Irish Proverb: Half a loaf is better than no bread.

My Year in Review: A Look Back at 2017

2017 was another great year for the O’Haras. Morgan turned 12, Mason turned 16, and Susan and I both turned 44. The country experienced an eclipse, Susan officiated her first wedding, we discovered not one but two snakes in our house, I found a ton of vintage VHS tapes containing tons of treasure, I bought a six-foot dragon skeleton to go with Mick Rib, I met Guy Hutchinson in person for the first time, we discovered an interesting Asian food market full of super hot Ramen noodles and live turtles, and Mason walked a 5K.

(A bunch of crazy stuff also happened in politics. I’m not here to discuss that.)

In the spring of 2017 I completed ten credit hours toward my Master of Professional Writing degree at the University of Oklahoma. In the fall, I completed another six, which leaves me with only two hours left. I’ll be graduating from OU in the spring of 2018.

It was an interesting year for cars. I still have my Chevy Avalanche and Susan still her her Honda Crosstour. In October, I sold my Subaru WRX STI. Mason turned sixteen this year and got his first car, a 2001 Toyota Celica. Last week, I used the money from selling my Subaru and bought a 2017 Ford Flex. We are heading into 2018 with four cars, one motorcycle, and no car payments. That feels pretty good. Both my truck and Susan’s car hit 150,000 miles this year, so I expect to see some maintenance costs next year. Also in 2017, the Avalanche was involved in a minor fender bender.

We took a few trips this year, although not as many as we normally do. In March of 2017 we revisisted Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of the most interesting places on earth. On that same trip we also visited Las Vegas, and attended a live television taping of Penn and Teller’s Fool Us. Over the summer, we went to Chicago for a funeral, and Denver for my friend Robb Sherwin’s wedding. In August for my birthday, Susan and I went to Dallas to see The Amazing Johnathan perform. That same month I got to visit Ray Harryhausen’s Mythical Menagerie on display at the Science Museum Oklahoma. At the beginning of the year I got to hear Harry Belafonte speak, and in November we went with our friends the Novosads to see Guns N’ Roses perform in Tulsa. Somewhere in the middle of all that, Susan and Morgan went with the Girl Scouts to Savannah, and Morgan went on a couple of solo overnight camping, hiking, and canoeing trips, including one to the border between Wisconsin and Canada. Susan took Mason and a friend to visit the MIT campus, and later took a trip to New York City to see Paul McCartney live in concert.

I didn’t have much time for video games this year. A friend of mine repaired my Apple IIe computer, and I got a new case for my Raspberry Pi, but that was about it. I was too busy this year! I did purchase a Commodore 1581 disk drive this year. I have only used it once, but I really wanted one as a kid, and this was the first one in 20 years I had run across that was less than $100.

In 2017 (and every other year, I suppose) lots of famous people died. I could cut and paste a list of every celebrity death from 2017, but other people have already done that. The ones that affected me the most were the passing of Chris Cornell (Soundgarden), Tom Petty, Malcolm Young (AC/DC), and Christopher “Big Black” Boykin.

More than any celebrity, this year we lost my Uncle Buddy Johnson and my good friend Howard Carey. My uncle Buddy loved Christmas and I have been thinking about him a lot over the past few weeks. I think about Howard every single time I go into the office. Every single time.

After searching for Geni Ice Cream Cone Cups (and only recently discovering the company who made them), I hit the motherload in this eBay auction. I paid $60 for 5 plastic ice cream cone cups that reminded me of the ones we had as a kid. If you think that’s crazy, now’s a bad time to tell you that my top bid was

It was a good year for Star Wars fans. 2017 was the 40th anniversary of Star Wars. I wrote a piece about what May the Fourth (be with you) meant to me. I wrote lots of Star Wednesday discussing Star Wars collectibles I own, and we got another new Star Wars movie.

In November I got a 3D printer and jumped into that hobby with both feet. Things got off to a rocky start — the first printer I got melted itself and it took me a while to get the hang of printing things — but I finally got the hang of it.

We ended the year with a good Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.

Oh, and Mason and I met this guy. Variety is the spice of life!

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