I’ve decided to make some changes in my life. Probably not real valuable changes, like getting on a healthy diet and sticking to it, or getting regular exercise. But they are changes that are important to me.
First I’ve embarked on the great adventure of seeing what the MOOC’s have to offer. MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. Many important universities are participating in providing free courses online through several providers, including Coursera, Udacity, and edX. It’s a great opportunity to study for free.
I’m always on a quest to learn something new, and a friend of mine sent me a link to a class from Coursera on the Music of the Beatles. It starts on February 9th, so in a few days. Sounds really difficult. Listen to music I really love. Read something interesting about the Beatles and learn stuff I don’t know. Watch some video. Very difficult and demanding.
No I don’t earn any credit, but it should be fun and I get some sort of certificate on completion. Life is good. The class is offered by Professor or Music John Covach from the University of Rochester. Coursera offers a wide variety of music classes on the history of rock and roll, so I’m looking at the possibility of more if it is enjoyable and not too demanding.
The one blog I’ve managed to keep up with is my baseball blog. I write mostly about the Seattle Mariners, mainly from a fan perspective. I tend to write from my gut, but do some comparisons, and sometimes use statistical analysis. I’m interested, as all writers are, in having my work read by others in the blogosphere. I feel I have something worthwhile to say.
In promoting that traffic and readership, I joined the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America. I’ve thought about doing this for a year or more. The IBWAA has no standing with the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA.) You may know them; they are mostly print journalists who have Hall of Fame votes. There are some BBWAA members in the IBWAA. However, the IBWAA is an organization for those who write online about baseball for a traditional sports outlet, such as ESPN (David Schoenfeld is a member) or for bloggers like myself.
The IBWAA hosts its own end of the year surveys to award performances on the field. It also hosts a Hall of Fame vote. In 2014 they elected Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas and Craig Biggio to the Hall, but Barry Larkin has not made it in with their votes. Sort of like a parallel universe. In any case I received some complimentary responses to my inquiries about joining, so I’m thrilled to be a member and see my name and info in their directory.
My decision to take part in these activities followed my decision to resign my leadership in the Northwest Historical Miniature Gaming Society. I’ve served in a variety of leadership positions for most of the last twenty years, including President, board member, newsletter editor, and director of our annual convention. I’ve always enjoyed it, but the past couple of years its just one more thing to take on, and I figured it was time for me to move on pass the responsibilities to somebody else.
I’ll continue to be a lifelong miniature wargamer, and especially a painter of wargame figures. I can’t imagine not having that in my life along with the friends I’ve made in the hobby. But I’m delighted with these new endeavors and the possbilities they’ve opened up.