Categories
Uncategorized

Three Years at NetNumber

PUBLISH 5/22

As tradition dictates, as a year passes I must reflect.

What Did I Learn This Year?

  1. Reloading archaic cartridges. In the previous year I had reloaded some fairly modern cartridge to prove out the process (30-40 Krag, 45-70 Government, 7.35 Carcano). This year I loaded .577/450 Martini–Henry and 7.5mm 1882 Ordnance. The 7.5 is pretty straightforward, but the Martini-Henry was a step above that and I am very happy I was able to make a number of rounds that worked flawlessly.
  2. WordPress. I am happy to move on from the old “GhandiBlog” to the sleek and modern wordpress platform. It is a little more pricey, but I have so much more control and way better tools.

What Am I Looking To Explore This Year?

  1. I am looking to continue to grow my panel catalog. For the last two years I have run a panel at ConnectiCon (and this year for the first time at Arisia) on firearm history and federal law. I am looking to create and run more panels this year. Although, given the lack of conventions this year, that may prove to be difficult.
  2. A new computer/VR. My old rig has been limping along for a few years now and I think it is time to take the plunge and upgrade it. I also would like to take the opportunity to get into VR, if only to play Half Life: Alyx.
  3. Books. I have a healthy audiobook/podcast habit, but I am looking to start working down some of the physical books collecting dust on my bookshelves.
  4. Oddball AMV ideas. I certainly cannot win any awards doing something conventional so I have to go for the weird angle.

What did I Fail at This Year?

  1. The downstairs bathroom is still unfinished. I did tear out the carpet though.

Conclusion

Not a whole late has changed from last year. I am not sure if that is concerning or not. Part of me thinks that is fine as I am certainly enjoying the day to day, but the other part of me thinks that is concerning as I should be trying new things.

Categories
Uncategorized

AMV: Mobile Suit Jox

This was one of my submissions to Anime Boston 2020. It was not a finalist. Watch it here.

Robot Jox is a 1990s movie about robot “Jox” who pilot giant mechs to resolve territorial disputes. It makes a natural pairing with Mobile Suit Gundam as the conflict between Amuro and Char nicely parallels the conflict of the main characters in Robot Jox. This was an interesting project for me as it was the first time I did a trailer AMV. 90% of this project was straightforward as I just had to match up the trailer footage with scenes from Gundam. That said, there were some tough bits. In particular I had difficulty matching up the lip flaps for a few scenes where characters talk in the trailer.

Overall, I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

Director’s Commentary:

00:00 : I really like how the trailer intro turned out as I got to fill it with a bunch of Gundam specific jokes. I went with a red R style instead of the classic green just to be different. The actual movie is rated PG.

00:19 – 00:21 : A rather famous scene from Mobile Suit Gundam which is a bit of an injoke for fans.

00:29 – 00:30 : I spent a lot of time trying to get this to sync with the trailer audio. I think it is the weakest part of the AMV, but it does work.

00:48 : This particular scene shows up many times in Gundam so I was lucky to find a good spot in the trailer where the audio syncs up so I could use it.

1:04 – 1:05 : In the trailer, the noise is from a giant chainsaw. It was hard to find something that works given Gundam’s futuristic setting. I think this is fine, but I would have liked something better.

1:05 : Shout out to Mr. Skehill, long time fan of the show, for correctly identifying the episode this laugh occurs in so I could use it here.

1:13 – 1:15 : This scene actually ends about half a second too earlier for me. I could have stretched it out, but it would have messed up the audio sync. Luckily I was able to copy that half second from the beginning of the clip and it all worked out.

1:16 – 1:17 : I never liked this scene transition, it always seemed too abrupt.

Categories
Engineering Projects

Loading 7.5mm 1882 Ordnance: My Process

Author’s note: I posted this on a
local reloading forum
. I am reproducing it here in the hopes that someone trying to do what I did can learn from my experience.

