On some occasion, hopefully in the not-to-distant future, I have plans to write here again on a semi-regular basis. In the meantime, I will give you all a very brief update. This may give you some idea why I haven't been in here for half a decade.
Since last I wrote, I have been through a number of what I suppose are best qualified as "life changes" (in roughly chronological order):
I moved three and a half times (to Parma, Ohio, from Lakewood, Ohio, and back again, and then to Maryland; the "half" move could either indicate the fact that half my stuff is still in Ohio, or the fact that half my current house is temporarily uninhabitable so I'm living in an apartment while it is being rendered inhabitable. When I am either able to get the rest of my stuff or return to my home, or both, then I suppose that will make it a full four moves. Or five, if one cares to be pedantic about it).
I lost my dear Boz a few years ago (in 2009 if memory serves, after the move back to Lakewood), to age and kidney failure.
I left my job at the hardware store at the end of 2010, not long before I moved to Maryland (the commute would have been killer, especially for part-time work), and have yet to find another here, although at the moment I am not looking and don't expect to be until sometime next year. I do have very fond memories of that job, and hope to share some of them with you all at some point.
I became a caregiver for my mother, with whom I am now living (and yes, that was the reason for the move), and then had to hand over much of that responsibility to someone else when it became more than I could reasonably manage.
I visited overseas for the first time in my life (England and Wales in April-May of this year - what a wonderful trip! And I got to meet Zander!).
A tree fell on my house (hence its uninhabitable state and my move to the apartment). Short story: No one was hurt, hardly anything was damaged (other than the house itself), and the insurance is covering everything.
Amongst all the "real life" stuff listed above, I became engaged in a series of online endeavors (call them "games" if you will - some of them actually are), partly because I enjoyed them, and partly to keep myself sane: 1) Second Life, within which I got involved in two major role playing games (one was a D&D-based medieval fantasy called "Port Luskan," created and run by a friend of mine; the other was a re-creation of The Age and Country Hotel (A&C) in glorious 3D animation); 2) World of Warcraft (WoW), which we tenuously tied into the Port Luskan RPG (WoW is currently on the outs with us following some nastiness involving hacked and blocked accounts. Blizzard Entertainment could have handled all that much more competently and compassionately. And yes, that is an understatement); 3) http://www.portluskan.net, my own website revamped as a forum-based venue for Port Luskan (this never really took, but there are a few things up there of possible interest, including one of my songs - have a look!); an Open Sim version of Port Luskan (Open Sim is an open source simulator program similar in function to Second Life; our goal is to recreate what we had in SL in a closed - and free! - environment) that is still in the development stages and on hold for the time being while they rebuild my house; and most recently, Runes of Magic, a WoW-style MMORPG* with some nice features which give it considerable potential as a base for Port Luskan. (Yes, I'm a bit fixated on Port Luskan. I'm wrapped up in the story and don't want it to end - sort of like the A&C).
The tree that fell on the house, for those who might be wondering, was a black oak, approximately 111 years old (give or take a year or two - 106 rings plus about five years of heartwood growth), 35" in diameter, and so tall that when it fell it reached all the way across the house from its former anchor point in the back yard to fill the front yard with its branches, blocking the driveway. The tree was perfectly healthy at the time of its demise; erosion on the windward side (the west) rendered it vulnerable to the derecho that barreled through here on June 29.
Following the "Great Tree Crash of 2012," I have been responsible for coordinating and keeping track of all matters relating to the insurance claim, our temporary relocation, and the rebuilding. At times this has been (and will be) pretty much a full-time job.
And that, dear readers, is why I haven't been around much the last few years. :)
*An "MMORPG" is a "massively-multiplayer online role-playing game," in case you were wondering.