E3 2010 – ‘Epic’ Conference!

So, ironically, whenever a word becomes the new “it” word for companies to use (Xtreme, New, etc…) it usually is attached to things that are viewed very highly in the public eye.  Two games were demoed this week at E3 that had the word “Epic” in the title and while that’s not a lot, I just don’t want every game to be labeled as “Epic” from here on…  The funny thing is, these are two titles that I am actually really excited about.  But I’ll get to that in a minute.  E3 2010 was full of surprises and more game announcements than I can write about so, I’m going to have to do this in more than one post I think.  I’m warning you now, this one could get lengthy…

Everyone wants to talk about who won the battle of E3 conferences between Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony.  I can’t be completely unbiased because unfortunately, I didn’t get to watch the Microsoft conference and watched the other two (and Sony’s twice).  I didn’t pay as close attention to the MS keynote because I don’t own a 360, so I’m going to talk about the big things and the things that made me a little jealous.  I think if I were to tell Karen that I wanted a 360 to go along with my PS3 and Wii, I’m pretty sure I’d be in trouble.  The common theme was motion gaming, and with it so much the forefront of these conferences, I will say that I am not all that interested in purchasing multiple add-ons just to play games.  MotionPlus is a little annoying because that is how the Wii Remotes should have worked in the first place.  But the cost is minimal comparitively.  Sony’s Move still hasn’t shown me anything to convince me that it’s not just Wii HD with better tracking.  I think that’s great, but will I spend $100 for a controller, camera, and game?  Not likely…unless that lottery ticket comes in.  Kinect, which is a clever name, hasn’t been officially priced, but several retailers have it listed as $150.  That price point is crazy.  And could be a big problem with MS.  To me, Motion control and 3D are only tools, and it really becomes a question of how do you use those tools to create a new experience that people want to play?  Which brings us to the conferences themselves:

Microsoft:  Call of Duty – Black Ops (which is multiplatform) looks very good for a shooter, but my interest in shooters has waned quite a bit.  It will take something bigger than that to bring me back.  I’ll check back on this one later. 
MGS: Rising (Also Multiplatform) – I didn’t like any of the MGS games that I’ve played.  I know that puts me in a minority, but I just never got into them.  Truth be told, I probably didn’t give them a fair amount of time, but still.  The game looks phenominal.
Gears of War 3 – Having never played the other two, I’m still interested in this one, but since it’s an MS exclusive, I’ll probably never play it.  Again, it looks amazing.
Halo: Reach – You had me at Halo.  OK, that was a bad joke, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the Halo franchise.  Halo was the game that brought me back to gaming with my original Xbox.  Prior to that, my previous console was an NES and my roommate’s Genesis.  Oh how I wish I could play this.  Even though it’s a shooter.
Kinect – I’m just not that into it.  Without the physical controller in your hand, there’s no weight resistance.  Maybe I’d feel different if I’d experienced it. 
ESPN – OK, I’m officially jealous, but this is possible on the PS3, right?  Well, not when they put the word “Exclusive” next to it.  Crap… I miss Cable.
More Kinect games – I’m not that into them.
New Xbox – well.. that would look really good next to the PS3…  Karen? 
And that was it.  Kinda underwhelming unless you were really into the Kinect.

