kmusser: (Freedom)
It's become pretty clear that the administration are making immigrants public enemy #1. I just want to state unequivocally that immigrants are not the enemy. The people that come are are those that are drawn to America's ideals, they have a more vested interest than anyone in "making America great". Repeated research has shown that the crime rate among immigrants is lower than among non-immigrants. We should be welcoming them, not blaming them for problems that they have nothing to do with.

While I'm at it a shout out to my own immigrant ancestors:
Gus Michul Sr. and Katherine who came from Lithuania in 1905
Frank and Christina Flachbarth who came from Austria-Hungary in 1881
Herbert and Hannah Broome who came from England in 1880
John and Ricky Reinke who came from Germany in 1871
Jacob and Mary Dauwalter who came from Germany in 1865
William and Elizabeth Smith who came from Germany in the 1860's
John Cravener who came from Ireland in the early 1800's
and the Musser, Davis, Waugaman, Learn, Dormeyer, Guyer, and Yockey families that came over from Germany, France, Netherlands, and Switzerland in the 1700's. I'm glad all of them made it and played their part in making America great.

This post inspired by the news that immigration enforcement sweeps have started:
kmusser: (V)
Just going with bullet points this year:

  • I mostly failed to come out of hermit mode, will keep trying.
  • The finances have mostly recovered though, only travel out of state was a jaunt up to the Finger Lakes and one Chicago trip, but I'm hoping this year will have more.
  • I did succeed in reading more, will do a book update soon, but currently on Chernow's Hamilton biography which is great.
  • The year was obviously dominated by the train wreck of an election, the effects of which are just getting started, I'll be keeping up my little news summaries.
  • In gaming still addicting to EU IV, Stellaris and Civ failed to de-throne it. For board games, most played new game is probably Orleans.
  • So many celebrity deaths - first up on this years see them before they leave us list is Aretha Franklin.
  • Cubs win!
  • Faire without Pyrates :-(
  • Brunswick gains its own brewery!
  • Changes at work as my boss has been busy fighting cancer, the rest of us have had to pick up some of the slack, still going good though and hoping work can survive the Trump years as we did the Bush ones, just laying low and keep collecting data without calling too much attention to ourselves. On the plus side did a handful of freelance projects, so might increase that if thinks turn south.
  • A lot of change and 2017 promises more, one thing reading history has taught me is that our country has faced worse and survived, just hoping it can do so again.
kmusser: (valar morghulis)
2015 was mostly a year of hermitting/recovery. The financial hit from doing house renovations and then not moving didn't leave much for traveling or other fun stuff. On the plus side we do now have a nicer house, and I think I've mostly recovered.

For 2016 I'd like to travel, my last international trip was in 2012, not sure where yet, but we're overdue.

I'd like to read more, I think I lost a lot of reading time to my Europa Universalis addiction, but I got a stack of books for Christmas that I'm looking forward to. Last year highlights included Disciple of the Wind by Steve Bein and Flex and The Flux by Ferrett Steinmetz.

Favorite games for 2015 would be a toss up between Russian Railroads and Castles of Mad King Ludwig. Most played is almost certainly Splendor.

Best new music easily goes to Hamilton.

For 2016 I think I'd also like to be more social, I've been in hermit mode for like 3 years now and I'm not sure I know how to stop. Do invite me to stuff, it would be good to see more of you more than once a year.

