MEME: The Year That Was 2016

Its that time of year again, where I look at the Year that was, and do the customary Year that was Meme.

MEME: The Year That Was 2016

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?

OK, New things :-

  1. Became a Godfather for none-family member!
  2. Presented a Paper to a group of peers.
  3. Visited a Lodge in the Province of Warwickshire
  4. Was invited to visit a Lodge for the purpose of performing ritual (Charge after Initiation)
  5. Entered the chair of Z
  6. Was Promoted to the Second Order of S.R.I.A.
  7. Did the Intermediate Degrees in Rose Croix.
  8. Got a Provincial Job (Provincial Webmaster)
  9. Partied in the Clubhouse of a 1% MC
  10. Visited a Lodge in the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding
  11. Finally Visited LOLS
  12. Placed a bet on a horse race.
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I gave up on resolutions many years back as I never stuck to them, whereas my competitive nature makes me stick to challenges. So for the last few years I have had a yearly challenge. This year it was the Artisan Challenge,

  1. Do the 100 Days Challenge.
  2. Write 4 none LOLS papers
  3. Do a piece of Art slowly over the year.

I did not do so well this year.

  1. 100% Completed.
  2. 25% Completed. I only managed 1 papers
  3. 40% Completed. I drew lots of the bits, but never got them put together.

Because I failed miserably this year, I am using this failure as the focus of rebooting myself next year.

I am doing a Challenge Reboot. To reboot my creativity, productivity etc.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? 

No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No one. Which is a good thing considering the year.

But I did loose a load of childhood heroes, and people from Music & Film who made an impact on me growing up.

5. What countries did you visit?

The usual suspects of England/Wales.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?  

More Productivity, Several more papers written towards a book of papers that I hope to publish in 2018. An army of Minions or at least a few PA’s

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

  1. 11th June – The day I joined the 2nd Order of S.R.I.A.
  2. 10th December – My 1st visit to LOLS.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Being appointed Provincial Webmaster, Presenting a Paper to a room full of people, Gaining the chair of Z.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not actually getting anything published this year, and not fully completing the years challenge, and my total lack of productivity!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Not that I can recall! I do not think I even got Man-Flu this year.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I do not recall any great new purchase this year. This is not acceptable, I must get myself a new toy before the end of the year. 

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
  • My Godson Callum for learning to walk (And for being an evil genius)
  • Henry for being great
  • My father for getting a decent 1st Honours
  • Myself, Just because.
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? 

Whoever came up with the Hungry Bird!. And the Special Snowflakes

14. Where did most of your money go?

Video Games, Books, More Books, More Games, Possibly a few Books.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Well for the second year in a row we get a new Star Wars film. This year we also got Doctor Strange & Suicide Squad, so that’s three films this year I got excited about.

I also go excited about finally visiting LOLS after all these years.

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?

With the number of decent musicians we lost this year, there is only one song suitable to remember 2016

American Pie – Don McLean

With every paper I’d deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more step
I can’t remember if I cried when I
Read about his widowed bride
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music
Died

 

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
  • a) happier or sadder? Happier
  • b) thinner or fatter? Fatter (slightly)
  • c) richer or poorer? Richer
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Falling in Love, Writing, Following my Dreams, Conquering the World, Finding a cure for the common cold and blackmailing people for the cure, You know, the simple pleasures in life.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? .
Wasting time, and suffering from lack of enthusiasm.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?

I will wake up late, grab some breakfast & a coffee, then go over to my Parents house with the rest of the family to open presents and do that festive cheer stuff. Then Christmas Dinner, and off to youngest nephews house for a Christmas Party type thing. Then home.. Beer, Doctor Who Special, and laze in front of the TV.

21. What was your favourite month of 2016? 

I do not think any one month stands out more than any other since the great stuff that happened this year was spread out over the whole year. 

22. Did you fall in love in 2016? 

Alas No. I am high functioning Sociopath.
23. How many one-night stands?
I do not believe in one-night stands. How can you tell if you realy like something unless you try it at least a couple of times?
24. What was your favourite TV programme?

How do I pick just one? Lucifer, Blindspot, Van HelsingKilljoys, Dark Matter, Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Scorpion, Librarians, Blacklist, Brooklyn Nine Nine. the list is endless…….

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? 

You know what? NO! I do not believe I hate anyone this year that I did not hate previously. Maybe I am growing as a person, becoming more enlightened? Or is everyone already on THE LIST

26. What was the best book you read?

Picking a favorite book, is even harder than picking a favorite TV Series, or Film. So here is a list of some of the Top books I read this year (In no particular order)  :-

  • Warheart (To finish the Sword of Truth Series)
  • Fox & O’Hair Series
  • Lois on the Loose
  • Ben Hope Series
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

The Forest Rangers

An American Rock Band that started from the TV Series Sons Of Anarchy.

28. What did you want and get?

I do not think there was anything I really wanted this year that I actually got. It is depressing really.

