Post details: Thursday Thirteen (Lucky Thirteen TT!) - Thirteen Things I Want To Accomplish in the Next Year...


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Thursday Thirteen (Lucky Thirteen TT!) - Thirteen Things I Want To Accomplish in the Next Year...


It's rare when I toss an idea into the blogsphere in the vain hope that it will be picked up and "run with" by bloggers, but I actually think my Thursday Thirteen this week bears repeating by many.

I was thinking about various things I could "blog" about for today... and about this blog and it's goals in particular... and I thought a good idea was...

Thirteen Things I Wish To Accomplish In The Next Twelve Months

Now, believe it or not, this is a well-planned "two-fer" Thursday Thirteen as I will re-visit (and, in a way,) re-post this on Thursday, September 25th, 2008 and see how I did.

So, in a nutshell, I'm posting thirteen "plans", "ideas", "dreams", "concepts" that I wish to have completed or under-way within the next year... and then, in twelve months, I'll come back and see how I did!

I really, Really, REALLY want people to "steal" this idea... perhaps even next week... and let's see how we do.

It DOESN'T have to be things like I want to drop twenty-pounds or I want to steal Brad Pitt away from Angelina Jolie... it can be, but it can be mundane things... big dreams... whatever... but in ONE YEAR, let us know how it's going!

So, without further adieu... IN REVERSE ORDER from "Most Important" to "Not-As-Important"...

#1: Buy or at least "get" a proper house for my family...

Both Sue and I refer to our current abode as "The Palatial Didier-Darroch Compound".

In honesty, it's a smallish two-bedroom apartment... but it is in an area of town we love and it is our home for better or worse. Still, with two adults, one "tween", two dogs, four cats... it's a bit of a cramped existence.

We need to "upgrade" rather badly and ALL of us want a more "permanent" home to call... well... home! So yeah, the most important thing I need to work for this year really is a proper home.

Besides... before she's too old, the kid needs a backyard to play in!

#2: Manage our debts...

For non-regular readers, we're STILL un-burying ourselves from the debts we incurred during my stint being unemployed... the good news is it's not all that bad and is manageable... but it still hangs over us like Damocles sword... every month gets better, but I'd love to "fast-track" it and just be finished with it.

#3: The BUS! The BUS! (...or any bus...)

You knew it had to be here... and I'm sure MANY of you EXPECTED it to be #1... well, I'm honest... and no, it can't be... but it IS important... and it's importance in terms of expedience grows daily.

Since making the (believe-it-or-not) VERY tough decision to go "public" to try and obtain this dream of ours, our little one has grown older... and more-and-more, "teen-angst" is coming into play... and the idea of showing her that dreams CAN come true before teenaged-cynicism takes root is more important to me than ever.

Sure, it's something that really, in terms of importance, is about me, then her mom... and LASTLY herself... and between fifteen and eighteen, I'm sure the concept of being in a family that owns an old bus will probably not fly all that well in the "cool" world of teenagedhood... but for the next couple of years, I have a chance to PROVE that if you dream and try and work, you just possibly stand a chance of making something special happen.

Sound sappy, but it's true.

This is why the "joint" decision was made between Sue and myself that, although RLH 3 is our bus, if push does come to shove and ANY other bus comes available within our means, we'd do it... but obviously, we really WILL try to fight to make the absolute dream a reality.

Click here to really get a taste of what I mean about "time" being of the essence with the kid in mind...

#4: Take Sue (and perhaps even our little-one... although a romantic and "historic/work-related" get-away is also goodly!) to see England for at least three weeks... and MAYBE a little of France thrown in for good measure too...

Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to ensure that Sue sees things like The Tower of London, Hampton Court, Berkeley Castle, The City of York, Ms. Demmie, Andy... and generally get a GOOD taste of England... and perhaps a trip to Paris and Versaille tossed in just for good measure.

This has been something of a plan/dream of her's and mine for some time now... and not only for historical, but our other hobby reasons... and personally, a lot to do with #7 on this list too.

#5: Spend at least FOUR weekends doing re-enacting...

Click here if you're wondering what I'm talking about...

Self evident thing here... and something I have not been able to do for going-on three years now. I jokingly told my fellow living historians that the next time we'd be in the field, we'd be arriving in our bus... I didn't realise how honest a statement that might have been!

I need to re-purchase a musket (rifle) though... and some other stuff... but it's do-able. (I actually talked about this in this post... so it is on my "agenda", so to speak...)

#6: Visit at LEAST three "haunted sites" I've never been to before for a write-up and investigation for my website...

