Hello, 2019. Let's be friends.

About this time two years ago, I more or less stopped writing.

There wasn’t really a thought to it. But I’ve been maintaining this blog in some form or another since the end of the ‘90s. The earliest post in the archives is 2003, but the internet’s WayBack Machine shows that in October of 1999, I had uploaded a picture of my mother on a 4-wheeler for the internet to see.

This Is the redneck version of ‘Hello, World!’

This Is the redneck version of ‘Hello, World!’

They say the internet forgets nothing, but thankfully, some of my earliest attempts at learning stylesheets are merely electronic memories, and we’re all better off for it, even if that was the age where hi speed internet was making the jump from 56k to ADSL, and AOL was slugging it out with MySpace.

I’m the product of a Georgia public school education, but if my math is right, that’ll make 2019 the 20th anniversary of the ‘Groove. I vaguely remember choosing that domain name. My buddy had registered a family domain name, and all the .com’s were getting snapped up pretty quick. I can’t recall the inspiration, but hell, it’s alliterative. And so it stuck. That was well before most versions of modern social media, and in the first year or so, it was simply a place for me to dump photos from my new digital camera. But eventually, the ‘blog format began to catch on, and it gave me a place to dump my photos, and the occasional words to go with them.

Eventually, the social medias took over. And I post regularly to many of them. Stuff for family and friends to Facebook. Twitter became my work input, and LinkedIn my work output. Those have all filled some of that urge. And after more than 15 years of writing occasional pieces here, I suppose I just needed to rest my writing. It felt natural to pause.

2017 turned into a terrible year. My father-in-law passed away early in the year. My bride was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through a double mastectomy and reconstruction. My mother moved from her home into a memory care facility as her Alzheimer’s progressed. Work was particularly full of challenges as some technology had to be lifted up, rebuilt, and reconstructed, while not dropping any of the day to day operational load. Oh, and elections.

2018 turned into a much better year, on most every front. Well. Not that election thing. I can’t fix that from here. That’s more or less on you people. Sure, my eyesight got a little worse. But I saw more family. Went camping more often. Hiked further. Read more. Met more people. Learned more things. All-in-all, it’s been a good year.

Now, most of 2 years later, if feels natural to pick up the pen again. Or typewriter. Keyboard. Whatever. You kids and your modern technologies,

My resolutions for this year:

  • Write more. Some of that will be here. I’ll probably also pick up my Medium account, and play with the combination or alternatives between the two. I’ve become a fan of Medium this past year (enough to subscribe, at least). But am still figuring out how I want to use one vs. the other.

  • Play more music. I started this last year, and bought a mandolin. Which is helping (it’s easier to travel with than the banjo). Including taking lessons for a bit. But I still don’t practice as much as I ought.

  • Be kinder. (More kind. Not ‘kinder’ like the eggs). Life is busy. The news sucks. People need a little kindness. At work, this means looking for opportunities to help folks. At home, this means being more patient and listening more. In the parking lot, this means letting you go first. One of the best things I read this year (ironically, from a book that I didn’t care for much mostly) was this quote: “Every day, leave three unnecessary things unsaid” - I certainly have plenty of opportunity to not say things. Things that aren’t helpful. Things that don’t build someone up. Things that are reactive. I’m slow to learn this, but I am getting a little better.

I’m better at things when I create a habit, and even better when it’s something I can measure. So this year, I’m going to work on figuring out how to measure each of these goals.

I’m sure there will be other things that come up. Healthier choices. Better food. New adventures. Maybe another goose I can turn into sausage. New places. New funnies. New grief. Old friends. Good books. Old, good books. New, terrible books. Terrible, stressful news that makes me retreat into old, good books.

Maybe just books.

Here’s to 2019. May it be a good one for all of us.


New Year's Resolution: v2016

1. Wear flannel more often, unironically.

2. Learn all the words to R.E.M. 'It's the End of the World As We Know It'

3. Call that guy from high school who thought he was so cool because he knew all the lyrics to R.E.M. 'It's the End of the World As We Know It' and I didn't. Tell him he's not. 

4. Convince Alton Brown to participate in a winner-take-all cookoff called "The Bacon Sutra"

5. Convince the executives of Netflix to sponsor my new idea for a reality show: "You probably shouldn't poke that"

6. Convince G.R.R. Martin that not finishing the 'Game of Thrones' book series in 2016 will constitute a crime against humanity under the Geneva convention. 

7. Buy a copy of Freakanomics. Leave it on my shelf with the intent to read it. Someday.

8. Find a shampoo that smells like Jovian afterglow. 

9. Learn enough about the NFL that I can use the phrase "The Gronk, ammiright?" without actually having to watch any sports on tv. 

10. Decide which of the seven bottles of salad dressing in my fridge is actually worth saving. Ruthlessly discard the rest, like I was an all-powerful medieval Japanese Shogun whose word was law within the boundaries of my demesne. 

11. Finish watching 'Shogun'. 

12.  Invent a new flavor popcorn seasoning that becomes all the rage. 

13. Introduce a foreigner to the joy that is a 'Slim Jim' meat snack. 

14. Learn how to tie a chunky man-scarf in a way that looks hip & effortless and like I'm off to fell a tree. 

15. Stop thinking of the floorboard of my car as the Home For Used Parking Vouchers. 

16. Put the smack down on an Islamophobe. 

17. Control the urge to roll my eyes at hearing the word 'signage'. 

18. Accept the fact that loyalty cards are inanimate advertising schtick, and unlikely to scream 'TRAITOR' if I weed them out of my Castanza-wallet & throw them away. 

19.  Learn a new knock-knock joke. 

20. Remind myself on a daily basis that pants are optional in your own house. 

21. Make Siri swear. 

22. Lose fifteen ten some a pound.

23. Take a vote on whether 'puce' actually refers to a reddish-brown or some sickly color yellow-green. Lobby for the latter, based on a childhood misunderstanding. 

24. Sweep the nation. 

25. Stack the Google results for 'Greatest rock band of all time' to correctly identify Styx