I recently bought a Model 1887 Swedish Nagant and I of course wanted to shoot it. This revolver shoots 7.5mm 1882 Ordnance. It
was used by the Swiss and Swedish, so you will see the country names used interchangeably when searching for information online. You can buy smokeless powder rounds from a few specialty places, but I wanted to shoot a round as close to the original as I could,
which means its time for the holy black. I also get weirded out shooting smokeless powder in guns designed for black powder. To that end, here is how I went about loading 7.5. As always, you take your life into your own hands following my instructions. I could not find any load data in my books so my process is an amalgamation of everything I found online.

First I bought a bunch of 32-20 brass. This is going to be our parent case. I have a Lyman universal trimmer with an adapter for a power drill which I used to trim the cases down. Go slow and trim each case to a length of 0.89 inches. You especially need to be careful as you trim past the shoulder on the case. If I went too fast the cutter would push the last end of the shoulder into the case and mess up the case. After all the cutting was done I used a case prep tool to clean up the mouths.

Once you have the cases prepped, you are going to need some bullets. I went with 310 Cadet bullets from  Matt’s Bullets. These are heeled bullets like the original cartridge uses. Ideally I would have bought the mold, but the molds were going for $70 or so and you can get 500 bullets for a little less than that (lubed too). Diameter wise it is between the original Swiss (.315) and Swedish (.327) bullet diameter.

Now you are ready to reload. For my load I used CCI small pistol primers and 11 gains of 2F black powder (GOEX) topped off with a .32″ diameter, .025″ thick card from Track of the Wolf. Ideally I would have liked to put a lube disc on top of the charge and before the card, but there was not enough space left in the case. I did not use a drop tube, but you could probably ring some more space out that way if
you had one.

Now, you could spring for the correct 7.5 dies, but they were pretty
expensive and hard to find, so I jury rigged a solution using some cheaper dies. I seated the bullet using a 32 short (32 S&W) seating die. Do not press too hard or you can crush the case given this is a heeled bullet. Once the bullet is seated I put a riser on the press like the ones you find in a bullet resizing kit. Then I screwed a 30-30 WIN crimp die all the way down. If you put a bullet on the riser you can get it high enough into the crimp die to crimp the bullet in place. You need a crimp or otherwise I found you could easily pull the bullet out with your hands. Running the crimp die all the way down probably gives you more crimp then you need, so your may want to experiment with a little less crimp than I used.

Shooting wise, it seemed a little anemic, but it went bang. I am not a great shot with revolvers, but it was hitting the target at 10 yards so I was happy.

Categories
Anime Projects

Stories for a Dark Night AMV

For your pleasure here.

My sixth AMV, submitted to Anime Boston 2019, ConnetiCon 2019, and PopCult
Anime Con 2019, but never accepted to the finals. A far more experimental piece
than the other ones I have done. I really liked the idea of poems set to anime
and music and it is cool to have a bit of a compilation of them in one video.
It is kind of like a very quick anthology film. It was an interesting project
to work on as I only had the poems to start with and thus a lot of time was
spent finding the correct anime and music to go along with them. Originally, I
thought to frame the narrative as if it was one long night, but I ended up
carrying on into the morning as I did not have enough “night campfire” footage
to work with. Overall, I am very happy with the final work, but, as it the
norm, I wish more people liked it.

Director’s Notes: 00:00: I like starting AMVs out with no music. I think
this technique is underutilized. As an overall note, all the sound effects are
from outside anime. Mostly stuff I found on Youtube.

00:19: If you have an eagle eye you can see Rin’s smile stay in place, but
her head turn. She is talking in this scene which wrecked the vibe. I froze the
smile, but I did not bother with trying to move it with the face given how hard
that would be, compared to how minor the error is.

00:23: I tried putting the poem’s title here first, before the actual poem,
but I found I liked them better at the end.

00:26: I watched The Rose of Versailles in preparation for this
AMV when I found I needed something set in an aristocratic period. Pretty good
anime and very forward thinking in some ways.

