Department of Engineering Science

Department of Engineering Science

This is an old mate­ri­als engi­neer­ing hand­book that was giv­en to me by a pro­fes­sor upon his retire­ment from my under­grad uni­ver­si­ty. I believe he res­cued it from as it was being retired from the uni­ver­si­ty library. When he was clean­ing out his office, he asked a few stu­dents to come in, indi­vid­u­al­ly, and select two or three books out of his pro­fes­sion­al library. He’d got­ten all the books he wished to keep and want­ed to see the rest be put to some use. Though I think he was­n’t entire­ly sure of all of my selec­tions were so wise (name­ly, this par­tic­u­lar book, as I recall — due to it being sore­ly out­dat­ed by mod­ern exper­i­men­ta­tion tech­niques), he let me part with some books that I did indeed find use­ful.

More impor­tant­ly, I think, he sent me with a wealth of wis­dom about what it means to be a good engi­neer. The bits of advice he would pass on felt to me like true pages of secret wis­dom that had been lost on my gen­er­a­tion of engi­neers. Whether it was prop­er hand­writ­ing tech­nique or that an engi­neer should main­tain a per­son­al library, he knew that teach­ing stu­dents was even more than the tech­ni­cal fun­da­men­tals. Being a pro­fes­sion­al goes far beyond run­ning a set of num­bers.

Live Blogging the BSG Final Season Premiere

The begin­ning of the end of Bat­tlestar Galac­ti­ca. Angela and I are watch­ing:

  • Well, Earth sure a drag.
  • Hey! Hera uses the same plas­tic spoons as Ains­ley.
  • That beach where Tyrol is hav­ing some flash­back to old Earth… is that actu­al­ly the beach at Stan­ley Park in Van­cou­ver?
  • Well, Star­buck. I guess you’re the twelfth and final cylon. At least that sure seems to be only way this makes sense.
  • I’m so glad they’re using the creepy lost-five Cylon tune again.
  • So is there some Cylon res­ur­rec­tion ship/facility near Earth that Star­buck acci­den­tal­ly dis­cov­ered?
  • Dee is going to go psy­co, isn’t she? I mean she’s about to go third sea­son Star­buck crazy, right? Trag­i­cal­ly, yes.
  • Looks like pret­ty much every­one is going nuts. As if it were the end of the world or some… oh. Right.
  • I’m glad the show did­n’t over use the pop­u­la­tion count­down ele­ment. They real­ly used it spar­ing­ly, and to max­i­mum effect.
  • Wait, Ellen, whoa!
  • Angela: “So it’s not Kara! What is she?”
  • Where’s Ellen? If there was a res­ur­rec­tion ship near New Capri­ca, would it have brought Ellen back? If not, would­n’t she be gone for­ev­er?
  • So, is “the har­bin­ger of death” some­thing dif­fer­ent all toge­hter?
  • We may do this again next week. If so, I’ll prob­a­bly just update this post.

    Update: There is a ter­rif­ic inter­view with Ronald D. Moore, BSG’s exec­u­tive pro­duc­er, that I found via Adam Sav­age. Here’s a quote from Moore dur­ing that inter­view:

    My atti­tude was pret­ty much, “Look, we’re in the last chap­ter here. Any­one who’s come this far and doesn’t want to watch the rest — they’re a minor­i­ty at best.” Peo­ple are going to want to see how this turns out. And yeah, this is a very dark chap­ter. This may not even be the dark­est chap­ter.

Kodak Zi6 First Impressions

So, as part of one of my goals for 2009, we’re start­ing to shoot more video (most­ly of Ains­ley, natch). We’ve done so in the past, but with not with any reg­u­lar­i­ty. Though one can­not ignore the fact of lazy par­ent­ing, I do think there are oth­er more sig­nif­i­cant issues con­tribut­ing to our lack of shoot­ing video around here.

Kodak Zi6 on GorrilaPod

The Kodak Zi6 mount­ed on the plen­ty hefty Goril­la­pod

I think it is much more the issue of the tech­nol­o­gy in ques­tion. Our lit­tle Canon ZR200 DV cam­corder did­n’t shoot very high qual­i­ty video, and it was even poor­er when record­ed onto an SD card. The process of upload­ing DV video into iMovie is cum­ber­some, as the video has to be record­ed in real-time from the cam­er­a’s play­back head. Last­ly, despite being rel­a­tive­ly small for a cam­corder, it is still a large device when com­pared to a pock­et dig­i­tal cam­era or even a cell phone — many of which now record video as good as our cam­corder.

