Moeís 2005 Christmas Letter
I decided to start what may or may not turn into an annual tradition.† So maybe next year you will get one of my famous letters, or maybe not.† It all depends on how I feel and if I have time to write it, but Iíd say there is a good chance you will.
Letís get on with this 2005 edition.† A great way to lead into this year is to give a brief a highlight of 2004.† 2004 will always be remembered by me as the year I took a sabbatical from work and went to Glacier National Park out in Montana.† Sure there were other things I did in 2004, but that was the biggy.† It was the best summer I ever had up to that point in my life.† It became a reflection point in my life.† A beacon of joy that made me re-evaluate how I was living my life.† Up until Glacier I thought I lived a good life, but Glacier showed me life could be even better.† In 2005 I tried to live that better life even when not living in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.† Iím not saying Massachusetts is ugly, but itís no Glacier.† As far as living that better life, I think youíll see I succeeded.† While 2004 was the best year of my life last year, Iím confident in saying 2005 has been even better.† Life is goodģ.
2005 year started out with me finding a home.† I bought a condo in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.† I actually started looking in 2004 with a buyerís agent.† I must say that getting an agent was a smart move.† He drastically improved the efficiency of the search and even with his help I still must have looked at thirty to forty condos and houses.† About half way through my search I decided on a condo since I didnít want to be bothered with lawn care or household maintenance.† After four months of searching I found my place and moved into the condo in early spring. Where I live isnít that important to me so Iím not going to tell you about how I think itís the greatest place ever.† Itís a good place to live and itís nice to not be renting anymore, but thatís about all there is to say about my condo.
During this whole house hunt Eric, one of my best friends from college, came out to Massachusetts.† I got him a job on the same team I work on at ATI Research.† While Iím on the topic of work, this was a successful year for me at work.† I filed a patent for an invention I developed at work.† Iíd explain what this patent was, but for most of you this would just be techno-babble.† So instead Iíll just say it has to do with computers.† I also got promoted to a senior engineer at ATI during the year.
Outside of work this was a very busy year.† A carry over from my time at Glacier was that I did a lot of hiking and camping.† While itís not Glacier here, there are some darn beautiful places out East.† In New Hampshire there are the White Mountains.† In Vermont there are the Green Mountains.† Both of these places offer some great hiking and remote back country camping.† When I didnít feel like driving a few hours to the north I managed to get some nice hikes around Massachusetts.† I was a little surprised at how much nice hiking there is to be had with just a little looking.
I also picked up bunch of new activities this year.† Iíve started to learn how to hang glide.† I managed to get my Hang 1 certification, but then I separated my shoulder in a biking accident.† By the time I was healed it was too cold for much more hang gliding.† I am totally going to get back into it next year.† During the year Iíve also done a fair amount of kayaking.† Iím talking about the lake type kayaking on smooth water.† Not that I have anything against the crazy folks who brave the category 5 rapids in their kayaks of death.† Really I donít.† I just donít have those kinds of rivers around here.† I wanted to take my kayak overnight camping a few times this year, but I never got around to it.† I guess I need to leave some stuff for next year.
One other new activity I got into this year is called geocaching.† To geocache you need a GPS.† Then you go to www.geocaching.com and type in your zip code.† From that you get hundreds of caches with in a short drive of your home.† These caches are little hidden treasure boxes that you can go and trade trinkets at and sign a log book.† There are different types of caches such as: normal - where you just have to go to the GPS coordinates listed, mystery - where you need to solve a riddle to find the cache, and multi where you need to go to multiple stops before the final cache.† There are lots of other types of caches too.† Most of the time these are hidden at cool out of the way places such as neat rock formations in the woods or along a trail; however, sometimes you find them hidden in more urban settings.† You can think of geocaching as a scavenger hunts for computer geeks.
Last but not least, last July I met Carolyn (since she is proofreading this for me I can only write nice things about her).† Weíve been going out ever since.† Actually we met on one of those dating web sites.† We spent a solid month convincing each other we werenít an internet stalker just trying to get the other one in a dark alley so we could cut off the otherís ear lobe as a souvenir.† Well I guess that was mostly just meÖ† Anyways she is a swell person and I hope you all get a chance to meet her sometime.
Iíve included a little picture book of some pictures I took throughout the year.† I hope you enjoy it.† You can assume the spelling mistake in it was put there as a game.† Letís call it ďCan you find where Moe misspelled the orange vegetable game?Ē
I hope you enjoyed both the pictures and this letter.† I keep a web log at www.glacialwanderer.com which you can check out for more details on what Iím doing.†† Now the big task of 2006 is to somehow find a way to make it top 2005.† That is one challenge I intend to meet.
PS:† I almost forgot, Merry Christmas!