2015 has been a weird year, even by my standards. Here are some highlights

Bought a MacBook, and iPhone

Never thought it’d happen, but I gave in and bought a couple Apple products. The move was required to keep my skill set current. My opinion of Apple has not changed, but now I can make apps for both Android and iOS, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

Became a commendable person

The Santa Clarita Sheriff’s station hosts something they call the “Community Academy,” which gives an in depth look at their operations. They also provide access to tools and resources for community members to be active and assist the sheriff’s in town. It was quite a learning experience, and also fun. We were allowed to run through a training simulator for a scenario requiring use of deadly force. A very eye opening experience. Also, I got shot and died in my simulation. Los Angeles County gave the participants Certificates of Commendation for community service. So now I’m certifiable AND commendable.

Foolishly tried to help my ex-wife’s drug addict niece

The niece of my ex-wife reached out to me, seeking help. She’d fallen on hard times, having become homeless, and addicted to meth. With the help of a good friend, and recovered addict, we were able to get her into a facility that would give her the best shot at recovery. Suffice to say, it didn’t work. She lasted barely more than a week before going AWOL. At least I tried.

Learned the true meaning of pain

An inept doctor, treating me for a work related injury, gave me a cortisone injection in my lumbar, causing an inhuman amount of pain. I ended up going on disability for a couple of months, while I fought the doctor and insurance to make me well again. Now that I’m away from that doctor, and his unscrupulous activities on Ashley Madison, I’m in less pain. Still permanently disabled, but having good doctors who actually know what they’re doing seems to be an advantage. I’ll keep that in mind for the future.

Coerced my mom to dress up as Evel Knievel (and raised $12K)

I’m proud of this one. Mostly because I was able to talk my mom into doing stupid stuff, and putting it on the internet. We were able to raise over twelve thousand dollars for my nephew in just a couple weeks. That still blows me away. The outpouring of love, kindness, and generosity was, and still is, overwhelming. As of the moment I’m writing this, the videos we created have received nearly two thousand views on YouTube. We were also able to get the local news station, ABC7, to do a story on Austin and help spread the word. I’m still blown away, and incredibly thankful for everyone’s support.

Started volunteering at a homeless shelter

Right, so this one is a hublebrag, which I usually shy away from. But I think it’s an important bullet point to cap the year off. I couldn’t tell you the exact line of thought that lead to the decision, but I’ve been spending two of three evenings a week volunteering. Maybe I feel a debt to the world. At any rate, it has been an eye opening, and invaluable learning experience. I’m planning on sticking with it for some time. That is, if they allow me.

In summation, this has been an interesting year, full of excitement, sleep deprivation, love & generosity, hope, unholy amounts of pain, and new experiences. A weird mix, but would you expect any less from me?

2015 in review