resolutions

2012 Resolution #9.

In my “Resolutions for 2012,” #9 was “I shall make a 9th resolution before January 31st, 2012.” I opened the floor to suggestions, and Dr. Hmnahmna’s idea seems good enough.

My buddy “As I’m A Bassi” is getting married over Memorial Day weekend in Rochester, and the timing virtually demands that I fly up there. Thus do I hereby resolve that:

9. I shall fly on an airplane in order to attend As I’m A Bassi’s wedding.

I shall also fly back.

Might visit the Canadian side of Niagara Falls while up there– it’s an hour or so away from Rochester– but I’m worried they might try to keep me.

Resolutions for 2012.

Resolution time again. First, let’s have a look at how my resolutions from all the way back in Twenny-Levvin went:

1. I shall ride the exerbike for thirty minutes (or engage in the substantial equivalent of other exercise) at least three times per week. Nope. I played a few seasons of 7v7 and rode the bike the first half of the year, then had to stop playing ball and the bike broke down. Oddly, the weight stayed down anyway.

2. I shall cook something I’ve never cooked before, and cook it at least three times to fine-tune the recipe. Errrrrrmmmmm… nope. Tinkered with the sweet-and-sour recipe a good bit, but not enough that it legally counts as a new meal. I’ll cook two this year to make up for it.

3. I shall write at least one journal entry each week. I shall not go seven days without posting an entry. Kept.

4. If a task or chore will take less than one minute to accomplish and I have a minute to spare, I shall do it immediately. Kept as much as possible.

5. On weekends and days off, I shall awaken and get out of bed before 9:19 AM. Nope. There were a handful of 10AM rise-and-shines in there, and it turns out that painkillers make it easy to sleep through alarms.

6. When I leave my classroom at the end of each day, my desktop will be clean, organized, and ready for the next day’s work. Kept. Now I need to amend this to include the top of the filing cabinet next to my desk.

7. I shall replace my mattress and give careful consideration to replacing the ‘Rolla. Kept. I did replace the mattress, and am quite content with my new mattress. Also, I did give careful consideration to replacing my car. Did I actually replace it? Keep reading.

8. I shall buy lunch no more than once per workweek. Nope. There were a few workweeks in the fall that saw me buy lunch twice.

9. I shall, to the best of my ability, follow the “orders” in the one-goofy-instruction-a-day book my sister gave me years ago. I abandoned this one right away, partly because I kept forgetting to check the instructions, partly because I didn’t want to get arrested.

10. On any day I collect essays, I shall grade at least ten of those essays. Not kept nearly often enough, but this is a good one and will get renewed.

11. I shall make a pencil sketch at least once a week. Nope. Well, yes, but only in the most technical sense… I know I drew the same frigates at sea over and over again on trivia scoresheets, post-its, and napkins. Wasn’t quite what I had in mind upon making the resolution.

12. I shall replace the mattress by summer’s end and the ‘Rolla by year’s end. The Department of Redundancy Department informs me that this should have been merged with Resolution #7. Either way, I replaced the mattress by summer’s end… but the ‘Rolla continued to run well, and “careful consideration” never turned into “kicking the tires and test-driving.”

Four of twelve. Not good. If the world is indeed going to end this coming December, I’m gonna have to go out on a high note. So let’s start with the renewed resolutions:

1. I shall ride the exerbike for thirty minutes (or engage in the substantial equivalent of other exercise) at least three times per week.

2. I shall cook two somethings I’ve never cooked before, and cook them at least three times each to fine-tune the recipes.

3. I shall write at least one journal entry each week. I shall not go seven days without posting an entry.

4. If a task or chore will take less than one minute to accomplish and I have a minute to spare, I shall do it immediately.

5. On weekends and days off, I shall awaken and get out of bed before 9:19 AM.

6. When I leave my classroom at the end of each day, my desktop and the top of the filing cabinet next to my desk shall be clean, organized, and ready for the next day’s work.

7. I shall buy lunch no more than once per workweek.

8. On any day I collect essays, I shall grade at least ten of those essays.

No newbies yet. I’ll add four along the way and entertain suggestions.

9. I shall make a 9th resolution before January 31st, 2012.

10. I shall make a 10th resolution before February 29th, 2012.

11. I shall make an 11th resolution before April 30th, 2012.

12. I shall make a 12th resolution before June 30th, 2012.

Here goes.

