I am an avid gamer in my late forties. I currently live in Regina, Saskatchewan Canada with my darling better half. We have two daughters who are currently out on their own, making their way in the world. We are tremendously proud of both of them. Now that Kathy and I are empty-nesters, we have really embraced entertaining people in our home and hosting a number of events. I run a couple of leagues and we also host many boardgame nights for friends. Over the years, we noticed that we watch less and less TV and would much rather spend an evening playing a game. We are both laid back and truly value social gatherings with like-minded people. We do not take life too seriously, and cherish moments, memories, and laughter shared with others.
I mentioned in the introduction that we are very laid back and value that quality in our friends. I am a live and let live person. I value the differences in others and celebrate anyone who is walking the path of their own choosing. I have a very good work-life balance at this point in my life and truly enjoy my time spent in leisure activities and time spent with friends. A few years ago, I embarked on a journey of quality over quantity and consequently have withdrawn from a number of social circles in order to truly experience and enjoy a more focused lifestyle. I feel truly blessed.
Where I Have Lived
Before moving to Saskatchewan, we lived in Nova Scotia. We have many friends and fond memories in the Maritimes; a beautiful part of the world. Additionally, I have lived in New Brunswick and Alberta. Each province has its own charm and beauty. I miss the mountains of Alberta and the ocean in Nova Scotia. I will say though, that the vast prairie landscape has shown me lots of beauty that I had not anticipated. We like to explore the areas and province where we live and we have discovered some wonderful places.
I have an I/T background. I cut my teeth professionally as programmer in the early 80's. Mostly RPG and COBOL. After rising to a senior management position, I found that I grew tired of I/T and wanted to focus on Process Improvement as a means to help our company grow and improve with various change initiatives. I trained in the Ben Graham Work Simplication Methodology and also took formal Six Sigma Training. A few years ago I received my Masters Certificate in Project Management.
My last gig was as an Internal Management Consultant. I got involved with Strategic Planning, Project Management, Process Improvement, Facilitation, Mediation. Basically, I was involved in many different initiatives and I quite enjoyed the variety. AT the time, I was working on self-imposed reduced work-hours. I can always earn another dollar, but an hour spent is gone forever. I value my time.
In February of 2014, I started my own consulting business to assist companies and non-profit organizations in the disciplines of:
...Community and Event Planning
I have been fascinated with maps as long as I can remember. I think an early love of maps and a sense of the enormity of the world gave me a desire for travel at an early age. I have traveled to most Provinces and States in North America. The diversity of the geography and people on our own continent is amazing. Additionally, I have been to England, Scotland, Jamaica, Grand Cayman Islands, and Mexico. I have a fascination with Europe and hope to move to Europe in a few years to spend a year or so working / traveling. We shall see. My wife and I are content to be in Saskatchewan for now, but feel that wanderlust we be coming to call in a few years. If you ever travel to Nova Scotia and are interested in what to see & do, I created a Google Map with that information, just Click HereCOUNTRIES I HAVE VISITEDUS STATES I HAVE VISITEDCANADIAN PROVINCES I HAVE VISITED
This past ten years, I have developed a love of good beer. Porters and Stouts are the top of the chart for me and my wife. We are quite adventurous in our beer sampling. A couple of years ago, we built an entire vacation around visiting Rogue Ales in Newport, Oregon. I started a Beer Blog on BGG a short while ago to track some of my beer sampling exploits and share them with others. To view Bixby's Beer Blog just Click Here
My wife has been going on canoe trips up North for a number of years now. Some of her trips are fly in / fly out. I have always enjoyed canoeing, but not near as hardcore as Kathy. I made a YouTube video of a trip I went on with Kathy in August 2011. There were four of us on the trip and it was a truly amazing experience. I believe we will now make this an annual event. To see the YouTube video, justClick Here
I enjoy cycling and mountain biking. I am not one of these hardcore people that screams down a mountain going Mach 5 on a double black diamond trail; I am more of a cross country trail rider. I enjoy exploring the scenery and can perform mild technical rides, but that is about it. My brother invited me on my first long distance trip called the Golden Triangle a number of years ago. It is a highway ride from Castle Junction to Radium Hot Springs to Golden to Castle junction. It is a three day ride that covers about 330kms in the Canadian Rockies. A truly great ride through some gorgeous scenery. I feel very privileged that I was invited.