Let me com­pare to the near­est medi­um I can: pho­tog­ra­phy. When we first got a large stor­age card for our first dig­i­tal pock­et cam­era, it began to open a world of new uses for that device. Pho­tos were no longer reserved for the must-doc­u­ment moments of a vaca­tion or hol­i­day. They could be used to doc­u­ment any­thing worth not­ing. We could prac­tice pho­tos with­out wor­ry about fill­ing the stor­age (or devel­op­ment costs, etc.). We began to use pho­tos as visu­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion. For exam­ple, I could take some pho­tos of some plumb­ing fix­ture and show the sales-staff at the local hard­ware store right from the cam­era, giv­ing them a much bet­ter descrip­tion of what I need­ed than my lim­it­ed plumb­ing knowl­edge could describe. I know first hand how dig­i­tal pho­tos have rev­o­lu­tion­ized the con­struc­tion indus­try in terms of inspec­tions and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. It’s the econ­o­my of free1 come to pho­tog­ra­phy.

A small size also affects how a cam­era is used. When a cam­era becomes small enough to be packed into anoth­er device — like, say, a cell phone — it’s use changes. Think what the cell phone cam­era has done for the num­ber of snap­shots in the world. I would ven­ture that par­ty or self-por­trait snap­shots have increased by an order of mag­ni­tude due to the ubiq­ui­ty of small (albeit rather shit­ty) cam­eras in the world. Why? Because they’re so small as they can always be on hand. They’re stuck into anoth­er device. Even when a cam­era is still just a cam­era, if it is suf­fi­cient­ly small some­one can eas­i­ly car­ry it almost all the time.

With the large stor­age capac­i­ty com­bined with a very small size, the pock­et dig­i­tal cam­era becomes a dif­fer­ent tool alto­geth­er than a small cam­era with lim­it­ed stor­age or a large cam­era2. I think that hav­ing a dig­i­tal HD video cam­era that is essen­tial­ly the same size with an fair­ly large capac­i­ty — say, sev­er­al hours — equal­ly trans­forms what a video cam­era can be used for.

So, I decid­ed to start look­ing into the pur­chase of a dig­i­tal HD video cam­era.

Features That Appealed to Me

There are now a few options in the (rel­a­tive­ly) new class of pock­et HD video cam­eras3. The Zi6 sells along side the sim­i­lar form-fac­tor Flip Mino­HD, as well as a few oth­er sol­id-state HD cam­eras with the flip-out lcd screen form-fac­tor. So, why did I decide on the Kodak?

If it had come down to pure good looks, I’d have gone with the Mino. It has a slight­ly small­er foot­print and sleek­er looks. How­ev­er, it lacks a num­ber of fea­tures that make the Zi6 the win­ning option, in my opin­ion.

The Zi6 does have some on-board mem­o­ry. About enough for 2–3 min­utes of video, I think. It does, how­ev­er, also use SD cards for extend­ed mem­o­ry. As we have piles of 1 and 2GB SD cards lying around (it has become the pre­ferred flash stor­age medi­um in our house­hold), it was a log­i­cal choice to extend their use­ful­ness. Sec­ond­ly, the Zi6 uses a pair of AA bat­ter­ies for pow­er. It actu­al­ly comes with a pair of recharge­able bat­ter­ies and charg­er, which is a nice include. Any­one who has ever drained their cam­era bat­tery only to real­ize that the charg­er or cable was left at home knows that sink­ing feel­ing of hold a high-tech paper­weight. It’s a rare place in our lives that is more than 5 min­utes and $3 from a pair of AAs. Not to men­tion, we own a pile of recharge­able AAs as well4. So, the Zi6 cer­tain­ly was a bet­ter choice to lever­age what we already own. Fur­ther, the Zi6 has a much larg­er screen than the Mino. As this is the only view of what you are record­ing (no view find­er on some­thing this small) and it is handy for play­back, this also was a big bonus. Last­ly, and this can­not be over­looked, the Zi6 is about $50 less than the Mino.

So, Zi6 FTW.

Camera, Box, & Bag

Unboxed, with the handy car­ry­ing bag.

Downsides

I was a bit dis­ap­point­ed by the feel of the device. Though the fit and fin­ish is high qual­i­ty, the device feels light and plas­ti­cy — as though it could crack open with a drop to the ground. I would have like to have seen this device with a more sub­stan­tial case around it. What looks like met­al trim is, in fact, chromed plas­tic 5How­ev­er, this is just an impres­sion and it is only fair to point out that noth­ing has hap­pened to the case in my use thus far.

