The Beginning Of The End

Of 2010. Today I’ll provide a cursory round up of the past week’s activity. And tomorrow I start an annual three-day tradition of year-end wrap up posts.

Where To Begin?
It’s only been a (holiday shortened) week since I’ve last posted a real blog post, but so much, not all of which I can divulge, has transpired.

I’ve Been Working On The Demo
All the live long day (and most nights). With CES just a few weeks away and a demo of an app promised I’ve been putting in many extra hours at work. I am not alone in this effort, at least two other people have been there with me, and one of those also came into the office on Christmas Eve with his wife as well. I’m hoping this week is back to normal and I can regain some of my sanity — though truth be told with work at the forefront of my brain I’ve had little time to mull on my life’s other issues, though I have one thing which keeps creeping back in…

Bah Humbug
On Thursday evening I left work early and headed to the Shakespeare Tavern for their performance of “A Christmas Carol.” The play was outstanding, though I’m sure the wine and Smoking Bishop consumed didn’t hinder my enjoyment any.

Tis The Season For Giving
I wasn’t feeling all that great or festive on Friday evening after I left the office so I decided on skipping the two social engagements to which I had been invited. Instead I decided to spend the night at home. Alone. To raise my spirits (both literally and figuratively) I chose to drink some “special” beer which, after dropping $140 for alcohol at Total Wine on Friday morning, barely made a dent in my stash. While drinking the night away I launched my browser and started donating to charities/entities who were on my “Good” list — The Story with Dick Gordon, This American Life, Horizon Theatre — to name some. By night’s end I barely remembered why I was sad, and my Grinch-like heart had grown two sizes.

The Return Of Tweety Bird Waffling
You may remember last year I broke recent tradition and headed south for the winter, thus missing the annual Tweety Bird Waffle gathering at ITP-Reader Betsy’s. This year I decided to brave the cold (not that I had much choice with the CES demo looming) and make a triumphant return. The food was plentiful, as were the mimosas, and by early afternoon a “wintry mix” had started to fall from the skies. It was at that time that I made the decision to stay close to home and avoid any nasty road conditions which would inevitably plague the area. After watching Sideways (and discovering that Betsy and I had an odd connection to the movie involving a now-married couple of ex-hashers) I drove home in the Jackmobile and spent the rest of the evening snuggled warmly in my bed.

ITP Flickr Pic
Here’s your obligatory “Reese during Tweety Bird WaffleFest” photo.
It's A Dog's Life
There is a bit of competition in the Betsy household this year as her new pup Bella sought attention each and every time I tried to take a photo of Reese.

The Next Step
I’ve been living a life of regret for some time. So, I’ve decided to get the jump on New Year’s and make some changes today. Nothing drastic mind you, but just some things that will lead me toward a happier path in life.

On Christmas night I signed up to run the Twisted Ankle Half Marathon. Wait. What? That’s right, after a few year hiatus (I ran the first four held) I am returning with a vengeance — which means that I’ll have to start training, soon. The training won’t start tonight however as I am tackling Mount St. Laundry tonight. After weeks of neglect (and coming nowhere near running out of clean clothes) I have loaded the Jackmobile up with laundry.

(This may be a repeat, but it’s been a week) I’ll also need to find the time to take the Jackmobile in for an oil change and to have Lam look at the transmission. You’d think that a rebuilt transmission would last for as long as the original, but mere thousands of miles later the Jackmobile is shifting hard. I’ve already checked the transmission fluid and it appears to be fine. This could be the final straw for Jackmobile and me.

Stats & Goals
Current Mood – nervous about setting myself up for disappointment
Current Music – listening to a CBC Radio3 “Ab Originals” podcast
Website Of The Day – With the reported demise of a few weeks ago a lot of people are jumping on the Pinboard bandwagon. Even though the price for entry is slowly increasing I am waiting it out to see what other options I may have.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – nothing
Morning Weigh-In – bah humbug
Pages Of 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die Read – 77

Foot Mileage – ~10 miles
Wheel Mileage – 0 miles
Pushups – 0
Situps – 0
Stairs – 55 flights

Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 0 (0)

