Most every year I do this — go back through my blog archives and post a link to the first post I made each month. The results are random, to say the least; there’s no consistency. But about six of these are worthwhile. Which six? That’s for you to find out. :)

January: Winter Misanthropy: It was -2 degrees Fahrenheit on January 1st. I didn’t go outside. I kept to myself. No one wants to go outside when it’s -2 degrees.

February: The Wisdom of Children: A pediatrician in South Africa, who works with terminally ill children, asked them what was important to them, what they would miss when they were gone, and what they were afraid of. Honestly, read the original article; it’s better than my link pointing it out.

March: I Have Always Thought in the Back of My Mind: Twenty years of listening to the Rutles, and I finally thought to look up what “cheese and onions” was.

April: Getting Closer: Working on WordPress code, specifically a featured posts slider, for my website.

May: An American Flag, Sewn in Scotland, Returns Home: In 1918, an American troop ship was torpedoed by a German U-Boat off the island of Islay of Scotland’s Inner Hebrides. Hundreds died, and they were buried on the island. But there was no American flag under which to bury them, so a team worked through the night, with only a picture to go on, and sewed a flag for the burials. This flag, now part of the Smithsonian’s collection, returned to Islay as part of the commemoration of the 100th-anniversary of the World War I’s end.

June: Art at the Ballpark: Over Memorial Day weekend I went to a Harrisburg Senators baseball game. It was “Art in the Park” night, and I bought a piece of artwork in an auction, which now hangs in my office.

July: Misgivings on Christopher Robin: Disney released a live-action Winnie-the-Pooh movie this year, starring Ewan McGregor, about a grown-up Christopher Robin. I had concerns. Grave concerns. My review of the film itself is here.

August: Scenes of Terrible Beauty: My great-great-grandmother Susan Gardner is buried in Baltimore’s Loudon Park Cemetery. Baltimore set a record for rainfall in 2018, topping five feet of accumulation. In June I discovered that the section of the cemetery where she’s buried floods. At the end of July, after a week of constant rainfall, I drove down to see the condition of the cemetery. It was beautiful and horrible — a massive lake, ducks playing in the water, a gentle breeze, blissful clouds, abundant sunlight. Not to mention headstones beneath the water’s surface, some emerging from the water, some visible just beneath the surface, and some so far deep you wouldn’t know they were there. Susan’s headstone was unreachable; the water was about two and a half feet deep there.

September: Adventures in a Mudslide: As mentioned, it was a rainy year in the Baltimore area, and this particular night it took two and a half hours to get home from work due to a mudslide that closed Interstate 83 at the Pennsylvania state line.

October: Did Elementary Influence Late-Period Sherlock: Were Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss influenced in the writing of the last two series of Sherlock by Rob Doherty’s Elementary? I look at some commonalities between the two modern-day Sherlock Holmes series and how Sherlock really did seem to take some of the unique elements of Elementary and try to make use of them.

November: Writing a Novel in a Month: I gave NaNoWriMo a shot this year. Did I write 50,000 words? No. I did, however, break 25,000, of which maybe 10,000 words have potential. I did better on the weekends than I did during the week, as I have writing for work, and extensive word count writing at that, during the week which leaves me without a lot of mental energy.

December: Some Christmas Cultural Appropriation: I discovered the joys of coquito, ie., “Puerto Rican egg nog,” even though it doesn’t have egg but it does have rum! I linked to the recipe I used, though this one (with egg) sounds amazeballs. If you have a blender and rum, coquito is your Christmastime drink. It’s what Ernest Hemingway would have enjoyed!

Post header photo, Thames Festival Finale Fireworks, by Dominic Alves, licensed Creative Commons BY 2.0

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