40 Before 40: Year 9

Well, it's here. I begin my 39th trip around the sun and I wish I could say that I've made decent progress on my list here, but honestly I haven't. Here's where I'm at:

#2: I can do it at any time. Just need to make an appointment.

#4: Need to train and get my ass in shape, but also possible.

#8: Life and work have been busy, but I'm working on Book 4 as fast as I can. Chipping away at that goal.

#6: I could do it, but I choose not to.

#10: Technically, I'm knocking that off the list this weekend with a nice solo birthday/anniversary trip to Colorado with the Missus.

#11: I'll give this until December, but I think we're pretty much there. 

#13: Can do this anytime as well...  

#16: Jenkins' biography of Churchill is the only one left on this list.

In short, I feel somewhat confident that I can get half of this list accomplished in the next year or so. Then I'll have to sit down and think about the next list. 50 Before 50!


1. Publish my novel.

2. Get another tattoo

3. Finish all 4,532 pages and 12 volumes of Winston Churchill's 'The Second World War.'

4. Run a 5k

5. Visit Every State in The Lower 48 (Slightly more achievable before I turn 40 then all 50, but I still want to get to all 50.)

6. Lose 50 lbs and keep the weight off. 

7. Pay off every single dime of my student loans.

8. Publish two more novels

9. Get the front deck replaced/get the patio area in the back done the way we want it.

10. Go on a cruise/solo trip with the Missus

11. I would like COVID to be over. Like to the point you can get a yearly shot if you want like the flu.

12. Find out if St. Louis and Kansas City are pretty cool, since people keep insisting that they are.

13. Well, I have a pair of Heely's now. Gotta learn how to use them.

14. Vikings/Packers at Lambeau. 'Nuff said.

15. Get an Ancestry.com membership to build out the family tree. (Also, do Ancestry DNA/23 and me)

16. Work on my backlog of non-fiction and history books, my Fraser biographies of Charles II and Cromwell, The Steel Bonnets and my Jenkins bios of Churchill and Gladstone are at the top of the list.

17. Read Wuthering Heights and understand/appreciate it.

18. Re-read and finish The Wheel of Time*

19. Read Pride and Prejudice and understand it/appreciate it.

20. I want to check out the public astronomy viewings at the University

21. Collect more flags and fly them! (Also, maybe join NAVA?)

22. I want a proper rowing machine and eventually, rowing lessons. 

23. Be able to buy a really rare bottle of whiskey for my 40th Birthday.

24. I'd like to visit Kentucky and check out the Bourbon Trail.

25. I'd like to visit NYC.

26. Ride a day of RAGBRAI.

27. Ride the whole week of RAGBRAI.

28.  Learn how to make bread from scratch.

29. Golf or tennis lessons with the Missus

30. Wrap up Duolingo courses for my six languages: French, Spanish, Portuguese, Swahili, Arabic and Hindi.

31. Get something pierced again.

32. Visit Isle Royale National Park

33. Go to Trekfest.

34. Take a big giant family vacation to the UK and Ireland

35. Make our house perfect (or move to a bigger and better house.)

36. Be able to afford a subscription to The Economist. (Change this)

37. I want to fix up the Weber Grill and maybe get good enough at grilling stuff to get a smoker.

38. I'd like to see an Iowa away game somewhere. (Football or Basketball.)

39. Go to an MLS/NWSL game.

40. Get a short story published somewhere. 


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