Twenty-eleven has had it's shares of ups and downs for me.  All in all, it's been an amazing year.

Just this past week, I've managed to really live up my last bits of 2011.  During the last week of December, I went to Longwood Gardens to check out their night time light display.  It was worth dealing with the cold (it got down to 26F that night) to see their winter time display.  The last time I was at Longwood was during the day.  There were some parts that I liked better in the daylight, but the night time was still really impressive.  To be honest, I think Longwood is much more worth visiting at night.  One of the best parts was a fountain display near the entrance into the gardens.  All of the water jets had lights under them that would change color as the music played on.  The jets alone made for an interesting show, but the lights definitely made it much more captivating.  That alone was worth dealing with the night time cold.  To help beat the cold, I spend some time hiding in the Cafe.  It was a little bit expensive, but the food was good and they had beer (how could you go wrong?!).  Though it has a very cafeteria look, the food was definitely not cafeteria quality.  I'm kind of sorry that I didn't find that sooner.

I'll skip over the part about the New Year's Eve party and leave that for the people who are on my Facebook :).

New Year's Day was really special this year.  I've lived in Philadelphia for most of my life, but I had never seen the Mummers Parade.  Well, that changed.  I spent a few hours of this year hanging out on Broad Street and watching the show.  I don't think I've ever been this fascinated with costumes before -- there's just something about watching a bunch of men dressed like women march around while playing the banjo!  Today was a perfect day for it -- it was in the high 4o's/low 50's, sunny, and relatively calm.

Now that 2011's over, I have a lot to look forward to in 2012.  For starters, I've been asked to resume my work on 0 A.D.'s website.  I've also started work on finding a way to use 0 A.D. in computer science education for high schoolers (more on that later).  The big change this year is the new job, but I'll leave that for another post.

Happy 2012!

- bstempi