Well, after 3 years of online gaming, I decided it was finally time for me to move on to other things. Years ago, before I was online gaming, and before my first marriage (to be known hereafter as "The Mistake"), I rode a motorcycle. From the time I was a teenager, I had dreamed of having one. My best friend at the time and I would talk about the excursions we would take when we finally managed to get our first bikes.
I got my first motorcycle in 1998, shortly after I graduated from college. When I got it, I knew my job would be sending me to Seattle for 4 months at the end of the following summer, so every weekend was spent conditioning myself for longer and longer stretches on the road. I had the most haphazard set of riding gear, and it's amazing I didn't get hypothermia sometimes as I rode in the winter. But the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream can carry you through a lot. In July of 1999, I began my first multi-day trip. Eight days, and roughly 4000 miles later, I arrived in Seattle. Sadly, the motorcycle shop that worked on my bike once I got there turned out to be made up of hacks. The bike never ran reliably after that. It was shipped home later in the year, and never ran again.
As years went by, I had pondered getting a bike again. But long hours at work and dealing with a miserable marriage pushed that far down my list of priorities. Then, within days of my divorce being final, I discovered Star Wars Galaxies. A year of that led to a couple more years of World of Warcraft. If you haven't played games like these, it's not really possible to describe just how addictive they can be. The term "Skinner's Box" gets thrown around a lot to describe why people keep playing. But I'd have to say that it's the relationships you develop in the game that really keep you there. I don't miss playing World of Warcraft (WoW). But I do miss the friends I made in there. Spending time with the friends I had kept me playing WoW for at least 2 or 3 months after the game itself had stopped really being any fun for me.
Now I own a 2004 BMW R1150R motorcycle (yes, they make bikes too), a new carbon fiber kayak to replace my old Tsunami 145, and I have a cancelled WoW account. I miss the friends I played with in WoW. But I'm hoping this blog will give me a way to stay in touch with some of them, and let them know what I'm doing these days. Sometimes, I'll just be using this to comment on things I stumble across that I find interesting. But it will also get a lot of use as a trip log for my jaunts on my motorcycle or in my kayak.
Now I just need to figure out a good way to host all the photos I'll be taking on the weekends.