hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
[personal profile] hkellick
2012 was a decidedly mixed bag. Work ate my brain and became my life, crowding out most other things. K and R were sick ALOT. We had a lot of hard financial times.
BUT I was employed the whole year long, went on two work trips, became an LRE and am appreciated by my company. K got a contract position she loves. R got to go to preschool, which has helped him develop socially, and continues to grow up to be a perfectly well-adjusted three year old who is asserting his authority, much to our frustration, occasionally.

January 9-11 – Went on my first work trip for a face-to-face client meeting with two nuclear power plants in Illinois
January 11 – A nuclear scientist working in Tehran is killed by a car bomb. Iran immediately points at the USA and Israel and accuses them of working together to orchestrate this.
January 17 – Protestors in Greece and Spain protest strict austerity measures which seem to be choking their country.
January 21 – After many discussions, K and I agree I will start working overtime regularly
January 23 – Disgraced Former Head Coach of the U Penn Nittany Lions Joe Paterno passes on.
January 27 – My father is diagnosed as cancer free. Hooray!
January 31 – In what is widely regarded as a politically based move, Susan G. Komen For The Cure decides to stop funding Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood gets a whole lot of individual donations and Komen feels the backlash. Four days later, Komen reverses a course, but arguably the damage was already done.
February 1 – A Structural Engineer from the Pittsburgh office comes in for a week to shadow our engineers to see if he has the knowledge to do our work. Within three days, it’s clear he doesn’t.
February 5 – Superbowl Sunday. We try streaming the Superbowl live and hate it. Firstly, the same five commercials play. Secondly, we missed the half time show.. which wasn’t great, mind you, but is part of what the Superbowl is to us.
February 22 – The D project starts it’s long slow descent into WORST CASE EVER when the boss decides we can no longer charge overtime, then no longer charge any time at all to what was an underbid project.
February 26 – Trayvon Martin, a young man who apparently looked incredibly suspicious for being, well, black and wearing a hoodie is shot. The shooter, George Zimmerman, states that Trayvon attacked him. This has not yet seen it’s day in court…
March 9-11 – Dad and Elaine come down to visit for the weekend and take Robert back to Buffalo with them. It was a nice visit.
March 13-16 – Worth a quick mention. We get a new employee, an older experienced engineer who theoretically knows this stuff like the back of his hand. He quits after 3 days. Either he didn’t know what he said he knew or this was just not the right environment for him.
March 2012 – K applies for a job as a desktop lead engineer and doesn’t get it. Instead, she gets a job working certain weekends as a “desktop technician”. She is vastly underpaid and the only good thing about it is it looks OK on a resume.
April 13 – In the “Stranger than Fiction” category, 11 Secret Service members face inquiries regarding allegedly using prostitutes in Columbia while protecting President Obama during the 6th Summit of the Americas
April 14-15 – Ancestry.com releases a bunch of new census records. K starts poking around working on getting our family together and starts a new hobby / obsession.
April 15 – Our first tornado warning. We get woken up at 2 something by the alarm and cower in the second bathroom listening to the radio hearing the tornado move north of us in Edmond. This is after my drive home that night when a tornado went through Norman.
April 23 – K has a bad episode after one of her medications goes generic and becomes exhausted, listless and a wreck.
April 2012 – K and I pick up Civ V and start playing together again.
May 9 – President Obama declares his support for same sex marriage, which was totally spontaneous and not at all because Biden forced his hand…
May 18 – I go instantly from an engineer working on a project in the north east to becoming the LRE (Lead Response Engineer)
May 21-22 – Upon becoming LRE, I am sending to three plants in the north east for a site visit so that I can picture the sites better when doing a local intense precipitation analysis.
May 24 – Facebook starts being publicly traded on the NASDAQ and immediately loses shares like crazy
May 25 – In one of the lowlights of the year, in the midst of the Syrian civil war, friends of the Syrian government summarily executed 108 people, including 49 children in the Houla region of Syria. The breathtaking awfulness of this act suddenly brings the Syrian government into very stark contrast the world over.
June 5 – Governor Walker survives a recall election brought about because of strong anti-union legislation he’d signed.
June 2012 – Start potty training Robert. Things go well for a bit.
June 14 – Robert has his first swim in the nearby pool and has a great time. He is our little waterbaby.
July 20 – James Holmes bursts into a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, setting off tear gas and then shooting at people. He kills 12 and injures 50 more.
June 28 – Shocking the world, the Supreme Court upholds the ACA (Obamacare) as totally legitimate.
July 2012 – We had to deal with one of the worst heat waves in OKC on record.
July 2012 – The owner of Chik-Fil-A makes several public statements regarding “traditional marriage”. A whole to do regarding Chick-Fil-A and marriage equality occurs with an “Eat at Chik-Fil-A” day and a protest Chick-Fil-A Day.
July 27 – August 12 – 2012 Summer Olympics in London. There are so many stories that came out of this that I won’t name them all.
July 28 – K’s mom calls and lets K know that her sister, k, may not have MS, but may have something called Neuromylitis Optica, or Devics Disease.
July 31 – CERN announces that they’ve found the Higgs Boson. This is great news for anyone who understand what the Higgs Boson is, which is not me.
August 5 – Curiosity lands on Mars without a hitch. Geeks the world over cheer.
August 23 – Do a presentation regarding what we do to the Oklahoma City chapter of SAME (Society of American Medical Engineers). Hit it out of the park, if I may say so.
September 6 – 16 – K and Robert vacation in DC and Buffalo for 10 days while I stay in OKC. The vacation is a nightmare due to K’s mother being at her worst behavior the entire time.
September 10-14 – In what looks like a classic case of Chicago Politics, the Chicago Teacher Union Strikes, bringing Mayor Rahm and, by extension, Obama into the spotlight.
September 11 – Early morning, a heavily armed group of men enter the diplomatic mission in Benghazi, killing four people, including ambassador J Christian Stevens and injuring 10 others
September 28 – K gets hired in a contact position doing desktop support for an oil and gas company.
September 28 – With K working full time in a contract position, R starts going to pre-school which he loves
October 9 – Do the same presentation I did in OKC, but in Tulsa this time. Do a decent enough job.
October 14 – Felix Baumgartner breaks the record for highest skydive ever by jumping from 128,000 feet above sea level, breaking the sound barrier on his way down.
October 18 – At Kareila’s suggestion, I check our Glitch, an adorable java-based MMO which I was hugely addicted to until I got news that they were closing for good.
October 29 – “Superstorm” Sandy (aka Frankenstorm) blows up the coast, doing massive damage to New York and New Jersey. While a human tragedy, Sandy remains the storm where everything was done correctly by the governments, by the first responders.. except for a crane which was left out. And Atlantic City.
October 31 – Approximately two months of the HOUSE OF PLAGUE begins. My wife and I end up sick around Halloween, both given antibiotics for Bronchitis. I get better-ish. K doesn’t. Up until a couple days before Christmas.
November 6 – In one of the messier, nastier, uglier election seasons in my memory, Barack Obama wins reelection against Mitt Romney. Upon looking at the numbers, it appears that while the GOP was able to attract the voters they wanted to attract, that they did not account for the large number of women, Latinos, African Americans, and young people who, for the most part, voted Obama. Parts of the GOP become introspective about how badly they’d lost.
November, 2012 – Also in the “stranger than fiction” category, the story of General David Petraeus and the very strange unfolding story regarding him, his lover, a shirtless FBI agent and more!
November 22 – K and R spend Thanksgiving sick. Thanksgiving.. doesn’t really happen.
December 6 - K gets news that her sister likely doesn't have Devics Disease.. or MS. No one is sure WHAT she has.
December 14 – Adam Lanza kills his mother before entering the school she works, Sandy Hook Elementary School and killing 20 children, mostly first graders, and 6 teachers and staff.
December 20-27 – K, R and I vacation in Buffalo for a week, which was mostly good, if exhausting. Then our luggage goes on a little adventure without us on our way home.
December 31 – Despite much hand-wringing, and a whole lot of press coverage, the congress and the White House are unable to come up with a solution to avoid the “fiscal cliff”.