Also, the qual­i­ty of the pic­ture is far-from per­fect. First, there is a lot of noise in the images. Giv­en that this has been my biggest com­plaint about my Nikon D50, I sus­pect this is going to annoy me. But, with more pix­els to work with, the adjust­ments to pic­ture in post-pro­cess­ing can bet­ter improve the end prod­uct. Also, the cam­er­a’s speed is fair­ly slow6. That is, motion can get real­ly blur­ry. If my tod­dler can become a blur of motion, there’s lit­tle hope of using this cam­era to record any­thing very fast. Also, as you might expect giv­en a cam­era that weighs less than 6 oz. (and there fore has very low moment of iner­tia com­pared to me), the pic­ture can be a bit shaky. Last­ly, the low-light sen­si­tiv­i­ty seems almost non-exis­tent. We won’t be shoot­ing any hor­ror films on this one; or, at least, if we do it will be those awful scenes where there’s just scream­ing and you can’t make out any­thing that is hap­pen­ing. The col­or bal­ance seems to swing pret­ty wide between blues and yel­lows, as well. This cam­era needs even light­ing, and quite a lot of it, it would seem.

All that being said: let’s be fair. This is a $150 device that shoots 1280x720 video and, with a $40 card, can store up to eight hours of video at that res­o­lu­tion7. Also, the Zi6 also has a female thread­ed mount on the bot­tom, which of course could go a long way to reduc­ing shak­i­ness — either by using a tri­pod or my $14 steady­cam. There is, not sur­pris­ing­ly, no hot shoe for attach­ing a light or exter­nal mic on the Zi6. How­ev­er, there was­n’t one on our Canon ZR200, either, and that was a let down. Keep in mind, even though it was a cheap cam­corder, it was twice the price of the Zi6.

Using the Camera
In My Hand

Like the iPhone, with a sim­i­lar foot­print, the Zi6 is a nat­ur­al fit.

The device’s size is ter­rif­ic. It is almost exact­ly the size of two first-gen iPhones stacked togeth­er (that is, same foot­print; just twice as thick). I know this because I stacked Ange­la’s and my iPhones togeth­er for com­par­i­son.

This includes (as does the com­pet­ing Flip HD) the swing out USB con­nec­tor. This is a bit big­ger than the Mino HD, but at the trade of a much larg­er screen. How­ev­er, it still feels good in my hand and Angela seemed to agree.

Of course, even if the thing was half as thick, it would still be a bit of a pain to actu­al­ly use the flip-out USB con­nec­tor to plug it into the back of my iMac. It is about the right height, but those ports are very close togeth­er (a USB jump dri­ve is a tight fit).

Problem: USB Jam Solution: USB Extension Cord

Use an exten­sion cord for the flip-out USB con­nec­tor.

How­ev­er, I also hap­pen to have one of the hand­i­est USB devices around — which isn’t real­ly a device at all. It’s a 1 meter USB cable exten­sion cable. I hap­pened to get this rel­a­tive­ly short one along with a lega­cy ser­i­al port to USB adapter I pur­chased some time ago. How­ev­er, there are plen­ty of cheap cables avail­able at Ama­zon.

There is a disc includ­ed with some Win­dows soft­ware for trans­fer­ring (and maybe edit­ing?) files. Of course, there isn’t any mac soft­ware includ­ed. But, as I’ve nev­er cared for pack-in soft­ware that comes with any cam­era I’ve ever owned, I real­ly was­n’t plan­ning on installing any­thing any­way. The includ­ed soft­ware appar­ent­ly has some links to quick upload the video straight to YouTube, but I’m not real­ly going to miss that8. Pret­ty much any com­put­er sees the Zi6 as a USB mass stor­age device, with the files in sub-fold­ers (just like a dig­i­tal cam­era). The files are in Quick­time (.mov) for­mat. Giv­en that every mac comes with Quick­time and iMovie, using them on a mac is actu­al­ly eas­i­er than on a Win­dows PC. The files are rough­ly 1MB per sec­ond of video (on the 30 frames per sec­ond set­ting), which puts a 2GB card hold­ing approx­i­mate­ly 30 min­utes of video. There­fore, the max­i­mum video on a sin­gle 32GB card is a lit­tle over 9 hours. That’s not too bad con­sid­er­ing that would be 9 miniDV tapes plus the cam­era for a typ­i­cal cam­corder.