2011 Resolution #12.

In my “Resolutions for 2011,” #12 was “I shall make a 12th resolution before June 30th, 2011.” I now have it, though it’s essentially a repeat of last year’s final resolution.

Today marks nine years that the ‘Rolla and I have been together, and (roughly) one year since I first resolved to replace it. It has performed honorably over the last year, especially since I wrote about replacing it, but it is up in years and mileage and the blinking red light means it’s time for Carousel. I’ll most likely replace it with another Corolla, most likely the same color.

The mattress definitely needs to go. It, too, has served honorably over the last several years, but I prefer to wake up not feeling like I was beaten overnight with socks full of oranges. Therefore I hereby resolve that:

12. I shall replace the mattress by summer’s end and the ‘Rolla by year’s end.

And with that, my resolutions are set for the year.

(I love these formula posts. You just change a few words from last year’s stuff, and bam— done.)

2011 Resolution #11.

In my “Resolutions for 2011,” #11 was “I shall make a 11th resolution before April 30th, 2011.” I now have one (aside from changing “before” to “by” next time around, since that’s what I intended).

In a recent chat about times long past, I mentioned that my second-least favorite part of my high school art classes was the teacher I had from eighth through twelfth grade. She was a nice lady, but she was a loon. By the end of my junior year, I’d had enough of her and registered for Creative Writing instead of her art class. At senior orientation, she told me that “they” had put me in the wrong class by mistake, so she got me switched “back” into AP Portfolio. I didn’t have the heart to tell her it wasn’t a mistake, and suffered another year.

I then mentioned that my least favorite part of those classes was ruining a pencil sketch by painting over it. Granted, painting over the sketch was the point of most assignments, but I could never get those sketches back. We didn’t have a copier in the room, we didn’t have any pantographs lying around (though in the art room, there could’ve been a hundred of them and we might never have found them), and cameras were still several years away from being everywhere.

Sketching was the most funnest part of my art classes. That in mind, I hereby resolve that:

11. I shall make a pencil sketch at least once a week.

I’m off to buy a sketch book and some art pencils.

Here’s an article about a tax reform proposal called the Purple Tax Plan, purple because it’ll appeal to both blue and red states. Regardless of the merits (or lack thereof) of the plan itself, the article is a reminder of the importance of tax simplification. If tax collection is less confusing, we’ll be better able to think about who pays how much, about whether taxes are too high or low, and whether we’re getting a good product for the price we pay.

2011 Resolution #10.

In my “Resolutions for 2011,” #10 was “I shall make a 10th resolution before February 28th, 2011.” I now have one.

When I collect a gaggle of essays from my students, I usually grade them over the ensuing weekend. That way, I have a solid block of time to get them graded all at once. I think my current practice is pretty efficient in terms of conserving total grading time. However, I think I’d rather just get them back to the little angels as soon as possible. Therefore, I hereby resolve that:

10. On any day I collect essays, I shall grade at least ten of those essays.

Ideally, after knocking off the first ten, I’ll get into a rhythm and grade a bunch more before retiring for the evening. Even if not, it’ll be a good head start and I’ll be well on my way to getting the work done.

I bought an iPad last week. I figured that if it turned out to be no good, I could return it and get refunded the full amount minus the restocking fee. A net loss of fifty bucks would probably be worth the trial period.

It’s an incredible machine, and you can read all about its awesomeness elsewhere. I found it great for browsing the internet, reading books, looking at photos and playing a few games. But then I found myself visiting this august journal and finding it very tedious to type anything longer than a few words. Any sort of word processing was out of the question.

So I went out and bought a plastic case with a bluetooth keyboard. Typing was a lot easier, but the keyboard was nowhere nearly as functional as that of a laptop. Hitting F3 did not show all the windows I had open simultaneously. The arrow keys didn’t work in every application. I kept reaching for the trackpad only to realize there was no trackpad. Worse, if I wanted to connect a mouse, I’d have to jailbreak the tablet–no thanks. I was going nuts.

I kept stealing glances at my MacBook as it sat unused on the table. I longed for its useful keyboard, its trackpad, and its far superior (for my purposes) functionality. I hoped its feelings wouldn’t be hurt by my brief dalliance with the tablet.

I returned the iPad on Monday and got a full refund. A net loss of zero dollars was definitely worth the trial period.

I’d still love to see a MacBook with a detachable touchscreen, a la the Lenovo IdeaPad U1, or some iPad-keyboard combination functional enough for my tastes. But that looks to be at least another year or two away.

Resolutions for 2011.

