24 Months of Sobriety, 24 Months a Geek
Dave Hamrick
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Hey all,

A year ago, I posted a GeekList detailing my year on BoardGameGeek and my year being sober. This is a continuation of those accomplishments and the others that have followed suit.

Here is the original GeekList: 12 Months of Sobriety, 12 Months a Geek

Again, thank you to all who have supported me. This is the best community on the internet, and I am beyond proud to be a part of it.
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1. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.16 Overall Rank:8]
Dave Hamrick
United States
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January 2012

It has now been over a year and I'm still sober.

Jack is a month old.

Returning a messed-up Panera order, I noticed a house for sale a block from where I was renting. Tracy and I had talked about buying a house, so I thought I might give this one a look. Unfortunately, it was already under contract, but the real estate agent offered to show us more. Four house-showings later, we found a three bedroom ranch with a finished basement (game room); I put down an offer, it was accepted, and we were well on our way to becoming home owners. Huzzah!

This month I went game purchase crazy. I bought Mage Knight: The Board Game, Clash of Monarchs, Rise of the Luftwaffe, Wizard Kings, Rattus, Imperial, and a whole mess of 3m Bookshelf Games. I was really into MK at first, but found some issues with it, so I traded it away for Brass.
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2. Board Game: Deadworld [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Dave Hamrick
United States
Moore
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February 2012

House is slowly coming closer to being closed.

The spring semester of school was well under way; two lit classes, a calculus class, a class on Excel, and a (online) public speaking class.

This month I began production on Deadworld, my first board game project slated for Q4 of 2012. It is a zombie themed 4x game with (what I consider) to be some innovative mechanics.

I also backed my first two kickstarter projects: Chicken Caesar and Gunship: First Strike! Both of these games are by Virginians, therefore I had to support them!

Other games I bought this month include A Few Acres of Snow, Lost Cities: The Board Game, Dungeon Petz, Welcome to Walnut Grove, Hive, Bios: Megafauna, and Carcassonne: The Castle.

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3. Board Game: Wizard Kings [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1233]
Dave Hamrick
United States
Moore
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March 2012

Closed on the house March 29th. I am now a homeowner.

On a whim, I applied to Merrill Lynch. SOMEHOW I managed to get through 90% of the interview process with only two years of my degree under my belt and no outside sales experience. The recruiter gave me a lot of good advice on how to get into financial advising--I've decided that this is the career path for me.

Life is hectic, but I'm still getting all As in school. Woohoo!

I don't think I bought much this month, but I did get a chance to crack open Wizard Kings and see how it plays. I'm eagerly awaiting Eclipse to show up for less than $150 somewhere.
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4. Board Game: Chicken Caesar [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1752]
Dave Hamrick
United States
Moore
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April 2012

Leveled-up this month!

While I didn't get the job at Merrill Lynch, the training manager did offer me three places that would look into my background. Of those three companies, I got callbacks for two of them. Both were great, so it became a tough choice for me. However, I decided to go with Northwestern Mutual who made me an offer on the 16th. I will be a financial adviser. One of my New Years' Resolutions was to stop working in restaurants and I did it only four months in!

In addition to getting the job at Northwestern Mutual, I also got my driver's license back, therefore, I am a driving man again. Woohoo!

Sadly, I hadn't played too many games this month. I'd been playing a lot of Dominion on BSW and I had Chicken Caesar and Gunship: First Strike! on the way via Kickstarter, but can't remember if I'd even played a single game in all of April. Guess we'll see what the future holds.
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5. Board Game: Restaurant [Average Rating:5.06 Overall Rank:9848]
Dave Hamrick
United States
Moore
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May 2012

My last day of working in restaurants was May 25th. That weekend, my friends Matthew and Sarah got married and Tracy, Jack, and I all attended. Tracy celebrated her first mother's day and I got to have my first two weeks off in almost two years as I eagerly awaited heading to work.

Gearing up for the new gig at Northwestern Mutual, I began to get nervous that I wouldn't get the job because of background checks. Having a life of drinking and being reckless had quite an effect on who I was for the last ten years. While I never did anything that I considered too harmful, there were some unpaid debts in the past as well as a few alcohol-related arrests here and there.

Again, May was a month without a lot of game purchases.
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6. Board Game: Premium: The Insurance Game [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Dave Hamrick
United States
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June 2012

The background checks went okay and I got to start the new gig at Northwestern. Training was pretty intense, too! To go from waiting tables to work in an office was an unbelievable change.

In June, I got to celebrate my first father's day. And if I remember correctly, June was the first time I got Here I Stand to the table. However, I did try to attempt playing it while having Jack in the house which turned out to be a ridiculous disaster--not so much that having Jack around was a bad thing! But having an infant nearby while trying to play a game is almost impossible.