Our First Zi6 Movie from Jason Cole­man on Vimeo.

Cur­rent­ly, we have a very old ver­sion of iMovie and it is sim­ply not let­ting me out­put the video in its full qual­i­ty (despite select­ing “full qual­i­ty”, or even the 1280x720 option). So, the best out­put I could get that rea­son­ably dis­played some of the first video we shot is above; host­ed on Vimeo. As soon as iLife ’09 is released, I’ll see about re-post­ing the video for com­par­i­son. In the mean­time, check out some of the footage shot on a Zi6 at Vimeo or Flickr to see what this lit­tle cam­era is capa­ble of.

So far, we’ve been very pleased.

  1. How a tool, device, or ser­vice gets used dras­ti­cal­ly changes when its cost drops to essen­tial­ly noth­ing. Read Chris Ander­son­’s — Sr. Edi­tor at Wired — arti­cle for a more in depth look at the econ­o­my of free. []
  2. After hav­ing a DSLR for over two years now, I can tell you that there are some sit­u­a­tions that such a large cam­era just isn’t well suit­ed for. Not that it can’t be used, mind you. Just that the size makes it more awk­ward and, there­fore, less like­ly to be used in the first place. []
  3. And no doubt many more now, as CES just wrapped up. []
  4. We have the Ener­giz­er recharge­able bat­ter­ies with the 15-minute charg­er and have been very hap­py with them thus far. We use them most­ly for Wii remotes and they’ve last­ed for over two years now, though it does seem that they don’t hold as long of a charge as the ini­tial­ly did. I’ve also heard good things about the Sanyo eneloop bat­ter­ies, but haven’t tried them myself. []
  5. Gee, I hope it does­n’t wear off to that yel­low plas­tic like all of my Trans­form­ers did when I was a kid… Am I the only per­son who notice that? Appar­ent­ly not. []
  6. It may be pos­si­ble that using a SD card with a faster write speed may help this, but I’m not sure that is the lim­it­ing fac­tor here. []
  7. This is based on the 60 min­utes of video for a 2GB card base. The cam­era can use up to a 32GB SD card. How­ev­er, giv­en that those cur­rent­ly cost around $130+, I don’t see that as being real­ly prac­ti­cal. After all, it’s not like SD cards real­ly take up much space in your pock­et and last I checked 4x16 was greater than 32; at cur­rent prices. []
  8. Frankly, the jerks who uploads un-edit­ed video straight to YouTube — video that isn’t of a break­ing news event — only hurt us all. Let’s all hope for more edit­ing on sites like YouTube. []

MacWorld SF — 2009 Edition

For the past few years, I’ve jot­ted down some post-game thoughts on Apple’s announce­ments dur­ing their keynote at Mac­World1. I sup­pose — like the major­i­ty of folks, no doubt — I was a bit under­whelmed by this year’s address. Not that Schiller him­self did a bad job, mind you. It’s just become clear that Apple has lost most inter­est in this prod­uct show.

iLife & iWork

That being said, I was impressed by a few fea­tures that were shown off in the updates to iLife and iWork. I hon­est­ly don’t know enough about pre­vi­ous ver­sions of iWork to say much about that office suite, aside from it looks like a rea­son­ably priced com­peti­tor to Mac Office 20082. I have con­sid­er­ably more expe­ri­ence with iLife, of course. The updates to iPho­to are much need­ed. Now with Google’s Picasa (final­ly!) avail­able on the mac, there exists a very good alter­na­tive to iPho­to. Picasa has had some social net­work web­site inte­gra­tion already (as has iPho­to with plu­g­ins) and I believe Google also even has some of the facial recog­ni­tion soft­ware avail­able. But, hav­ing two good choic­es helps both, in my opin­ion.

I am espe­cial­ly excit­ed about the update to iMovie, though. As the pre­vi­ous ver­sion was a large dis­ap­point­ment to many users (though not me, as I did­n’t upgrade yet), this ver­sion seems to come with a num­ber of pow­er­ful fea­tures. I was par­tic­u­lar­ly impressed with the image sta­bi­liza­tion fea­ture; espe­cial­ly giv­en the shak­i­ness of our Kodak Zi6.

