Year End Reflections for 2018 Hello everyone. I haven’t done a personal blog entry in ages. The Personal Power guide I’ve been working on plus segments I’m doing for Kelly and Company have scratched that blogger’s itch. The rest of life certainly hasn’t been uneventful. I just don’t have the same need to document everything as I once did. However, I feel a need to take stock today at year’s end. Where to begin? Married life seems a good place. Sara and I are enjoying a largely stress-free and happy marriage. We’re both pretty good communicators and overall positive people. We certainly have disagreements but have typically managed to talk through them without inflicting pain on each other. Both of us have our own separate spheres of life and share enough interests to value our time together. It’s hard to believe we’re i our fourth year of marriage. The work I’m doing for Kelly and Company on AMI Audio has proved to be very rewarding and also quite challenging at times. How to cram all the information I want to impart into fifteen-minute segments isn’t always easy. However, it has helped organize my thinking when it comes to working on Personal Power: the iOS Edition. Increasingly though, it’s harder to make the two projects dovetail as the guide enters what I hope will be the last stretch of work. It’s been a very long haul and my initial enthusiasm for the guide is fatigued. There’s still quite a lot to get done before it’s ready for release. I’ve done way too much work to cut corners or just walk away from the project. It’s got to get done right. Financially, AMI Audio has continued to compensate me for the segments I prepare and I’m ever so thankful for this opportunity for paid work. It still feels precarious despite this being my second year of producing segments. I’ve just passed the 100 segment mark. I didn’t imagine it would last so long and there’s still the niggling dread that one day, it’ll just snap off like a switch and vanish. That keeps not happening though. Because of this income, I’ve been able to acquire a lot more apps and try things that I simply wouldn’t hav felt free to without it. The guide will be a far better resource due to this. My library of legally owned books and audio dramas has certainly gotten larger. So far there haven’t been any issues with ODSP or Peel Housing. I don’t think the upcoming changes to social assistance will cause us any trouble. However, I have a distrust for Conservatives and their tendency to dismiss and devalue people who haven’t managed to become self-sufficient. I worry tremendously about our new premiere and his habit of ignoring science in favour of ideology. It’s a case of scrapping every bit of long-term thinking the other side did regardless of merit. There’s already a stupid amount of that going on south of the border. Greed and self-centred short-term thinking is sadly winning the day right when the planet needs the exact opposite. I don’t think Trudo has much of a chance of surviving the next election. Too many mistakes made and too many badly needed initiatives promised which take god damned time that the other side will wipe out before they can realistically have any long-term results. That deeply frustrates me. This year’s politics really leaves me angry and wanting drastic world change which seems impossible right now. It feels like it’ll take some catastrophic disasters to really get people to change and ditch this us versus them crap. It sounds like those might even occur in my lifetime if the UN scientists are right. I hope we don’t waste all twelve of these next apparently crucial years we have to get at least some kind of grip on climate change. It should be the kick we need to start doing something about societal equality but people keep finding ways of dismissing or fighting against that kind of thing. I keep thinking there must be more good news out there that I’m just not coming across. Part of that has to do with how long working on this guide has dragged on. It makes me feel more stale than seems warranted given all the interesting apps and things I’ve learned and found while working on it. Another big milestone was that I’ve reached a point where I’ve gone completely legal in terms of the books I have. I now own every book I’ve wanted to own since my teenage years. I’ve done this without breaking the bank thanks largely to Kindle and Audible. Knowing how very hard it is to write the stories which have done so much to shape me over the years, this feels tremendously good. Once my guide is finished, I might well take another stab at writing a short story collection. Alternatively, thanks to the Voice Dream Reader app and sites like Storybundle, I have a substantial collection of books about creative writing and game development. Those will help whether I pursue rpg creation or story writing. But first, there’s the guide to finish before it drags me under creatively speaking. I still feel that it’ll fill a gap in the help that’s available for people who have or contemplate getting iOS devices. That hasn’t changed. I’m still using my iPHONE7. Unless my carrier offers me a super deal, it’ll stay that way for potentially the next couple of years. Sara upgraded to an iPHONEXR at far less expense than I had thought possible. So far, she’s pretty happy with it. Understandable coming from a 5S. It’ll be interesting to see what she does with so much more room and other advancements. The guide will be a better informed document taking her experience of these advancements. I’ve invested in some new peripherals. A great new Bluetooth speaker called a Fugu Tough has proved to be an excellent addition to my travel kit. Sadly, the Go Duo speakers didn’t last as long as I had hoped when I backed them. The Tough seems rugged and even has speech prompts about charge levels and connection status. The other major acquisition was another successful Kickstarter. It’s a Hexgears X1 mechanical keyboard. It’s being used to type this entry. The key feedback feels very nice and it’s far more comfortable to type on than the Microsoft Universal Mobile keyboard I’ll still use and deeply appreciate when travelling. However, there’s a noticeable lag and occasional missed keystrokes. I think this is a bluetooth issue and wouldn’t be surprised if these issues went away in time. I’m still getting used to the new keyboard and its quirks. It’ll certainly stand up to the amount of typing I do. The keys are rated for seventy million clicks. The Lifepack Hustle has been a very nice travel pack for longer expeditions. It just got another bit of use on our Christmas visit to sara’s family. Plenty of room for a home base away from home and I love the shock protection. It should last ages with the possible exception of the internal mesh pockets. I can see those tearing eventually although they haven’t at all yet. The apartment continues to be a good home for us. No serious issues at all to deal with. There are maintenance projects and that sort of thing but they really take care of the building and us renters quite nicely. Sara knows far more people here than I do these days. That’s largely due to her guide dog Aladdin. I really have to get out more this Spring and get into the habit of walking more like I used to. It’s less fun with hearing loss and the hearing aids being rendered useless by too much wind or background noise. Still, I’ll need that motion and different place to help deal with the race to finish this guide in the time frame I’d like to. I’m a deacon at my church now. That happened in September and so far, I think I’ve done alright in that role. I’m still learning a lot as I go but people seem largely happy with me. It’s a three year commitment that I mean to see through barring any unexpected life-changing opportunities. Going to different churches continues to be a source of interesting talk and reflection for Sara and I. It hasn’t proved anywhere near as divisive as I once would have expected. She remains the choir director at her church. I frankly never thought of myself as deacon material but when the call came, I couldn’t turn it down. My church has been there when I’ve needed them as much as that kind of organization can be. It’s only right that I do likewise. In a few hours, our New Year’s party will begin. I think it’ll be a good one. I haven’t seen as much of any of my friends as I should have. I plan to work on that a bit more this year. 2019 should be a more social and less isolated year if I can manage that. Hopefully, it’ll also see a new creative chapter begin. I’m at last close enough to finishing this guide that I can realistically hope to get to the end before iOS changes yet again. Just not as far before that happens as I would have liked. Well I think I’ll leave you here for the moment. Perhaps, I’ll get back into more of a blogging groove. Only time will tell. Have a happy new year, everyone.