And maybe I'll try and write something here more than once a quarter :-)
kmusser: (Cheese)
No news on the move, still waiting for someone to buy our place. Active renovations are done, so life is not quite as frantic, just need to maintain the place in viewable condition. That does mean having to make the commute are little more often than would otherwise be necessary due to our cats tendencies to leave us unwanted presents that need to be cleaned up. Bleh. Otherwise still mostly in hibernation mode, with what free time I have going to Ingress or my latest computer game obsession which has been Europa Universalis IV. That said I will be at faire this Sunday, so hopefully will see some of you there. That and closing day are likely to be my only faire days.
kmusser: (Confusion)
House stuff still consuming my life, but I am pleased to report the renovations at least are complete. Now it's mostly just keeping it clean and continuing the packing. Still no offers, and it would probably help if the cat wouldn't barf in the middle of the floor whenever someone comes to look at it. We have found a house we like on the other end, in Edmonston, MD; but whether we'll actually get it depends on the Brunswick house selling soonish.
kmusser: (destruction)
So the house renovations are still consuming my life, but we are making progress and I think we'll be on track to list the house within the next week or two. Once listed we can begin the house hunting in earnest, perhaps actually moving sometime in September? Once move is done I want a week with nothing to do other than play computer games. After that perhaps I'll attempt having a social life again, at least I'll get to see a few of you at TCEP.
kmusser: (Djibouti)
As some of you have already seen over at [ profile] zammis . . . we're moving. A combination of it being better for her career and me finally being fed up with the commute and we're abandoning Brunswick and heading to somewhere in the College Park/Beltsville/Greenbelt area. Timing is still a little up in the air, but we're probably talking this fall. Currently in the process of getting the Brunswick house ready for sale and packing. This does mean y'all will probably see even less of me than usual as I spend all my free time on the house, but hopefully after the move you may actually see more of me, at any rate I won't be spending half of my days in the car, so that'll free up some time for other activities.
kmusser: (Vir)
Will be short since I didn't like this year very much. Starting out spending the 1st quarter out of work was not good. The financial hit from that left me feeling like I was playing catch up the rest of the year, and both [ profile] zammis and [ profile] radiant_one struggled quite a bit. The shutdown in the fall didn't help. Did I do anything useful with the enforced time off? No, I became even more hermity than usual and mostly played computer games, though in fairness Skyrim is pretty frickin' awesome. I also played a lot of Ingress, a sort-of virtual geocaching game - join the Enlightened, free on Android. Only travel was a weekend trip to Mt. Gretna, PA and visiting family for the holidays. Highlight was [ profile] radiant_one finishing grad school, that at least was definitely a cause for celebration.

Best books: Digger by Ursula Vernon, Daughter of the Sword by Steve Bein, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver

Best new to me music: Thea Gilmore, Murphy's Heart; Salsa Celtica, El Camino; Ramblin' Sailors, Bright Shining Clear. Ramblin' Sailors also get best concert attended.

Best new board game: probably Lewis & Clark, though I've only played it twice. Most played game is probably Kingdom Builder.

Best movie: I didn't get to see many, probably Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing.

Best TV: Game of Thrones, Sherlock, Downton Abbey

Computer games: I've actually gotten more into them than I used to be. Besides Skyrim and Ingress, also lost quite a bit of time to Victoria II, Civ, and various older games like Master of Orion II thanks to Lost a weekend to LOTRO. Am currently eyeing Assassin's Creed IV and Europa Universalis IV.
kmusser: (Cheese)
Last week Del wrote an excellent post about owning your own happiness. And he assigned some homework - writing down things that make me happy - and making sure I actually do them. So here we go . . .

What makes me happy? Many things )

The other thing I wanted to add is that it's not necessarily all about happiness, being happy is one of my goals, but it is certainly not the only one. Some things I'll do, not because they make me happy, but because they'll make the world a better place, or serve some sort of higher purpose, or whatever - the point here is that sometimes withdrawals from the "happiness bank" are worth it. I think Del's point is to think about it. Making withdrawals as a conscious choice when you've decided it is indeed worth it is fine, just don't do it out of habit, or because it's expected - and don't do it without also making some deposits, or you'll end up burned out.
kmusser: (valar morghulis)
So I made it to 40 this year.

Cons: This year seemed to have an awful lot of death, I lost an aunt, Sam lost her father, and it seemed like a disproportionate number of friends lost immediate family members this year. While I know death is necessary it's a little easier to deal with if it's not all concentrated at once.