Laptop Batteries

It appears that the real inno­va­tion in the new 15″ Mac­book Pro was in the bat­tery. As much as peo­ple wish to com­plain about non user-ser­vice­able parts, I hon­est­ly think that issues such as weight and bat­tery life are prob­lems that they will feel more day-to-day. I’ve had my work lap­top for over a year now and have yet to take the bat­tery out of it once. One argu­ment is that it is handy to car­ry a spare bat­tery. How­ev­er, if you sim­ply dou­ble the bat­tery life from 4 to 8 hours, there’s a real­ly good incen­tive to save your back and not both­er car­ry­ing a sec­ond of the heav­i­est part of the com­put­er. Equal­ly impor­tant is bat­tery life. We have had to replace the bat­tery on Ange­la’s aging iBook once already. And though there are right and wrong ways to use a bat­tery to extend or short­en its life3, most users sim­ply don’t pay atten­tion to that sort of thing. It’s wor­thy inno­va­tion, if even a bit less sexy than Mac­World keynote announce­ments of past years.

iTunes Music Store

Speak­ing of less-than-sexy announce­ments, the “one more thing” this year was the iTunes Music Store, which of course is now a small­er part of the larg­er iTunes store4. I think the obvi­ous most sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of this announce­ment was the drop­ping of DRM. This comes near­ly two years after Steve Jobs pub­lished an open let­ter to music labels ask­ing to do away with DRM. Apple has become a huge force in the mar­ket and, along with Ama­zon, show that the tide has turned against DRM. The com­mon, hon­est music fan now knows what it is and that it only hin­ders their expe­ri­ence. I think 2008 was the year that DRM died and that future rem­nants — they will hang on, fight­ing tooth and nail — are just that.

Let’s briefly look back at some impor­tant mile­stones in the death of DRM dur­ing 2008:

Also, it’s worth not­ing that Apple also has final­ly set­tled on a tiered pric­ing scheme for music on the iTunes Store. Apple had argued against this with a firm 99¢ pric­ing scheme for, well, since the iTunes Music store was cre­at­ed. How­ev­er, it appears that this was like­ly a require­ment on behalf of some music labels to go DRM free store-wide (it should be not­ed that the Ama­zon MP3 has had vari­able pric­ing from its incep­tion). As some­one who does­n’t tend to buy any­thing off the top 40 sin­gles list, I’m not as like­ly to suf­fer from the $1.29 price that is most­ly like­ly to apply there. I’ll hope­ful­ly be tend­ing towards the 69¢ back-cat­a­log items. How­ev­er, it’s a small price to pay (lit­er­al­ly and fig­u­ra­tive­ly) for a bet­ter expe­ri­ence.

MacWorld SF

Mac­World will hap­pen one more time, as they’ve already booked the Moscone for next year. And should any­thing worth my men­tion­ing hap­pen, I’ll say it then. How­ev­er, I’d be very sur­prised if it sur­vives beyond that. Apple wants total con­trol over their announce­ment and release sched­ule in the future. They no longer wish to be tied down to the sec­ond Tues­day of the year. They’ll no doubt con­tin­ue to make their sea­son­al-ish, keynote style press con­fer­ences (macs in the Win­ter, devel­op­ers in the Spring, iPhones in the Sum­mer, and iPods in the Fall). But they can time them more to their lik­ing and con­trol the event just as they wish. As many of the large expos are going extinct (E3 dead/ on life sup­port, CES now a fan­boy con­ven­tion for gad­get lovers, and Apple bow­ing out of Mac­World), one has to won­der if blogs and online tech-news sites aren’t the ongo­ing expos of the future.

  1. With the notable absence of last year. With a new job and pend­ing move, Mac­World seemed less impor­tant that usu­al []
  2. Though, I have a copy of iWork ’05, I can’t say that I’ve ever used it reg­u­lar­ly. As a mat­ter of fact, some­thing on my cur­rent mac has cor­rupt­ed the instal­la­tion and it has­n’t worked in over a year. []
  3. Just as Jason John­son, own­er of some mad lap­top bat­tery man­age­ment skil­lz. []
  4. Angela is right, they should call it the iStore for con­sis­ten­cy. I also think that it is time to re-brand iTunes as iMe­dia or some­thing less music-cen­tric. []

Goals, Not Resolutions

2009 Calendar

Over the years, I’ve decid­ed that set­ting for goals is a bet­ter notion that res­o­lu­tions. A res­o­lu­tion is some­thing that, once you’ve broke it there seems lit­tle point in keep­ing it from then on. They are so all-or-noth­ing. A goal is some­thing to keep striv­ing for. Even if you don’t reach it, at least you’ve made some progress. So, with that in mind, here are some goals I’m set­ting forth for Two Thou­sand Nine (in no par­tic­u­lar order):

  • Write More — I could­n’t write much less than I did last year. I bare­ly man­aged to get out a post here per month, which is awful. As for Ains­ley’s blog, it fared far worse; and that’s what most folks real­ly want to read about! We’ll be doing a sim­i­lar jour­nal of grow­ing up for Cole­man-Dyer No.4 (aka “Baby Boy”), so I’ve got to keep focus and get a good work flow going to keep every­one updat­ed.