1:03: Not a huge fan of this clip, but in every AMV you always have a few
seconds where you struggle to find something that works. This clip was ok so I
went with it.

1:31: I never found music for this poem that I was thrilled about. I tried
several songs. What I ended up with was ok, but nothing special.

02:14: The hard cut at the end of this poem arose out of the need to stop
the music and get back to camp site. I tried a couple ways to fade it out, but
they all sounded very abrupt so I went with a thematic hard cut showing Lain
here. It is a neat nod to the show and probably very confusing to those who
have not seen it.

02:33: My favorite of the four poems and the easiest one to do. I love the
poem and I love the anime (Legend of the Galactic Heroes) so it only took me a
few hours to cut this together and it was basically done after that.

03:28-03:32: I love how the white fade out transitions to the sky back at
the campsite.

03:47: There is something very pleasing about that woodpecker in the
distance right around here.

04:38: I like how 8man looks at the audience at the end and how Rin a few
seconds later waves at us.

Categories
Anime Projects

Martian Successor Nadesico AMV

For your enjoyment here.

My seventh AMV, submitted to Connecticon 2019 and PopCult Anime Con 2019,
but it made the finals at neither. A bit disappointing it never got traction as
I had hoped to shine some light on an anime that seems sadly forgotten despite
it not being that old. For reference the last AMV I could find using this on
Youtube was from 5/2017. It is even worse on animemusicvideos.org (9/2013).
That said I did operate under the delusion that it was “Martin” Successor
Nadesico for quite some time so, perhaps I needed the refresher. Not my
greatest work, but I am pretty happy with the end product.

Director’s notes: 00:13: I am pretty fond of Yurika’s introduction. I think
it establishes her character fairly succinctly.

00:14-00:16: Some unavoidable talking here, but it is hard to see on a first
viewing.

00:34: This clip is a little awkward. I wanted to show Akito as a mech pilot
and tie it back to him meeting Yurika (you will notice he has the same shirt
on), but Akito is doing a fair bit of talking here so I had to freeze his face,
but keep the background movement. It works, but he has an odd sort of facial
impression because of it.

00:47-00:52: I like the music and visuals here. Good lull in the music with
a sharp upswing that I think is well complimented by the clips I selected.

01:09: There is more talking in the background here, but I wanted this clip
and it is hard to notice.

01:16: I really like the timing of the horns and the lasers hitting the
Nadesico here.

02:17: A similar thing is at play here with the drum and the shoulder
turn.

02:41-03:04: This is probably the weakest part of the AMV. I needed to play
up the relationship of Akito and Megumi in regards to Yurika, but I had a hard
time doing that.

03:13: I love this clip of Yurika struggling in zero-g. This episode had a
lot of scenes like this.

03:22: This is an AMV primarily about Yurika, but I really wanted as much
Yuri as I could get too.

04:11 Not sure about the ending card here. This is the last scene from the
show. It might be a bit much, but I kept it.

Categories
Musings Review

Two Years At NetNumber

As tradition dictates,
once another year passes I must write up my thoughts.

What Did I Learn This Year?

1. My gun affair is not abating. If anything my collecting has increased in
scope, complexity, and intensity. This has been unhelpful in terms of my long
stated and long running goal of retiring early. That said there
have been some nice unexpected benefits. I enjoy the atmosphere at the local
club and this hobby is a good excuse to get outside on occasion. I am hoping to
cool things down a bit this year as my collection rounds out, but I remain
vigilant for new pieces. Right now this happens to be French rifles.
I cannot imagine why
.

2. Metallic cartridge reloading. Riffing off the above, I was able to reload
small batches of cartridges this year (~200 or so total) in a few differing
calibers. I considered taking a class on this, but instead I got a book and
watched a lot of videos on the subject. This was sufficient to get me going,
but I am still considering a class so I can clarify some of the finer points.
This will be a skill I need to curate as my collecting habits lead me to pieces
with no commercially available ammo. As a collector who shoots everything he
has I will need to be able to “roll my own” as they say.

3. Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects. I used both of these applications
extensively for my April 15th project.
After Effects was definitely required, given all the rotoscoping I had to do,
but I probably could have gotten away with using my old standby, Sony Vegas. I
just wanted to branch out and try some other editing suites to see what they
offered. What I found was I still prefer Sony Vegas, but it was a fun diversion
to see how other applications handle similar tasks. I do like how Premiere
manages effects on video clips though. Luckily, I tend not require a lot of
that so it is no huge loss.

4. I am not a huge racing fan. After dabbling with a Lemons racing team for over a
year I decided that the racing life was not for me and retired. We did have
some success, taking home an Organizer’s Choice award at our
first race
, but I decided that it was just too much of a time and money
sink and I did not have the passion to needed continue. I do however still
follow the team’s progress and some parts of the car mysteriously keep finding
their way to me.

5. Corn tortillas are weak. Flour is the ultimate tortilla. I tried corn
again this year, just in case my taste buds have changed, but I can report they
remain loyal to the one true tortilla.

What Am I Looking To Explore This Year?

1. Civil war reenacting. I mentioned this last year, but I feel more serious
about it this year. That has not translated into any tangible actions yet, but
with the money from the racing team freed up I think the stars are starting to
align. This also lines up nicely with me wanting to go to more reenactments in
general. There are a couple groups in MA I will investigate.

2. Convention Panel Running. Last year I ran a panel at Connecticon on
firearm history and federal law. I think it went well (people showed up) and I
am planning on running it again this
year
. I am hoping to spread out and bring it to other conventions, but I
accept it can be a hard sell.

3. A new convention somewhere out west (we must go west young beans!). I
think right now we have a good distribution and mix of conventions we go to,
but I would like to rotate in a new one to try. Maybe Gen Con or Anime North in
2020.

4. Podcasting. I had so much fun doing this video about my April 15th project that
I would like to do it again. I am not sure about what though or with whom. More
research will be required.

What did I Fail at This Year?

1. Saving money. It is the same refrain as last year. I did increase my
savings rate, but I will need to do better if I want to retire early. So long
as I keep my hobbies though, this is looking doubtful.

2. Cooking. I have felt in a bit of a recipe rut as of late. The problem is
I am too comfortable with my normal standbys so it is hard to branch out.
Oftentimes I will find some new interesting recipe, but I will be intimidated
by the steps or the new ingredients. I think I need to find simpler
recipes.

3. Lawn care. That said, is it really failing if you do not care about the
outcome? I do occasionally wish the grass looked a little nicer.

4. Home improvement. Last year I said I would work on the downstairs
bathroom. The downstairs bathroom has not been worked on. The mission
continues…

Categories
Anime Convention Projects

April 15th, A Most Interesting Day

This blog post is talking about my latest work. If you have not
seen it, go do so now or else the following will make little sense.

Another AB, another video submission. Ultimately this entry, along with the
other one I submitted (which I will speak of later), was not accepted into the
finals (sort of). This is the fourth time I have submitted to the contest.
Overall, I stand at two accepted to the finals out of six submissions.
Technically, this was shown at the finals, it was just under “Exhibition” and
not eligible for any awards so I will not count it. Usually, I do a bit of a
textual commentary on specific scenes in the final product, but I experimented
with doing that via the medium of video. This was a
fun diversion as I was joined by longtime friend of the show (and a man
familiar with the visual arts) Patrick
Skehill. We were able to cover a lot of ground and go into more detail than a
normal blog post would cover. I will however reiterate some of that content in
this post.

From a high level perspective I am satisfied with the end product. I had
this idea (along with my other submission) last year and I mentioned it in my
yearly review. At the time
I said the following:

“I have some ideas which are a bit out there as far as my next AMVs go. I am
not sure how that will help me win any more awards, but they should be
different from the usual fare if nothing else.”