Vegetarian Days – 2
Carnivorous Days – 24

Marta Rides To Work – 0
Bike Rides To Work – 0

December Goals
– Not to get sick for the entire month
– Not get fired from my job
– Run no fewer than 75 miles
– Prepare Sharpened Stone, LLC for 2011
– Lose two pounds
– Eat vegetarian at least one day a week
– A couple of secret goals which I will not divulge

2010 Goals
– Reduce my weight to 185 pounds (starting weight was 198 pounds) [update: On July 1 I’ve sadly gained weight; I’m at 203 pounds]
– Completely read the book 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die
– Earn at least $150 through photography sales in order to cover the cost for the renewal of the Sharpened Stone.
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop
– Enter no fewer than three photographic competitions / gallery showings
Get the Black Sheep stats out of Excel and online, completed
Ride in no fewer than two 50 mile or 50K bike rides, completed
Complete my Taco Mac Passport requirement of 125 beers, completed

The Unmeasurable
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient programmer in PHP and CSS Objective-C
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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20 Responses to The Beginning Of The End

  1. Barb says:

    I thought A Christmas Carol was excellent as well, but it may have been becausse of a pain pill plus the smoking bishop & the wine 😉

    I also spent Christmas Eve at home alone resting (thanks to the periodontist & those pain meds).
    But, before that I spent the day with some friends & their kids visiting Allan at the firehouse. The joy on those kid’s faces climbing on the fire engine was incredible, I think they (and their parents) will be talking about that adventure for a long time. The big ladder truck was going out to run an errand, so they took everyone for a trip around the block. I can’t wait to see some of the pictures taken.

    Christmas was very different this year, with Allan’s brother’s family here. Actually having Santa & kids involved was interesting. It’s been a long time since I’ve spent Christmas morning with children. Played a few games – & because of Steve & Debbie – we now have Dominoes, but didn’t keep score as Kaleb (5) was playing & he doesn’t take losing well. It was a pretty even game over all though, everyone won at least one game.

  2. bob says:

    Good on you for signing up for twisted ankle, I’m looking forward to a nice camping weekend. Since I have all but retired from running I will be holding down camp while you all run.

    Barb, you are right about Christmas being different. It was really cool to watch Travis’ reaction to the gifts Santa left him.

  3. It was good meeting Kevin and Katrina (that’s her name, right?) I wouldn’t have picked Kevin out of a lineup of potential brother suspects for Allan, but then I’m from a family of two who happen to look much alike (though I have more hair, though my brother got the ability to pick up women).

    Barb, I’m shocked you didn’t jump all over my mood this morning — not that I’d give any further details. 😉

    For some reason I’m still listening to Christmas music.

    Cheddarhead is this Saturday folks! I hope the predicted rain won’t keep you from coming out!

    Bob, good on you for signing up for BRAG. If I had the time off from work I’d do so (finally). Count me in for many of your training rides.

  4. Barb says:

    Martha is better at that……. 😉 But – I do want to know, you know I’m nosy.

    We will BOTH be at Cheddarhead this year, Allan doesn’t have to work!

    We are considering BRAG, trying to work out some vacation ideas. Kevin & Katrina want us to come to Spain, but April would be a good month for all of us, just not sure if it is in the budget for this year. (I can’t go in the fall, I can’t get enough time off at that time of the year). All summer Kevin is busy with all the cycling tours that BMC is involved in. I also have some other friends may be moving to another part of Spain next September, so delaying it a year might not be a bad idea either.

  5. Martha says:

    I’m at the office today through Wednesday, if you make it over this way I can pick you up (or whatever), the office is empty so I got time.

    Barb, I hope you’re feeling better. My doctor appointment didn’t happen, they couldn’t find my ‘paperwork’, I was a bit irked that I took the time to drive over and pay for parking.

    I signed up for TA yesterday, along with a few other races, before the Jan 1st price increase. Now you have to come out and run with me and my friends, it’s usually a small group and we aren’t fast, it will be good for you. There is talk of heading down to Pine Mountain on Jan 2nd if you (or anyone else) wants to carpool.

    Again, small world yesterday…while on trail I was talking to James about how once you start the in the trail/ultra running world you start to know everyone.