    My work blog­ging life has been off to a pret­ty good start (evi­denced here and here), but I need to do more there as well. It’s some­thing that my com­pa­ny real­ly seems to val­ue me doing and I enjoy it. Obvi­ous­ly, it’s a bal­ance between get­ting my oth­er work respon­si­bil­i­ties tak­en care of. How­ev­er, I’m real­ly push­ing in a direc­tion to merge those togeth­er as I think it is a great form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion for users.

  • Take More Pho­tographs and Video — Last year was real­ly a low point as far as this goes, which is dis­ap­point­ing as we failed to cap­ture a lot of Ains­ley’s grow­ing in ways I had real­ly hoped to (that being said, there is vol­umes more video and pho­tos of her than either Angela or I at that age — just as a byprod­uct of who we are and the times we live in). A lot of this is just form­ing good habits of hav­ing doc­u­men­ta­tion tools on hand and remem­ber­ing to use them. Hav­ing some good, sim­ple tools real­ly helps. So, I just ordered a Kodak Zi6 HD pock­et video cam­era. By all accounts, it’s dead sim­ple to use and pro­duced nice, HD video. Plus, it’s quite small which can’t be dis­count­ed in mak­ing such devices handy to use.

  • Learn an Object Ori­ent­ed Pro­gram­ming Lan­guage — I’ve start­ed learn­ing C#, as I think that will help me bet­ter com­mu­ni­cate with some of my devel­op­er col­leagues. It’s also a mod­ern deriv­a­tive of C, so it should (hope­ful­ly) help me get clos­er to learn­ing C++, php, and Objec­tive C — all lan­guages I also would like to know. John­son keeps urg­ing me to dab­ble in Ruby, and that may or may not hap­pen. But at least I’ll under­stand a lit­tle more about OO pro­gram­ming.

    Mind you, I have no illu­sions of becom­ing a pro­gram­mer full time. I may bare­ly use this at work at all. But, if I can

  • Learn to use Reg­u­lar Expres­sions — Pow­er­ful time sav­ing tools which help me get parts of my job (and per­son­al life) done faster. That’s a no-brain­er.

  • Take Ains­ley Swim­ming — There’s a pool just a half block from our house that will be open in late Spring, so my excus­es will be hard to come by. She might not do much more than splash around. How­ev­er, if I can get her to just maybe float and kick a lit­tle, I’ll be most pleased.

  • Final­ly Get Some­thing Out of Twit­ter — Call this giv­ing into peer pres­sure or just get­ting used to the smell of the Kool-Aid; but I have decid­ed to give Twit­ter a real chance. I’m not going to treat it as some fringe gad­get but a core part of my day and how I com­mu­ni­cate with the world. We’ll see how this goes. And, yes; I’m way behind the curve here. I’ll try and keep the dumb posts to a min­i­mum, but actu­al­ly add some val­ue there to the fast mov­ing cloud.

  • Run One Short Road Race Per Month — I know; the trite New Year’s res­o­lu­tion: exer­cise more. Well, this one is a very rea­son­able one for me and some­thing I used to do with ease (though before hav­ing a kid). But even if I have to run at lunch or in the evening, I think I can fit in enough to pull one 5k or 10k out of me a month. I’ll even try and drag Angela and the kids out with me come the sum­mer­time.

I think the com­mon­al­i­ty here is that these all are just using my time bet­ter to get more out of my inter­ac­tions with those around me and those who I want to keep in touch with. Con­sid­er it lessons learned from 2008, I sup­pose. It was a tough year and one that drained me of the will to reach out to oth­ers. We’re in a much bet­ter place in life now and I have a lot less bag­gage caus­ing men­tal fatigue.

So, wish me luck and if you post some res­o­lu­tions or goals of your own, let me know.

Hap­py New Year.