I was prompted by a meme in The Bruce‘s recent post (which was, in turn, inspired by another post, and so on, as memes are apt to do) to dig through my mail and find the oldest message. On my current machine (a MacBook Air whose home directory had previously been a MacBook Pro, nee PowerBook G4, nee iMac G3, nee Debian Linux on a Toshiba business laptop, nee Linux on various frankenstein PCs) that was May 7, 2001. It is a ticket confirmation to Cirque Du Soleil’s “O” at the Bellagio during the DefCon of that year. That was amongst receipts and confirmations I felt, at the time, important enough to move over to the Mac. Previous to Apple’s Mail.app, I was using Pine and Unix mail directories. I’m confident I have those backed up on CD somewhere. I’m also confident that I’m too lazy to go back and look through those to find older messages. In a related note, my first blog entry dates back to a little later that year: August 29th, 2001.
Looking back on the past year, there were plenty of highlights to be happy about. Due to the economy, the year was not as prosperous and happy as previous years, so does not have as many things to highlight, but still has a few important items.
* New house! (Technically, we got it in late November of the previous year, but we were not really fully moved in until January or February, so it’s on the list) Also: making the jacuzzi functional
* Best Wife Ever. I’m always amazed at how dynamic and adaptive she is, whether it’s her business, social calendar, inventiveness in the kitchen and around the house, fearless career changes, or just life in general. She has always been, and continues to be, great.
* I still have a decent job at a decent company with a good balance between research and development of new products and technologies versus maintaining old ones. This past year got even better because I got a cool new boss who acts as a good buffer between myself and the CEO.
* Yeay for friends and nights out beering with them!
* Building up Kim’s business: getting better at professional photo retouching, fixing up the web store, the newsletter publishing, and all of that.
* Tearing down Kim’s business: on the one hand, it feels all to final, on the other, she’s finishing her degree and will be better prepared to “reboot” her business, if that’s what she wants. Or to start an entirely different company with entirely different purpose.
* Being part of the community, in the form of neighborhood association (or as they sometimes say, “NA”) meetings. Calling them “NA Meetings” always squiggs me out, as I’ve learned “NA” as initials to an entirely different sort of meeting.
* Norman, the semi-feral kitty we rescued from the streets.
I don’t really make new years resolutions. I generally try to improve myself throughout the year, a little at a time, instead of attempting a big transformative change once a year. A few ways I have been trying to better myself and will continue to do:
* I have increasingly been learning that the entertainment value and networking provided by local events is highly important. Everything these days seems like it points back to creating and maintaining local communities–from sustainable “green” living to technical learning, sharing, and creating (so called “barcamps.”) I’ve been to a few of the bigger events (Ignite Portland), but have yet to go to any of the smaller ones like tweetups and things at cubespace, beer-and-blog, and whatnot. I have Portland Barcamp on my calendar and plan on attending other smaller events as time permits.
* I started going to my Yoga For Stiffs class less and less frequently last year. This was partly due to money, partly falling out of a routine, partly moving further away and driving less frequently. I’m not comfortable with a lot of bike riding, especially after dark, and bus transfers to class would have been a pain. I have been researching more advanced yoga and differing forms of exercise, like Tai Chi, that are easier to get to. I’m ready to start taking a few sample classes, but if two new years of Yoga for Stiffs (hence the desire to try something more advanced or different) have taught me anything, it’s that the first few weeks of the new year are overcrowded in such classes and you are unable to get the attention you deserve. I may wait until late January or early February to let things settle before starting up again.
* I have been cleaning up and minimizing the amount of physical crud in my life and will continue to do so. It’s amazing how many useless trinkets, so-called timesaving gadgets, and maybe-I’ll-need-it-someday junk you can collect, never use, take up space that could be better utilized for things you actually use, and eventually end up in landfills. I’ve been seriously getting rid of useless stuff I already have and making great efforts to prevent such kipple from even entering the house in the first place. It’s an ongoing battle, but after an initial purge it takes very little active work, just a little ongoing thought.
* In the past few months, I’ve turned over a new leaf as far as style and looks go. My clothing has gotten less industrial-music, less punk-rock. My hair went from waist-length two-tone to natural color to short. There is still more work to do this year with style and clothes and more self-discovery of what my new style really is.
So that’s the old year and the new year, wrapped as best as these sorts of things can be in a blog entry.