2017 in review

So….  Here we are – the first day of 2018.  Looking back at 2017 and how I did at ‘doing the things’ I have mixed feelings.  While I believe that this is still a good idea, I didn’t really pull it off.  I was successful in the early part of the year at learning about electronics, making bread, learning about Whiskey, and making Pizza.  But in May I decided to tackle the garage project which for the most part doomed me to failure or keeping up with a once a month project.  The garage took me until the fall to complete and at the same time my work schedule went off the charts leaving me with little to no time to get things done.  So while I can say that the garage was the fatal project – it was really a combination of things that caused the wheels to come off.  So with full acknowledgment that things didn’t work as planned – Im looking to 2018 with a new plan.  But first – let’s talk a little bit more about 2017….

The projects I did get done worked well for the most part.  I enjoyed learning about electronics – but found that after awhile I was really pushing the boundaries of what I could teach myself.  Im the sort of person that needs to know how things work.  It drives me crazy using a capacitor in a project because “it says to”.  I want to know why its there and why its doing what it’s doing.  What I found is that I was getting buried in electrical theory rather than actually playing with making things.  As things stand now – I haven’t touched any of what I worked on last January since last January.  Im still very interested in it – but I think I need to find a mentor or a class to take to get me going on that path again.

I really enjoyed baking bread and I learned quite a bit in that area too.  Making and maintaining the starter proved to be sort of a pain and not something I could keep up with but making bread with yeast is something I enjoy doing and something I’ve done regularly since I learned how.  There’s something very refreshing about eating food that you know exactly how it was made.  Along with learning more about bread I learned more about dough and I feel like I have a new favorite dough recipe which I love using.  So I feel a sense of accomplishment there too.

On the Whiskey front I found that I truly enjoy Bourbon.  So much so that me and a group of friends took a trip to Kentucky this year to go on a Bourbon tour.  I’ve since read a couple of books on the topic and enjoy the history and process of how it’s made.

The garage (despite taking 4 times as long as I had planned) is done and I feel good about it.  Is it my dream garage?  No.  I compromised on some things and not everything turned out how I had hoped.  But it is MUCH nicer than it was before and much more usable.  As I plan to spend more time on carpentry projects this year it will be nice to have that space.

So what will I do in 2018?  Much of the same I think.  I enjoy having this blog and it keeps me motivated to learn new things.  It is a lot of work to keep up with however.  Many times I find myself taking pictures of things that I intend to use on a blog and later realizing I just don’t have the time to write a blog.  So Im going to try to take more time to blog in 2018.  Im abandoning the once a month project concept though.  That just isn’t feasible with what I want to get done.  Rather Im going to pick a few topics that I’d like to spend more time on and just hope that I get to them at some point in 2018.   Those topics are (in no particular order)….

  • Carpentry – I enjoy doing carpentry work.  I’ve done several projects around the house in the last year related to cabinetry and I plan to continue that trend in 2018 (my wife already has the next project picked out).  I think I enjoy carpentry so much because when you’re done you have something physical to show for your labors.  That’s not something I always get in my day job so doing this type of work fills the gap for me.  I have MUCH to learn in this area so hopefully I’ll be able to tackle some new things this year.
  • Cooking – I like cooking but I’ve found that in this space Im very much a creature of habit.  I cook the same things and I don’t often go outside of my comfort zone.  I’d like to try and change that this year and try to cook new things that maybe I wouldn’t have tackled in the past.
  • Tinkering – I wasn’t sure what to call this category but tinkering sort of summarizes it.  I love building things.  Nothing specific – but making stuff makes me happy.  We shall see what comes of this – but Im sure something will.
  • Being healthier – This seems to always make it to my ‘to-do list’ but I never do anything substantial about it.  This year, Im going to make a effort to be healthier in a few different ways.

So there you have it – Im going to try and focus on these areas and blog as often as I can.  Stay tuned!

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