I finally finished the main story in Mass Effect just a couple of days ago. I think I have about 15 hours of game time in…which is pretty short, but I didn’t do all that many of the side missions. The story was really excellent. There were quite a few surprises along the way that really made things move along nicely.
I think Final Fantasy 7 is still the best RPG I’ve played, but I would say Mass Effect is in my overall top 10 games list. The only thing that never really clicked for me was all of the equipment. Sure, you can buy fancy weapons and and all kinds of upgrades, but I barely did any of that and the game wasn’t that hard to beat. I suppose I could up the difficulty level and maybe all of the equipment would matter more.
In any event, it’s a fun game if you like more action oriented RPGs. Depending on your choices, it may feel a little too much like a FPS for some people, but the balance seemed just about right to me. Now I can start watching for Mass Effect 2 information…I’ve been trying to avoid it until I finished this just to make sure I didn’t see any of the ending before it was time.
So I thought it would be good to post an update on the ol’ blog here and since it’s the middle of the year, it seems fitting that the post should be an update on my 2009 goals….so here goes…
- Fully fund 2008 & 2009 Roth IRAs [2008 fully funded; 2009 money saved, but not in Roth account yet]
- Pay off second mortgage OR refinance into single mortgage (with much lower rate and no PMI) [I’ve been thinking about this and I’m not sure I want to go ahead with this right now. The total cost to ReFi was higher than I expected for the great rates and the reality is that my second mortgage isn’t hurting that much. Given certain things going on in my career right now, holding on to the money seems like a wise thing to do for the moment. At present, about 1/2 of this is already in savings.]
- Get my side income up to the point I could live off of it if the need arose (NOT trying to get this to replace my actual income level…although that would be fantastic if it did) [This is about the same or lower than it was at the start of the year – I’m still trying to hit this goal though.]
- Maintain at least a 3 month emergency fund (currently at 12 months, but expect some of this to use used for other financial goals) [I’ve got around 6-8 months still hanging around at the moment, so even if I reallocate some of this for the mortgage payoff or towards investments, I’ll still be able to reach this goal just fine.]
- Get weight to 190 or lower and keep it there (~25 lbs to lose) [Yeah…still um, working on this one. Good news is I didn’t gain much weight…but I also didn’t exactly lose any either. This one is still doable though…]
- Decrease caffeine intake – and keep it down (target is around 1 12oz can of soda per day or less) [I did this one for a couple of months and now I’m back to drinking more soda than I should be. I’ve done a decent job of keeping it out of the fridge at home, but at work, that’s a different story. Going to refocus on this one.]
- Drink more water (no particular amount – just when I’m thirsty, grab a water instead of a soda) [I’ve been drinking a moderate amount of water, but I’m still prone to grab a soda…so I need to focus more on this one as well. It’s perfectly doable, but still on the ToDo list.]
- Cook (healthly-ish) meals at home more than I eat out (including lunch) [Um, yeah….gotta get the ball rolling on this one too. The biggest problem here is going to lunch with the guys at work. I have to stop that – it’ll help save a bit of money and be a bit healthier.]
Personal & Professional Development / Other
- Read at least 1 non-fiction (but not computer related) book a month [I’m going to miss this goal – with everything else going on, I just can’t do this. I do have a couple of new books to read – but not 12.]
- Read at least 1 fiction book a month [Same as the non-fiction goal…I’d like to read a couple, but I don’t think I’ll get more than that in this year.]
- Attend WWDC 2009 (contingent on other financial goals being met/on track in May) [This one is completed. I went to WWDC a few weeks ago…that reminds me, I need to blog about that…]
- Get my passport [Still need to do this one…I’m not in a rush for it though, I’d just like to get it done so I have it for the future.]
- Write at least one blog post per week on this blog – just to start writing more [If you’ve checked this blog much you know I haven’t been anywhere close to successful on this one. I need to make time for this, just for my own sake, but I’m not sure if I can do that. I’ll probably put a preference to posting on my business blog over this one and still only post on this one when I have something in general that I want to share.]
So how do I feel about my progress? Financially, I feel really good. While all of the goals aren’t completed just yet, I’m nearly there number wise…and that’s after taking into account the WWDC trip and a trip to Las Vegas. Health wise, I really dropped the ball. I got distracted with too many other things and this set of goals really suffered. I’m slightly disappointed with my progress on the personal/professional goals, but at the same time, I’ve had a heck of a lot happen and learned a lot over the last 6 months. While I may not have accomplished the specific goals I outlined at the beginning of the year, I think I’ve still grown quite a lot in this area so at least progress is being made.