2015 In Review

January

  • Got a promotion. I'm not very good at my new role. Hopefully "yet", but we shall see.
  • Discovered Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin, and spent way too much money on beer.

As cool as the other side of the pillow -- Stuart Scott

February

  • Snow! So cold. For so long. NASA released a photo showing the top half of the US covered in ice and snow. Like Canada had extended down to Tennessee.
  • Saw the film, Boyhood. There's probably never been a movie as explicitly aimed at my tiny demographic. Divorced parents trying and trying to make life work for their weird kid, step siblings, sections of families as foreign to one another as possible and that weird kid just trying to have a "self". I realize the flick isn't for everyone (a coworker said it was pretty much only for 35-45 year old white males), but man did it worm its way deep into my brain for a while.
  • My great-aunt Ruth passed away at 99 years old. She was kind and compassionate and is sorely missed by a horde of nieces and nephews.

Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end. -- Leonard Nimoy

March

  • The world is still covered in Ice, I've run out of taun-tauns in which to nap and recuperate.
  • Michelle and I go see Rear Window at a normal movie theater. Fathom Events continues to do very interesting things, you should check out their calendar periodically.
  • A coworker throws a surprise birthday party for his wife, full blown prom theme. Way better than my actual prom, and I was in bed by midnight.

2090 called. You're dead, and you wasted your time on Earth. -- Kimmy Schmidt

April

  • Michelle and I run away from the Louisville area for Thunder and take a trip to Vincennes, Indiana. The casual racism toward natives is cringe-worthy, but the country really could use another round of public works projects to just build monuments and public places.
  • Daredevil on Netflix is roughly 100 times better than I expected.
  • To clear up some intestinal badness I have to feed my dog a probiotic paste for a week. Whatever you're visualizing right now, it was worse.
  • We take a couple of goofy kids to see a fun little high school production of Seussical.

If the sky that we look upon should tumble and fall

Or the mountain should crumble to the sea

I won't cry, I won't cry, no, I won't shed a tear

Just as long as you stand, stand by me

-- Ben E King

May

  • David Letterman ends his Late Show. There were many thinkpieces and tributes. Also in May, the new host of The Late Show, Stephen Colbert, funded every single teacher in South Carolina's project on DonorsChoose.org. Sometimes always joking around does pay. Mom.
  • Michelle and I went to see Nick Offerman and Megan Mullaly at The Palace. Hung around back stage long enough to get them both to sign a piece from Nick Offerman's woodshop. Mr. Offerman signed, "To Mirth" and his wife signed, "To Love". I'd say I wish this celebrity couple got more attention, but I bet they're pretty happy the way they are.
  • I finally went to an Abbey Road on the River (twice actually, on consecutive days). Heard a lot of people playing music in a lot of different flavors, to varying degrees of success.

The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you -- BB King

June

  • Surely the worst month for small minded bigots in my lifetime. Gay people can legally get married across the entire nation. All across southern states Confederate flags, historic symbols of high treason and chattel slavery, are finally removed from some public buildings and no longer sold by some retailers.
  • A trip to San Jose for a nerd conference. The west coast has its charms. That's for sure. No excursion to San Francisco this time, but we did win a trivia contest.
  • The Science Center starts showing all the Harry Potter movies on their IMAX screen. Michelle and I decide we'll see them all, as they end about a week before our trip to Orlando.

Take her to the moon for me, okay? -- Bing Bong

July

  • Visit my company's Chicago office. While there, the dog's a jerk and to apologize I buy Michelle some super fancy chocolate truffles from a shop in The French Market. That place was cool.
  • Some dentist murders a lion on a trophy hunt. The righteous indignation of thousands, or millions of social media warriors reverberates for almost a whole week.
  • When asked how we're supposed to dress while a big group of students visits our workplace, my boss says, "Dress like an engineer." So I bought a train conductor hat and wore overalls.
  • The dream team of Chuck, Amber and Doug finally loses a local historical trivia photo scavenger hunt.
  • Michelle and I again got to make it to each of the 3 main productions of Shakespeare in the Park. The Tempest, Taming of the Shrew and Macbeth this year.

Working gets in the way of living. -- Omar Shariff

August

  • More IMAX Harry Potters
  • For the first time since High School, I think, I visited the KY State Fair. The thing that sticks out the most in my memory was the photography. The ubiquity of camera phones means kids have taken a LOT more photographs than they used to. The average skill is way up there.
  • Hackers leak databases and emails from Ashley Madison. Analysis shows that dudes are way more willing to talk to a program pretending to be a woman than anyone guessed. I would like to reiterate to you, nothing you do on the internet is ever 'safe' or actually private. It goes through too many hands, gets stored in too many databases and gets plumbed for too many 'data driven' campaigns where each exchange is a potential target for a hack, a malicious individual or just a careless administrator. The Ashley Madison data is easy snicker at, but it's happening EVERYWHERE.

