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At the backend of 2013 it was agreed between GreatGothNinja and I that we would have another competition to be productive and not fall in the pit of lethargy that seems to haunt us.  The 5 month dash had been successful and to insure this new found momentum continued it was decided that we would have  “Challenge 2014″ not the most imaginative name, it is also known as “Challenge Pursuits 2014″. This was GreatGothNinja idea  for a name based on the fact we had 6 Categories for our tasks and we could  make a segment of a circle for completing of a number of tasks in the a category a bit like the board game Trivial Pursuits.

The six categories are:

  1. Esoteric
  2. Health & Fitness
  3. Creative
  4. 100 Days
  5. Finance
  6. Home/House

These covered all the areas we wanted to make improvements in certain areas of our lives.

Esoteric – This  covered Masonic life and reading of alternative ideas and generally expanding ones metaphysical understanding of life and universe.

Health & Fitness – The title gives it away really, with one category to improve the mind, this was to improve the body and ensure it was fit for purpose.

Creative – To be active on our blogs and work to the goal of becoming published writers.

100 Days – The annual challenge of being creative for 100 days.

Finance – Sorting out ones money situation is always difficult to do if you have “head in the Sand” Policy therefore this was meant to help you sort out your needs.

Home/House – One should always maintain a clean living environment.

At the start of 2014, we decided to use Trello as the best place to store this information as it allows you to have a list of tasks that can be easily categorised and managed. The software was also free, the only flaw came at the end of the year when I tried to export the data to excel, this is only available If you pay for the user account.

As the year has  progressed life takes of over so concentration on the challenge is a bit of a rollercoaster ride with the initial “Come on, let’s do this ” at the start with the inevitable  plateau of the enthusiasm appearing in the middle of the year. When you arrive in November and go “Yee gods  it is almost the end of the year, what about the challenge ” there is the mad panic to ensure all segments are of equal size/proportion.  So since November I have been having a mad push. In the 12 Months / 52 weeks or 365 days  I have managed to complete XX out of 51 tasks with 4 in the doing  section and 6 Todo section.

What do the Graphs  look like:

graphs to follow January 1st

As 2014 draws to close it is time to review the year as it is, as it was. Reflecting on life that has been led by me in my Pete-centric universe. View full article »

With Challenge Pursuits 2014 nearly over it is time to blog about the coming year’s challenge.  After much discussion with GreatGothNinja,  it has been decided that there will  a challenge of three. At this point is has not got a name:

  • The Triad Challenge
  • Feat of three
  • Trio

The events that make up this challenge are :

  1. Experimental Story.
  2. 100 Days.
  3. An esoteric paper.

 

Experimental story:

This is writing a story with GreatGothNinja. We will take it in turns to write a section of the story over the next 52 weeks starting on the 29th December 2014.  Each Monday in 2015 will have a section of story posted to the official website.  Therefore part 1 will be appearing on the 5th December and will be written by me.

A little pressure but then this is the whole point of challenges to be well challenging !!!

Ideas so far are :

2 view points

Theme – horror/thriller – Daemon and Group based.

The progression of the Story can be seen here: talexp.three-ninjas.co.uk

 100 Days:

Back once again for the creative behaviour, so this annual challenge is returning by unpopular demand. Last year I managed to be creative for 70days over the allotted period. Which is to date my personal best, therefore the plan is to complete the 100days challenge.

At the 100 Days Committee meeting it was agreed by the majority that it would start 1st February 2015 and finish on the 11th May 2015.

 An Esoteric Paper:

Now this was a great idea from GreatGothNinja to write paper on an esoteric subject with the view to publish in the web. That was until we hit a problem with coming up with a subject. The big G  had lots of ideas, well he would being a member of SARAS (I mean) SRIA of which he is the Director of Works.  Whereas  I was left with writers block. The ideas I had were all of a poor quality. I therefore suggested why not ask the Twiterverse  more correctly our 2 very good friends Gord and the Doc. After some great suggestions from Gord, the Doc blew the challenge up to the NEXT Level. (like an old Dojo term) To put it into perspective or a Martial Art analogy it is like for example when you have a sparring match  with (Kenpo Sticks) Filipino sticks and the instructor goes, “well done!  Try it with these blunt machetes.”

What  the Doc did (by the way he is a world renowned author on these sorts of things) was invite us all to write a paper on the Two Pillars to be handed in on the 1st March 2015. The Doc was writing one for the Associate members  of the Lodge of Living Stones.  So in the year of our Lord 2015  or in the Year of light 6015, my humble self gets to write a paper for the Doc . This is quite an honour.

So these are the Challenges for 2015. They will start in earnest on the 29th December 2014 for the one  and  1st January 2015 for the second, the third will be the  1st February. You might say the year is top heavy at the beginning. But only time will tell in the end.

The world is a smaller place than it used to be with every century it gets smaller. In the 21st century we have Twitter which is like other social media sites but this form, for whatever reason appeals to me more than the rest. It is not like my Facebook account. It has a more friendly feel about it, this being said some I have not met and some I know really well.  3 of the people I follow are well known to this blog; Gord, Doc and GreatGothNinja for example. Now this band where talking to CaptainJacksBrewery about ale.  I joined in the chat  and a new twitter friendship was formed.

 

Around October the Cap’ announced he had an ale called Ninja Tears, and as we all know there’s no such thing as Ninjas. This being said I fancied tasting some  of the is particular ale. Therefore the old conversation of how to get ale  from his brewery up to my  humble abode, that is the sticking point of how to get Ale from Northampton to the North. Then I realised I have WIFE!!! Not much of a plan but bear with me. She has a Job! Still not really a plan. That takes her to Northampton! Boom!  A PLAN.

I organised my wife and the Cap’ to meet up and ensure I get beer. Now you may think this is dangerous however being a member of a Fraternity  comes with the safe knowledge that the Cap’ is Just, Up right with strict morals and sound judgement. Plus I’d be more worried for his safety if you try to upset my better half.

The delivery was  done and all parties where happy, although Cap’ would not take cash, he preferred a review of his ales.

But how do you go about that well I decided to base my review on these areas:

  1. Colour
  2. Taste
  3. Smell
  4. Texture
  5. Overall (Enjoyment)

 

These would be marked out of 5 with the overall winner having the highest total.

The selection of Ales I had received where:

  • Cherry Ko
  • First Mate Muggys
  • Mango Pale
  • Ninja Tears
  • RED
  • Sierra Nevada Torpedo

 

There were some surprises,  I am not a fan of Cherries but I did enjoy Cherry Ko, the overall Winner was Ninja Tears  again a surprise as I am not really a Porter / Stout fan.  I do not like Guinness or Murphy’s so I was surprised this was the winner. Incidentally Sierra Nevada Torpedo was so strong I forgot to make proper notes!!

  1. Ninja Tears
  2. RED
  3. Sierra Nevada Torpedo
  4. First Mate Muggys
  5. Mango Pale
  6. Cherry Ko

The full results are:
image

 

In conclusion although there has to be a winner,  all the beers that CaptainJacksBrewery supplied me with where all better than Stones, Boddingtons.  If you can get your hands on his ales I would certainly recommend them to you. I am in fact negotiating some for my New Year’s Eve party.

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