Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Two years ago, I tried making some resolutions. Last year, I even gauged my success for the previous year, but I never did get around to posting a new set of resolutions. I’ve never been a big fan of the New Year’s Resolution, but having that list a couple years ago did help me focus on getting some things done. In that spirit, I’ve decided to post a list of resolutions once again. Some of them aren’t traditional resolution fodder, but merely projects I’ve been planning for a while, to do “maybe after the new year, when things slow down.” Hopefully listing them here will encourage me to do them.

Personal
  1. Lose some weight and get in shape. I know this is everyone’s #1 resolution, but I need to focus on this. When I stopped smoking four or five years ago, I was out of shape, but within my ideal weight range. I gained alot of weight in the first year after quitting, and have lowly drifted up the scale in recent years. My goal is to lose 75 pounds by the end of the year… this will put me at the top of my ideal weight range. I know from experience that diets only work for a month or two. Instead, I intend to begin by using the gym at work at least 3 times per week, reducing junk food, and reducing portions at meals. If I don’t see some progress by the end of January, I can get more aggressive.

  2. Early to bed, early to rise. I’ve always been a night owl, and never a morning person. This often has a domino effect of a few days time, and I have more trouble getting up each morning. Fortunately my job allows me some flexibility in when I arrive, but I’d rather be leaving earlier. Also, while on vacation last summer, I somehow got into an altered cycle, getting up every morning around 7am (wicked early for me), and enjoyed being up before everyone.

  3. Write more music. I spent a litte time at the keyboard this past year, and came up with one piece I’m happy with. I’d like to find time to do more this year.

jclark.org
  1. New organization with tags. I’ve been feeling boxed in by my category hierarchy for a while, and tags (like del.icio.us) make much more sense. This will require some planning, since I don’t want to break any old URIs. I’ll use redirects if I have to, but a system that doesn’t need redirects would be even better. This includes story URIs, category URIs, and date archive URIs. I’m considering a switch to WordPress like Douglas just did. This would also allow for drafts, something I’d really like to have.

  2. New Look and Feel. I’ve been working on this, very on-and-off, for months. I’ve about come to the conclusion I can’t do what I wanted to do, but I may do a scaled down version instead. I’ve got a picture Sean took for me that I’d really like to use.

  3. More Howtos. I’ve written a number of howto articles here over the past few years, and they tend to be among the most popular articles on the site, with lots of search engine visitors. I’ve found that I really enjoy writing them, so I intend to do more of them. I may even make a sub-site to house them.

  4. Post More. I did pretty well for the first half of ’05, but fell down during the second half. This post is #294, just shy of the 300 post mark I had set as a goal for the end of ’04. I’m going to target the 400 post mark by year’s end.

Projects
  1. Improve my email. I have a couple of different email addresses that I use; one for companies I spend money with, and one for everyone else. In addition, I’m subscribed to a bunch of mailing lists (which I need to reduce); all together, it’s a real pain to check my mail if I’m not at home on my primary Mac. I’d really like to setup to pop all of my mail into a self-hosted IMAP server. Alternatively, I might consider looking at gmail again, if I can make it work transparently with my jclark.org email address.

  2. Improve my home network. I’ve got a couple of PCs around the house in addition to the iMac and Powerbook, and I’ve never gotten Printer Sharing to work as seemlessly as it should. I’m also currently using my old Desktop PC as little more than a printer share, which is a waste. I want to free up the PC for possible use as a server (see later items), and get the printer shared to all of the machines that need it, seemlessly. I won’t outline the issues I’ve had with this in the past, except to say that I’ll be getting started by upgrading the iMac to Tiger (which I got for Christmas).

