2015 is in the books.
Looking back at the overall picture of 2015, it was a pretty decent year. I know others will disagree with me, but in the big scheme of things, I can’t complain.
From beginning to end, I honestly can’t remember anything really bad this year. And that, truthfully, is refreshing after the past few years.
Professionally, I’m happy where I am. I feel I’m doing well, which is good. Financially, I’m starting to finally really get on my feet. And in the personal world, I’ve had some fun over the course of the past year, which made things good.
So let me take a little closer look at the year that has passed us by.
I always seem to start the second half of these posts with geocaching. Probably because it’s been a big part of my life since I started some eight years ago.
I rebounded a bit this year, which was nice. But it’s still not like it used to be.
There are several reasons behind this:
- It’s becoming too mainstream
- Some people start and stop and the caches aren’t as good
- Not as many ones to do around here
- Not a lot of people to cache with
Simply put, the game has changed quite a bit. There are a lot of newcomers to the game who use only the app and their phones. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be bad, but the reality is a lot of people sign up, find a couple, hide several, and never cache again. When they do that, the caches, which are usually not top-of-the-line anyway, end up becoming trash.
I can only find so many caches on guardrails and under lamp skirts before I get bored.
That being said, I had the chance to take a few caching trips, including to GeoWoodstock in Maryland and to Geocaching.com HQ and several big events in Seattle.
In the end, I hit four mega events this year and also the Geocaching Block Party, so that was really cool.
There were a lot of fun finds, especially when at GeoWoodstock.
Let’s see how 2016 is, but I would like to get a few more finds this year. Maybe I can make a small run at 5,000 finds, but I have a bit to go and am not sure I can make that big of a push.
Summer of Baseball
For the second straight summer, I had the Summer of Baseball.
And this year was better than the first — if you can believe that. I’m not fully caught up (I’ll finish sometime in February), but I once again blogged about the stadiums I hit this year.
The final count for 2015 was 31 games, including 22 minor league, four major league, and five Atlantic League. I also saw the Anderson Monarchs and the Team USA women. I also visited Safeco Park in Seattle for a tour (as well as the tour in Baltimore the day after seeing the Orioles play).
In the end, this year, I saw games in five states (New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and Connecticut.
The summer was filled with stamps for my Passport, as well as many games in my scorebook. I had the chance to meet a bunch of cool people throughout the summer, so that was always nice.
I am sure 2016 will have a lot of baseball, but I’m not sure I will be able to match this past summer. That being said, I have a 10-pack of tickets to the Binghamton Mets, so I know I’ll be hitting a bunch of games down there!
Once again, I took the field playing softball.
One of these days, I’m going to get to old for it!
That being said, I’ve gotten calmer in my older age. Don’t get me wrong, when I am there, I want to compete and win. But I also don’t let losses get to me anymore. It’s part of life. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
Still, winning doesn’t suck.
If you remember last year, we went into the playoffs as the top seed and unbeaten. We lost the first game of the final before winning the next two to win the championship.
This year was different.
We lost a couple of times during the regular season, finishing second. In the playoffs, we opened with a win, but lost the second game to the No. 3 seed before winning the final game to reach the finals.
There, we faced our main rivals, who just happened to be unbeaten.
And we won the first game.
Believe me, that made me think back to last year. Especially when they won the second game, though it too them like 11 innings to do so.
Alas, we shrugged that off and stormed back in the third game and held a slim lead into the seventh inning when we scored six or seven runs to pull away and win our second straight title and fourth in six years.
Oh, I played one game in another league at the end of the season. My first at-bat, I homered to center field. It was the first one I’ve hit in … about 18 years. I’m not even kidding. It was pretty cool to trot around the bases after popping that. I almost hit one my second time up, but the left-fielder grabbed it at the fence before it left the yard.
2CW and wrestling
In January, the Royal Rumble was in Philadelphia. For the second year in a row, I had the chance to go. It was a pretty fun time to be sure. I know Philly better than Pittsburgh (2014), so it was pretty easy to get in and out for the event. We had solid seats once again, which was nice.