Happy New Year! It just occurred to me that this is the first time since 1999 that the year won’t have at least two zeros in it. Anyhow, it’s resolution time. Let’s see how my resolutions from all the way back in Twenty-Aught-Ten went:

1. I shall drink more water and milk, and less soda, pop, and sweet tea. Kept. Nowadays I rarely drink any soda aside from what goes in my rum and coke. I’ve switched to unsweet tea, but I’ll occasionally have a teensy bit of sweet mixed in.

2. I shall ride the exerbike for thirty minutes (or engage in the substantial equivalent of other exercise) at least three times per week. Kept, except for that part of the summer when I was on doctor’s orders not to exercise.

3. I shall put all the books I’ve bought but not yet read on a particular shelf, and I shall either read, sell or give away more than half of them. Kept! I’ve had some variation of this one for three or four years and never done it. Well, it is done. I loaded up the back seat of the car with books, headed for Chamblin Bookmine to sell what I could, contacted some folks to see if there were any particular titles they wanted, and donated the rest to libraries and goodwill. I also set several aside to put in my classroom mini-library.

4. I shall cook something I’ve never cooked before, and cook it at least three times to fine-tune the recipe. Kept. Cinnamon sourdough french toast and hamburgers with green peppers and garlic. Not all together. Neither is a major culinary achievement, but both beat nuked soup for dinner.

5. I shall write at least one journal entry each week. I will not go seven days without posting an entry. Kept. In fact, I think I wrote more entries in 2010 than in any other calendar year. Let me check…

Yep. Eighty-one entries, five more than back in Aught-Six. Homeric.

6. I shall load my archived entries from July 7, 2009 and earlier into the normal blog archives. Kept. Look for yerself.

7. If a task or chore will take less than one minute to accomplish and I have a minute to spare, I shall do it immediately. Kept as much as possible. This is a pretty good one, and worth renewing, and I urge as many folks as possible to adopt it.

8. On weekends and days off, I shall awaken and get out of bed before 9:30 AM. There were enough exceptions that I’ve got to call it unkept, to my great shame. I already used the medical excuse to give myself a pass on the exceptions to #2, I won’t do it again here.

9. I shall visit Chicagoland, and feast on real hot dogs, and real pizza, and real beef sammiches. And see friends and family along the way. Done and done. Great trip.

10. When I leave my classroom at the end of each day, my desktop will be clean, organized, and ready for the next day’s work. Kept, though I’ve left more things on my desktop than last year since I have less total desktop space available in the new room.

11. [Classified] As I wrote in an earlier post, this resolution “got blown up spectacularly. Smoke, fire, bodies and blood everywhere.” Those brief lines don’t fully capture how badly it went.

12. I shall replace the ‘Rolla, buy a new mattress, and get my shower fixed. One-third kept: I got the shower fixed. I’ve been slack about replacing the mattress, probably because I started sleeping more soundly the second half of the year. And the ‘Rolla must’ve read about my intentions, because it has performed admirably and honorably since I got back from Chicago. NinetyThe legal speed limit is no problem whatsoever. I should probably replace the mattress anyways, but I’ll postpone getting a new car for a while longer.

In total: nine and one-third resolutions kept, two and two-thirds resolutions unkept. 2010 was a huge improvement over 2009.

So now, here are my resolutions for 2011. I’ll use boldface to show I mean business. I’ll begin with the renewed resolutions, some modified slightly:

1. I shall ride the exerbike for thirty minutes (or engage in the substantial equivalent of other exercise) at least three times per week.

2. I shall cook something I’ve never cooked before, and cook it at least three times to fine-tune the recipe.

3. I shall write at least one journal entry each week. I shall not go seven days without posting an entry.

4. If a task or chore will take less than one minute to accomplish and I have a minute to spare, I shall do it immediately.

5. On weekends and days off, I shall awaken and get out of bed before 9:19 AM. Why 9:19? Because I’ll remember it.

6. When I leave my classroom at the end of each day, my desktop will be clean, organized, and ready for the next day’s work.

7. I shall replace my mattress and give careful consideration to replacing the ‘Rolla.

Two newbies:

8. I shall buy lunch no more than once per workweek. The economist in me wants to point out that since I don’t grow or hunt or fish my own food, then technically I buy all of my lunches. But you know what I mean. Either I’m packing my lunches or going without, with one permissible exception per week. This one’s going to be tough.