Again, June was a month with no game purchases. Sadly, this would be a trend for a while.
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7. Board Game: New World: A Carcassonne Game [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:1272]
Dave Hamrick
United States
Moore
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July 2012

Off to a good start with the career. Being in a 100% commission environment can be terrifying! Fortunately, I was able to get to a fast start and really began to help folks.

Being a drunk for so long, I never felt I was contributing to anything. I woke up, I went to work, I got off work, I drank. Being able to sit down with folks and discuss their goals and help them get to where they wanted to be was huge for me.

As the business evolved I did, too.

Only one play of Dominant Species this month.

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8. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:149]
Dave Hamrick
United States
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August 2012

Another quiet month. Work work work and not much else.

Jack began crawling and really started developing a little personality.

This month I played Acquire for the first time.
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9. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:40]
Dave Hamrick
United States
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September 2012

Finally, I got a chance to get back into the swing of things (as far as board games are concerned) by joining a new gaming group.

Rob White
United States
Richmond
Virginia
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Rob White was a guy that I made a trade with a few months back when I was still working in restaurants. I traded a second copy of Ora et Labora for Rattus and Imperial in what Rob calls "a never ending back-and-forth" ordeal. I got Rob's number through Board Game Geek and held on to it for a while. Later, I finally decided to give him a call and try to set up a game time. After a few weeks of trading times, I finally got a chance to head to Rob's and get some games in. It was a blast! Rob's group was definitely a fun-driven bunch that introduced me to a lot of games I'd never had a chance to play.

I now game with Rob and the guys regularly since they tend to game towards the middle of the week since Saturdays I spend with Jack.

Some of the games that I got to play in September include: Trajan, the Resistance, Crokinole, Ninjato, Glory to Rome, and Colossal Arena.
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10. Board Game: If I'm Going Down... [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:6024]
Dave Hamrick
United States
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October 2012

100% commission jobs can be tough. I was beginning to learn this. After getting pretty far outside (what we call) "my natural market" the gig was really starting to show how tough it could be. The phone calls weren't nearly as easy as they had been and not every meeting I went to turned to gold.

Maybe I wasn't cut out for this? Maybe I was doomed to a life of restaurants? I knew this was something I'd always wanted to do, so I terrified of having to answer those questions.

Halloween came and we dressed Jack up as a monkey to celebrate. Jack started standing and really started to become a handful.

Still gaming with Rob's group, I got a chance to try some more games: Hawaii (good!) and Evil Baby Orphanage (not so good!).
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11. Board Game: Engage [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:6275]
Dave Hamrick
United States
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November 2012

Jobwise, November was my toughest month yet. Zero income in November after some huge reversals smacked me in the face financially. Fear of failure was crushing me.

But then something clicked--after attending a mandatory meeting regarding organization and the implementation of the ideal calender, I felt recharged. I knew that if I was going to be the person who I had started to become way back in January of 2011 when I decided to sober up, I had to step up and become even better than what I was. That meant getting out there and showing the world that I am no longer some drunk waiter, but instead I am an independent, successful, and responsible financial adviser.

To add to that, later that same day, Tracy called me and told me that she hated her job and couldn't stand to work there anymore. Tracy worked as a retail manager for a large company; however, after doing it for ten years she felt that there was no further growth for her within the company. I decided that if I was going to make the changes that I told myself I was going to make, that I needed to "take the gloves off" and really push myself--I told her to stop working!

Crazy? Possibly. But if there was going to be anything that motivated me to do better and be a better man, it was having the fear that I couldn't support my family.

That same weekend, Tracy and I got engaged. It was time that I was more than just a working stiff for her, but the man she was going to spend the rest of her life with.

Meanwhile, I kept on playing new games in November: Biblios, the Castles of Burgundy, Nefarious, Macao, and VivaJava.
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12. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:10]
Dave Hamrick
United States
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December 2012

Job-wise, I was back on the horse in December; it was my biggest month yet! Tracy stopped working on the 18th, a little bit after Jack's first birthday.

The day after Jack's first birthday he started walking. Jack's like his daddy, too... once he learned to walk, crawling was a thing of the past.

As the Holidays started to draw near, Tracy and I started working on the logistics of our wedding. We wanted to get hitched on Christmas Eve, but couldn't secure a marriage license before then. Thus, we selected New Year's Eve.



So job aside and family aside (pffft! as if!), I also had a huge month for board games. Tracy got me a copy of Eclipse for Christmas, a game which I'd been pining for almost 15 months, and her mom got me The Resistance, my 2012 Best New-To-Me game.

I also got a play a lot more new stuff at Rob's house: Age of Industry, Andean Abyss, Homesteaders, King of Tokyo, Libertalia, Love Letter, Seven Sisters, and Seasons.

2012 was a blast! And I hope for 2013 to be even better!

Thank you again everyone for your support and I'll see you again at the 36th month mark.
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