Nintendo:  The Legend of Zelda – Skyward Sword – I haven’t played a Zelda game since the original, but am intrigued.. if only the demo had been a bit more…  um… good?  The controller issues aside (which as I’ve seen in numerous reports was better on the floor), the game looks interesting and I’ll probably try it, but not the big thing I’m looking forward to.
Mario Sports Mix – So, I’ve seen some pretty tepid response to this game, but in my opinion, I think it looks like a ton of fun.  Like Wii Sports meets Mario Kart.  I’m cautiously optimisic. 
Goldeneye 007 – OK, this does bring me back.  I remember it on the N64 and this looks like it could be fun, but again, it’s a shooter so I’m going to need something extra to really get me excited about it.
Epic Mickey – OK, so despite the title, I think this game is going to be awesome.  I can’t explain why exactly, but the paint mechanic, platforming (which is always a favorite of mine), and characters sound like something that is right up my alley.  I can’t wait to check this out.
Kirby’s Epic Yarn – Again, the title would normally have made me go the other way with this game, but seeing the game itself, the art style is so unique and the gameplay mechanics that it uses are as well.  The only thing holding me back is maybe it is a little too “cute”.  Who am I kidding, I’m still gonna play it.
Metroid Other M – Again, I didn’t play the other Metroid Prime games, but I’m very interested in this one.  I’ve seen how they want to integrate motion control and “old school” controls and I think that is a really cool idea.  Definitely will check out.
Donkey Kong Country Returns – So, another platformer for the Wii.  I almost feel like it’s too many, but again, who am I kidding, I’ll totally check this one out too.
Nintendo 3DS – Wow.  I sold my PSP a little while ago because I thought I was over the portable gaming thing.  I think I may have to get one of these… for my kids.. yea… they should be old enough soon… :)  3D without glasses and the titles they are going to launch sound like a good lineup.  I’d like to get one, but don’t know if it will actually happen.
(Mentioned only briefly in the conference) – NBA Jam – That’s right NBA Jam is coming back and coming to the Wii.  I totally want this game.  I still can’t figure out if it’s a WiiWare title, or a Retail Title.  How much will it be?  I still want it, but I wouldn’t pay $50 for it.
In my opinion, a much better show than MS.  Lots of surprises and some great games in store.

Sony:  Killzone 3 in 3D.  So, since I watched at home, I didn’t see it in 3D.  The game looks awesome.  Even though it’s a shooter, I’m still interested.I’d love to see it in 3D, but there’s no way that I’m getting a 3D TV anytime soon. 
3D Gaming – I’m a little interested in 3D gaming, but the entry price is so high (Except for Nintendo) that I don’t think I’ll be able to appreciate it for a LONG time.  I do like that BluRay allows them to put both versions on a disc.  That’s awesome.
Sorcery – Looks like a really cool game, not earth-shattering, but cool.  I don’t know if it’s $80 for the Move plus the cost of the game good, but I did like it.  Kinda Harry Potter-esque.
Tiger Woods for the Move – Well, I’ve got the Wii Motionplus version coming today, so I think I’ll stick with that.
Heroes on the Move – So, I like the cast of characters, but I’m not sure what the game is really about.  Looks like a platformer, but it’s for the Move.  I think it’s a good idea to get beloved characters using the Move.  Helps to sell.
LittleBigPlanet2 – Looks awesome, and a Day 1 buy for me.  I loved the first one, and like that everything can be carried over.  Can’t wait to see what the community will do with this amount of creation tools.
Playstation Plus – So, for $50, I get games (They called them free, but really you are renting them for the subscription fee), Qore (which used to cost $25), demos, betas, and other stuff?  I’ll probably get it if I can.
Holy Cow!  Portal 2 Direct from Valve?  That was out of no where and I’m definitely interested. 
inFamous2 – I really liked the first one, so I’ll probably get this one too.  Ice?  How does that have to do with Electricity? 
Twisted Metal PS3 – So, I never played the other Twisted Metal games, and I’m not that excited about this one, but maybe once I see some more video, I’ll change my tune.
The Move looks good, but I want to try it out before I invest a lot of money into it.  I think the Nintendo Conference was better, but this was a close second.

So that’s it for the conferences.  I’m really excited about the games that are upcoming.  So excited that I’m going to do another post in the upcoming few days that talks about the specific games I’m excited about in more detail.  So, until then…

Keep Gaming,



Gaming’s Money Crisis

So, it seems that there is a new gaming trend that I have noticed lately and it is going to hit you where it counts… the wallet.  For years and years, the entertainment industry has had to deal with the problem of lost revenue through second hand sales and piracy.  CD’s were affected by stores such as CD Warehouse which offered used CD’s a very attractive prices.  The problem was that the selection was often poor and lately with iTunes allowing you to purchase only what you want, and with large retail chains offering better deals on CD’s, music seems to have a smaller second-hand market.  Honestly, music’s larger problem is still illegal downloading, but second hand sales hurt it as well.  Movies can be had cheaper through renting at Redbox or Blockbuster.  You can get cheap movies second hand at a number of stores, but sometimes you can get a better deal new at a retail store like Target, etc…  Again, I think the larger problem of the movie industry is piracy. 