9. I shall, to the best of my ability, follow the “orders” in the one-goofy-instruction-a-day book my sister gave me years ago. I had completely forgotten about it until going through my unread books, and looks harmless enough. Day One was do a push-up. It was accomplished.

And some flex room:

10. I shall make a 10th resolution before February 28th, 2011.

11. I shall make an 11th resolution before April 30th, 2011.

12. I shall make a 12th resolution before June 30th, 2011.

I will gladly accept suggestions. This should be an awesome year, because 11 is my lucky number, and Veterans’ Day this year might just be the greatest day ever on both quantum and Newtonian scales. Here goes.

2010 Resolution #12.

In my “Resolutions for 2010,” #12 was “I shall make a 12th resolution before June 30th, 2010.” I now have it.

I just got back from a nice little extended weekend, spent visiting the Hmnahmna Family, the Mole Family, and Chip. I would have seen some other friends, but they had lame excuses like “I have an out-of-town conference,” “My little brother’s getting married on the other side of the country,” or “My arraignment is on Friday.” Oh well.

The ‘Rolla’s getting up in years–eight as of this June 22nd–and mileage, so I borrowed a 2007 Honda Pilot for the trip. It was a very smooth, very comfortable ride. When I got home and got my car back, it seemed rickety, cramped, underpowered, and lifeless by comparison. It may be time for a new car.

Whilst on said trip, I spent two nights at the Mole’s house and two nights at hotels. In both cases, the mattresses were firm and comfortable. I slept quite comfortably, and neither tossed nor turned very much–a marked contrast from the lumpy, miserable excuse for a bed I have at home. It is definitely time for a new mattress.

Also whilst on said trip, I actually got to use showers that function properly. That may not seem like a big deal, until you consider that the bath faucet at my place doesn’t shut off when I switch it to shower mode. That weakens the water pressure from the shower nozzle, and it means the hot water runs out a lot faster than it should. The shower needs to be fixed.

With these relatively minor nitpicks and worldly inconveniences in mind, I hereby resolve that:

12. I shall replace the ‘Rolla, buy a new mattress, and get my shower fixed.

And with that, my resolutions are set for the year.

2010 Resolution #10.

In my “Resolutions for 2010,” #10 was “I shall make a 10th resolution before February 28th, 2010.” I now have one. It will require effort. It will require planning.  It will require, as all good resolutions should (which I suppose means some of mine aren’t good resolutions), resolve. I hereby resolve that:

10. When I leave my classroom at the end of each day, my desktop will be clean, organized, and ready for the next day’s work.

Let me be a little more specific: by “my desktop,” I mean the top of the moveable piece of furniture called “my desk.” This does not apply to the computer desk built into the wall that runs alongside my desk. I’ll do what I can to keep the computer desk cleaner and better organized, but I’m making no promises. The idea came from a former coworker whose desktop was always clean at the end of the day, except for the items he had to work on the next day. Eventually I’d like to get to the point where my desk is completely clean and clear at the end and beginning of every day, but let’s start with baby steps here.

Quick update on my other resolutions: so far I’ve kept #1 (drink less sweet stuff), #2 (exerbike), #5, #7, and #8. I’ll visit Chicagoland in July (#9), I’ve started working on a garlic chicken dish (#4), and I need to get crackin’ on the others.

Resolutions for 2010.

Happy New Year, and here’s to the Twenty-Tens! (This reminds me: I have to post a transcript of an argument over whether this year constitutes the start of a new decade.) Time to renew some old resolutions, new some new ones, and old some old ones. Let’s see how my Aught-Nine resolutions went:

1. I shall drink more water and milk, and less soda, pop, and sweet tea. Kept. Chocolate milk is still milk, right?

2. At the end of this year, I will weigh less than 192 pounds. Nope. Not even close. There was even some movement in the opposite direction in 2009. However, I think I’ve found a way to trick myself into making this one a reality in 2010.

3. I shall put all the books I’ve bought but not yet read on a particular shelf, and I shall either read, sell or give away more than half of them. Nope. I’ve barely kept the first part of this resolution: right now, the books I’ve bought but not yet read are not on a shelf, but are in a plastic box next to my reading chair.

4. I shall cook something I’ve never cooked before, and cook it at least three times to fine-tune the recipe. Kept. I’m very happy with the result, too: sweet-and-sour chicken far better than the takeout version, and with slightly fewer health code violations. The fine-tuning was leaving out the ketchup. It made the dish taste too ketchupy.

