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Out with the old, in with the new

2011 has been laid to rest, and 2012 has begun. Overall, 2011 had some ups and downs, but in the end I was still on the right side of the semi-frozen Minnesota turf when the ball dropped last night.

Here’s a recap from 2011 for anyone that gives a rats hind end..

January – February: It was pretty dang cold, so we didn’t do all that much.  I worked out, edited some videos and worked on some websites..

March: We headed up north for a weekend for a Rollag work weekend.  The 75 Case was getting fitted with a new boiler, and our new bucket truck was getting finished up as well.  Good friends, good times and we managed to make it into Moorhead shortly before 94 was closed due to bad weather.  If seemed to follow us up, but we didn’t really see it!

April: This brought the MSEA steam up at Larson Welding, and the maiden run of the 75 Case.  Once again we were chased up to Fargo by bad weather, but it didn’t affect our fun.

May: May brought a the start of steam season and was kicked off my my, Eileen, our buddy Tyson and the dogs loading up in a pickup and heading to Pawnee, Oklahoma for the OST/GEA show.  We caravanned down with the boys from the Nelson Bus Barn, our neighbors at Rollag. We had the opportunity to meet an engineer at Rollag last year who was to run the Baker Engine that was restored at Larson.  The engine was originally from the OK show and was going to return there for the 2011 show.  We got ourselves a plan and made a road trip down for 5 days of new adventures.  It was a great experience that I’ll not soon forget, and was one of those rare opportunities when everything fell into place.  Being from Minnesota and having a good amount of training towards my MN steam license, but not actually having it yet, it was great to be able to get down and operate an engine on my own.  It was truly a great weekend of traveling, meeting new people and seeing new places.  On our way back, we passed nearby Joplin, MO, shortly before it was decimated by a tornado. At the end of may, I got engaged, up at Rollag with our friends around over Memorial weekend.  That was an exciting weekend, and am exited for that next chapter of life.  No date has been set yet, but all things in good time.

June: The start of the month brought the MS150 bike tour once again, Marking my 15th year on the tour, give or take a year.  I had spent a good deal of time in the spring training, between riding, running and weight training.  Overall, it was a pretty good ride., and I’m looking forward to it already in 2012.  Also, Rollag held the Steam School, of which I took part in.  I’ve been learning the ropes for the past few seasons, but it was really nice to learn some of the details and logic behind you do what you do, and why things work the way they do.

July: Of course, July starts with the 4th weekend, as well as my birthday.  We took a trip to Rollag for a weekend, and some work on the camper.  We also ran down to the Hastings Little Log House with the Nelson clan and Tyson.. He made the trip down from up north since the show was featuring his two favorite things.  Chevy and green tractors.   We had some bad heat and humidity, along with some nasty storms on Saturday night that pretty much decimated most of the flea market.  At least it took care of the humidity.

August: Of course August means Rollag and the Avery feature.  10 days of vacation from work (ok, so I still worked some) lots of great friends, and a ton of camera gear for production of the 2011 Rollag DVD.  This carried over into September, but always ends too quickly.  The weather was pretty good, the people were even better, and you can be assured I’ll be there until every year until they stick me in the ground.  Also, knocking one item off my bucket list was running a 5k.  I completed the run in a shorter time than I had planned, which was pretty awesome for me, and then we departed immediately for Rollag!

September: A short two weeks after Rollag, we head off to the Albany show, which is where most of the Rollag people go to relax after our show.  Many of the same people, some different ones.  Again, a great long weekend.  The weather was a bit chilly, but the cheese curds were a good fix for that.  Later in the month, we headed up to Askov for a little family show by some relatives.  Again, it was a whole bunch of Rollag people pitching in, and really laid back. Also, the end of the month brought the close of a new house and moving.  Add all this activity on top of editing the Rollag DVD, and I’m one busy little beaver!

October: Brought house projects, editing and the Rollag annual meeting.  I once again ran for the Board, but was knocked out at the last round of voting.  I’m starting to feel like I should be on Survivor.  Upside, Eileen got on, as well as some of our friends.  It will be a good to have a large change of thought, and see what new ideas can be brought forward while still carrying on the existing plans.

November: Editing, Editing, Thanksgiving and Editing.  We had a few folks down for turkey, and also our 3rd annual Black Friday party.  It was a pretty good time, again, nothing beats spending time with friends and family.  Especially when you have great friends and family!

December: This was an interesting month.  Of course you have the Holidays, however in order to get there, I had to wade thru my employer getting purchased, and having the purchaser also be purchased.  Also, I took a trip out to California for some business travel, met up with some friends out there, saw the Golden Gate bridge, had drinks in a museum and had a sleepover at SFO.

Overall, not too bad of a year.  I guess I still have to complain about a house that hasn’t sold, and have completely blacklisted USBank for a reputable financial institution due to some unethical practices they used earlier in the year, and other details I prefer not to discuss.  I will advise you, to find a smaller, local bank where they know your name and aren’t a bunch of crooks.  I have no regrets, and suggest you do the same.

For 2012, I have a few goals and plans.  We have some work to do in the house; move a wall, add a bathroom, bar and some cabinets.  No real plan on when those will get done, but sometime soon.  I do need to get back in the fitness routine.  I’ve started up the P90X routine again, and joined a content with co-workers where the winner stands to win some real cash for losing the most weight.  Once I get back on a track, and knock out the holiday foods, I should be good.

I’ve got another big video project starting up in February, MS150, and show season.  A big goal for this year, is to find a Ranger, and upgrade the Cushman at Rollag.  Batteries are awesome for power, quiet and such, however, with the schedule I run up there, they are dead by Saturday, as they like more than 6 hours a night to charge.  Somewhere in there we also have the Spitfire to start restoring, along with a handful of other garage projects.

One big goal I have set for myself is to get back on the track to becoming self-employed by the time I hit 40.  I have some time, but need a few things in place in preparation for that.  Starting with one of the most basic things, I’ve consolidated my freelance sites into one site:

I can’t say I have many true resolutions, but goals that I want to attain over a longer term vs. most resolutions that are forgotten a few weeks into the year.

Here’s to a great 2012 for everyone.  May you reach your goals, keep your compass pointed straight ahead, not forget the past, but don’t let it hold you back from making your future.