Not quite as long ago, I planned a bike trip that was a very spiritual journey for me. I got to cycle part of the KVR (Kettle Valley Railway). We only cycled 100kms of the trail, but it was a brilliant section of the trail. There were six of us on the trip. It still remains one of my favourite trips ever. I made a YouTube video of the photos from that trip and it can be viewed if you Click Here
Kathy and I have tried some backpacking in the last couple of years. It is great to have the gear for this. We both love camping and backpacking gives us the opportunity to get off the beaten path and camp in more secluded settings. I doubt we will ever go on any truly long backpacking trips as neither of us would have the back to do a long haul. That said, we have gone backpacking in Kananaskis Country of the Canadian Rockies. We have seen some amazing country and enjoyed our time in the wilds.
I am one of those people that consider camping to be an activity you do in a tent. Spending a night in a 40 foot RV with a satellite dish, shower, and air conditioner is not really camping to me. I have enjoying tenting for many years now and see no end in sight. Over the years, our gear has gotten better, but the love for the activity has never waned. Something about spending the night in a tent in the great outdoors makes a person feel connected to the world we live in. We have had many adventures over the years, including a bear in our campsite a couple of years ago. We have never felt endangered or threatened. Respect nature and it respects you back. I will say that we now have bear spray and bear bangers in our camping gear now. Some of my favourite camping spots include Waterton National Park, Douglas Park, Saskatchewan Landing, Chinook Allison, Otter Lake, French Lake, Kejimkujik National Park, Laurie Park, Glacier Park (USA), and Roosevelt Park (USA).
My Gaming Life
I am an omnivore of games. I enjoy abstracts, euros, wargames, dexterity games, gambling games. Heck an evening playing a bad game is still better than an evening sitting in front of a TV. I like the variety of many different styles of games. Most of my game playing is at our house, but I do make it out for a few gaming conventions. Some of the conventions I have attended in the past:
...NovaCON (Halifax, Nova Scotia) 1993
...WolfCON (Wolfille, Nova Scotia) 1994?
...FragCON (Regina, Saskatchewan) 2011, 2012
...FallCON (Calgary, Alberta) 2009
...BGG.CON (Dallas, Texas) 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014
...BixCON (Regina, Saskatchewan) 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I share some of my CON experiences here:BGG.CON 2011 - Click HereBixCON I (2009) - Click HereBixCON III (2012) - Click HereBixCON V (2014) - Click HereBixCON VI (2015) - Click Here
I think that gaming conventions are a great way to meet like minded folks and share in a fun hobby. I have created a Game Convention Calendar to help others connect to local CONS or events on their travels. If you know of an event, please add it. (I still hand out GeekGold rewards for people who add to the calendar). You can find the calendar if you Click Here
I was honoured and humbled to be Geek of the Week number 356. To view the thread: Click Here
I was also honoured to be Love Spreader of the Week. To view the discussion Click Here
I set up a website in 2010 to help organize the gaming hobby in the Province of Saskatchewan. The basic mission statement is as follows:"SaskGames organizes gaming in Saskatchewan by offering a consolidated calendar of gaming events at venues throughout the province, and by connecting people with similar game interests."
We have seen steady growth and a number of people have found groups or gamers through the site. It makes me feel good to know the site is helping to connect people through games.
To visit the site Click Here
I have created a Blog on BGG that collects and distills some of the tips & tricks I have personally experienced or learned for creating & growing a game group. A lot of the information has come from BGG and the many threads and discussions on the subject. I thought a blog would be a great way to capture and share that information for others. If you are interested in having a read or sharing your thoughts Click Here
There is a Geeklist where members have posted pictures of their gaming caves. I really enjoy seeing the areas others have created and decided to share pictures of our gaming room(s). To view the pictures Click Here
Bixby's Guestbook (Where are you from?)
I have met some great people on BGG face to face. Some have been at conventions such as BGG.CON, others while my wife and I were traveling abroad. A couple of people local to me are now part of my core group of gamers / friends. This thanks to the magic of the BoardGameGeek site. We are laid back and do not take life that seriously. Our journey is to be enjoyed, savoured, and shared. If you are of similar mind and are in the area, drop us a line. Perhaps we can play a game or two and have a pint of beer to toast the occasion.
Matt & KathyConnect via FaceBookVisit our profile on KIVACheck out our profile for GeocachingHave a look at my feed on TwitterSkype me at BixbyCanadaHave a look at account at LinkedINHave a look at my Extended BGG StatsRead the drivel at Bixby’s Bevy of BanalityCome share a toast at Untappd Connect on InstagramLook at my Gaming photos on FlickrMy FitBit Profile is Here