As terrible as 2016 was for the world, I had a good time. A look back at my photos from the year tells an interesting and almost chaotic story. Here are the most unusual, exciting, and memorable moments from my 2016.
Despite its flaws, I have greatly enjoyed playing No Man’s Sky. In general I tend to dislike video games, so it’s rare that I’ll play one for more than an hour or two total. I have over 50 hours into No Man’s Sky since it came out in August, because I like to have a little weed and settle into my leather Recaro seat and start exploring a never-ending universe, and thus lose track of time.
I’ve built a nice collection of screenshots from my adventures, so I went through and picked out my favorites to share with you. Enjoy!
In October a 21-year-old woman named Anna Schmidt (also known as Annie) went missing in the Columbia River Gorge. Her car was found at a trailhead directly across the river from my house. After several days the official search and rescue teams were called off and volunteers took over, but nobody found her for weeks. Finally, last weekend someone reported finding human remains, and it’s been confirmed: Anna died of blunt force trauma after falling off a cliff below Munra Point.
In the few weeks of October before she went missing, this area received almost twelve inches of rain. My lawn became a squishy, muddy mess, and the sidewalks and paved trails in town turned green with moss. This is not a good time of year to go hiking, much less in the area she was found. Here is a picture of the ridge leading to the viewpoint, where a tumble off either side means a fall of several hundred feet:
My corner of the house has some wonderful quirks, due to the age and its position in the upstairs southwest corner. For example, the door doesn’t fit quite right and the knob doesn’t turn, so it sticks shut via friction. I actually like it this way–instead of fumbling with the knob when I have my hands full, I can just shove it open with my shoulder.
What’s on my mind, Facebook?
This evening I was on my porch, which has a clear view of one disc golf goal and two starting points. People come by all the time.
Today a clean-cut guy in a baseball cap strolled along, pushing what looked like a legitimate baby stroller, and he stood like a statue of some Roman emperor surveying the land. He surveyed for a long moment, and then took a disc from the back pouch of the stroller.
What’s on my mind, Facebook? I was thinking about how if I get free ketchup, I will eat it with chicken nuggets, but I have to douse it in Tabasco first. Or I might use it on a hot dog, although bratwurst and sauerkraut with spicy mustard is the German way to go. And I’m mostly German in ancestry. But I do have a Cherokee ancestor, who I don’t know much about, and I’m relying on other people’s online family trees to verify our connection. I’m still waiting on the results of a DNA test for a detailed analysis of my genetic heritage. Which reminds me, I’m often binge watching SciShow and other educational science and physics and mathematics channels on YouTube, and free information is a pretty wonderful thing.
It’s interesting that a large portion of our daily life now is comprised of information…we invest time and energy into video games, social media, videos, music. We sell pictures on computer screens and buy them with money that we don’t physically have. So much of our lives comes down to zeros and ones on the hard drive and RAM of a server, computer, or gaming console.
The phrase “follow your heart” may seem empty and trite, a hippie platitude that people use as an excuse or meaningless encouragement. But is there any truth to it? That would depend on what you mean by “heart”.
Aside from the hollow muscular organ that keeps you alive, there are a few meanings for the word. It can be a central part of something, such as an artichoke heart, or a vital piece of a whole. In terms of personality, though, the heart is usually associated with empathy. It seems to refer to the concept of a subconscious core in which love, courage, and other positive attributes are founded.
Often we contrast the heart against the mind, as if you have to choose to go with one or the other. But I think there are three factors at work, and they all go together.