Kinda a gimme... I love visiting historic sites or places with an interesting story to tell and playing the part of the sleuth... and it's something I rarely (personally) get a chance to do because, when it comes to our study, I'm usually wound up in server maintenance, scheduling, accounting, and general upkeep.

Exchanging Vows

#7: Do marriage vows with Sue in a "kooky" setting... (...possibly related to #4...)

"Possibly Related"??? No, COMPLETELY! I want to "get married" to Sue in an ancient old chapel or church in England...

The Prospects of Our Planned Event

#8: Grow a pair and cancel a disaster before it happens...

This is a REAL short-term one... and if I don't do it, I WILL be sorry... mark my words...

I try to make people happy... and with my "ghostly doin's", I used to throw "birthday parties" (anniversary parties) in October to "celebrate" something that bled me physically and financially was my pride and joy and my fun hobby. Trouble is, on average, I personally lost (out of my own pocket) a little over $1,000.00 for each of the four years I had these events... and, when I was laid off, they came to a grinding halt.

Well, I kept saying we'd do SOMETHING for our TENTH anniversary (which is this year) and after a bit of brainstorming, we thought we'd come up with a boffo idea and, on "paper" and in "conversation", it seemed EXCELLENT!

The deal WOULD be that we'd rent out a really nice space that was an old town hall in Toronto... it actually is laid out as a proper council chambers with a stage, podium, and good seating arrangements... best of all, it was CHEAP!

Next, despite the fact that we do NOT deal in "fiction" on our ghostly sites, we have acknowledged that in Victorian times, when Halloween wasn't celebrated by the majority, Christmas was the time to tell ghost stories! (Hence why Charles Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol"... this was only the best known Christmas ghost story... but there are MANY!) That said, we figured we'd throw A TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS GHOST STORY SESSION IN THE OLD TOWN HALL! We'd bring in professional "story tellers", give them traditional stories, and invite people to come in to hear them and share some coffee, cocoa, and cookies with us in November! (Close enough to our "real" anniversary to count!)

See This Link for a little more about this tradition...

Great idea, eh?

Yeah, you ever try to hire story tellers for ADULTS??? Worst yet, some of the ones we spoke to really seemed interested in SHREDDING our studies too! A few openly mocked the idea of ghosts and hauntings! (Some great "heritage and history" folks we dealt with, eh?)

Either way, over the last three weeks, I've become so THOROUGHLY disenchanted with the whole thing with the realisation that it WILL become a festive "fart in church" that I absolutely have to take the slings and arrows from those who really, Really, REALLY want us to do an event and cancel this schmoz before it becomes a QUALIFIED disaster.

Oh, and although I'm SURE there are exceptions to the rule, my opinion of professional "story tellers" is IN THE TOILET right now! Apparently, if you're a party for children OR a "real historic site", they're great... but have a taint of the "paranormal", and they become very... problematic.

#9: Get in better physical/health shape...

Quit Smoking: Check!

Now, lose the spare tire and improve my cardio!

#10: Help at least one good cause or one needy person...

The key words are "at least". Despite not having very much, we both like to try and give and do what we can to improve someone's (or some people's) life who has it a little worse than we do.

#11: Smile more...

Simple. Be happier and try to smile and enjoy more in life.

#12: Make better friends at work...

I admit to being kind-of aloof at work... not being "social". But I hate forced "social" behaviour and prefer to make friends and whatnot through natural discourse... meaning, I don't do a lot of "pub-nights" or work-related social events.

To be honest, I have NO intention of changing this... but I will try to get to know more of my coworkers and chat with them about non-work stuff during breaks and whatnot.

Hey! I spend well over eight-hours per day with these folks and not enough time with Sue and Schnookie... so I relish my time I escape the "day-job" folks and go home to my family!

#13: Continue to entertain or at least SOMETHING with this here blog...

I hope certain nay-sayers know that even if we get the bus, THE BLOG STAYS! I will be keeping up on things... and as I've always said, it will probably revolve around our adventures fixing up the bus and eventually travelling with it.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



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You're right---it's a brilliant idea and would make a great "universal" meme.

There were a lot of things on your list that really resonated with me: the trip to England (where my husband's relatives live and--yep!--the exchange rate is now two dollars to a pound); the haunted sites; and making friends at work.

I think the bus is very cool, actually...but then I'm not a cynical teen-ager....
PermalinkPermalink 09/27/07 @ 07:22
Comment from: Xakara [Visitor] Email ·
Good luck on your year. I'll make sure to steal this on November first and do my 13 things for the year.