The gaming industry, for all the revenue that is generated each year, always seems to be sitting on a precipice of financial collapse.  Here are a couple of examples. 

1.  The PSP, by Sony, was a fantasic handheld gaming unit.  I say was, because with the advent of the PSPGo, things have changed.  Unfortunately for Sony and the PSP, piracy has been a problem with the platform since day one.  Homebrew applications, which some defended as a way for independent developers to generate interest in a game or allow people to simply develop their own games for fun, found their way onto the platform via various exploits in the operating system.  I’m saddened to say that for a long time (until about 2007), I had a hacked PSP.  And the reason I had it was not so I could play some indie game.  It was so I could download and play any PSP title I wanted for free (I’m glad to say that I no longer do this, nor do I condone this action.  It has really hurt the industry and it’s you know… illegal).  Sure I owned a couple games, but that was about it.  When I think of how many games I bought versus how many I played for free, I’m sure that my use alone cost the game industry several hundreds of dollars.  Multiply that by the number of PSP users who have hacked systems, and the totals skyrocket.  It’s a weird case of the hardware sales being strong, but software sales became very weak.  And that hurt the platform significantly.  Developers stopped pushing strong titles on the PSP unless it could be a port of a PS2 version of the game done for significantly less expense.  Sony has upgraded the firmware a number of times to try to avoid the piracy issue, but it always seemed to have some sort of exploit. 

2.  Used Game sales.  So, when someone goes into a store such as Gamestop and buys a used game, Gamestop loves it, usually the buyer loves it, and the developer is not a big fan of it.  Gamestop makes millions each year on used game sales that once they have absorbed the cost of purchasing the game from the original owner, is pure profit.  And at the prices they offer for incoming games, that is not a small margin.  Developers and Publishers do not make a dime on the used game sale and have essentially lost out on recovering the cost of creation of the game. 

So, what does the industry do about these issues?  Well, piracy will always be around as long as it is available.  I don’t know what levels of piracy there is on each platform, but having games on Blu-Ray discs as the PS3 does certainly keeps it at bay since it is so cost-inefficient to try and pirate a PS3 game.  Each company tries to stay one step ahead of the people out there who look for exploits and ways to pirate games.  Even offering downloadable games with specific DRM is a way to try and deal with this issue and I hope that their efforts are successful.  Too many game companies have had to let people go or close down completely because the revenue is just not there.

A new trend lately (as a method to combat used game sales or piracy) has been to create an “Online Pass” as EA calls it.  What this is, is a one-time use code that will enable the user to play the game online.  It will be included in every new copy of a game.  The cost is generally $5 – $15 depending on the game.  At my first hearing of this, I thought well that is just trying to hose people out of more money.  But the truth is, most online games have to has some sort of infrastructure to run them whether it is through dedicated servers or peer-to-peer.  When I pay $60 for a brand new copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, part of that money is going to support the infrastructure that lets me play online.  ( I honestly don’t know the specifics of which games have dedicated servers, which ones use the Platform’s servers, which are peer-to-peer, etc…).  Today, if I buy a used copy for say $45.  I am still able to play online and use those resources, but the money that would have gone to the company for those servers, is now going back to the gamestore solely.  While I didn’t like the idea of having to pay more for a game used, I understand the reason that it is there and have begun to go the other way.  I think this will be the way the industry moves and think it will be successful in at least recouperating some of the cost from used sales.  There will always be games that I buy used, but now I will weigh the cost of whether the used game plus online pass is better than a new game.  I wonder if this move may eventually bring the cost of new games down a little.  If more people are forced to buy games new in order to save the cost of the online pass, then the company could pass on the savings to the customer.  It will interesting to see how this Online Pass idea is realized.  I hope it is successful as long as it doesn’t cause prices to go up somehow.