Notable Video Games of 2012
Guild Wars 2 – I got hugely into that game (and will get back into it once I feel all better again). This game does a lot of things right and very few things wrong. I’d call this my favorite game of 2012.
Glitch – I am still supersad that Glitch closed. I was hugely addicted to that game. It was a strange, silly place that was hugely community oriented.
Other notable mentions:
Diablo 3 gets honorable mention as the worst game of 2012 for its issues at launch (worst game launch that I know of, due to it’s insistence on being online), for its real money auction house which really hindered the game, and for changes they made a sheer couple months after launch that “Rebalanced” the game in a way that borked my character. I haven’t played G3 since and doubt I will..
Torchlight 2 gets honorable mention for being the game Diablo 3 SHOULD have been. Cheap, online if you WISH (drop in/drop out multiplayer), cheap, fun to play and, yes, not “Rebalanced” right out the gate. In fact, I don’t think it’s had a patch since launch…
Lego: Lord of the Rings – I might have put Lego Batman 2 here, because I REALLY enjoyed that game and REALLY enjoyed exploring Gotham, but I thought that the stupid robot should have died faster and so the game loses points for that. Lord of the Rings is everything Lego Batman 2 is, without the stupid robot. Gameplay is easy to figure out, fun, and I love exploring Middle Earth.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning – I love crafting. And Kingdoms of Amalur had one of the better crafting systems, or at least one I liked more. If I have one complaint about the game, it’s that some of the side quests felt TOO forced and too silly. Guild Wars 2 frankly does sidequests better.

My “2012 In Review” Playlist (songs I picked up in 2012/heard for the first time in 2012)
The Contact – Major Tom (Coming Home)
GlaDOS and Jonathon Coulton – Still Alive
Miracle of Sound – Nord Mead
Malukah – Age of Oppression
Da Vinci’s Notebook – Another Irish Drinking Song
The Piano Guys – Cello Wars
Grover – Monster In The Mirror
Epic Rap Battles of History – Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates
Symphony of Science – The World of the Dinosaurs
Mighty Mike – City Down Under (M83 vs. Men at Work)
Rebecca Frezza – Big Truck
Rock of Ages Soundtrack – Hit Me With Your Best Shot
The Axis of Awesome – 4 Chords
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