Well, it has been a really rough past couple of months. We’ve been passing around who-knows-how-many viruses. We had several holiday get-together with friends and family here at our house (not including tonight’s NYE party1. Wyatt has learned to crawl, so our lives have only become that much more insane as we attempt to keep him out of trouble. I’ve also been in a beard-growing contest and while you might think not shaving would only save me some trouble, the efforts to do some creative photo documentation have taken up a not-so-small chunk of my dwindling free time. To top it all off, of the four products2 I’m writing for at work, all of them attempted to have releases in the same week (immediately before Christmas).
So, excuses aside, I really wanted to look back on the goals I set out back in January on this site to see just how far I got, in terms of my plan.
Write More In terms of blogging, this is already looking bad. I think I had even fewer blog posts here and for Bentley than I did last year. I still wrote a lot (did I mention all those work projects?), but I can only say I’m disappointed in the lack of online writings.
Take More Photographs and Video — This one fared a good bit better. I don’t know that I took many more general photos than last year, but I will say that between a new baby boy and doing Whiskerino, I’ve spent a lot more time trying to take better photos.
Given that the amount of video I shot in previous years amounted to almost nothing, this was a pretty low hurdle to clear. I did shoot a good bit more video and even shared some clips this year. I managed to capture some very wonderful moments with both kids and even with some family members. Most special to me was that I got to record one of my Grandfather’s stories during his visit back at the beginning of November. I certainly want to share that with my family and children (who are far too young to appreciate that sort of thing). I only regret not doing some more of that.
If nothing else, though, I very proud of this video birth announcement we did for Wyatt:
Learn an Object Oriented Programming Language — This one stalled out pretty early on, I must confess. It was always something of a low priority and this simply wasn’t a year to get around to anything that didn’t have flashing sirens and flames shooting out of its openings. It is certainly still something I’d love to pick up again and my O’Reilly book isn’t going anywhere.
Learn to use Regular Expressions- I really did get into the meat of this one, though. Two of my work projects involved taking a lot of legacy content and updating or integrating it into new documentation of my own. I simply couldn’t have done the amount of work I accomplished without a tool like RegEx and the utility software I used to learn/apply3 it.
In the coming year, I’m going to be getting into structuring legacy content (both my own and that from others) even more. I’ll be forging a lot of my own path in developing document conversions with RegEx and spending some hours learning even the fundamentals is going to pay off.
Take Ainsley Swimming — We did take Ainsley swimming in our neighborhood a few times. What’s more, we dedicated a large portion of time this summer to taking to a swim safety course. The results were nothing short of amazing and I recommend this to anyone with small children. We fully plan on taking Wyatt in the next year.
Finally Get Something Out of Twitter — I really ramped up using Twitter this year. I purchased Tweetie for both the mac and the iPhone and began to follow loads of folks, both near and far. Twitter also went entirely mainstream this past year, which didn’t hurt in finding people of interest to follow.
However, Twitter has become a double-edged sword. It makes finding and following so much easier, it has supplanted blogging and feed-reading a great deal. It seems I’m not the only person who has noticed this, too. Were blogs used to be filled with comments and trackbacks, now we just get shortened links via Twitter. Link blogs are all but dead now (though fortunately some are still strong, such as Gruber or Kottke, and other old-timers) as we constantly are fed a diet of bit.ly links inside of 140 character chunks. I’m not arguing that one is really better than the other and certainly blogging can be a time consuming hobby. But it is important to acknowledge that the way we use Twitter can actually diminish other activities.
Run One Short Road Race Per Month — Oh, God, no. That just didn’t happen. I barely ran at all. That’s not to say I’ve not at least made some effort into getting a bit healthier (I’m already down about 12 pounds from just three months ago). I ran a couple of races, true, but nothing like one a month.
So, there you have it. I’m not disappointed in how things went this year on the whole. I do think I came closer my family, friends, and colleagues; which as I said back in January, was really the ultimate goal here. Two-thousand nine was a tough year, but in a far better way that its immediate predecessor. It was difficult because of the new challenges of a second baby, new work projects, learning to use (or get more out of) the tools I have. In fact, looking back, those are best kind of challenges I think anyone can hope to be up against.
Happy New Year and may twenty ten be a wonderful year for all of us.
- Tonight’s party is actually going to be kind of a early event, as we’re getting together to watch Virginia Tech play and, hopefully beat, the Univ. of Tennessee. There will be food and drink, but I suspect we won’t last much past midnight. [↩]
- I inherited a huge responsibility in the form of STAAD.Pro’s documentation. I made some great strides in updating it over the past three months but I still have a long road ahead of me. Other than that, I worked on the documentation for our soon-to-be released structural modeling integration toolset as well as the two STAAD(X) Tower products. [↩]
- I purchased RegEx Buddy about 6 months ago. Even though it was at my own expense, it saved my bacon ten times over and was worth every penny. [↩]