29. What did you want and not get? 
Enthusiasm, Love, Slaves A PA/Intern, A new House (Not easy finding one I like, I may be fussy?)
30. What was your favourite film of this year?
  • Doctor Strange
  • Star Wars – Rogue One
  • Suicide Squad
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I did not have a birthday this year. I have decided to stop having them so that I can live forever.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? 
The Zombie Apocalypse. Seriously, How cool would that have been!

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

Mostly Cargo Pants (I like the extra pockets) Jumpers, and in work Coats…. Oh and suits, because suits are awesome…… True story

34. What kept you sane? 
Sane? Sane? “You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means” I think, Good Friends, Good Books, and the fact I was never very sane to start off with, so there is not that much to keep hold of.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? 

I don’t think any one celebratory really stood out this year.

It was a poor year for crushes..

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

There was two this year, but they are basically the same thing.

Brexit! We had the vote, and the Leave group won. And from the second they won the remain lot started screaming that only racist idiots would vote to leave, and their votes should not count. They have tried dozens of petitions, legal campaigns, and everything to go against the winning vote on the grounds that anyone who disagreed with them is too stupid to be allowed a vote. This loud insulting of anyone with a different view started in the run up to the vote.

American Presidential Election. Again, the loosing side started legal means to get the vote changed, they tried forcing the electoral collage to break the law to make the loosing candidate be the winner. There was even rioting on the streets and such. and plans to prevent it from happening.

I am not saying the right outcome was won on either of those votes, but it is the minority who lost and just insult and threaten anyone who thinks differently that has annoyed me the most. You can no longer discuss or debate things, you either agree 100% with the special snowflakes or you are evil racist scum with an IQ of a carrot. And their yells of we must protect democracy by going with the loosing vote. errrr?

37. Who did you miss?
No one. “ high functioning Sociopath” Remember? Remember? from Question 22?
38. Who was the best new person you met? 

I am not sure, I guess I would probably have to go with some of the Masonic people I have started working closely with since becoming the Provincial Webmaster. There are some insane, funny people among them.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016?. 

Empty Vessels make most noise!
Do not engage in an argument with a stupid person, they will drag you down to their level and beat yo with their experience. 

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. 

With every paper I’d deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more step
I can’t remember if I cried when I
Read about his widowed bride
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music
Died

See Question 16

Happy Thanksgiving (2016)

Dear US of A people, no matter where you are around this ever shrinking world, We here at the Three-Ninjas wish you a very happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy your annual stuff your face day, but this year as you spend time with your family, and think back to the stories of the “1st Thanksgiving” you were told as a child, think about the friendship between yourselves and the Indigenous people and take a moment to show support for those same people trying to defend their land at Standing Rock.

Lets all have a traditional American Thanksgiving.

<PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT>

It turns out that if you try to order a batch of smallpox off the internet, to try to genetically modify the strain to wipe out a large racial group you get a visit by a bunch of men in black suits and mirrored shades, and a pat-down that makes the TSA look like a nervous schoolboy with his first above the clothes fumble.

Also, most races are slightly more streetwise these days, and you can not claim their country as your own with the cunning use of flags & the Winchester repeating rifle. Also the men in black will confiscate said Rifle when they leave

</PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT>

Least We Forget (2016)

Each year, on 11 November, the country falls silent to commemorate our war dead. This ritual, and the ceremonies and symbols that accompany it, have become part of national life.

Remembrance started long before the guns of the Western Front fell silent with people marking the loss or absence of loved ones away at war. 100+ years later, the personal and political resonances of remembrance still stir strong emotions.

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.

remembranceadIn Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae (1872 – 1918)

Happy Samhain/Halloween (2016)

Halloween is one of the oldest surviving holidays, its origins going back thousands of years. Hundreds of years ago in what is now Great Britain and Northern France, lived the Celts (A friendly bunch of People). The Celts were Nature Worshippers, and had many different gods, The Sun God being one of the most common ones, since the sun dictated when they would work,rest and play. The Celtic New Year was on November 1st. It was celebrated every year with a festival and marked the end of the “season of the sun” and the beginning of “the season of darkness and cold.”

On October 31st after the crops were all harvested and stored for the long winter the cooking fires in the homes would be extinguished. The Druids, the Celtic priests, would meet and light new fires and offer sacrifices of crops and animals. As they danced around the the fires, the season of the sun passed and the season of darkness would begin.

When the morning arrived the Druids would give an ember from their fires to each family who would then take them home to start new cooking fires. These fires would keep the homes warm and free from evil spirits.

The November 1st festival was called Samhain (pronounced “sow-en”). The festival would last for 3 days. Many people would parade in costumes made from the skins and heads of their animals. This festival would become the first Halloween.

So Happy Halloween, Merry New Year, Happy Samhain, and any other greeting you wish!!!

Artisan Challenge Update (Midway)

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Artisan 2016

Artisan Challenge 2016

It is time to do the midway update on the “Artisan Challenge“.

YES. I know “technically” the midway update was due on the 1st July, which is midway through the year. But I was running a bit late, and since this is my blog I can claim one and a half months as “a bit” 🙂

And you’re not the boss of me Internet!