5. I shall write at least one journal entry each week. I will not go seven days without posting an entry. Kept, but that self-imposed deadline made me feel like I was back in school.

6. I shall archive my 2008 journal entries in the same manner as the 2005-07 entries, and write “On Dilbert, Part Two,” and write “How to make everything perfect forever, Part Two.” Kept, though you’ll note that the Dilbert entry came in the waning hours of 2009.

7. If a task or chore will take less than one minute to accomplish, I shall do it immediately. Kept as much as possible. Once again, less clutter, less procrastination, and less… I forget the other one.

8. On weekends and days off, I shall awaken and get out of bed before 9:30 AM. Mostly kept. I know I broke this one on the day I returned from my trip out west, but I was jetlagged, and aside from that I broke it four or five other times. This made my weekends seem a lot longer, more productive and more fun. I’ll renew it.

9. I shall fly on an airplane for the first time in my conscious memory, in order to attend Captain Patton’s wedding. Kept.

10. I shall visit Chicagoland, and feast on real hot dogs, and real pizza, and real beef sammiches. And see friends and family along the way. Nope. Too much other stuff going on last summer, what with the seminar, the break-in, and moving. That trimmed my itinerary by a week.

11. I shall put my U.S. history powerpoint presentations back online, in hopes that doing so will make a difference. Nope. Broke this one on purpose. It occurred to me that putting my powerpoints online would interfere with a partcular assignment I wanted to give.

12. I shall make a real twelfth resolution before May 30th, 2009, and shall keep at least nine of these resolutions (inclusive). My final resolution was “I shall replace my cell phone.” That part was kept, but I count four “Nopes” and one “Mostly” up there, so that makes this one a fifth Nope.

Net result: Six kept, one mostly kept, five not kept. That’s a drop-off from the last two years (eight of twelve kept in ’07, nine of twelve kept in ’08). I’ll need to do better this year.

Here’s my batch for 2010:

1. I shall drink more water and milk, and less soda, pop, and sweet tea.

2. I shall ride the exerbike for thirty minutes (or engage in the substantial equivalent of other exercise) at least three times per week. (I like this one because it’s more concrete and habit-specific than “I will weigh less than 192 at the end of this year.”)

3. I shall put all the books I’ve bought but not yet read on a particular shelf, and I shall either read, sell or give away more than half of them.

4. I shall cook something I’ve never cooked before, and cook it at least three times to fine-tune the recipe.

5. I shall write at least one journal entry each week. I will not go seven days without posting an entry.

6. I shall load my archived entries from July 7, 2009 and earlier into the normal blog archives.

7. If a task or chore will take less than one minute to accomplish and I have a minute to spare, I shall do it immediately.

8. On weekends and days off, I shall awaken and get out of bed before 9:30 AM.

9. I shall visit Chicagoland, and feast on real hot dogs, and real pizza, and real beef sammiches. And see friends and family along the way.

I’m going to focus on these nine for now, but I’ll list my deadlines for numbers 10, 11, and 12.

10. I shall make a 10th resolution before February 28th, 2010.

11. I shall make an 11th resolution before April 30th, 2010.

12. I shall make a 12th resolution before June 30th, 2010.

I’ll take suggestions. Here goes.

2009 Resolution #12.

In my “Resolutions for 2009,” #12 was “I shall make a real twelfth resolution before May 30th, 2009, and shall keep at least nine of these resolutions (inclusive).” Well, I finally have one, though it won’t take a whole lot of resolve. I hereby resolve that:

12. I shall replace my cellphone and shall keep at least nine of these resolutions (inclusive).

Not exactly as life-changing as resolving to, say, attend church or devote time, money and effort to charity–but dammit, I’m sick of the keyguard/keylock feature on my enV2. It sucks. The phone pocket-dials way too easily unless I lock it, which is a ten-keystroke process that then forces me to unlock it (which is a six-keystroke process) whenever I want to make a call or receive a text. So screw it. I’ll get a new phone.

Status of my other resolutions: I’ve kept 1, 5, most of 6, I’ve been good about 7, kept 8 with only one exception (the day I got back from Arizona and de-lagged), and have kept 9. Still at work on the others.

2 Comments

As I’m A Bassi

31 May 2009 4:48 pm

From your aforementioned post, begs the question… will you be joining the rest of the teeming masses and purchase an iPhone?

(By the way, I don’t have one but am quite envious of anyone who has said gadget)

Vincent Viscariello

31 May 2009 4:48 pm

I’m considering it, but I really, really like buttons.