  6. Yeah the trail/ultra world is small. James and I became friends through Twitter and Atlanta Metblogs. James has talked about going hashing, but he doesn’t drink so I’ve not encouraged him to do so. 😉

  7. Lisa says:

    We have significant snow here in NC, don’t people know to use that as an excuse to stay home for a snow day? Why do these people (patients) continue to interrupt my attempts to use/learn my new NOOKcolor? Am I really supposed to be symphathetic to their aliments when I have such important work to do??? Damn them….

  8. Barb says:

    Allan’s brother got a Kindle, a co-worker got the Sony reader, I can’t wait to hear which one is really the best one.

    (Allan got a laptop too – but he likes real books, he isn’t sold on the electronic readers yet – he thinks they are only good if you travel)

  9. Lisa says:

    @ Barb: I love books, but hate the clutter. I like the NOOK because you can check out library books (I’m frugal). It is interesting that at least the NOOK is about the size and weight of the “average” book, most of the covers open like books too.

  10. Martha says:

    So far Jerry hasn’t read anything on his Kindle, he seems to prefer audiobooks, sigh, I guess I should have bought him an iPod instead. Lisa, the clutter is one of the reasons I wanted to get Jerry the Kindle, his paperbacks are all over my house.

    Oh, wow, is it slow here. Four hours to go, the gym was closed this morning so I got here early. I guess I could run down to the car and get the owner’s manual, maybe I could stop yelling at her if I knew how things worked?

    Do not, I repeat, do not let the fear of being disappointed stop you from trying something. I wasted too many years for that very same reason.

    “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.

  11. As an Apple shareholder you all should be helping a brutha out by buying iPads! 🙂

    Oh crap, I just saw that Amazon has a sale on PocketWizards $260 for a set. They normally cost $180 each. Do I, or don’t I?

  12. Well, I just talked myself off the ledge (and didn’t spend $260 for the PocketWizards) since I don’t *need* them and rarely make use of the two that I have.

    I may be doomed if I don’t try, but that’s the “safe” option. I suppose it could be rightly said that I’ve played it safe for too long.

  13. Barb says:

    Books, clutter, that is our house, but at least Allan has his library when the majority of the books are in their proper place (in alphabetical order by author too!)
    Library books – now that is a cool feature.

    It is sort of slow here, but with end of the year this week for many of the comapnies I deal with – it isn’t as slow as I’d like it.

    Now you are going to make me look up a PocketWizard…. aren’t you?

    Playing it safe…….. why?

  14. PocketWizards are radio-controlled triggers for photography. It allows you to trigger a flash (or camera) from a distance without being physically connected.

    Playing it safe……. because that’s what I do.

  15. Barb says:

    thanks – now I know I don’t need a PocketWizard.

    I forgot to finish my thought (damn it when work gets in the way) – I was going to say – Playing it safe – why do that – it is no fun…… gotta go for it!

  16. Martha says:

    You can read library and other free books on the Kindle as well. Just got a call from Jerry…I sent him my account info, link, login, etc….so instead he’s on Amazon, trying to buy a CD to put on the Kindle. I love him but…

    Paulie, whatever it is, just do it.

  17. Lisa says:

    @ Martha: I did a lot of research on e-readers before I got Randy to buy me one and the Nook is the only one that you can check out books froma public library or get books from other sources. Pretty sure the Kindle you can only buy books or get free books from Amazon.

    @ Paulie: The Nook is much cheaper than your Apple thingy!

    @ Barb: Cam we talk Allan into making omlets sometime this weekend?

  18. I know the eReaders are cheaper than the iPad but I don’t own stock in Amazon/Sony/Barnes & Noble. Why don’t you want me to have enough money to become someone’s Sugar Daddy?

  19. Barb says:

    Lisa……… hmmm – we may be able to do that – I’m always game for a good omelet. He gets off work at the fire house NYE morning – maybe we should do it that Friday morning? (he likes to sleep in that one of every 3 mornings, so NYD might be a bad idea, plus a neighbor is having a party, that starts at noon, so I’d like to make an appearance there before Cheddarhead).

    When are you getting here?

  20. Hi Paulie,

    Thought you might want to know about our new website, –

    Might be able to help you with the goals you’ve been working on.

    All the best,

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