I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude.

I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written.

-- Oliver Sacks

September

  • I'm sure other things happened in September, but really, this is all about vacation!
  • My adorkable wife got addicted to "Disneybounding" before we left, and dressed in a character theme each day we were in a park; Dr. Seuss, Hogwarts Student, Marge Simpson, Cruella de Vil, Evil Queen (from Snow White), Hades (from Hercules), Maleficent, Queen of Hearts, Yzma (from Emperor's New Groove)
  • Royal Pacific at Universal Orlando was a pretty awesome hotel. The Yacht Club at Disney was not.
  • Seuss Landing was supremely cool. Michelle being a total Seuss nerd made me spend hours in here, taking pictures of all the little genius theming bits.
  • Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are both superb. Both a little small, but I bet that gets addressed.
  • They do a marionette show from different Tales of Beedle Bard (the Three Brother cartoon bit in the last Harry Potter) that was tremendously entertaining.
  • Most of Universal's rides seem the same to me. You're in a "car", you go through some stuff with some screens telling a 'story', you get thrown around, there's an environmental effect or two, you get out.
  • Disney's Halloween party should have been more fun than it was. The fact that in in Florida they don't do the biggest crowd draws indoors seems kind of dumb. You know you're going to get rained out at least 30% of the time.
  • Goofy photos on rides are a new favorite thing to do.
  • We still had a good time, but we were gone a bit too long, it was a bit too hot, a bit too crowded.

I never said most of the things I said. -- Yogi Berra

October

  • There's an Iron Giant Special Edition, in theatres! I go twice. The blu-ray will come out later in 2016, and I'll buy that too. "You decide."
  • For our 7th anniversary Michelle and I take a road trip to Madison, IN. We drink at microbrews, we wander around a quaint downtown that stopped trying to be competitive around the time of the railroad barons. I highly recommend it for a day trip.
  • We have a houseguest for about a week. A repeat visit from the first houseguest we ever had in this domicile. Uwe brings us half a german candy store as a host gift. Including my first ever advent calendar. You know how many metric days there are between December 1st and Christmas?
  • Paul Ryan accepts the Speaker of the House position. Far too many left-leaning people seem to think that since he negotiated for family leave he's a hypocrite. He isn't against the idea of family leave, he's against the government mandating it. In his world employees get to negotiate with employers, and everyone wins. It might not be the real world that most of us live in, but it's not hypocrisy.

You don't need a silver fork to eat good food. - Paul Prudhomme

November

  • My aunt Peggy died. This death hits me much harder than the veritable litany of them I've dealt with the last few years. I adored Peggy. We saw the world very differently, and still liked each other.
  • Kentucky elects Matt Bevin. I suddenly don't care nearly as much about moving back from Indiana.
  • Took my first trip in 10+ years to Churchill Downs with Michelle's company. I don't understand the themepark-ification, but I've always had a weird perspective on that place. And they gots bills to pay.
  • A coworker and I take a day trip to Indianapolis for a one day Edward Tufte seminar. If you're at all a design/data nerd, you know how cool that is. If you aren't, the "highlight" is the semi backing in to me while we were stuck in traffic just before the Kennedy bridge. Only cosmetic damage, to my car and the pants I wet as a gigantic eighteen wheeled vehicle began to crunch my li'l Honda.
  • My car hits 111,111 miles on the odometer during our Thanksgiving Day trip out to Flatwoods, KY.

If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself. -- Tecumseh (maybe)

December

  • My dad and I pay a visit to my great grandmother. Her hearing is failing her, but she's still sharp and funny and just a super nice lady. Have I ever mentioned how much I won the familial lottery in some really odd ways?
  • Some nerdy sci-fi movie finally comes out.
  • The Christmas season takes a while to get rolling, but in the end it's just a lovely time of year. The efforts to discover new music and movies, the gifts given and received, the time spent reminiscing and planning, the chance afterwards to catch your breath. I know a lot of people don't enjoy Christmas, for myriad reasons, and I don't begrudge them that. However, I enjoy it, and hope that the past year was a success, and the next one is even better.

You smell like beef & cheese. You don't smell like Santa -- Buddy the Elf

Recommendations

I don't recommend things lightly. I know my tastes are peculiar, I know I dabble in a lot of different realms, and very few of y'all enjoy half of what I do. When I make a blanket recommendation, you can rest assured that I believe its quality transcends arbitrary compartmentalization. (who talks like that?)

  • Engineer Guy videos on youtube
  • Pumpkin Juice at Wizarding World
  • Hamilton Cast Album (all the streaming places, and Youtubes)
  • A Netflix subscription