So much to give thanks for...

The subject line really says it all for me.  I have been incredibly fortunate over the last year (and really, several years now).  For me personally, it has been a pretty crazy but entertaining year.  I joked last year when I turned 36 that my birthday did not make me feel old - but my kids' did.  The oldest turned 16 and took driver's education.  My son hit teenage years at 13, and my youngest hit double digits at 10.  Heck, this upcoming year?  15 years married to my wife.

On top of that, several other things this year definitely kept me busy.  This blog was obviously one of them, and I am incredibly thankful for those of you who spend part of your time coming here to read my thoughts.  I have always enjoyed writing and creating content, and that I was able to find a passion of mine such as gaming and make it the focus of my public writing just makes it all the more satisfying for me.

As a result of the blog and the positive traffic and word of mouth, I had an opportunity to write a couple of other places, such as Otaku Gaming and eventually Digitally Downloaded as well.  My MUD has been a source of frequent activity for me, and after a couple of years of down numbers, we have seen a very pleasant uptick over the last year.  Seven years ago we would average 50+ players a night.  We went through a stint when graphical MMO's were just sapping the MUD population however, and we were seeing single digits pretty regularly.  I used to joke that you could almost see the cyber tumbleweeds blowing through.  Over the last year though, we have seen 20-30 a night pretty regularly again, which is immensely satisfying for me since I have sunk so many years of effort into our little community for role-players.

Professionally it was a big year for me, as the software company I work for gave me a promotion to manager over the technical support department I had been working in for five years.  As a result we have seen a lot of good things happen in our department, to bonuses to increased headcount and more.  It is very gratifying to see these talented, hard-working guys on my team getting company-wide appreciation for all of the hard work they do in making customers happy.

More than anything though, I feel very fortunate and can summarize why very simply: I have an amazing wife and kids, great friends and a wonderful job.  These things give me so much all year long, and whether this means I can afford a house for us all, or a few new games to play or just people I genuinely care about and get to talk to when I need to - I realize I am a very fortunate person.

 I know on Thursday I will be up early, starting on a large dinner (there are five of us after all - not counting cats, which will inevitably want some turkey too), watching parades and then settling in to watch the Lions (who will hopefully buck the odds and beat the Texans).

After that, I am certain there will be plenty of Christmas shopping, leftovers and yes - video games to be played.  I will get four days off from my job, the kids will have five days off from school, and we will all get to spend a wonderful holiday together.  If you have any plans of your own you would like to share, I would love to hear them.  I hope for those of you observing it, you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.  For those of you simply experiencing a normal weekend?  I wish you the very best as well!



  1. Congrats on the promotion and the nearly 15 years of marriage! You must feel like time is flying, especially watching your kids grow into teenagers.

  2. Thanks!

    And you're not kidding. Just this year... it's already nearly New Year. Doesn't seem like the kids should even be back in school - like fall just got here. I definitely haven't lacked for things to keep me busy. :) Thanks for dropping in and have a nice holiday!

  3. Chalgyr! I don't know how you do it, man! Working full-time, having a wife and kids, and keeping up an awesome blog... Thanks for all your hard-work and congrats on the promotion.


  4. Hey Dylan!

    It's called sleep is optional? :) Seriously, I think it's just that I have a bunch of things I enjoy and am really passionate about. Instead of any of it being a chore, I just look forward to my next opportunity. That said, I am SO looking forward to an extended weekend of food, family, football (and video games).

    Thanks for commenting - and for reading. These interactions on here and my fellow bloggers' sites are what make this part of my life so much fun for me.

    Have yourself a great weekend/holiday!

  5. You have had a great year Chalgyr! Congratulations - and thank you for your awesome contributions to DDNet and Otaku Gaming.

    You're one of the good guys in the community - reminds me why I like the games industry so much, so thank you for that too. :)

  6. Thanks Matt, and right back at you. :)

    I really had a lot of fun with it this year, saw my blog and contributions grow out quite a bit and just in general feel very fortunate that I have the opportunity to share my thoughts with so many like-minded video game enthusiasts! Have a great weekend and thanks for dropping by!

  7. I know how what you mean, to me it still feels like November 2011.

    You as well, cheers!

  8. Well, Mrs. C was sick (is sick) on Thanksgiving, but that didn't stop her from cooking up a huge meal for us to enjoy! Fortunately she seems to be on the mends, but still feeling a bit under the weather.

    Thanksgiving night I had a neighbor come over, and he and I played some Nintendo Land after the Beans were in bed, and I showed him a bit of my other current favorite Wii U title.

    Last night (Saturday), we went TV shopping, but couldn't settle on a decision. Saw some 40" at good prices, and an awesome looking 55" that was very tempting, even though it was a "store brand".

    The last year has been kind of crazy on our side (especially since September), but here's hoping 2013 starts off with a fresh new trail for us, and I'm thankful that Mrs. C and the Beans and I have all been healthy this last year.

  9. That's a huge bummer on Mrs. C, but kudos for still making up the dinner! Any particular reason for the TV hunt right now, or just trying to make good use of the pre-Christmas deals? I keep looking over a 2nd one and bouncing around on types, but just never settle on anything.

    Sounds like you guys had a good time - glad to hear it! I actually wound up playing more board games than video ones. Sorry, Sorry Sliders, a couple of Monopoly games, Uno and a few others. Between that and lots of food (which is basically all gone now), it was a great weekend.

    Thanks for dropping by!

  10. Yeah, we're hunting for a new TV because it is being our Christmas gift this year from my parents. We're trying to stick around what we have been using, a 32" anti-theft TUBE, but we know the TVs these days lack the anti-theft features that ours currently has...weighing 5 tons.

    We have a budget they have given us, and we can use our own funds if we want, but we're trying to stick with the gift allowance for now...WHICH should be easy enough; but making a decision now with 10 different brands, three screen types, resolutions, hz, 3D, Smart (and I guess Dumb) TVs...trying to decide on the room it will stay in, should we go with 2 smaller ones on the budget...instead of one larger one.

    Decisions. Decisions.

  11. Good luck on the shopping front - I'll be curious to hear what you wind up with (especially if you happen upon a 3D tv, hehe). Love the anti-theft comments. I have a massive block of a 32" HD tv in my den that needs to go sooner than later. The image is starting to go, and that thing is so beastly that once it's dead, I won't be able to give it away. so I'm thinking next spring of replacing it with the more theft-likely models and offering this monstrosity up on Craigslist or something.

    We were going to break out Monopoly on the 360, because it's usually just easier to let the cpu handle the calculations and banking and rules enforcement, but my wife's all-time favorite Christmas movie is Christmas Story. We have a lot of stuff themed to that movie around our place - including a physical board game, so she wanted ot use that. :)


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