New Year’s Eve/Day is my favorite holiday. I like the fact that it comes after the somewhat stress-inducing Christmas holidays. For me, it’s usually spent with friends. The air is crisp, ballgames are a-plenty, and it’s a time for introspection, reflection, celebration, and resolution.
Part of me was thinking one of my resolutions would be to blog something every day, but even I know that it’s not very likely that that will happen. :)
I found a neat site earlier this year called “MindTools.com” and on it, it listed some questions that helped me focus my thinking on my goals. I also read another article yesterday about how to make sure you set goals that are not overwhelming, making sure you frame your goals positively, etc.
So with those things in mind, I’m actually making my goals public. Here they are for the world to see. If I don’t mention a specific time frame, it just means that I want to accomplish the goal by the end of the year.
Do you want to achieve any artistic goals? If so, what?
– I want to either take a pottery class, or create at least one sculpey figurine.
– I will take at least one “good” photo a week.
Is any part of your mindset holding you back? Is there any part of the way that you behave that upsets you? If so, set a goal to improve your behavior or find a solution to the problem.
I have to stop procrastinating when I have things I NEED to do, but don’t want to do.
What level do you want to reach in your career?
I don’t really have anywhere I can advance where I’m currently employed, and I don’t want to leave either, so I guess I will just keep doing the best job I can where I am.
Is there any knowledge you want to acquire in particular? What information and skills will you need to achieve other goals?
I want to get a masters in marketing, but I don’t know if I can afford to start this year. After I take a look at my finances later this year, I might be able to take at least one class.
How much do you want to earn by what stage?
Regular job: I need to save as much as possible. My new budget will help me in that regard. I will increase my contribution to money market by $100 per month by the end of the first quarter.
Freelance: I am going to update my Web site and actively seek new work. I will have updated my site by the end of January, and I will have a marketing plan in place by the end of February. Would like to make at least $7,500 a year on freelance.
Are there any athletic goals you want to achieve, or do you want good health deep into old age? What steps are you going to take to achieve this?
– I will lose two pounds by the end of January.
– I will eat less fast food… no more than three total meals a week.
– I will drink at least one cup of water a day for one month, increasing as I get used to it. As I increase water consumption, I will decrease other sugar drinks.
– I will do at least thirty minutes of something physical at least twice a week for the first quarter of the year.
How do you want to enjoy yourself? – You should ensure that some of your life is for you!
By the end of the year:
- Coke Museum
- Fernbank Museum
- Atlanta Zoo
- CNN Center
- Stone Mountain
- Go to the lake as much as possible
- Take one real vacation
Do you want to make the world a better place? If so, how?
I will volunteer to recycle aluminum cans at work.
I think these things are doable and good for me. How about you? What are your goals for the new year?
Now Jane and Sandee do not despise grocery shopping nearly as much as I do (It’s only one step above ironing pleated pants, as far as I’m concerned), so they were eager to go to the store to see how it compared to stores like Kroger and Publix. I, on the other hand, had heard from co-workers that it really was cheaper than more mainstream stores, and since I’m on a very tight budget, I was willing to check it out.
So the three of us drove over to the one nearest my house (about 1.5 miles away…not too bad). We went in without a cart, because we were not intending to buy anything. What we didn’t know was that you have to deposit $.25 to unlock a cart from the chain, then return the cart to the chain to get the money back. This “bring it back to get your money back” method keeps carts from littering the parking lot, as well as needing to hire people to gather them up. (Good idea #1) Read the rest of this entry »
“Balloon Boy” was such a temptation to just flail all over those crazy parents. The economy is another. I’ve put myself on a strict budget now, so I’m sure that the daily logging of spending will keep it in the fore of my thoughts and is sure to spill into the blog. Then, of course, there have been all sorts of goings on that show up in the news… murder, mayhem, odd, bizarre, funny videos, and heartwarming stories as well.
Of course, the college football season has been interesting… not too bad for the Auburn Tigers, considering they have a new coach, but certainly, they have played with an inconsistency that is hard on a fan’s heart. :)
I guess what’s surprising me most right now is that it really doesn’t seem that long since I last posted. My life is good and satisfying, but sometimes, it feels like it’s slipping right through my fingers. I find myself wishing I was more “aware” of the special times in my life, and valuing them for the treasures they are. And by special times, I don’t even mean things like vacation, but just little things like times with friends, laughing at crazy things… enjoying the devotion of my aging pets… a relaxing weekend, etc.
It won’t be long before I enter the last year of my 40s. I’m going to use this year to get physically healthier so that I’ll enter my 50s with a real good chance to (at least physically) do the things on my “Bucket List.”
Now, to figure out what to put on the Bucket List! :)
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.
~Louis Hector Berlioz
Snippets of things that have crossed my mind this week… or this year… or my whole life.