  3. Automate Photo Distribution. I’ve been using iPhoto on the iMac to manage pictures from our digital cameras, but this makes it difficult to print them (Due to the issues above, I can’t normally print from the iMac), and for Sherri to access them from her Windows Laptop. I normally have to explicitly export a number of photos to the old Desktop PC (going away, see above), and then she accesses them via a file share. She’d like to have copies of all the pictures on her Laptop, so she can show them when we travel. I’m going to figure out how to automatically publish all pictures in iPhoto’s library to other locations (primarilly her laptop, but possibly also to a file server as a backup). The laptop is often asleep, so it will have to sync when ever it’s awake, automagically. Also, I want to use the iPhoto albums to provide some kind of organization when exporting. Ideas for publishing/syncing include creating an Atom feed and designing a custom aggregator, and/or using rsync. I’m hoping iPhoto’s album data is stored in XML so I can get at it easily. Also, once I upgrade to Tiger, I may find some use from Automator.

  4. Backups & Storage. I need a backup solution badly. If the iMac died today, I’d probably lose some photos, and alot of other data. Same for the other PCs. I’d really like to setup a RAID storage array somewhere on the network, and make backups to it. I’m considering a NAS Raid solution from Infrant, but I’ve also got a couple PCs that could become servers. Big storage on the network could also be helpful for number 5….

  5. Consider dumping TiVo and building a MythTV setup. This one isn’t definate, but I’m certainly considering it. If I do, I’ll probably have 3 to 5 TV sets connected, so it could make for some fun HOWTOs.

  6. Household projects. There’s a number of these which I won’t belabor. The biggies are cleaning and renovating the basement, and renovating the family room.

  7. Secret Project. I can’t say now, it would spoil a surprise for someone. I’ll tell next year, if it gets completed.

So, there they are. In the past, this has been a Monthly Blogging Challenge. I don’t think anyone’s posted one for January yet, so I’ll follow tradition, and challenge everyone to post resolutions/goals for the new year. If you did this last year, be sure to review how you did as well. If you participate, please post a comment here with a link, send a trackback.

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3 Responses to “Happy New Year”

  1. Uncle Roger Says:

    Drat… Beat me to it…<br/>

    I was going to issue a different challenge to avoid this very topic (considering how piss poorly I did on last year’s list.) Oh well. I guess that will have to wait while I go set myself up for failure once again. 8^)

  2. Jason Says:

    Sorry for that, Roger. If it makes you feel any better, I’m not off to a very auspicious start… I haven’t made it into bed before 1:30am any night this year, and I haven’t been to the gym once. I’m taking the approach of “easing into things.”

    Keep your challenge handy, Feb. is all yours.

  3. chornbe Says:

    I have basically only one “resolution” for ’06 – continue to simply life, where ever possible.

    Easier said than done, some times. But I’m working on it.

    Professionally, I’ve decided to rededicate myself to my job. I’ve been just cruising thru’ it, mindlessly, for some time now trying to make up my mind whether to switch jobs… or even careers… for a year or two now.

    Oh, I’m dedicated to doing the job, alright. Probably a little too much so, some times. I spend the evenings when necessary. I’ve spent this weekend babysitting the recent upgrade when it would have been easy to just let it wait until Monday.

    But the career has been… a thorn in my side for some time now.

    I don’t think it’s any secret that I’ve been less than tickled with my career as a whole. I’ve basically been hating working on computers for the last year or so. I’ve certainly not enjoyed the politics, the meetings, etc.

    I’ve gone on several interviews and ultimately turned down the offers that came my way. Then after a couple of those, I started asking myself why.

    Why, indeed. I’m making good money, I’ve got 7 years in at this place, I’m sitting in the best professional position of my life and I’m (I guess) respected and accepted by my coworkers as someone with at least a smattering of a clue. I have a good work ethic and absolutely no aspirations of being the boss. That makes me an excellent cog in the machine… and our machine is far from perfect and could still use my help. So with all that in mind, and with the fact that I can still show up every day and make a difference, I should.

    So, I will.

    Probably sounds pretty naive and idealistic, huh? Ah well, call me silly.

    As far as the personal life goes, I’m making great strides in my 2-year plan to be fully debt-free, excepting the new house which has appreciated enough to almost be a trivial thing at this point. And believe me, all that certainly plays a part in the professional decisions, too.

    So… life plods on and hopefully I can continue to keep all the complications and complexity of life in check.