Good luck on the bus too. :)

PermalinkPermalink 09/27/07 @ 07:35
Comment from: Rasmenia [Visitor] Email ·
Those are all excellent goals - good luck on everything on this list!

Hmm...I might just have follow your example & come up with my own 13 goals here in the near future.

Have a great Thursday. :)
PermalinkPermalink 09/27/07 @ 08:02
Comment from: SandyCarlson [Visitor] Email ·
No. 1 hits home (no pun intended). We have a smallish abode. Every time it feels cramped, I get rid of stuff--furniture, toys, have-to-keeps...My husband doesn't still too for long in case he goes next!

I will be back to check out your reenacting.

This list is a great idea.
PermalinkPermalink 09/27/07 @ 09:21
Comment from: Vixen [Visitor] Email ·
I like this idea. I also like your list. I may borrow some. Happy TT
PermalinkPermalink 09/27/07 @ 14:03
Comment from: admin [Member] Email ·
Hey damozel... Yeah... but the idea is it MUST be revisited in a year for an update! I will be pimping and promoting it Saturday to try and wrangle some other's to take part!

Hi Xakara... and thanks!

Heya Rasmenia... Look forward to reading them!

Hello SandyCarlson... Although I'm often a dreaded red-coat, I've been known to don my greys and fight against the tyranny of King George! :)

Howdy Vixen... I look forward to seeing your list! :)
PermalinkPermalink 09/27/07 @ 20:42
Comment from: Amy Ruttan [Visitor] Email ·
Well I hope all your dreams are realized this year! Great list.
PermalinkPermalink 09/27/07 @ 21:38
Comment from: Nicholas [Visitor] ·
Great list. I hope you manage to check them all off.
PermalinkPermalink 09/28/07 @ 00:33
Comment from: Angela Klocke [Visitor] Email ·
I think we often need to do this, to take ourselves to the mat about what we want, where we are, etc. I did a 13 list on this a few months ago. I think it's time to look it over again and see where I am...
PermalinkPermalink 09/28/07 @ 08:22
Comment from: admin [Member] Email ·
Hey Amy Ruttan... Thanks kindly!

Hi Nicholas... Gonna try...

Hello Angela Klocke... First off, what a great blog/book you have! I'm hoping to "ignite" this as a twice-off meme for everyone... get everyone to do a "Thirteen Things in Twelve Months" list... the goal is not necessarily to "complete" everything... but even to work towards them. I'll be looking forward to reading your "re-visit" to your original one!
PermalinkPermalink 09/28/07 @ 09:04
Comment from: Joanne [Visitor] Email ·
A lofty list of goals! I think you can do it though. Good luck! Thanks for visiting my list of 13 terrible tunes. I totally agree about not hearing them and then getting them stuck in your head-even though I hate it, I found myself humming "smoke on the water" yesterday. Yikes! Happy weekend!
PermalinkPermalink 09/28/07 @ 09:56
Comment from: Linda R. Moore [Visitor] Email ·
I have a few comments, suggestions and encouragements.

(1) Yes! Do quit smoking: that's bus money, right there.

(2) Get hold of a copy of "The Complete Tightwad Gazette". There are lots of ideas in there for living more cheaply and that's the best way to deal with debt: spend less, not earn more.

(3) Why don't you drive the bus from wherever it is to where you live? Wouldn't that be cheaper than shipping it?

(4) Have you *actually* priced up freight, so you know *exactly* what you need to save? Guessing is one thing, but you need to know what you are working with.

Good luck with all of this! :)

PermalinkPermalink 09/28/07 @ 21:46
Comment from: admin [Member] Email ·
Hey Joanne... Yup, it's a curse... and it feels SO WEIRD when you start "tapping your feet" or whistling a song you're not fond of... kinda makes you feel a little dirty... and NOT in a good way!

Hi Linda R. Moore... Lessee...

#1: I've been "smoke free" for a month now. My wife and I quit four weeks ago (that's why it's "checked" in my list...) Next is the cardio and weight! To be honest, we quit smoking not-so-much for the bus or money... but for our little one.

#2: I agree... and we have tightened where we could... and always look for more ways. I'm loath to spend money on a book to tell me how to save money though... it seems kinda redundant... and counter-productive.

#3: Two good reasons... #1 is it's not running... and #2 is if it was, it may not be "legal" everywhere for height and other reasons... I could add a third reason too which is it's top speed is a blazing 30mph!

