2018 was a good year for me. I took two big trips, my brother and his family came out for Christmas, and I kept myself busy with touch table conversions, reading and movies.
In July I went to Scandinavia with my parents. I enjoyed seeing some of Scandinavia and learning about their history, art and food. I really like the art by Munch and Vigeland and was surprised by how much I liked the scenery in Norway.
In September I went to Cape May and Philadelphia with my parents and my brother’s family. Highlights from that trip were time on the beach and the Barnes museum.
My brother and his family came to Colorado for Christmas and we spent the week at my parent’s house. It was fun to spend time with my niblings again. The youngest is 2 1/2 and I was impressed by how much he had changed since this summer.
I made seven games for the touch table this year: Notre Dame, Azul, Medici card game, Automobile, Settlers of Catan, Between Two Cities, and Galaxy Trucker. Automobile is probably the most fun that I’ve had doing any conversion, and I’ve also enjoyed doing some larger games this year. As we make more games for the table, each game gets a little less play. Automobile and Settler’s of Catan in particular are games that we were basically done playing before they were converted.
Bill also made a few touch games this year:
- Caylus – Strategy game where players compete to build a city and castle
- Stop, Squat and Roll – A territory claiming and press your luck game also know as “Claim It”
- Codenames – Players compete to get their teammates to pick the correct pictures based on a one word description.
- Ocean Raiders – A press-your-luck style treasure hunting game
In March I was lucky in the ticket lottery and got to see Hamilton in Denver. Even after all the hype I was still surprised by how good it was. It is the best musical that I’ve been to by a decent margin.
Also in March our residential Solar panel installation was completed. This really hasn’t changed anything, but it has been fun to see how much time-of-year, time-of-day, clouds and snow change the power generation.
We took the touch table to two events this year: The FoCoBoCo in Fort Collins and the B-Con in Denver. It is always fun to show the table to new people and get their reactions to the game conversions.
We got a Cricut paper cutting machine in September and Bill has spent a lot of time making decorations and cards for friends and family:
I went to a few other cultural/arts events this year
- A friend introduced me to the Kirkland museum, and I highly recommend it. It is an art and design museum packed with very fashionable and artistic household products.
- I went to a couple of the “One painting at a time” discussions at the Clyfford Still museum. They were just OK, but I really enjoy the museum itself.
- My brother got me season tickets to the opera and I really enjoyed La Traviata. Their second show will be Marriage of Figaro in May.
Creating touch games is how I spend most of my free time, but I still only spent 650 hours making games this year (not including bug fixes or updates to old games). The rest of my free time is divided between computer games, books, Netflix and Violin.
I played quite a few computer games this year: Opus Magnum, Stardew Valley (again), Surviving Mars, Far Cry 3, Heat Signature, Sniper elite 4, Superhot, Pillars of Eternity, Bomb Squad Academy, and Wing Commander (again). Like the past few years, I’m spending less time on computer games than I once did. I still enjoy it, but games don’t hold my attention like they used to. The best games that I’ve played lately are Stellaris, Witcher III, Heat Signature and Stardew Valley.
I did more reading this year. I get e-books from the Denver library. The wait list is usually long, but it is super convenient. My favorite books this year were the Mistborn series, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Rebecca (my grandmother’s favorite book) and Little Fires Everywhere.
I also watched a lot of Netflix. Some favorites from this year: The Good Place, Infinity Chamber, Anomolisa, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Brigsby Bear, Personal Shopper, Bojack Horseman, and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. In particular Bojack Horseman has made some of my favorite episodes in any series. One episode this season made it into imdb’s top 10 episodes of all time. Unfortunately, you really have to watch the whole series to enjoy it, and some of the episodes are weak. The Good Place is also both funny and well made. Here is a fun video about why it’s such an interesting show.
I continue to work on learning violin. I played for 310 hours this year – basically an hour a day when I’m home. But I don’t feel like I’m making as much progress as I used to. Part of it is that 300 hours isn’t as big of a percentage of my total time as it used to be. But I also feel like my progress has slowed since I stopped taking lessons, and that if I wanted to improve I’d need to spend more than an hour a day practicing. I spent the first half of the year working on Suzuki book 9 and the second half on Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. I’d learned Spring and Summer before, so this time I tried to be more accurate and faster. I’m currently about 2/3 done learning Autumn which is harder than Spring or Summer. Sometime in 2019 I’ll hit 5000 hours of violin. Here I’m playing the last part of Four Seasons – Summer:
I don’t have many solid plans for 2019. We’d like to make a trip to Mexico and will probably sell the house there. We might also make a trip to New York to visit my brother.
I’m tentatively planning to do the “Tour De Vineyards” bike ride in Palisade CO this year. I’ll need to get road tires for my bike and find out if my time biking in the gym translates into road biking stamina.
There is a chance that my family will travel to South Carolina or Illinois, but that will depend on my brother’s schedule and my dad’s health.
I received a Fitbit fitness tracker for Christmas. I’m enjoying it so far. The biggest improvement over my old Jawbone is having a watch and getting notifications from my phone. So my first programming project for the new year will be getting Fitbit data into my Timeline program.
I don’t really have any big resolutions for 2019. I want to continue spending my time the way I have been in 2018 with maybe a little more effort toward hiking/biking this summer and a few more trips downtown for a symphony or other show. The light rail line to Union Station has made trips downtown much more enjoyable for me. I always hated finding and paying for parking.