Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life

Introduction

My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.


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Saturday, January 15, 2005

2005 Goals

So here's the second half of the January Blogging Challenge -- my goals for 2005. There are probably plenty more things I need to do and changes I ought to make, but this will have to do for starters.

I've separated the goals into personal, professional, family, home, and web related categories. I've included specific tasks where possible and the target dates are in italics. Goals which involve a continual effort, the target date is listed as Ongoing, but I've included a specific frequency (such as 10 per month) or deadline (such as within 24 hours) for each occurrence.

So, without further ado, here they are -- Uncle Roger's Goals for 2005:

Personal

Increase social interaction
I tend to be more of a loner than I'd like. Generally, unless there's some outside influence, I just go about my business and neglect the world around me, even though I'd really rather spend time with friends. I need to make a conscious effort to keep in touch and get together.

  • Plan and host one or more dinner parties per month
    The plan is just to have someone over for dinner once a month. Nothing fancy, just good company.
    Ongoing
  • Schedule one or more weekend play dates per month
    The kids need to play with other kids. It's good for parents to get together with other parents, to share tips, ideas, and sympathy.
    Ongoing

Reduce weight & increase strength
This has been an ongoing battle for me my whole life. Well, the first part anyway. The second part not so much so, but I would still like to improve my endurance. The measurable goal is to lose 35 pounds (I'm at about 235 now) to hit 200 by the end of the year.
Lose 20 pounds by June 30th, 15 more by December 31.

  • Wear ankle weights daily
    Yes, I know they're killers for one's knees, and my knees are bad, but it's a quick and easy way to increase caloric usage without any significant change in lifestyle or routine.
    Ongoing
  • Ride the exercise bike at least twice a week, for half an hour
    This one will be a challenge. You'd think it wouldn't be, since I could do it in the evenings while the kids play, but I worry about Jared (and, in the near future, Sara) being curious, coming over, and getting walloped by my flailing legs. The other, and perhaps better, possibility would be to ride in the morning, but that would mean getting up half an hour earlier which is not as easy for me as you might think. I already have to be up two and a half hours before I can leave so that I can shower before Rachel leaves for school; increasing that (without the ability to change my bedtime) would result in me being even more tired than I already am.
    Ongoing
  • Drink 6 or more glasses of water or water equivalent per day
    This shouldn't be too bad; if I bring in the 24oz sport-top bottles we get at CostCo, I can easily drink that much or more. Unless, of course, I'm drinking that much coffee. So, when I make coffee (which I'm only doing on the days my mother-in-law watches the kids), I think I should only make enough for one (16oz) cup for me and not bring the thermos to the office. And, yes, I know one is supposed to drink 8 glasses a day, but there's that whole fish fornication thing...
    Ongoing

Improve responsiveness
I'm notorious for being difficult to reach and for being unresponsive. I know it's rude, but it's nothing personal. (See my first goal.) I do, however, want to become more courteous in this area.

  • Respond to e-mails (that require a response) from family and friends immediately upon reading them.
    Generally speaking, there isn't any reason that I can't at least shoot off a "I got your e-mail; I will respond fully shortly" response when I get the e-mail. Note that I have my e-mail client set up only to check e-mail when I tell it too. That way, I can better set aside time to retrieve and process e-mail when it fits my schedule.
    Ongoing
  • Return phone calls within 24 hours of getting the message.
    I may not be able to return a phone call right away, but I should be able to do so within 24 hours. The other part of this, of course, is that I need to get to my office on a more regular basis to actually check messages.
    Ongoing

Professional

Complete the TechSynthesis Guide to Technology Reapplication
This is an informational guide that I can send to potential clients. I need to finish the text and layout and get it printed.

  • Complete text: April 30
  • Complete layout: June 30
  • Have printed: July 31

Send out bulk mailing
What good are marketing materials if you keep them to yourself?

  • Obtain Mailing List: June 30
  • Mail materials: August 31
  • Follow up: September 30

Develop Technology Reapplication Seminar
I need to work up a presentation that I can use to get in front of potential clients. This will be, of course, based heavily on the guide I'm working on.
Complete by December 31

Take (and pass) economics class at City College
I have one class to take at City College so that I can transfer as a Junior to San Francisco State.
Complete course by the end of the Fall 2005 semester.