SeaWorld Trip

So, my wife, kids and I just got back from a long weekend in San Antonio and we had an amazing time.  The overall goal of the trip was going to SeaWorld and boy did we accomplish that. 

If you’ve never been to SeaWorld, and you have the opportunity to go, I completely recommend it.  It is totally worth it.  I read somewhere that you’re not supposed to tweet or post statuses stating that you are not home, so we held off on that and it was really hard to do.  So, I figured that I would write about the weekend and throw a little commentary in there and voila… a new blog post.

First, I want to thank some incredibly amazing friends who donated Marriott points so we could stay at our hotel for free!  The hotel and shuttle that they had totally made our trip.

We left Friday morning and after a few stops, made it to our room by about 3:15.  We checked the schedule and saw that there was a show (Azul – a brand new show) that started at 5:00 and so we thought hey, let’s try to make the show.  This was our first experience with the shuttle.  It left at 3:45 and got us there in plenty of time to get our FunPasses (which I highly recommend if you plan on going more than one day – It’s like a scaled-down season pass that doesn’t include the discounts, but does include unlimited admission).  We sat down at about 4:30 (as soon as they let us in), sitting a few rows above the splashzone as we knew that our kids would not find the humor in that.  (A side note:  if you don’t want to get wet, don’t sit in the splashzone.  I saw way too many people get all upset when they got wet sitting on the first few rows…  ).  The pre-show started about 10 minutes before the show and the performer, who acted as a fan of the show, entertained the crowd with some genuinely funny moments that didn’t get old even the second time we saw it.  Again, people got wet and that was great since we were sitting higher and dryer.  :)  He finished his act as the show started, which he ended up being a part of.  Our kids’ faces absolutely lit up when watching the Beluga whales, Dolphins, Acrobats, Synchronized swimmers, and divers.  It was an amazing show.  I didn’t know it at the time, but it would be my overall favorite – if only I had brought my camera with me.  My son decided that he would try to mimic the dolphins every time they would jump or dive… all while sitting in my wife’s lap.  We all loved it.  The Beluga whales were so graceful and the entire show was put together really well.  The show ended and we had a little time before the park closed (why at 6:00 on Friday night?  Not sure).  So, we all rode the kids’ first ever roller coaster.  It was a Shamu-themed coaster and the kids loved it. 

We went out to dinner and then wrangled the kids to bed.  Although my son didn’t get to sleep for long time due to his excitement, I understood since I had not stopped smiling since we got to the park.

The next day, we got to the park as it opened, and decided to feed the Dolphins.  For a mere $5 a tray (which only held 4 fish), you can actually feed dolphins.  They had trainers who explained how to do it and how not to do it.  We had a good time and I got some good pictures of the kids.  We then went to the Sea Lion exhibit and show.  It was a clever little comedy show that showed off the sea lions and otters.  My wife and I liked this show a lot and the kids seemed to enjoy it as well.  We went to see the Penguin exhibit and got to see a penguin up close. 

We decided that we would take a rest in the afternoon and picked up some lunch after taking the shuttle back to the hotel where we rested for a while and then played in the pool.  It was a little chilly for the pool so we didn’t stay that long, but had a good time.  It was getting close to dinner so we went out and while we were out, we decided that we would try to go to the night-time Shamu show.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to the park with enough time to get to the Shamu theatre so we ended up going to see Azul again (also unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera so this was the only show I didn’t get pictures of).  It was a lot of fun yet again and then we headed back to the hotel where the kids went to sleep a lot quicker.

Our third day at Sea World, we knew we wanted to feed the dolphins again, so we did.  The kids had just as much fun doing it the second time and then we headed to the Sharks and Coral Reef exhibit.  The huge tanks were really cool and the amount of wildlife they contained was just amazing.  I got some really cool pictures and we all had a good time. 