That prediction turned out to be pretty spot on. From a production
standpoint, this was my most ambitious and labor intensive project yet. I took
the initial nebulous idea and made a
write-up
of all the live action shots I wanted on 7/27. Using this list we
did the live action filming on 8/25. We stuck mostly to the shot list, but we
had a couple diversions (mainly the meeting room scene). Thanks again to
Mr. Skehill for providing the filming equipment, working the camera, and his
acting skills. Following that
I spent the next month (September) getting the live action cut plus the music
in order and ready for me to put the anime in.

For editing, I switched to using Adobe Premiere from Sony Vegas (which I
have done all my other projects on), partly to experiment with other editing
tools and partly to be in the Adobe family for better integration with Adobe
After Effects. Ultimately, I like Vegas more, but Premiere has a number of
features that helped for this specific project. Editing was pretty
straightforward except every live action shot had to be color corrected. We
filmed “flat” so we could have flexibility to set the time of day by altering
the coloring. There are other reasons, but I forgot what they were as this is
not an area I know much about. That said, it was particularly useful for the
scenes that are supposed to be at
night
(which were all filmed during the day). Additionally, I ended up with
a lot of extra live action footage. It was a good problem to have as it gave me
flexibility in the edit, but It is a shame some cool stuff got dropped.

The anime cutting process started 8/14 (I know this because we put the first
anime clip, the Gundam in the
background
, in that night before watching the Patriots beat the Chiefs) and
ran right up until I submitted the final project on 2/21. Progress was slow and
remained slow for the entire five months. It turns out cutting clips of anime
out of a myriad of different sources is very time consuming, let alone the
endless time spent trying to find good clips (plus the time lost actually
watching anime when I was supposed to be looking for something to cut out). I
would estimate I spent about 10-15 hours a week on this, with only occasional
bouts of self doubt delaying me.

Using a good quality source with a clear distinction between the background
and the thing I was trying to cut out I could get a good clip (say 1/4 to 1/2 a
second of runtime) in under half an hour. If the clip needs to be longer, or
the quality of the source is poor, or the thing being cut is indistinct from
the background then it would take more time. The most time intensive clips
would be Priss in the garage from
Bubblegum Crisis
and Heintz
walking around the stand in Magnetic Rose
. Both took about six to eight
hours. Given there are 100+ unique anime cutouts, you can do the math. I used
the After Effects rotoscoping tool to accomplish this. This tool is helpful,
but it can have a bit of a mind of its own. In many ways I still do not quite
get this tool or its settings, but I can use it.

Ultimately this was not selected as a finalist. I did try to stay within the
rules, but I think what most likely fouled me up was this rule:

” 75% of the footage in an entry must be from anime or Japanese-origin video
games “

I do contend (and I have the
data
to prove it) that I have more total anime footage than live action,
but I do respect that this sort of entry was just too far outside the bounds of
the contest. I do however very much appreciate that it was shown as an
Exhibition piece. It is a consolation prize to be sure, but I suppose I should
care more about people seeing what I do then just the accumulation (or chance
thereof) of prizes.

Generally, I am happy with how this turned out and I am pleased a lot of
people saw it and liked it. It was strange to be recognized at the convention,
despite my best efforts, but fun. I do think my next project will be more
traditional though, if only to save my sanity.

Categories
Anime Projects

Girls’ Last Tour AMV (Fifth Overall)

You can watch it here.

This was my second entry to Connecticon 2018, but it was not accepted. A bit
of a different take compared to what I normally pursue, this one focused almost
exclusively on a single episode of Girls’ Last Tour, a fairly recent anime. The
episode I used (episode 6) was my favorite of the series and is a great
standalone episode even if you have not seen the series before. For the song I
used “Fly Away” by John Denver. I am not a country music fan, but I felt this
song matches a lot of the themes I was going for both literally (flying away
from some place) and metaphorically (escaping).

