2014 Rocked! Well, mostly…

Where in the Hell did the time go? Seems like we just started this year, doesn’t it? Anyway, 2015 is fast-approaching and I’ve been putting this recap off, long-enough. To 2014… ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…’ But, it’s all over, now, ain’t it?

It wasn’t all fun and games, this year. Erica and I went our separate ways in July; and we seem to be distancing ourselves further apart, as the ball prepares to drop on 2015. Kids… Funny, how you delude yourself into thinking you’ve done everything right, only to find out, apparently – that you’ve done it all wrong! Off with my head!! That’ll teach me…eh? Just the same, I wish her the best that life has to offer, and – I’m satisfied that I taught her how to be the best she can be, in return. Whatever her feelings, I love her to the moon, and – back, again.

As for the future, I’m about to be laid-off from my job, (Woohoo!!); which means, I get to survive the pitfalls and suffer-through the degradation of Utah’s unemployment-bureaucracy’s finest. (Hey, they’re trained to be that way… Right? Those kinds of assholes aren’t born that way! Er… Scratch that, would ya.) I guess, it’s just-as-well that Facebook took away my identity at the last minute, today; (yeah, I’m a little peeved about that, so I’m going to leave FB for a while). Anyway, I won’t have to see the posts from those judgmental, brain-washed, right-leaning citizens, telling me what a freeloader I am, for being on the government’s dime. I’m hopeful, though, that the carwash, down the street, will have an opening, and I can get back to the grind in record-time…

Of course, 2014 was one of the best years I’ve ever had, too. I found out who my real friends are, and – they’ve taught me valuable lessons in how to show compassion to my fellow-man. Damn… Are you all still here? I thought I saw you running out the backdoor! No, seriously folks, I couldn’t have made it through these dark days without them, and words just aren’t enough to tell them how grateful I am. They know who they are.

I hit some personal goals, this year; yes…the old dog learned some new tricks. As you know, I took back my life and ‘came out’ a new man, on my 48th birthday! It was the blog heard ’round the world! (Of course, my mother still hasn’t spoken of it – yet…) However, the support I got from you folks was overwhelming; “You really like me!” I really can’t thank you all enough. In breaking-free of my chains, I even influenced a few others to follow my lead. I’m just glad they chose to take their bulls by the horns, before they became nearly-geriatric, ya know. But, it’s been fantastic, for me, not hiding in the dark any longer.

This year, (thanks to the support of my good friends at Visionary Trek), I made my worldwide writing debut, and – I managed to garner some good reviews on my first published-article, (in regards to Joe Berenato’s New Life and Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics). I was rewarded for my efforts with a mention in Joe’s introduction; plus – he was kind enough to go further-still, by having Dayton Ward, Kevin Dilmore, Bob Greenberger and Keith DeCandido, (as well as, himself), sign a copy at Shore Leave 36. In-addition to that article, I posted 29 reviews on our site, and – as a result, (after trying for nearly 40 years), I got a question submitted to a comic-book’s letter’s page, in IDW’s The Q Gambit Issue 36. How cool, too, that it happens to be a story about my favorite Trek series, Deep Space Nine, that my favorite captain, Benjamin Sisko, is gracing that particular cover, and – that VisionaryTrek.com helped launch that letter’s page, ‘Open Channels, in Issue 35!

Speaking of comics, I became a comic book cameo-character in The City on the Edge of Forever; I’m the good-looking hobo (wearing my trademark hat), in that incredible series’ final issue! My God! I’m still in a state of nerdvana over this unbelievable honor, granted to me, no-less, by the great master, himself – JK Woodward! Dude… You have no idea how awesome I think you are, for doing that!! I have to say, 2014 started-out pretty-damn terrific, too, as New York Times Bestselling Author Dayton Ward, wrote me into his grand-finale of Star Trek: The Fall – Peaceable Kingdoms, as a namesake-character; Lt. Eric Cone, Federation Security, at your service. Mr. Ward… I think you know how I feel about that. What a great honor, sir.

I had the pleasure of serving you, and the VisionaryTrek.com followers, at Salt Lake Comic Con (as a member of the con’s press corps), not-once, but – twice! First, at the inaugural FanX, in April, then-again, at SLCC2, in September. What a blast! I met a few of my heroes in the Trek world: Peter David, Joe Corroney, Vic Mignogna, Kevin J. Anderson and Karl Urban. Plus, at my first press-conference, I made the governor of Utah wait for me to get out of Huston Huddleston’s restored ‘captain’s chair’ from the Enterprise D bridge, while I took my picture in it. (I got a damn-good picture of ‘The Gov,’ too, as he did his best Picard impression. Engage, indeed). But, on top of that, I met Barbara ‘Jeannie’ Eden, Lou ‘The Hulk’ Ferrigno, Sam ‘Darth Maul’ Witwer and several others! Hell, I even got to interview Neal Adams; getting my picture with the iconic Batman artist, as well! The highlight of SLCC2, though, has to be Joe Corroney. He took my limited-edition, leather-bound Star Wars Trilogy back to his hotel room and he drew Boba Fett inside; then – he signed it and inscribed it with a message commemorating the event! It is AWESOME!! Joe, you’re a great guy and we’re going to miss you at FanX2, in January.

I’d be remiss, if I didn’t give a shoutout to David S. Lawson. Thanks to David, I was reunited with some childhood geekery, in the forms of Col. Steve Austin, Oscar Goldman, Maskatron and the B.T.R.S. I have had a blast, y’all, reliving my youth; I’m a kid, again – going on missions-anew and blowing-up The Bionic Toy Action Page with my photos. Mr. Lawson: You da man, brother! Thank you! Also, I had some really-cool news from James Kuhoric (pertaining to The Six Million Dollar Man: Season Six), in-that, I played a minuscule role in some of the art changes, which were included in his comic-book series’ TPB, which – released on Christmas Eve. That, my friends, is a fanboy’s dream come true…

Lastly, I created the Batman Past, Present, Future page on FB, and – as of today, we are at 1,265 members! I couldn’t be more-thrilled with its success! For one thing, I started the page on a whim, but to have so many Batman lovers give it their support, it just boggles my mind. Not-to-mention, we have some really cool members; from writers, artists and inkers, to people from all walks of life. I love Batman, y’all; he’s the best superhero of the bunch, in my opinion, and I’ve had a great time meeting everyone who shares that love of the genre. Indeed, one of the very-best moments of 2014, for me, was sitting in the Batmobile at FanX, and sharing that moment on my page! Yeah… That was a huge bucket-list checkmark. It was priceless.

Well, if I didn’t lose you back there, I have to say ‘Thanks,’ to all of you, as well. It’s been a lot of fun, (for the most-part); and – I’ve sincerely-enjoyed sharing it with you. Now, we all get to ride into 2015 and see where that spits us out. I hope you all have a great year, and may all of your dreams come true!

Happy New Year!

Eric GatorOne Cone

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