We made sure we saw everything else that we had missed and then headed over to the Shamu show, Believe.  With all that has gone on with SeaWorld this year and with the tragedy, it was still amazing to see these animals perform.  And you could genuinely see the care that the trainers have for them.  We also got to see the newest member of the family there.  Baby Shamu was born in January of this year and swam along-side his mother the whole show.  The show was awesome and concluded our time at SeaWorld… well, once we got souvenirs of course. 


That night we went to dinner with my cousin and his family and had a great time with them as well.

The next morning we reluctantly packed up to leave.  As we were headed out, we stopped and got some great bluebonnet pictures to top off a wonderful trip.


Super Bowl Week and My Pick

So, I can’t tell you how excited I am that there will be a different story this week other than Brett Favre at the Super Bowl.  I’m really glad for the city of New Orleans and that the Saints will be representing the NFC.  Since I don’t have a specific team to root for (neither the Cowboys or the Patriots decided to attend this year..), I have to decide who to root for.  So I thought I’d choose which one to root for in the only way that I know how:  As Simmons would say, let’s break this down Dr. Jack-style.

Offense:  Both teams provide a ton of offense.  New Orleans was the top rated offense in the regular season and the 5th ranked in the playoffs.  Indianapolis was the 9th best offense in the regular season and the 4th best in the playoffs.  The majority of both team’s explosiveness comes in the air and I love teams that can throw the ball.   At any time, either team can break the game wide open.  Advantage:  Push

Defense:  Defensively, neither of these teams is going to set the world on fire.  Indy was ranked the 18th best defense in the league and New Orleans 25th.  But, both are very opportunistic on turnovers.    With that said, I can’t find a clear winner.  Advantage:  Push

QB:  Again, two of the best QB’s in the league are at the helm.  Brees was the best QB in the league this year and Peyton was a “meer” 6th.  While I can’t argue the effectiveness that either player has and I think that Brees is a fantastic QB, there is something that changed once Peyton won the big game a few years ago.  He is now expected to do so – so much that teams change their game plans at the end to avoid giving him the ball back with a chance to beat them.  Advantage:  Manning – Colts.

Injuries:  Dwight Freeney’s ankle injury will be noticed.  When you lose that presence from a defensive end, you give a QB more time to make decisions.  When a QB as good as Drew Brees has any additional time in the pocket, that is bad news.  The Saints have no major injuries.  Advantage:  Saints.

Team Name:  Colts vs. Saints.  Being a Christian, I feel compelled to choose the Saints as a better name, but would true Saints turn the other cheek?  According to my pastor this Sunday, that phrase was only when someone was insulting you.  It did not mean you shouldn’t fight for what you believe in and in that case…  Advantage:  Saints

City:  I know almost nothing about Indianapolis.  That’s probably my fault in some way, but there is no intrinsic thought that comes with the city.  The City of New Orleans has endured so much hardship that this team remaining in New Orleans has been a galvanizing force.  Advantage:  Saints.

Identifiable Player:  Colts – Peyton Manning is everywhere and even though it can get a bit much, he is still pretty likable.  Saints – Reggie Bush… who brings Kim Kardashian with him…. nuff said.  Advantage:  Colts.

So, by the slimmest margins, I will be rooting for the Saints on Sunday.  I like Peyton and I think in the end, he will have more opportunities to win.  So, Go Saints!  (But I refuse to say “Who Dat”…)

But what say you?  Did I miss any criteria that I need to consider?  Anything to swing my allegiance?



Well… what do I do now?

So, I’m a Cowboys fan.  The reason I know this is no matter how the team is doing, I’m following the team.  When the team stunk, I followed the team.  When they were winning Super Bowls, I followed the team.  I care about how they do and I care when they lose.  The last few weeks have been great because the team was on a roll.  The offense was clicking and the defense looked great.  Then, they ran into a wall this week and now the season is over.  And to be honest, there were a couple things that did not make sense to me.

