Friday, February 08, 2013

What I want to do this year

This is a little late. . .well since the year is already 1/12 over I guess it is a lot late.  I sat down to right this blog post multiple times last month, and every time I would get started the motivation instantly left me.  These really are not goals, because often goals imply some sort of higher, making yourself a better person or accomplishing something purpose.  For all intents and purposes these are just things I want to do throughout the year that do require a little bit of intentional emphasis to make sure they happen.

1.  Read More
One thing I do not want to do anymore is waste so much time endlessly clicking around on the internet, so when I have a bored half an hour here and there, I would rather read a book.  I knew that this something I wanted to do, so I laid the ground work by soliciting for book suggestions here.   Then for Christmas I asked for several of those books.  It worked because I ended up being gifted seven books.  I have already read two of them including Lost Fleet: Dauntless, which was an absolutely awesome military sci-fi book.  I just started reading Boneshaker, a steam punk book (with Zombies of course).  I have a couple of other books to read like Dune.   So far I am off to a really good start on reading and I want to keep it that way.   

2.  Read a History Book
I remember in college Dr. Gahan saying how good it is to write a history paper from time to time, and it is something that we will probably want to do for fun when we get older.  I remember with the rest of the class laughing at how absurd that sounded, but I think that he might be right.  I do not think I will actually write a paper this year, but I am ready to do some academic reading again.  I have essentially avoided reading at the academic level since finishing seminary (I can't believe that will have been four years ago this year!).  I have read a couple of history books since then, and I have done professional reading but none of it was really aimed at the academic level.  I would like to read a "real" history book this year.  I do have on 1st century Israel that I saved from a "free book" pile, but I am leaning towards looking for a book on Naval warfare in the Napoleonic era because that is something I would like to learn more about.

3.  Make my own game (still)
So two years ago I said I wanted to do this, and I did.  In the months of August and September of 2011 I made a very simple space combat game to enter into a contest.  I think I finished next to last.  It was not a bad game, but it was not great.  Last year when I made a similar post to this one, I had a similar entry but it did not happen in 2012.  This is mainly because the project we took to play and (blog) through all of our games was a lot more time consuming than I originally thought.  I have two game ideas that I am really interested in pursuing, really developing out, and seeing if they can be made into something worth sharing with others.  At some point, I have probably mentioned this one but one is a dodge ball card.  This is the idea I tinkered with just a little bit last year.  I do think that it does a good job at simulating an actual game of dodge ball, but I am not sure if that actually converts to a good table game.  The issue with dodge ball is the end game, when one team is down to their last person, can really drag out and slow down.  The other idea is one a two player duel game where players make their own airships and then battle it out.  I really like the idea of creating and customizing something of my own each time.  We will have to see how it works, but I think some of the ideas I have will allow for some depth in the creation and customization while still allowing for accessibility in the actual game play.

4.  Play at the game store more  
Avon has a game store, but I do not frequent it much.  There board game selection is a little limited.  Like most game stores they make their money in miniatures and Magic cards.  The biggest reason for not going there often, is the store is not the most welcoming.  At least it wasn't.  I did notice in the handful of times that I was there last year that the owner and employees seem to be making a purposeful effort of being more welcoming and open.   Working at a church, I do not get to interact with non-Christians that often and that is not a good state affairs.  I believe it is important for believers to intentionally be a shining light in the world.  I believe it is important for Christians to purposely form relationships outside of the church.  I know that my best venue for doing this is through playing games.  I have a couple of friends in the Avon area who play games already, and this year I really want to be intentional about meeting up with them at the game store to play games so that I can get to know the regulars of the store better.  Of all the things on the list, this is probably the one most important to me and the one that I am most serious about wanting to see happen this year.

5.  Paint More Miniatures
I have heard people who get tatoos talk about how it is "addictive" and once they get inked once they want to keep getting more.   That is kind of how I feel about painting miniatures.  I painted miniatures on two different instances last year, and I really enjoyed it.  I want to paint more.   I see several venues for going about this.  First, I already have a couple of miniatures teams for ElfBall, so I could get another one so that when I play this game with people there are more than two team options.  This option is kind of attractive, because the price for Elfball miniatures just dropped.  I already have one miniatures game, Dystopian Wars, and I could get more miniatures for that.  The faction I chose has some really cool looking gun ships and a couple of fantastic zeppleins.  The big advantage to these is the individual miniatures are not to expensive, and since they would match the color scheme of my current fleet I already have the paint.  The third option is to get some Western miniatures.  I have rules for a Western game, and I do really like the ruleset.  I originally intended to use paper-minis (which I have the files for), but it would be fun to get some real miniatures and paint them for that game.  The final option is to get a mini-heavies board game.  For some reason this is an area that has really expanded in board games recently, and there are several options like ZombicideRivet Wars, and Super Dungeon Explore.   These games all have a somewhat high price ($70-100) but they have a ton of miniatures so it would give me a lot to paint.  Plus, being a board game there is a better chance of being played more often.  

6.  Not Get in a Professional Rut
In July of this year, I will begin my 5th year at Avon, which is excellent!  At this point I am very much established in ministry here and that is a good thing, BUT that means it can also be too easy for me to fall into a trap of doing it how we've always done it.  This does not mean I have to necessarily throw out everything that has worked well and start over, but this is a really good time to evaluate things, really focus on how to do the good things better, and try some new stuff to provide an overall stronger youth ministry program that connects with more teens.


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