#4: I've spoken to four "shippers"... two of which have experience as they have already shipped buses (granted, going East to West, not the other way around...), one who is a friend's father at a former workplace who's a flat-bed driver who has done several runs from Eastern Canada to California... and the last one a literal "out-of-the-phone-book" operation... and with fuel prices being wonky and us not having a "firm date" for delivery, the best they can do is a "rough" quote... and the average of the four was $12,000.00... $8k for the bus, $12k for the shipping.
PermalinkPermalink 09/28/07 @ 22:17
Comment from: Danielle [Visitor] Email ·
I've actually came across your blog as well as Sue's during my work, but have never had a chance to actually stop by and say hi, so thank you so much for visiting me this week!

I'll definitely be taking your challenge next week - awesome idea, btw - and I'll help promote it with my Wed. Goldmine this week (to my, what, 2 readers? LOL)

I've really got to find more time to explore your sites--you guys have so, so much info and entertaining reading! Best of luck with the England trip and romantic!!!

I'm not much of a history fan, but ghosts are a longtime fascination...maybe someone in your area will stop by and see your storyteller need so your plans won't have to be squashed!

We finally moved into a 'real' house last summer, though we're still renting. We were living in a tiny 2 bedroom duplex...with the 2 of us, 3 small children, and a I definitely know how you feel! We're still in need of more room (3 bedrooms, 2 baths) but its more than twice what we had, so I'm content for now :-)

Good luck! I'm sure you'll be hearing from me again :-)
PermalinkPermalink 09/29/07 @ 09:22
Comment from: admin [Member] Email ·
Hey Danielle... The pleasure of visiting was all mine! Glad to have stopped by and to finally squeaked up on your blog!

Thanks for the help promoting the idea... I really do think it'll have "wings" as a meme that people will appreciate... especially if everyone remembers to revisit it in a year!

We have "squashed" plan "A"... but we now have a plan "B"... well, Sue has a plan "B"... and right now, it involves a haunted pub we've only recently been introduced to! More to come on that one!

As per your living situation... wow... sounds almost like you used to need a giant shoe-horn and a vat of axle grease to squeeze everyone in! Glad things have moved in the right direction for you!

I'm glad you'll be returning... as I to your blog! I'll be a commentin'... and adding a link as well!
PermalinkPermalink 09/30/07 @ 21:06
Comment from: MsDemmie [Visitor] Email ·
So when are you coming - when do I need to keep the place open for you all ........... ?

Great ideals and plans all of them.
PermalinkPermalink 10/04/07 @ 14:25
Comment from: admin [Member] Email ·
Hey MsDemmie... AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! Trust me, the first chance we get! :)
PermalinkPermalink 10/04/07 @ 20:30
Comment from: Andy [Visitor] Email ·
Yeah, when are you coming? Make it SOON! x
PermalinkPermalink 10/07/07 @ 12:09

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One Old Green Bus

Allow me to start with we do not own nor are we selling a bus. Just had to get that out...

This blog was started in April of 2006... during a very bad time for me and my family when money was very tight and life was very hard.

We maintained a happier outlook on life by fantasizing... talking about what we would do when times were better... and as Sue and myself are Anglophiles, England factored greatly into our "plans".

During these bad times, while looking at news items which, at the time included items about London removing their venerable old Routemasters, I came across one photo of an old green bus... and somehow, my whole family adopted it. It became very much "our bus". (Details about "our bus" are available by clicking here.)

Like most of you, I'd heard about the fellow who'd made a million dollars selling tiny ads online... and the fellow who did trades and turned a paper clip into a house... so I thought, since we couldn't make our bus actually into "our bus" (well beyond our means,) I'd try an "online" appeal... to make the focused item of our hopes into a tangible thing in our lives...

More specifically, in a burst of adult/juvenile optimism, I had hoped to show the youngest member of the family, who at the time was still very youthful and impressionable, that dreams really could become reality if you hope and, more importantly, try.

Well, I'm pretty sure you figured it out... we had limited succes in this venture... and the youngest has now reached an age where she is more traditionally "teenaged" cynical than much else about the world, which isn't a dreadful thing... but there's a "good news" portion to this... our personal situation with money is better, life has improved, and some people really liked my rambling here... so, I decided to keep things going... Yes, I will "give up" on asking for help on a bus... and have to give up on even trying as hard to get the bus through online means... and yes, be far more realistic... but I don't mind this "turn" of things as I actually enjoy venting, trying my hand at humour, and generally keeping on online presence outside my usual things.

Thanks to those who were/are "Busly Dream" enthusiasts... I suppose that our buses for now will be single-deck with the letters "TTC" emblazoned on them... but this blog will live as does our dream! (It's just a little quieter on that latter bit...)

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