But when it came to wrestling this year, it was all about 2CW. I saw several independent companies this year, but 2CW fully stole the show, as always.
Unfortunately, the company decided to close its doors after its final show in December. The company had a 10-year run and went out on top.
I saw 8 of 13 cards this year that 2CW put on and they were all awesome. I should have hit at least 3-4 of the others. In the end, in the five years I watched the company, I saw 30 cards (probably should have been 40-45).
But what I take from that experience is several friends I made and knowing that each show had some awesome magic and always left me wanting more.
I’ll still catch some wrestling here and there, but it won’t be like 2CW, that’s for sure.
One cool thing is I had the chance to put together a 52-page commemorative magazine for the final three 2CW shows. It came out really sweet, too, which is even better.
It’s hard not to tackle photography a bit more in-depth.
I took my camera out a lot more. I went to place to take photos. I documented a bunch of things with my nephew/godson. I rented lenses and tests my photo skills.
I also worked with the iPhone and kept putting things on Instagram.
Photography has definitely become part of my life again, and not just in my professional life.
I plan on having that whole aspect continue to grow, too.
Photography has always been part of who I am, so I will continue. I actually had debated trying the 365 project in 2016, but decided against it. It becomes a hard chore to do that challenge.
So, I will keep toting my DSLR. I’ll always have my phone. And I’ll always look to take photos. I’m going to try and challenge myself a bit more next year and see what I can do.
If you follow me on Instagram or know me at all, you know I’ve gotten into the hobby of board gaming the past few years. And no, that’s not Monopoly. The games are way better and have different levels of difficulty, strategy and themes.
This year was a fun year for gaming.
For starters, I went to my first convention. This one was a smaller one and called ConnCon, held in Connecticut. I was there for three nights and played board games nearly non-stop. It was a whole heap of fun.
I had 33 plays at ConnCon last year (and 25+ games), which was awesome. But I also learned a lot about going to a convention. I already have my room reserved for 2016 and am looking forward to going back.
Overall, I had a solid year of games, I think. I’ve played many games in a few different places and with a lot of different people.
It wasn’t a ton compared to some others, but for 2015, I played 131 games and had 181 plays overall. I’d like to up that in 2016 as it’s a lot of fun.
I have to say, this year was a good family year.
One of my brothers seems to be making strides in being happy, which is something he doesn’t always show. My other brother has been really enjoying life as a father.
My niece graduated high school, started college, and played soccer. Her team reached nationals, finishing third overall, and she earned several post-season accolades, including being named to the national all-tournament team.
Health, for the most part, seems to be good among everybody, which is nice.
Holidays were fun and not dramatic. Sitting down to holiday meals wasn’t a bad thing as it could sometime be in the past. It seems as we’ve all grown older, we all appreciate the family dynamic that much more.
Social media has proven to be a good place to keep in touch with family members, and give others the chance to see how their lives are doing.
Of course there’s Cameron, my godson/nephew. Many photos have been taken of this little guy. He’s growing fast and it’s been quite fun watching him grow. He’s talking a ton now and it’s hard to keep him pinned down as he’s a very active little guy.
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2016 for all family members — near and far.
Life didn’t suck in 2015.
It’s been several years where I could go through a full year and not think of anything major that went wrong. I was sick a few times early in the year with the nasty winter we had. I didn’t get down to the Jersey Shore in the fall like I’ve done the past few years. And I didn’t get to Montreal.
But those are hardly anything to give a failing grade to the year.
I did a lot of things I wanted to do — including visiting geocaching headquarters and seeing the spot for the first geocache. I saw a lot of baseball. I spent times with family and friends. I had the chance to dabble in my hobbies.
Financially, I’m getting closer to getting out of the whole the 2.5 years of unemployment put me in.
Professionally, I feel challenged and fulfilled, which is amazingly awesome.
Are there spots in life that can be improved? Absolutely. That’s what 2016 is for — to keep improving as I push along in life.
I look forward to what lies ahead for me. And hopefully I’ll be able to keep writing about it here and documenting life’s steps through words and photography.
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