Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2012: Here We Go

   One side effect of this blog for me has been a realization of the power of words. One of my New Year's resolutions a few years back was to start a blog and so one of the early posts was about my resolution for the year. I had not been historically big on resolutions, but now I had a forum and needed to write. As I wrote resolutions that first year I seemed to feel I needed to fill content and went a bit beyond what I would have considered "realistic". Nothing like having goals, I figured. As the year passed I posted updates. At the end of the year I was shocked to find that almost all of my resolutions had come to pass, one way or another.

   The next year I decided to push it a bit further to see what happened. Again, more happened than I would have expected.

   Last year my wife and I decided to try it on something big: our debt. I made one resolution. I later amended it with some smaller things that I "would like" to have happen, but I was afraid to take anything from the focus of reducing our debt. As the year went on I did not accomplish a lot, but we started to realize that the pace we had set with paying down our debt could have us completely paid off "before Thanksgiving". We kept that mindset and, despite car repairs and an emergency room visit, we were completely debt-free by Thanksgiving.

   I've decided this year to go for broke. I have a lot that I want to do this year and some of it is well beyond the scope of anything with which I have any real experience. Some of it just has to do with getting back on track after having only one primary focus last year. Let's get started:

   As I write this we are just coming out of a winter storm that brought record snow and ice and shut things down for a couple days. It makes me realize just how easy it is to let things slide and not be ready in time when something does happen. This past year we have been so focused on saving money to pay bills, when I did get a twinge that we were low on this or that I told myself we would be able to get back on track once we're out of debt. With the exception of having to scramble for firewood, we made it through this storm with little difficulty. Fortunately it was only a few days and we only lost power for a short time one night (which is more than about 300,000 homes in the area can say). Still, we need to be better prepared. My first resolution is to get back on track with our emergency preparedness.

   In line with that thought, I fully intend to continue gardening. The past couple years were disappointing in the garden. I would like to produce enough in the garden this year to have extra to can for winter. We did some canning this year, but the bulk of what we canned came from the local produce stand. I also want to can more this year -- meals like chili, soups, stews, and the like. Our pantry is well-stocked at the moment, especially considering the odd summer and fall we had. Again, though, I would like to get started canning earlier this year so we can put more away.

   I also want to get back into a brewing routine this year. As we got serious about canning it seems my beer brewing slowed and halted. I have rebuilt my bottle supply (rough work, that) and intend to bottle as well as keg. In addition, I really want to start all-grain brewing. This will require an investment into some equipment, but not a lot as I already have everything I need for extract brewing. I have just acquired a mash tun in the past few days -- that was the biggest hurdle. I now only need a propane cooker, a recipe, and the ingredients to get started. I will also need a new bottle capper to started bottling as mine was passed on a while back. This has already begun.

   I want to hunt deer and elk this year. It is my understanding that the bowhunting season for deer and elk overlap, so that is my plan. Mostly what I need to do this year is get out scouting a good hunting area. This past fall what really hurt my hunt was that the area I had scouted the season prior had been heavily logged and I failed to scout a better spot. It would be ideal to plan a camping trip before hunting season and really scout the area. Between the garden, canning, scouting, and hunting I need to expect my late summer and fall to be really busy.

   On a completely different tangent, I have a set of professional goals for this year's resolutions. I have one recording project -- a sort of reworking of an older recording project -- that I want to complete. My intent is to use this project as a learning tool that will set me up for another recording project. The second project will require me to start songwriting again, which I have already, albeit slowly, begun. There is some music and recording equipment I wish to acquire this year for various reasons that include a guitar that is quite expensive, but it should be the last performance guitar I will ever need. I also want to focus on drumming and percussion this year and have already set my drums back up n my music room/office and been working on rudiments.

   As long as I'm going for broke, I have two resolutions that are a bit out on a limb. First, my wife and I have been talking about owning a farm for several years now. Now that we are out of debt it seems we should stop talking about it and do it. I would like to own a farm this year.

   Also, it seems America is ready for a change. The corporations and politicians in power seem intent on selling out We The People and our futures for their own interests. I was with the Tea Party movement until it was hijacked by the right wing. The left seems intent on trying to hijack the Occupy movement. At the end of the day, it seems We The People are ready for change, we just need to stop playing the game. The United States of America is not about democrats or republicans. It is about a government of, for, and by the people. It's time to take it back. I resolve to do everything I can to remind people of that fact an encourage all U.S. citizens to take back our country. By the end of 2012 it should be evident that a revolution has taken place in the United States.

   If that's not enough, it is my intention to do all of this while maintaining my commitments to my wife, my son, homeschooling, and the balance of my own well-being. I also have a number of family-centric goals for this year that my wife and I have discussed (mostly things that involve more regular check-ups with doctors, dentists, and mechanics).

   Considering that I am posting this as February has just set upon us, I'd say it's time to get to work.

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