First, the offensive line that had played so incredibly over the last half of the season, suddenly seemed pourous.  Adams got hurt and just happened to be blocking against the best pass-rushing end on the Vikings, but he wasn’t the only person who seemed not to be able to protect.  Gone were the quick strike passes that went for huge yards and this team seemed just completely overwhelmed offensively, even against a horrible Vikings secondary. 

On defense, after the first series, there seemed to be a swagger missing from the whole group.  They did get to Favre, but not as often as they should have.  And the secondary that had been playing so well, couldn’t figure out Rice.  It was just really depressing to watch. 

I’m glad the team played better this year and actually made it to the second round.  But where do we go from here?  More depth for the offensive line seems to be a priority, along with maybe another top flight receiver.  I’m officially done with the Roy Williams experiment.  But, I still think this team is young enough to contend again next year.

So, what do I do now?  I’m not a big fan of any of the teams left.  I have several friends who are big Saints fans, so I’ll root for them (plus I can’t stand Favre), but I’m not that interested in the rest of the playoffs.  Normally, this would be the time of year I go crazy with Hockey, but it’s becoming much more difficult for me to follow despite the better coverage online.  See, we dropped cable this year, so I only catch about 1 of every 3 Stars games.  But they aren’t going anywhere.  The team is floundering under Crawford and that is really disappointing.  So, I guess that leaves me with the Olympics.  I need a good sports fix and that will probably have to suffice without any of my teams doing much right now.

Oh well, thank you for reading this self-absorbed post.  Hopefully, my teams will make some sort of splash (in the off-season for the Cowboys, and before the trade deadline for the Stars), but until then, U S A. U S A…  :>



National Championship Game

So, for a sports fan, I don’t follow college sports that closely.  Maybe it was the fact that my college had great half-time shows that would occasionally have a football game wrapped around them, but I just never took to it like the pros.  Since this is the case, I have adopted schools that I root for in the big games.  One of these is the Texas Longhorns, which just happened to play for the national championship last night.  It is the only college football game I watched completely all year, but several thoughts came to mind as and after I watched that I thought I’d share.  Also, I must note that I feel attached to Texas for the following reasons:  1.  My sister went to UT, 2.  several of my best friends from high school went there, and 3.  It’s the school that is arguably most connected to the state which I call home.  Anyway, here are some thoughts from the game last night.

I want to lead with a couple negative thoughts so that I can end with a positive one.

First, even though I don’t follow college sports that closely, I still don’t like Nick Saban.  While I do not discount his coaching ability (you don’t win two national championships with two schools without ability), the way he has left each job is what rubs me the wrong way.  Each time, abruptly leaving to go to the next challenge.  He left Michigan State to go to LSU which he left to go to the pros (Miami Dolphins).  After repeatedly stating he would not be leaving to coach Alabama, he left to coach Alabama.  In last night’s game, his team scored an unecessary touchdown at the end of the game when he could have kneeled it out and finished without running up the score.  Texas only had one time-out left so they couldn’t stop the clock more than once.  He may be a great person, but what I have seen hasn’t impressed me.

Second, Brent Musberger was really making me crazy by constantly referring to the fact that Colt McCoy had to worry about his NFL future and how that would weigh in on his decision to re-enter the game or not.  He may not have, but it seemed like he mentioned this at least five times.  Everything I’ve read about Colt is what a stand-up guy he is (more on that in a minute) and to have him openly questioned was annoying even for someone who was not that emotionally invested in the game. 

Third, I really started to believe they could make it happen before the sack/fumble.  They were only down by three and have a great kicker.  Gilbert, the freshman replacement, had a great stretch once he settled down and before he started trying too hard to make things happen. 

Fourth, Shipley could be the next Wes Welker which would be a great career to have.  Not sure about his size, but it could happen.