Move the TechSynthesis bank account to a new bank
I have nothing against Wells Fargo, per se, but the monthly fees are killing me. There are banks that offer free checking for businesses.

  • Research banking options: February 28
  • Set up new account: March 30
  • Close old account: March 30

Family

Have at least one family outing per week
We've been spending a lot of time "getting things done" on the weekends and not enough time "getting out and about". I want to spend more time doing things like going to the zoo or the museums or even just to the park. It's all about the kids.
Ongoing

Take at least three family camping trips
I used to do a lot of backpacking and camping. The kids aren't ready for anything hardcore, but we can certainly do some car camping.

  • Get new feet for the roof rack: February 28
  • Get tent back on the Rover: February 28
  • The annual "Mendo" Land Rover Trip: April 24
  • Olema Ranch Campground: September 30
  • One more by December 31

Home

Clear out the attic
Imagine a two-bedroom house with seven people living in it (two parents, five kids). They're packrats, btw. The kids grow up and move out, leaving their stuff behind. One of them moves into and fills up another house. Then moves back. With all his stuff. Then gets married and his wife moves in. With all her stuff. Then they have two kids and buy lots of stuff for the kids. Oh, and he collects computers (couple hundred at last count). Do the words "Fibber McGee" mean anything to you? Our attic is bursting at the seams. What we want is to eventually turn it into a master bedroom suite for us and, in the meantime, make it available as a play area for the kids. It's big enough that we could set up their trains and such and leave them set up for them. Who knows -- maybe I could even set up my studio again.
December 31

  • Spend at least an hour each week working in the attic, going through boxes and packing stuff up to give away, sell, and throw out.
  • Take at least one trip per month to a thrift shop to donate items no longer needed.
  • Pack up eBay items to be sold.

Complete the wiring project
We've got an awful lot of Cat-5 and RG-6 cable running through the house. Unfortunately, very little of it is terminated. I have keystone jacks, patch panels, and all the tools. But no time. This year, I will either make time or pay someone else to do it. If you know someone in the San Francisco bay area who knows how to deal with the aforementioned stuff (network, phone, and video cabling and connectors) and wants to earn some money some weekend, please let me know!
May 30

Get the new front door installed
We have a lovely new door sitting in the garage waiting for a lockset. I even know what lockset to get. It's just a matter of getting it. I've been too cheap to pay full price, but haven't had time to find a discount source. I need to make time.
February 28

Install New Curtains
Rachel likes curtains. I don't. So we compromise. We're getting curtains. Actually, we already have them for the bedrooms; it's just a matter of getting some hardware to put them up. I'd also like new ones, however, in the living room and dining room. If you're gonna have 'em, they might as well be nice. (And easily opened!)

  • Hang Bedroom Curtains: January 31
  • Select new living/dining room curtains: May 31
  • Purchase and install living/dining room curtains: June 30

Clean out the backyard
We've got a fair bit of junk hanging out in the backyard. We need to either haul it away ourselves, or get someone else to do it. This is probably a task for after the rain stops though.
August 31

Web

Personal Web Page (sinasohn.net)
It's been a while. There's basically nothing there. I've got some ideas, and some text... It's that old time issue. But, I will work on it.
April 30

Personal FAQ
Rather than lots of blathering text on the main page, I'm going to set up a FAQ using Blosxom. I'll add to it as time goes on, but I'll have the basics up shortly after the home page gets updated.
May 31

Post a minimum of 20 images a month to my photoblog
I'd love to say one-a-day, but I can't guarantee that that will happpen, so let's be realistic and say twenty a month, okay?
Ongoing

Post a minimum of 10 notes per month to Notebooks
Again, I'd love to commit to more, but I'm trying to be realistic. An average of ten per month is, I think, doable.
Ongoing

Move websites to new host
This one will take some time. I've got a lot of websites. This is something I need to do because I'm paying a lot more than I need to.

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