set a goal of 25 books for 2013, which shouldn’t be too hard for me. Alas, I ended with fewer than 10. It was a mixture of a lot of things, but I never really got into the groove. I often go in spurts with reading. I’ll read a bunch of books, then take a month away, then go back to it. Often, though, I do my reading at night before bed. Now when I go to bed, I’m usually out pretty quickly, so that took it away.
I have a heap of books to read, though.
I won’t lie — I was a bit lucky when it came to travel this year.
I had the chance to go to one mega geocaching event in Massachusetts, making it an overnight stay. I then went on a cruise to the Bahamas as the photographer for a friend’s wedding. Finally, I got to hit the Jersey Shore this past fall, a weekend that turned out to be just what my mind and soul needed.
The geocaching trip to Massachusetts was outstanding, considering it was a mega event. We made it an overnight trip, so it was a good time. Truthfully, it was good to just get away and not worry about anything but a weekend of geocaching. The weather was a little steamy, but overall it was a fun weekend.
The biggest trip of the season was the cruise.
Going in, I was a tad nervous. Not just because I had never been on a cruise, but for financial reasons. Either way, I committed and got the time off from the summer job approved and went with the flow. I’m glad I did. It was everything I needed. Besides getting to serve as the photographer for a friend’s wedding, I had the opportunity to do something I had never done before and I really enjoyed it.
For those of you who have never cruised, it’s really quite cool. I can definitely see me doing it again. It’s not my true style of traveling as I don’t like to feel restricted, but I truly enjoyed the experience. I’d do it again, too. From the amazing food to being able to just relax and get lost in my thoughts, it was quite amazing.
Then, this past fall, I visited my aunt’s house at the Jersey Shore. Some family was there and my mother and her sisters had the chance to get together and enjoy hanging. I also got the chance to get out, see some things, hang with a friend and do my own thing. It was something, at that point, I really needed. I also think it helped me clear my melon for what ended up being the upcoming job interview.
That being said, it did help me clear my mind as I pushed forward in the job hunt. I always love going to the shore, especially in the off-season, It’s a good way to be able to relax and just stare out into the ocean. The weather could have been better, but beggars can’t be choosers, right?
I also got to hit up the zoo down there a couple of times. Add that to the Binghamton Zoo and I had two visited this year. Hopefully I can add more as I really do enjoy visiting zoos.
I love a good beer. In January, I started brewing my own. First with the Mr. Beer system, eventually going all-grain with one-gallon and two-gallon batches.
I’ve made several beers this year (and have many more to make) and really have enjoyed it. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot. And, after reading so much about the process, I really know I have a whole heap to learn and try.
That’s the beauty of brewing beer — there’s so much about it you can mess with, yet at the same time, it can be as simple as you want.
Unfortunately, one of the best beers I made this year was a Blueberry Red Ale. The problem? I carbonated it wrong. So every time one was opener, it shot out and a good 3/4 of the beer ended up being wasted.
Talk about a crappy outcome!
I can’t think of a beer I didn’t enjoy in some way or another. Some were better than others, but in the end, I was pretty happy making drinkable beer.
Relay for Life
This part will be somewhat quick. Our team dialed back a little this year. Our goal wasn’t about staying at the Relay all night and such, it was about raising money — and that’s what it’s all about, in my eyes. In fact, I believe (and have brought up several times) our local Relay goes for too long (6 p.m. on a Friday to like 9 or 10 a.m. Saturday). Once that sun comes up in the morning, people start to leave.
So our goal this year wasn’t to have a tent or anything, but to have our small group (seven of us) last as long as we could and move on. I personally don’t think that is a bad thing, considering our team raised upward of $2,000. Not too shabby for a seven-member team, eh?
It started out so well.
We won our first seven games and seemed like we were back on the right path. Things clicked. Then it all went downward. And, despite winning 10 games, we were bumped in the first round of the playoffs — after winning the first game of a best two-out-of-three series.
The worst part? There’s a chance the league will fold this year. And it’s not for a lack of teams. It’s for a lack of support in the city. They are cutting things (understandable), with rec programs being part of it. That’s not too smart, I don’t think, as rec programs can really help give a community an identity of sorts. Privatizing youth programs (and paying for that), as well as cutting adult programs doesn’t scream to the younger generation to tell them to move or stay in the city, that’s for sure.
Either way, it’s a shame because there are a lot of younger guys who still play the game. So, hopefully, it won’t get yanked away from them. The league is good, brings quite a bit of money to city businesses and is a good thing for the area. We’ll see come the summer what happens.
I’ll end the post with this topic.
The job hunt took me most of the year, but it ended pretty strong. I ended up getting a dream-type job and I’ve been happy since I started. I look forward to the future.
Still, what a tough road. I’m happy it ended in 2013, to make it somewhat of a decent year!
Over the next few days, I’ll look ahead to 2014, then get back to normal around here.
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