First, the annual review of this blog. As usual I began the year with my annual post, and then I let the blog sit fallow for eleven months. Eleven. You might be wondering why after ignoring it for that long did I suddenly unleash a flurry of posts at the end of November and beginning of December, and by “flurry” I mean “six”. Well, someone hacked my website. This isn’t unusual. People find ways to get in back doors and insert files and do random crap all the time. I usually have to clean a file or two off every 5 or 6 months. But this was different. Whoever got in this time deleted a bunch of stuff and their hack made WordPress non-functional, which is how I noticed it. Also, there was porn. A lot of porn. A lot of very unsavory porn. Luckily, I noticed the hack in less than a day. Probably before anyone else because no one reads this blog. And I fixed it. And I finally took the time to install some better monitoring and security. I could do better, but I think I’ve done enough, for now.

Anyway, all that lead me to go digging through my draft posts and I finished six of them up and schedule them. And then walked away, because, you know, that’s how I do.

On the career front, my job continues to be good. I did go into the office on a bunch of Tuesdays when the company caters free lunches, and I rode the bus to do so which just feels so awesome to not drive. But with variants and such, the office still remains a rarity. Maybe this year.

Reading went very well for 2022. I read 24 books. Two a month is really fast for me. I’m looking forward to more reading in the new year. Of the 2022 books, I really enjoyed everything I read, except Luna: New Moon. That one was just a slog and I won’t be reading any more of that series. I finally picked up the Iron Druid series which I’d been recommended by many people over the years, and I am liking it a lot, especially since I know that it ends. I gave up on the Dresden Files series a while back because I felt Ghost Story would have been a perfect ending for the series, but it didn’t end, and what I’ve heard of the later books just makes me more annoyed that it didn’t end when it could have done so very well. Also, the latest in the Well Met series, Well Traveled, of romance books set in and around Renaissance Festivals continues to be a joy to read.

Writing went fairly poorly in 2022. I tried NaNoWriMo again after skipping a couple years, and I did not do well. Maybe 5,000 words if I’m generous. But, I bought a new (old) roll top desk, and I’m getting it to where I feel comfortable at it and making a habit of it. Along with the new desk and the writing and other things, I plunked down a big chunk of change this year and bought a shiny new MacBook Pro as a desktop replacement and put my old PC in storage (I haven’t ditched it just yet as I may need it or find a use for it). I wanted a laptop for a while now, and one beefy enough to do everything I want while also having a good battery life, so that I could do writing anywhere and not have it be on a device I’d have to later transfer the work to. The concept is solid, and I’m getting more in the habit of pulling it out instead of my phone so I can be more “productive” with my leisure time.

Exercise went solidly for the year. I’m still regularly Pelotoning and also lifting the occasional weight and doing stretching/yoga now and then. Peloton released a rowing machine this year, and we decided to get one for Christmas. It arrives in mid January and I expect that to be a nice addition to my regimen. I feel better, and I might be slimmer, but I haven’t lost weight. I try not to let that bother me because I know I’m adding muscle, but I do dislike hovering in the 245 to 250 range. I really would like to get below 200. I assume that would come easier with a better diet, and is something I will work on in 2023.

I never did get much back to practicing guitar, but if I spend more time at the roll top desk, which is in the same room as the music stuff, maybe I’ll play more.

Last year I committed to doing Making Art Everyday, and then a month or so in I bailed because the prompts were just uninspiring. But I plan on trying something like that again, but perhaps with less intensity.

At the end of 2022’s post, I said I expected lockdown to continue in some fashion and that we were looking at a “new normal”. I didn’t want to be right, but I was. With so many insisting that “COVID is over” despite still having like 400+ people die per day in the US from it, I expect hanging out in smaller groups to be the future, with rare big gatherings and the expectation of a two week breather after every one. And masking. Studies have come out not only in favor of masking, but that cold weather can weaken the immune system in your nose, which is why we get a rise in colds and flus in the winter. So, masking and keeping your nose warm can actually prevent you from getting sick. This was driven home succinctly when I did go on a cruise in the summer. About mid-cruise the Facebook group for the cruisers started having posts of people who “definitely don’t have COVID but need some cold medicine”. See, if people went to the ship medical they required a COVID test, and if you tested positive then you got quarantined to your cabin, everything brought to you via room service, and a refund for your trouble. But people didn’t want a refund, they wanted to keep enjoying the cruise, while sick, spreading COVID. So about a third of the ship got COVID, including me.

Anyway, 2023, I want you to be better. That shouldn’t been hard. I’d just like a year of precedented times, devoid of once in a generation/lifetime events. 2024 is going to be a presidential election year shit show, so maybe let us have a calm one before that.

Happy new year, everyone.

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