Chuck’s Best Blog Moments of 2018

Wow.  What a year.

There were new adventures in my life, new accomplishments, new challenges and new goals.  And as we reach the final day of 2018, I wanted to look back on my year of blogging and review what my blog has accomplished.

And the ten biggest stories – including stories that have spanned more than one blogpost – are recapped here and today.  I hope that some of these stories were your favorites as well.

And let’s start with…

10. My 2013 Chevrolet Cruze “Dracourage” entered my life in 2016.  In 2018 … less than two years into a six-year car loan … I paid off the final car note.  This is now my second-ever car that was purchased at a dealership and fully paid off.  So now Dracourage is mine and mine alone.  I was so happy about achieving this goal, I wrote this blog post, “An Open Letter to General Motors.

9. My eyesight – clouded by cataracts – turned into a surgical concern for me.  In December, I underwent cataract surgery, and I chronicled the recovery – as well as a major concern when I lost one of my medicinal eyedropper bottles.  See the blogs, “No, I can’t get Nikon cataract implants,” “The missing medicine bottle,” and “Cataract Surgery Day 1.

8. My kid Kris got married.  By the time you read this, he and his wife Tanya will celebrate their first anniversary.  And for the first time in a long time, he’s happy.  And that makes me happy.  See the blog, “A few words on my son’s wedding day.

7. Last year, I earned a third-place at the Iowa State Fair.  This year, I pulled an old classic – The AGFA Bridge Over Ansco Lake – and it took first place at the Fair’s “Anything Goes!” category.  Super-nice.  See “My entries for the 2018 Iowa State Fair are…” “So I just heard back from the Iowa State Fair.” and “So my 2018 Iowa State Fair ribbon-winning photos is…”

6. Forget trying out for shows like Jeopardy! or Who Wants to Be A Millionaire – I tried out for Wheel of Fortune.  Twice.  And as you can imagine … me and Vanna White aren’t on speaking terms.  Ha.  See “When you see ‘__cke_,’ it’s ‘Hockey,’ not ‘Bucket.”

5. Chuck’s new artistic trick – stitching burlap sacks with colored yarn in a sort of crewel-embroidery-cross-stitch melange – earned ribbons in every competition.  This was a fun diversion and I learned much about my project and what I wanted to achieve from it.  See “The Eastern States Farmers’ Exchange Embroidery Art Project,” “I know you and I know that bag!“, “The GLF Embroidery Project: Racing Against Time,” and “The GLF Quality Project – completion!

4. After two years of not seeing my artwork on the walls of the Harriet May Mills Art Center at the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse … my ten-month-long solar photo shot American Dreamtime: Solarcan 368 earned a spot on the wall.  Now I have to try to get those ribbons, man…  See “The Results of Solarcan 368,” and “Results from the 2018 New York State Fair.

3. Competition Season 2018 saw my third-ever “Triple Blue” award winner – three blue ribbons for Washington County 2:30 a.m., captured with this blog post – and then winning blue at Altamont, at the Big E, and at Durham.  Better than imagined.  See “The Rexleigh Bridge to the Stars.” “The Results from Altamont, 2018 Edition,” “A Trip to the Big E, 2018 Edition,” and “The Durham Fair 2018 and the Tilcon Controversy.

2. I was nervous about their return, but I gave them a chance.  Next thing I know, I’m helping the team out – and eventually, I’m doing the team announcing, just like I did a decade earlier.  And the Albany Patroons came back – and almost took the North American Premier Basketball League championship for their efforts.  Swank.  See the following blog posts: “Albany Patroons Win Season Opener – Times Union makes fun of them,” “Albany Patroons 106, Yakima Sun Kings 102, and apparently I have a new job,” “Albany Patroons 139, Kansas City 111 – and Lloyd Johnson Scores 53!” and “Albany Patroons win 116-107, Advance to NAPB Championship!

1. After runner-up status in the Trivia Bowl, the Summer Bowl, the Trivia Unification Tournament and Geek Bowl XII – there was the 2018 World Tavern Trivia championships.  Back to back wins for the Stir Crazy trivia team.  My big thanks to Tim, Nick, Leah, Will and Tom as we picked up big bucks and big bragging rights.  See the blogs “How I Survived Geek Bowl XII,” “Day 1 of the 2018 World Tavern Trivia Championships,” and “The Finals of the 2018 World Tavern Trivia National Championships.

So what’s ahead for 2019?

More blogs, of course.  More adventures.

And I look forward to bringing you all on this journey with me.

I’m ready if you are.