Scene Breakdown

00:00 – 00:41: I really like the non-musical opening. It sets the stage of
the world well (which may not be familiar to some of the audience) and quickly
conveys the journey the girls are on. In general I think silence/non-musical
scenes are underutilized in AMVs.

00:47: A bit too quick of a cut here, but there was no other way to get
around it since the characters start talking right after and I like to avoid
seeing that if I can.

01:08: Good sync up with the lyrics and plane image here.

01:12 – 01:13: It is hard to notice, but there is some lip movement here. I
tried to avoid it, but it would mess with the story progression too much if I
cut it. It is hard to notice so I felt it was ok to keep in.

02:10: More lips flaps here, but the scene was too critical so I kept
it.

02:19 – 02:29: I am not sure I was able to convey that the pilot wanted to
escape in these few scenes, but it was the best I could do with the limited
options available. On the last scene (02:29) I actually froze the clip as they
are talking during it.

03:04: I think the animation in the show is average, but I do like the faces
they make from time to time.

03:34: I like the sync between the picture and the song a lot here.

03:58: Continuity error here with the propeller starting in the scene
before, but being stationary here. I felt it was ok to leave in as most people
would not notice and its not really a big deal.

Summary

Overall, I am happy it turned out as well as it did and I very much like how
this piece is different in structure than what I normally do. That said, I am
pretty bummed it was not accepted as I felt it was a strong overall piece, but
I cannot say it was better than the actual finalists so I will just have to do
better next year.

Categories
Anime Projects

Bubblegum Crisis AMV (Fourth Overall)

You can watch it here.

This piece was my second entry to Anime Boston 2018 and my first entry
Connecticon 2018. It was accepted at neither convention. This AMV is pretty
normal given my past work and is indicative of my general style: poppy music,
oldish anime, ironic lyrics, boarderline extreme violence. I happen to really
like Bubblegum Crisis (the original OVAs, less so for anything after) and MC
Frontalot (who is featured in this song, Robot Party by Supercommuter) so it
was a natural fit to merge both.

Scene Breakdown

00:00 – 00:14: I like this intro a lot. Not a lot of musical cues and it
sets the scene well. Perhaps I could have used some background noise, but I
think the silence is cool and unusual.

00:37: There is a weird white flash here that probably works better in the
anime than it does in this AMV. I thought about removing it, but it seemed best
to leave it in so that scene would not become disjointed and look weird.

00:45 – 00:50: This is one of the first bits I put together and it inspired
the rest of the AMV.

00:55: I consider this AMV to be mostly about robots tearing up a city, but
it can also be seen as a stealth Knight Sabers AMV as they appear in the
background from time to time. Some of the Knight Sabers appear in this scene
for the first time in the AMV.

01:00: I thought the biker sliding during a spin out was a clever match to
the “rotating” lyric.

01:37 – 01:44: Probably the weakest part of the AMV. I wanted to match the
lyrics, but there is nothing available that quite did it so I was left with
this.

01:48 – 01:50: I had to slow this clip down a bit so it would fill out the
lyric, but it looks a bit weird because of it.

01:56: Another Knight Saber appearance.

02:18: I really like how “dance” and the guy flying line up here.

02:23: This is a Knight Saber “sword” here. Nothing else really matched.

02:45 – 02:52 : Pretty obvious Knight Saber scene here which fans of the
show should recognize.

03:45: I considered ending with a tv screen turning off, but it it never
worked well enough to use.

Summary

I spent a lot of time gestating this one and I like it a lot. I am surprised
no one else seems to like it, but that seems to be more an indictment of my
taste than others’. Overall I am happy how it turned out.

Categories
Uncategorized

One Year at NetNumber

It has been one year of full employment at NetNumber, which means the
revival of the year
retrospectives!

What Did I Learn This Year?

