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Posted by on January 2, 2020


We bought a house this year. We got very lucky in getting a house that was nearly everything we wanted. After 7 months, it seems to have worked out well. It will continue to be a source of projects and pride and occasional stress forever, most likely.


Mary and I continue to get better at communicating. Buying a house wasn’t really any added strain, having a second kid for an entire year was. Anyone who sees our relationship from the outside only at intermittent gatherings might think we “never fight”. This is not true. We have disagreements that manifest in what could be called fights at least every two weeks, sometimes multiple times per week. Like anyone else, the stress of life can weigh on us and we sometimes take it out on each other. We work through it by taking time, being patient, talking, listening, and forgiving. If we didn’t do all of those things, we wouldn’t have made it this far. I know — because we both say it to each other frequently — that we both feel lucky to have the other.

Professional life

Work continues to be very similar to years past. Once again I am frustrated by my inability to advance within Merkle (since the acquisition was finalized). I passed the GCP engineer certification in March on my second attempt with MUCH preparation and study. It had no effect on my job. I did some work with Gregg this year and felt I was learning and advancing for a change, until Gregg summarily ended the relationship as he felt I wasn’t learning as fast as he needed me to. That was a reckoning moment for me in terms of prioritization, but I didn’t make any changes immediately. I hope to get better about this in 2020.


Obi is going through things that Scarlett went through, only 3 years later. That just means I already have tools to handle those things. It’s still work, and I couldn’t do it without Mary, but it’s not a source of stress.

Scarlett, on the other hand, is constantly treading new ground and presenting new challenges. I have to keep trying and learning to handle her new needs. I’m still reading and thinking a lot about parenthood.


My weight stayed in a decent range this year but was headed up at the end of the year. I did a decent job lifting semi-regularly and keeping myself decently strong but hope to be better about this next year.

I ran around Forest Park a few times before we moved away.

Played very little magic this year, that will likely continue. I did play Free Commander a few weeks at my new LGS, Collector Store, and I played Vintage a few times at Moonbase near the beginning of the year, but that was about it.

Spent much more time playing video games than in years past, but this was because it has become something Scarlett and I can do together. I started her watching playthroughs of the Mario games: 1, 2, 3, world, 64, and then I started playing 64 right in front of her. That went very well.

Made very little progress in cubing, but stayed roughly the same. Last year I got what is likely to stay my PB time for years (without careful study and improvement), but this year I got some good times as well.

Once again I read much less than I’d hoped this year. Mary and I worked through the Ramona books which was a complete delight. Re-read a bunch of Crichton this year. Man, do I like Crichton. Re-read machinery of freedom, read The Power of Habit.

Eric died this year. He was one of my closest friends. I’m so sad about it months later that I think I’m likely to stay mourning for a very long time. I’m so glad he came to stay with us earlier this year, but it’s not that strange because he did that every year or two. He was so good about staying in touch with people, among many other things he was incredible at.

Archon was great this year and Mary was in the masquerade for the first time, and in her amazing Nano Gauntlet costume. She even won an award — Best Original Concept! Mary made faerie houses for ren faire. Took Scarlett to the pool near our house a few times. Hope to do that every summer from now on, a lot. Scarlett was flower girl in two weddings, Mark/Kelsey and Gregg/Vivian. She did a fine job in both.

I got to see Weird Al live! Strings Attached tour at the Fox, it was great. Saw Gone With The Wind in the theater. It was very good in that format. Not surprised so many other people saw it in the theater.


This was a good year for me. Losing Eric sucked, but I guess that’s the way it goes. I’m grateful to have all the friends that I do. I hope I can keep doing the good things right and learn from the bad things for next year.

note: I wrote this in May 2020, but tried to stay true to the feel of the year at calendar rollover

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