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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Checking in After I Checked Out!

Made in Spain, not in China...for a change

Well kiddies, it's been a rough couple of months.  No, no one died.  I didn't lose my job.  Really, nothing truly awful has happened.  So what has kept me from writing and posting here on the blog, or Twitter or Facebook, or in general engaging with folks I like about games I love?

I'm the sort of guy who needs to focus on the immediate challenge, which for me has been my journey (once again) to lose alot of unhealthy, unnecessary weight.  When I've walked this path in the past it has always been a very consuming process, but that hyper-focused practice has always resulted in success.  As of today, I'm happy to report that two months of eating less, eating better, and attempting to move more often and with a sense of purpose has resulted in approximately a 25 lb. loss.

It's a good start.

While I haven't checked out of life (or gaming) completely in order to do what needs doin', it was the break from distraction that helped me get to this point.

My blogging and gaming have slowed for more reasons than just my need to eat and exercise for my weight loss.  It's been an awfully busy time with my son (12) leaving elementary school and transitioning into middle school life, summer vacation times being scheduled, busy work time (a pawnbrokers life has cycles, and summer is a busy time for us with regard to folks selling products in order to fund summer events...we think of it as our inventory restocking phase), and a host of other random, pop-up events that usually put the kibosh on time I would normally be playing D&D, C&C, WFRP, Labyrinth Lord and the host of other games I enjoy.

Not gaming left a big gap, and early on in April I realized I needed to do something to keep my mind stimulated and also supplement my time moving about, walking, hiking, I picked up my much neglected Nikon D5000 (as well as my even older canon Rebel XT) and started going to the park to take some pictures.  It got me moving with a purpose, and pretty soon I realized that the equipment I had bought to document family life, my son as a baby, and the occasional family outing held alot more interest for me.

My hobby time is limited, and much of it has always been focused on RPG's, books (many of them about RPG's lol), and food & cooking but suddenly I found myself engaging with the world in a very different way.  Many folks have taken photography as a class in high school or as a college course, and thus have some knowledge of how cameras work, how to take a proper photo, and what makes a good photo.  Not having any real world, practical experience with either of my cameras I simply walked a mile or two when time allowed, happily snapping pictures of anything I saw that I thought was interesting, and then I would go home and look at alot of pictures of trees, or cars, or the creek at Pennypack Park.  It was all very mundane, shot on auto, and really...really boring.

Until I took this picture.


The bird took off from a low branch and I instinctively pulled the camera up to my face and without even thinking just started snapping away.

Now, there's nothing really special about this picture.  You can go to to Google images or Flickr or one of a million websites and see hundreds, nay thousands of similar pictures often far better, closer, with greater detail.  I, however, had never taken a picture that made me feel like I had accomplished anything that might be interesting enough to show anyone else.  Sure, my family likes to share pictures of each other, our kids, the usual crap that only has meaning to the individual or small group, but this photo really got me thinking about how I had really checked out of life in so many ways.

I had checked out of being healthy by eating in an out of control manner, and really becoming very sedentary.

I had checked out of engaging with people by limiting my gaming time exclusively to online play via Fantasy Grounds and Roll20.

I had checked out of society at large by living routinely, a cycle of work and sleep and filling the time in between with nothing new or interesting or stimulating.

I had checked out of learning anything new.

After seeing this photo, I knew I wanted to check back in.

I'm not going to drone on (or perhaps I already have) about photography.  I'm a total noob, but youtube vids, blogs, and a few books have started what I hope will continue to be an ongoing learning process that keeps me engaged and active.

If you want to keep up with the photo's I take, just check out here or maybe here or if you like birds, trees, and stuff like that then go here.

I'm on Instagram too and for that you can follow me here.

Maybe none of this photo crap means anything to just want the crochety old pawnbroking gamer guy stuff to start flowing again.  That wacky dude who wrote Adventure most Fowl or A Baker's Denizen needs to start posting again!

Cool out.  I will.

I need a few more months to focus my personal energy on losing more weight and exercising (for those interested, I went from 258# to now 231# primarily using CICO/calorie management which works really well for me.  I'm on Myfitnesspal as Taoistpunk so feel free to friend me there if you're so inclined!).  It's also important to me to spend alot of my 'hobby/free' time learning to take better pictures.  Leaning new things is important for me, as I know it's probably important to you, but I do miss sharing here on the blog and engaging more on Twitter and Facebook.  Hopefully you will see me more frequently now that I'm feeling a bit better about things.

I'm planning on going to PAX Unplugged, since it will be right here in my hometown come the fall.  If you're going to that con, lemme  know so we can connect!  I also plan to be at GaryCon next year, camera in one hand, dice in the other!

For now...this is the Goblin Stomper...

Checking back IN!