Monday, January 14, 2013


When the calendar rolled around to 2012 I hoped that it would be a good year coming up, though the trend certainly doesn't seem to head that direction these days.  A lot of that was because the year before had not been so great, and I was desperately hoping for some sort of improvement.  Now we're one year further on down the road, so I thought I'd take a look back.

My line of work - architecture - was certainly one of the hard hit professions during this recession.  With construction taking such a huge hit the architecture market was forced into fevered competition for the remaining jobs.  The firm I work for was lucky to go into the recession with several good sized jobs, but after two years we were hurting.  Some local firms closed down for good, while others downsized to a bare-bones survival mode.  Our firm was forced to downsize as well, cutting some of the staff that wasn't as diverse their skills, while the remaining staff had their hours cut by 10 to 20 percent.  At the end of the year we're about half the size we were before the recession.  It seems that we're slowly starting to make some headway coming back, though we certainly could use a couple of big jobs to establish some real security for the near future.  My schedule has been set back to 40 hours a week, which is an huge weight off my back. So going into 2013 at least I'm not so worried about losing my job, which as you can imagine is a immense relief.

My family has been doing pretty well through the last year.  My wife had taken on more hours of work in an effort to make up for the hours I'd had cut, and was working up to 70 hours a week.  There is no way I can express my gratitude for her stepping up in such a way during this time.  She's a sweet girl, but she can be tough as nails when she has to.  That's one of the reasons I married her (our 19th anniversary was January 9).  Since I'm back to a full schedule she's been able to cut back on her hours, but being the person she is, she hasn't quit her second job - because she doesn't want to leave them hurting for employees.   My son has had a good year, though he's had a few typical 11 year old boy issues.  All in all they've come through 2012 pretty good and leave the in better shape than when they entered it.

And speaking of "in better shape", one of the major things about 2012 was the lack of a major injury for me.  I'm having some problems with my left arm from trail work, but I'm hoping that it will resolve itself soon (I go to the doctor about it next week).  In 2011 I had a double skull fracture, in 2010 I had a major knee surgery, and in 2009 I broke my leg in two places.  So just having a year when I didn't spend a lot of time in the hospital feels like a major victory.

One other notable thing happened in 2012 - the formation of Rust Belt Revival Trail Coalition, our new IMBA chapter for eastern Ohio.  I'd been considering trying to start a mountain bike club for our area for a couple of years, but when I met up with some other people that had similar ideas it finally happened.  We're still struggling to build a reputation and increase our membership, but we've got a lot of things going for us.  In the 6 months since we started we've managed to get some significant things done, but we definitely have a lot of work ahead of us to get to where we want to be.

There have been some not so great things too - some good people were lost this year.  I'm not going to dwell on that much because it's inevitable for us all.  But there were some that left that will be sorely missed, and for a long time.  And the state of the nation and the world is such that I've pretty much moved to a stance where I willfully ignore what's going on, choosing ignorance instead of a continual state of agitation over the stupidity of the decision makers. 

All in all I'm pretty grateful for the way things have turned out over the previous year.  I hope things turn out as well at the end of 2013, not only for me and my family, but for all of you out there.  Cheers.

PS.  I had some really nice photos to add to this post, but damn Blogger won't let me upload anything from my computer.  If Blogger screws me over ONE MORE TIME, I'm done fooling with them and I'll move this blog to a site that actually functions.


  1. Seems like a good year to me! Hope the Doc gives some good news on the arm.

    Starting your own MTB club is no small accomplishment - great job.

    Let's hope 2013 is a great year for us all, but no matter what it brings, it can't be all bad if we can ride!


  2. Dan,

    That is so true. Even if I'm in the worst mood imaginable - ready to bite off people's heads if they look at me crooked - spending some time on my bike makes me feel better. It's good even if it's rail trail miles, but it's great if it's in the woods.

    Hope things go well for you as well this year. You seem to be starting 2013 on a strong streak.

    Keep on riding.

    Steve Z

  3. The ability to balance the good with the bad is a certain mark of wisdom and maturity. I hope someday to attain that level of levelness, but right now I would still like to kick George Bush in the nuts. And I am beginning to look sideways at his successor. But ever the optimist (what else can ya do?)I do indeed have high hopes for 2013, if only because of some vague superstitional anti-thirteen thinking. But that's just me.

    Well, a year goes by like nothing, and soon enough we will see.