Jaycee Lee Duggard
Arrggghhhh… that poor woman who turns up after being abducted 18 years ago. Thank goodness she’s alive, but jeez! Can you imagine what kind of emotional basketcase she must be… not only to have had to endure the physical torments of her abductor, but also being subject to his insane religious crap!! And then, as horrible as it must have been, to have it all, the only life she’s known for a LONG time, ripped away?!?!
I read some of the posts on the guy’s blog… the most “interesting” one being where he discussed how he can control sound with his mind, and how ultimately, he will use it for the salvation of the whole world. Um, no thanks.
Even though I’m not a parent, if this had happened to a child of mine and if I was given the chance to inflict punishment, I would definitely invoke the “eye for an eye” retribution in this case. I’d stick him in a small place in the middle of nowhere, have his only access to another human being when someone is raping him, create enough pain to simulate giving birth to two children, take away his access to drugs (which apparently, he’s done a ton of), and make him listen to something totally antithetical to his belief system blared over loud speakers 24/7. And I’d make sure he had a plentiful supply of sharp razors nearby, just in case he wanted to do us all a favor and rid the world of some trash.
If this were your child, and you had a chance to do anything you wanted to her abductor, what would you do? Read the rest of this entry »
I started off thinking that I was going to blog about color and light, and how, without light, there is no true “color.” But the more I thought about it and read about it, the more my stream of consciousness took me into some murky backwaters. The thought of trying to explain what I was thinking, and the implications of it all was almost existential. For goodness sake! I don’t want to write that heavy stuff on a Thursday night when the Golden Girls are on, and I’m SURE you don’t want to read it! :)
But while I was reading about color theory, I came across a couple of neat optical illusions (and thus the throwback to the creepy Doug “It’s an Il-LU-sion” Henning from the 70s).
The first illusion is pretty straightforward and simple, but interesting nonetheless. See the caption for what makes it interesting.
The second one is really cool. I will explain it here, rather than in the caption.
(Well, the animation would not work when I published this. You can go here to see the effect, but you can read what to expect below. Sorry about that!)
There are twelve purple dots, and a every 1/10 of a second or so, a purple dot is replaced with a lilac dot in sequence clockwise around the circle.
If you stare at the cross in the middle of the circle for about 20 seconds, your peripheral vision will see this:
First, the lilac dot will become a gap, moving around the circle.
Then, the gap will appear as a green dot. (This happened quickly for me. I didn’t see the gap but for a second.)
Finally, the dots will disappear as if it’s “Pac Man” eating them up!
How cool is that!
I sat here for a while, trying to think of something to write about tonight… something profound and moving. However, I believe my brain is running on empty after a day of thinking hard at work. (If only there was a way to turning thinking and problem solving into some sort of caloric activity!)
Anyway, I couldn’t come up with anything, so I’m just sharing a couple of photos I really like, one in an Escher sort of way. These were taken a couple of years ago when I was visiting Nashville with Jane. We went to Union Station, a beautiful building that used to be a train station, now a hotel. I so much admire any architectural element that pays real attention to detail, from the stained glass to the sculpture to the carving in the wood. Granted, sometimes, the details are not seen, not really taken in, and one may wonder… why the effort? But when you look at a place like this, you realize that the details, seen and unseen, work together to make up the whole, and the effect is awe-inspiring. I feel the same way about the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC.
What man-made structure inspires you?
Can you feel it in the air? When the sun starts setting just a little sooner, the humidity drops almost imperceptibly, and the first leaves take a leap into the great unknown… it means one thing… well, it means two things… autumn is just around the corner, but more importantly, college football is almost here!!!!
This year is going to be interesting. It’s been a long time since I’ve been close to someone who loves college ball as much as I do. And I’m sure that the relationship will be “tested” since we are about as far apart as you can get on the rivalry spectrum… she’s a huge Alabama fan, while I prefer to cast my lot with the righteous and pull for Auburn.
We’ve already had quite a bit of back and forth and trash talking. She calls our new coach “Cheese Nip.” (His name is Chizik), and I call Alabama’s coach “Satan.” Not original, mind you, but perhaps more apropos. (For you Alabama fans, that means more “fitting.” :))
Anyway, I’m sure Auburn will have a rebuilding year with the new coach and not having much depth, while Alabama’s fortunes seem to be rising. BUT, at the end of the year, during the Iron Bowl, all the stats go out the window, and only heart and guts remain. And in that vein, we made a bet… If Auburn wins, I get to buy an Auburn sticker/decal of my choice, and she has to keep it on her car for a whole year. Of course, on the off chance that Alabama wins, I have to do the same with some vile piece of crap that she chooses.
But beyond the rivalry, I’m looking forward to Saturdays full of games and friends, food and fun. It doesn’t get much better than that!!