Finally, I’m not sure how Colt McCoy (which is such a perfect name for a QB from Texas that I still wonder if it’s fake) will do in the NFL, but everything I’ve seen is that he is becoming a great person.  Here he was in the biggest game of his life with the opportunity to play for a national championship when a couple plays in, he gets injured.  And to add insult to injury (literally in this case), it’s an injury that from the outside you can’t see.  I read some posts online questioning his will to win, etc after he went out and it looked like he was moving his arm just fine.  (Turns out, there wasn’t pain in his arm, it just felt like it was asleep which to me, translates to no strength in it.  I wish the commentators would have elaborated on that, but maybe they didn’t have all the information). 

So, with his team losing, he comes to the bench to root on his team and try to help the rookie that replaced him.  That was the first thing that impressed me about him.  He didn’t stay in the locker room and hide from everything, but came out and was really a part of the team.  After the game, he stood in front of cameras and impressed me again.  The first thing he did was try to keep his composure after a truly heartbreaking loss, which he did.  Then, he talks of how he wanted to be able to help his team and be on the field.  He then congratulates Alabama for their win, talks about how much he loves how his team fought hard, and praised the freshman QB who had to replace him (Garrett Gilbert) with practically no experience.  What he did next shocked me.  He said, “I always give God the glory.  I never question why things happen the way they do.  God is in control of my life, and I know that if nothing else, I’m standing on the Rock.” 

Wow.  Very often in sports and other walks of life, we see people giving glory to God when something great happens, but when was the last time that you saw or heard someone give Him glory in the midst of personal turmoil.  Now, I can imagine you thinking that this was only a football game.  However, it was the biggest game he has ever played, in front of millions of people, and could have lasting impact on his career.  It was a life-defining moment in dealing with diversity and I am impressed with what I saw. 

So, congrats to Alabama for a solid win.    Maybe I’ll watch a little more college football next year.



New Year’s Post

So, we’re a few days in, but it’s time for the obligatory New Year’s Day post.  Every blog seems to talk about last year, the new year, and any resolutions they have come up with, so I feel like as a re-start-up blogger, I need to do something similar. 

2009 was a tumultuous year to say the least.  Some of the things I went through included a lengthy lay-off, no health insurance, a new job, selling a house, moving to an apartment, reading the entire Bible all the way through, starting a new class for 5th and 6th grade at church, seeing my daughter start Kindergarten, watching my son keeping up in what he’s learning, and being amazed at my wife with her many different hats.  I learned an incredible amount during this year and it changed my outlook in many ways. 

2010, as new years often do, offers hope that the good things of the previous year will continue and the bumps in the road will be less noticeable.  It’s a good time to start again which usually revolves around resolutions of some kind.  My wife and I made a few this year and here is what I came up with. 

1.  Keep up with my Bible Study – so far I’ve been able to do this.  I know I’m only 5 days in, but it’s been a weird 5 days involving being sick and busy which are two things that usually derail me.  I haven’t been doing them when I’d rather (which is early in the morning), but haven’t missed yet. 

2.  Stay on target with getting out of debt.  This is the whole marathon approach.  I really wish we were closer than we are, but we will get there if we stay at it and avoid “stupid tax” as much as possible.  Too early to tell so far, but we have some good plans to attack this year.

3.  Proactively help out with cleaning.  I swear my wife didn’t tell me that this should be a resolution.  I appreciate everything that she does as a stay-at-home mom/wife/teacher/etc… and this is one way I can show her that.  I’ll have to let her judge how I’m doing on that so far.

4.  Spend better time with my kids.  I can see me getting complacent in spending time with my kids by just being with them while they do their thing and I do mine.  I want to be more involved and a better dad.  I don’t think I’m awful, but always want to be better.

5.  The old stand-by – Blog more consistently.  Looking at my last few attempts at blogging, this was an easy one to add.  Already it took 5 days to put up a new year’s post, so let’s kick it into gear…

So, that’s what I’ve come up with for my resolutions.  I’m hoping that actually writing them down in a public forum will enable me to be more accountable. 


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