1. Being more efficient programming in Java. Now that my job requires me to
care more about efficiency in the Java language I have picked up a couple new
tricks in this area. Chief amongst them is thread
locals
which are a bit verbose to use, but helpful. I also am getting
better at working with threads which still bend my mind on occasion.

2. I have an expensive gun fetish. It seems I realized this year I I could
buy guns and just like that I went on a bit of a buying spree with an eye
towards many more acquisitions. I think this newfound love is driven by two
factors. One, I have a thing for old rifles which (since they are not making
them anymore) means the stock is always being reduced and the price always
going up. Better to get them now before they get more expensive. Two, the legal
situation may make it so some pieces may be harder to find (e.g. AR-15s) which
again means I should get them while I have a chance. And of course with all
these nice pieces I need a place to use them which lead to me joining a local
shooting club. It is nice, but I wish the range went out farther than ~100
yards. I would like to try some long range shooting at some point. Furthermore,
it would be a shame to have my rights further restricted, so I have joined all
manner of gun advocacy groups (GOA, NRA, GOAL) to protect what I have now. It
remains to be seen how long this expensive affair will go on, but I am enjoying
it so far.

3. I can win AMV awards! This was a
pleasant surprise, especially for such a high profile convention, but I am a
bit baffled about the disconnect between the AMVs I like and the ones that
actually win awards. My tastes may be too eclectic for mainstream appeal. I am
not sure if AMV hipsters exist, but I am happy to pioneer a new subculture.
That said, I plan to keep experimenting and hopefully find a happy medium.
Expect more progress in this area this year.

4. I can work on cars. I have joined a Lemon’s team and we have been working
feverishly for almost a year to get our car ready to race. We should be ready
for our first race in August, but I will not feel comfortable about it until
our car is actually running. That said, I have learned quite a bit about cars
and with that knowledge I feel a lot more confident about conducting repairs.
Luckily for me aside from needing some maintenance and basic repairs my daily
drivers keeps on trucking. I do hate how dirty cars become though. I go through
a lot of gloves when I work.

What Am I Looking To Explore This Year?

1. Ammo reloading. This is mostly as a way to save money as some of the
pieces I shoot can be pretty expensive ($1.70 a round for 30-40 Krag for
example), but I also like the idea of being able to reload what I shoot from a
self sufficiency perspective. This also has some interesting offshoots like
forming your own bullets or brass. For now I have acquired a book and I will be
looking for some local classes so I have a good sense of what I am doing before
investing in some equipment.

2. Some oddball AMV ideas. I have some ideas which are a bit out there as
far as my next AMVs go. I am not sure how that will help me win any more
awards, but they should be different from the usual fare if nothing else.

3. Home improvements. I am looking to tear the carpet up from my lower floor
bathroom in order to make it a little less awful. I also need to do some work
on the shower in there too as the lining is cracked and peeling. The yard also
reminds a bit of a sore spot. I half want to make it very nice and half do not
care. We shall see how it goes this year.

4. Cooking. I have grown a bit tired of my usual recipes. I need to branch
out and find some new flavors. I hoping to solicit some simple recipes from
people I know.

5. Video game development. I keep thinking about video games I would like to
make myself, but I keep not doing anything about it. I hope this is the year I
carve out some time to do some experimenting. I am thinking using unity would
be a good start as it seems pretty feature rich and free.

What did I Fail at This Year?

1. Saving money. Despite my grand plans I am not saving as
much money as I thought. Between unexpected house costs, my gun hobby, and our
race car my savings rate has slowed. This is kind of concerning because I do
want to retire by 40 still, but I also want to invest in my hobbies. It seems
that the hobbies are winning for now, but I am disappointing a bit by my lack
of will to save. I shall think on this.

2. Civil War Reenacting. I keep wanting to do this, but I keep delaying
looking into it. I think this might be the year since it pairs nicely with my
gun habit and new found willingness to spend money on my hobbies.

3. Blog writing. Nuff said.

In summary, I had a really good year. I will work to make this year even
better.