– Ben Martens

2004 Year In Review

I'm a few days late with this post so please pardon my tardiness. I know it's hard to start a new year without my words of wisdom from last year. Actually, if this post only contained wisdom it would be quite short and I hope to ramble on for a few paragraphs. I shall dispense with the wisdom.

The year started with my return from Eagan. When I took the position, I was worried that leaving would break a lot of friendships I had started to make. Thankfully it didn't and I picked up pretty much right where I left off. In addition, I gained a bunch of great friends up in Eagan. Somehow when I left Minnesota I was able to shake my insatiable addiction to Generals. I have Kyle to thank for that one. When I came back from Minnesota, I moved right into Harbour Drive in Palmyra. There was no more one bedroom apartment in Ryan's Run. I now had two roommates, although Jay took off soon after I arrived for his stint in Eagan. Why we couldn't have planned to be up there at the same time I don't know.

My free time dwindled significantly when I started grad school. My dreams of becoming enriched with a wealth of new information were quickly diminished by a never ending stream of weak classes. I figured at first it was just a couple bad classes that I was hitting but now I've decided that overall the program is just weak. Or maybe it's normal and my Purdue undergrad degree was just that good. I've met a few great profs though so that makes the classes more enjoyable. Hopefully by this time next year I'll be holding another degree in my hand.

I got some experience in house hunting this summer. It was the best kind of house hunting because I was spending Tyler's money. After some research and reading, I discovered a gem a couple hundred yards down the road from where we were living. Tyler walked in, decided it was good, and promptly placed and offer. After 6 months in the house I think we're all still happy with it. It's filling up with my projects including the arcade machine and the theater room.

I lost a close family member early in the summer, so I left on a trip back to Purdue for Grandma's funeral. It brought the entire family together in one place for the first time in quite a while.

That trip and Christmas were my only visits back home to Indiana. For Thanksgiving I headed up to visit beautiful Syracuse to bug the Abendroth's. They were more than welcoming to me over the year with my multiple visits to Camp and at Thanksgiving. You'll be a better person if you get meet any one of them. Two Sunday River trips, the Fourth of July, and the August trip to Camp Ticawa were all a blast. Quaggas, the giant caterpillar, Jay's waterfall, Whoopa™, Ben's dancing, spoons, Bobby being Bobby, and Robinston in general were all a riot.

My career at Lockheed moved along as only a career at Lockheed can move. I got a promotion and came off program into a permanent position that let's me program in my beloved .NET. It took 2 years to find the group but now that I'm here I hope to stay put for a bit. Switching positions every six months gets old pretty quickly.

I bought my first set of skis and all the junk that goes with them. A lot of people hear my stories about skiing are a little confused since I've never been excited about it before. There's a reason for that: I lived in Indiana and in case you haven't heard, it's FLAT. Skiing out here has been fantastic. As soon as I take that last run of the day, I'm planning ahead to the next time I can ride the lifts. It's a great combination of being outside, getting some exercise, meeting new people, and getting to know friends better.

Near the end of the year I finally made my first trips to New York City. I've seen quite a few random places as well as the basics like the Empire State Building and Times Square. I made some good friends up there and am looking forward to spending more time with them.

That brings me to 2005. I rung in the new year with good friends and 300 random residents of Harrison, Maine. Who knows what this year will bring. We have quite a few more ski trips planned for this winter including a big adventure to Denver. There has been talk of everything from a motorcycle purchase to working on a pilot's license. Grad school will continue chug along. I already know of three weddings in June. Jersey will continue to smell. I guess it's a lot of the same with a lot of new experiences. And I guess that's what life boils down to. You cling onto the people, ideas, and beliefs that make you happy while you ride the ever-changing waves of life. Ahoy mateys!