A Reminder.

The Challenge for 2016 we are calling “Artisan 2016”

Artisan
noun: artisan; plural noun: artisans
    a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand.

The reason for this name? Well because all the challenges (and there are three parts) are artistic or creative in nature.

1/4 DONE

Quarterly Non LOLS Papers

Once again “You’re not the boss of me!” I know the generally accepted definition of Quarterly is every quarter, but I have decided to count it as four over the year. Now before you get all shouty in the original description of this part of the challenge I did state “I am aiming for four papers over the year, and since I will probably do the Quarterly LOLS papers again this year, the new challenge is for none LOLS papers of topics I pick myself.” So four papers over the whole year.

  • Paper 1: Kuji-In – An Introduction to the Nine Hand Seals. COMPLETED
  • Paper 2: Unnamed – Research complete and its currently being written up
  • Paper 3: Unnamed – Researching
  • Paper 4: NO IDEA YET

 

WORKING ON

Art Project

I did do a post a short while back updating how the Art project was going. (By Short while back I mean at the 1/4 mark) Since then the project has continued along, with doodles and plans, and small bits being worked on.

Below are a few snippets of bits of the doodles/notes in no particular order/sense.

COMPLETED

100 Days

This started on April 1st and ran for oddly 100 days until it finished.

It can be viewed over at my 100Days Blog.

National Blood Bike Awareness Day

Friday 12th August 2016 is National Blood Bike Awareness Day. Blood bikes are the silent emergency service, transporting blood for blood transfusions, injuries and emergency responses for emergency services, the NHS and other medical services. These unsung heroes are all volunteers.

Blood Bike Awareness Day is organised by the National Association of Blood Bikes (NABB) and aims to promote awareness of the lifesaving work the NABB does in conjunction with the NHS and emergency services.

Blood Bikers are the 1,500 men and women all over Britain who provide an out-of-hours rapid response courier service as well as transporting hospital deliveries across the country. The Blood Bikers are all volunteers, and in 2014 they responded to around 39,000 urgent requests from hospitals, saving the NHS hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Every night, expert motorcyclists with the word “BLOOD” written on their reflective jackets speed from hospital to hospital in the United Kingdom to pick up and deliver emergency medical supplies. By day they are electricians, lawyers, priests, and pilots, but by night they are the Blood Bikers. More than 1,500 volunteers provide coast-to-coast coverage, carrying everything from blood, platelets, and plasma to breast milk, vaccines, and surgical equipment.

Happy System Administrator Appreciation Day (2016)

I thought I would take a minute out of my busy hectic day to give a shout out to all my fellow under-appreciated systems administrators out there in their dark offices on this the 17th Annual System Administrator Appreciation Day.

Consider all the work your sys.admin does behind the scene, keeping your network connection running, your email not being overly flooded with spam, your IM’s running at a decent speed, and being there to fix a server outage at 3am just so some people can go look at the funny picture you uploaded.  Consider how often this creature gets thanked on his day to day fight against spammers, hackers, lUsers, Software Updates, etc Consider this, then be happy that this IT Hero gets one day a year when (s)he gets appreciated.

So everyone, go take a coffee, cake, or gift to your sysadmin now. or at least drop by their hidy hole to say thanks.

For more information on this IMPORTANT festive day go read THIS SITE

For those about the Insane Asylum Myself & Demopengu are fond of Cake, Beer, & Chocolate (Oh and anything with glowing blue LED’s) !!!

CN

P.S.

Consider this as well. Your Friendly SysAdmin has access to your email, they know what you have been doing and to who. They see all the packets of data traveling back and forth from your machine, seeing when you are working and when your just browsing ebay/facebook/etc, They know what websites you’ve visited (and can change your history to show you been looking at p0rn in the office), Stuff you may not want made public.  They control your password, your login name, your email address, how much of the networks bandwidth you can use, what IM clients are banned, and a million other things that help you through the working day.  Consider this well, and remember, “Its only one day a year!

Happy We let you off the Reins to Join the Big Kids Day

toddler-reinsFour score and seven years ago, or in 1776 We decided that the young country of America had become old enough to trust not to run out in front of traffic, or try and play with dangerous animals and as such we took the reins off.

There comes a time in every parents life when you have to trust that your early guidance and teachings have given your offspring all the help they need to make their way in the world alone.

So the UK took off the training reins and watched as America took its first hesitant steps on it’s own. Yes there was a few stumbles and mishaps along the way. Several times America slipped and cut its hand or knee and UK wanted to pick it up and hold it safe.

“Maybe we should leave the reins on for a bit longer.”

UK.

But like all good parents we stayed back, Watching carefully and holding back our urges to guide and jump in at every hurdle. You have to trust your children will do the right thing.

I will say, America you grew up ok. Ok. you have made some really poor dating choices, and Looking at your teenage photographs “What were you wearing??” But all in all, you did well.

SO we here in the UK in general, and the Three Ninjas Temple in particular would like to wish you a Happy Anniversary of your First Steps without the Reins!!

Happy Independence Day.