Pros: On the plus side I did get to do a lot of great travel this year with trips to the Midwest, San Diego, Outer Banks, Cornwall, and Aruba! Also my families, both those I was born with and those that are chosen continue to be awesome. I'm very grateful to you all and glad a bunch of you got to celebrate my birthday together. Also, Skyrim. Also, Del is still with us.

Other: For good or for ill the election dominated much of the year, I'll be glad for the break before we have to go through it again.

Currently I'm still in Chicago with the family, having a good visit except that everyone in the house except me is sick :-( Coming back to Maryland tomorrow. Next Saturday is Brunswick Games Day!
kmusser: (Psi Corp)
And we're back. My computer died about a week ago and I've been spending that trying to fix it, and after I gave up on that, rebuilding it from scratch. I've now regained access to the Internet, my music collection, and Skyrim - so there's my priorities for you. Social media went by the wayside, so if I missed anything important ping me.

In other news my contract at work ran out and the replacement contract has yet to be awarded, so I'm basically on furlough until the new contract is in place (which I do expect us to win) - hopefully it'll only be a week or two.

For the Brunswick folks - don't forget to vote in the city elections today.

For the Chicago folks - I'll be in town Dec. 27 to Jan. 1. Anything happening for NYE?

Also a reminder that after the holidays we have Brunswick Games Day on January 5th, so hope to see you there.
kmusser: (Piccolo)
Thanks to all that participated in birthday shenanigans, many games were played, wine was drunk, cheesecake was eaten, friends were snuggled.
kmusser: (margaritas)
Farewell to 2011. The big accomplishments of the year were [ profile] zammis launching her business and getting [ profile] radiant_one driving. It's amazing the amount of effort, determination, and courage is behind a simple sentence like "she drove herself to school" - I'm so proud of both of them.

And with Radiant One driving I've been able to reclaim a bit more time for myself, which is a good thing, was a little afraid of burning out for awhile.

For travel the big trip this year was to Lake Tahoe with Zammis which was great fun. Shorter trips were to New Brunswick with Radiant One, Colonial Beach with [ profile] auror, Rehobeth Beach with Zammis, and my current trip to Missouri to see my sister. Next year will hopefully see France and Spain!

This was also an expensive year, with the unexpected appliance replacements, especially the A/C - hoping to get the finances a little more under control in 2012.

Also a reminder that 2011 we joined the smartphone enabled, so feel free to text us and stuff. You can even follow me on Google Stalker Latitude.

Looking forward to ringing in the new year with Brunswick Games Day, hope to see you there - and a happy new year to all.

Edit: and a new sample chapter from George R.R. Martin.
kmusser: (Hammer time)
Just did a clean-up of the friends list, primarily deleting defunct journals of folks that have left LJ. If I deleted you but you do still use your LJ acct for reading, let me know and I'll add you back.

A note on my current use of social networking sites:

LJ remains my primary blog - any content of substance will be posted here, anything of an even vaguely sensitive nature will be friends-locked. Travelogues and the occasional blog-like entries will be public.

I have a FB acct mostly for keeping in touch with my family, it'll have links to my public LJ posts and occasional status updates that I want the family to see.

G+ will also have links to public LJ posts and status updates directed more towards friends and the occasional "yo, does anyone want to game tonight?" type posts.

Boardgamegeek I have an acct to maintain my game collection and buy/sell/trade games, I don't use it for networking.

Linkedin I have an acct, but it isn't used for anything. If I have an acct on any other SNS I've forgotten about it.

As for what I read, if you post content to LJ or G+ I will probably read it. Content posted to FB, Twitter, BGG, or linkedin will probably be missed.

As usual how much time I spend on social networking sites is heavily dependent on how busy work is, if it's busy they all get dropped, when it's slow I'll read and comment more.

If you want to get a hold of me IM is best, or e-mail if I'm not online. Messages sent via LJ, FB, BGG, linkedin, or G+ will reach me but it might be a couple of days before I check them.
kmusser: (pimpin')
Some music stats, might be of interest to other music geeks. My collection is currently at 13,585 tracks. I'm slowly incorporating my father's music collection into my own, which will probably double that at least. I wanted to document the make-up of my collection before it gets overwhelmed.

