A Decade in Review

12.31.09 | Comment?

Here we are on the last day of 2009. We made it! Congratulations. After reading a few essays titled “The 10 Best Movies of the Decade” and so on, I thought it might be fun to write my own review of the decade. It’s actually a much more mind-bending task than I first gave it credit. A decade is a long time in the human lifespan. We experience a lot of change within the span of a decade. If I tried to encapsulate an entire decade in an essay it would either be far too short, painfully boring, incoherant, or quite likely all three. So instead I’m just going to hit the highlights in timeline form.


  • Celebrated my 1 year anniversary


  • Applied and was initiated as a Freemason.
  • 9/11
  • Started working for Texas A&M University.


  • Finished my Masonic “work”, became a Master Mason, then dropped out for 5 years.
  • Celebrated my 30th birthday.
  • My maternal grandmother passed away.
  • Took a trip to Paris with Mrs. Flametoad and another couple.


  • Took a January ski trip with Mrs. Flametoad and a different couple.
  • Played a convention RPG game called Weekend Warriors run by a pair of dudes named Ed and Jerry. Joined 12 to Midnight as a partner a month or so later.
  • I started my Flametoad blog. Unfortunately, I accidentally wiped the database during a later WordPress upgrade and lost more than a year’s worth of posts.
  • Tadpole 1 born in July.
  • First 12 to Midnight commercial release, Last Rites of the Black Guard, was released in August. It was followed up with a Savage Worlds edition, plus Weekend Warriors a few months later.


  • My first commercial RPG writing credit, Bloodlines, released.
  • Sold our first home and moved into an apartment in Houston so Mrs. Flametoad could attend medical training. We were robbed 3 times in the span of a year.


  • Returned to Bryan/College Station and bought our second home.
  • My maternal grandfather passed away.


  • Tadpole 2 is born.
  • I drop out of my weekly RPG game, which marks the end of my regularly gaming routine for the remainder of the decade.


  • My paternal grandmother passed away.
  • Became active in my local Masonic lodge again.


  • Took a drastic career change by taking a university job in credit card security and e-commerce.
  • Called to serve on my church vestry.


  • Celebrated the 20th consecutive annual camping trip with my best friends.
  • Celebrated my 10 year wedding anniversary with Mrs. Flametoad with a trip to Cancun.
  • 12 to Midnight published our first horror anthology, which included a story I wrote.

Of course these are just a few of the highlights. Life is so much more than bullet points. The milestones in my kids’ lives could fill a book and I could  dedicate an entire post on my history with 12 to Midnight. A decade of life is really too much to comprehend. I was in my 20s ten years ago. I didn’t have children ten years ago. Those of you who are parents understand the significance of that one alone. Our lives are marked by the epoc. We live BC (before children) and AC (after children).

A decade into the future is near unfathomable. Just look at how technology has changed in the last ten years. All I can predict with any certainty is that in ten years I’ll be 47 and Tadpole 1 will be old enough to drive. Will I be living in the same home? In the same city? What will my outlook on life be like with another decade under my belt and looking at 50 on the horizon? Will I still be the same dorky guy? Or will my dorkocity shift in new directions? It’s easy to get maudlin if you focus on the years already behind you, so let’s stay positive and focus on the future.  I hope you’ll stick with me on the journey because if the last decade is any indication then we’re in for one heck of a ride.

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