By genre:
12% - alternative
10% - celtic
9% - pop
7% - folk/rock
6% - faire
5% - musicals (this is [ profile] ambug666's fault)
5% - blues
4% - folk
4% - new wave
3% - soundtracks
2-3% each - rock, progressive, geek rock, blues/rock
1-2% each - jazz, pagan, comedy, country, goth, classical, techno, punk, rap, soul, filk
less than 1% each - new age, avant garde, holiday, childrens, world, metal, bluegrass, southern rock, reggae, swing, ska, latin, ragtime, disco, christian, mashups, calypso, spoken word, gospel, zydeco, and opera

By decade:
38% - 1990's
27% - 2000's
15% - 1980's
8% - 1970's
6% - 1960's
1% each - 1950's, 1940's, 1930's, 2010's
less than 1% each - earlier decades to the 1690's
kmusser: (Confusion)
A quick note to let folks know I'm still alive. The day job has been keeping me way too busy to do much blogging, that's ok, job security is a good thing. In other news my Ticket to Ride contest entry is essentially done so will be sending that off with fingers crossed. Otherwise I've been enjoying the streaming Netflix and catching up on shows the rest of you have watched ages ago *cough*Dr. Who, Torchwood, BSG, True Blood*cough*.
kmusser: (bookpimp)
So one of the things I'd like for 2011 is to write more. I'm thinking of re-tooling this journal, which I've never used much for actual journaling other than the travelogues, to be more blog-like with a post once a week or so. What I need is a topic, I've come up with three (besides the travelogues which will continue) that I think would give me enough material to write about over the long-term. Here's a poll to see which you'd be most interested in, and to see who's even still reading this. Games would involve picking something out of my collection and writing an in-depth review, or strategy tips, or maybe session reports. Maps would probably involve taking my latest Wikipedia map and talking about what went into making it. Music would involve taking a song or artist at random out of the massive collection and linking and talking about it, including stuff found in my fathers collection as I go through and digitize it. Any other things you'd like me to write about? Feel free to comment.

[Poll #1664600]
kmusser: (Rose)
Farewell to 2010. It was a pretty good year for me, most of my wishes from 2009 were done. I think the main one that fell by the wayside was working on game design. Still not sure when I'll get to that. Travel was dominated by sun and included Tortola, San Diego, and Hawaii - hard to go wrong there. 2011 will include a trip to the Lake Tahoe area and possibly an Alaskan cruise. Biggest accomplishment for 2010 was getting the 2nd home and [ profile] radiant_one out of the parents house - she should have her own wheels later this month at which there will be much rejoicing.

Here's to a joy filled 2011.
kmusser: (Rose)
Thank you for everyone that joined us for Thanksgiving and for all the happy birthday wishes. We had a lovely turkey day, and the rest of the weekend as well. I allowed myself to be spoiled by [ profile] zammis and [ profile] radiant_one. Many games were played, and there was port and cheesecake.

We also acquired a new household member, taking in one of [ profile] ilostonjeopardy's cats. PeeJee spent the first few days hiding in corners and sulking, but has now decided that getting pettings is not so bad. Piccolo has grumbled about the new addition, but I think she'll get used to it.

This weekend [ profile] zammis and I are running off to Key West and Pirates in Paradise. We were hoping for sun, but it looks like the weather may not cooperate. Regardless, there will be foofy drinks, and at least it won't snow.

Later this month - I'll also be out of town the 18th to the 22nd - doing the family Christmas a bit early.

Reminder that right after New Years - January 2nd - is Brunswick Games Day - join us for a full day of gaming goodness - Free!

For some light reading: the manufactured doubt industry, blog entry by Jeff Masters inspired by the recent climate change kerfluffle - basically the underlying science hasn't changed, if you want to know the truth on a scientific subject ask a scientist, not a PR person.
kmusser: (Default)
I am safe and sound, the Metro crash is on my regular commute route, but I had driven in today rather than train.


kmusser: (Default)

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