2010: Goals for the New Year

Not buy any new music (really this time!)

Not drive my car (this should be interesting)

Study the works of Marcus Aurelius, David Thoreau, and Thomas Hobbes

Ride my bikes like crazy

Spend at least one hour a week in meditation (Thursday, perhaps)

Write a novel (50,000 words), or at least half of one.

Study the Biblical books of Philippians, Ecclesiastes, and John

No plans for the blog this year, as I want to be able to dedicate more time to writing on paper with a pen. I also plan to spend less time on the computer in general; hopefully Sunday-Tuesday can be computer-less days, or at least internet-less.

We’ll see what the year holds.

Ready, go!


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New Music to Listen to in 2010!

A year ago I made a list of music I wanted to listen to more in 2009.

Fortissimo - Virgin Black
1.Outside - David Bowie
Audentity - Klaus Schulze
Mirage - Klaus Schulze
Mistaken Identity - Vernon Reid
Zen Arcade - Hüsker Dü
Wired - Jeff Beck
Real Illusions: Reflections - Steve Vai
Mothership Connection - Parliament

Two of those albums (Mothership Connection and 1.Outside) I didn't listen to as much as I would have liked. That will change this year.

Others, like Audentity, Mirage, and Zen Arcade I really, really enjoyed.

Time to do it again! The list of CD's to listen more to this year is as follows!

Front End Lifter - Yohimbe Brothers
1. Outside - David Bowie
Mothership Connection - Parliament
Terria - Devin Townsend
Goldberg Variations - Bach
Better Living Through Chemistry - Fatboy Slim
In Rainbows - Radiohead
Moving Pictures -Rush

To add to that I expect to spend a month listening only listening to David Bowie. I have thirteen of his albums, so it shouldn't really be that hard.

Also, I plan to be able to recognize each of Beethoven's symphonies by ear by the end of the year. This might be harder than I think. I really want to listen to more classical music in general, so maybe this will be a good start.


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2009: A Wrap-up of Goals Met and Also Those I Failed To Meet

So, another year has passed. What a trip! Last year I posted this post detailing my goals for the year. Let's see how I did!

Read at least 20 new books

For your viewing pleasure, I present the entire list of books that I have read this year. The list is 59 books long.

*denotes re-read
- most enjoyable reads in bold

MediaMaking - Grossberg, Wartella, and Whitney
Paradox of Choice - Barry Schwartz
High-Tech Heretic - Clifford Stoll
A Quick Guide to Analogue Synthesis - Ian Waugh
Issues in Advertising - Edited by David G. Tucek
Red Dragon - Thomas Harris
All Consuming Images - Stuart Ewen
Model - Michael Gross
Blink - Malcolm Gladwell
Finally Alive - Dr. John Piper
Renegade Kids, Suburban Outlaws - Wayne S. Wooden
The Faces of Homelessness - Marjore Hope and James Young
Killing Yourself to Live - Chuck Klosterman
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
Fool’s Gold - Andrew B. Schmookler
The Wisdom Of Crowds - James Surowiecki
The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell
Fast Food Nation - Eric Schlosser
The Communist Manifesto - Marx & Engels
Culture Of Complaint - Robert Hughes
Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs - Chuck Klosterman
Ideas of the Great Philosophers - William Sahakian
Principles of Biomedical Ethics - Beauchamp and Childress
Bowling Alone - Robert D. Putnam
Blue Like Jazz - Donald Miller*
The Communications Revolution - George N. Gordon
The Myth of a Christian Religion - Greg Boyd
Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis
Trapped in the Net - Gene I. Rochlin
The Internet Church - Walter P. Wilson
The Passion of Jesus Christ - Dr. John Piper
A Spot of Bother - Mark Haddon
Wild At Heart - John Eldredge
Scribal Culture and the Making of the Hebrew Bible - Karl Van Der Toorn
Generation Ecstasy - Simon Reynolds*
Don’t Waste Your Life - Dr. John Piper*
Fargo Rock City - Chuck Klosterman
The McDonaldization of Society - George Ritzer
Nickel and Dimed - Barbara Ehrenreich
The Two-Income Trap - Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi
Chaos - James Gleick
Joy at the End of the Tether - Douglas WIlson
Culture Jam - Kalle Lasn
Nonviolence in Theory and Practice - Edited by Robert L. Holmes
Semantics - Sidney Shanker
Toxic Psychiatry - Peter R. Breggin
Lives of Master Swordsmen - Makoto Sugawara*
There Are No Children Here - Alex Kotlowitz
Winning PR in the Wired World - Don Middleberg
Being Digital - Nicholas Negroponte
Notes From a Small Island - Bill Bryson
Experiencing Poverty - D.Stanley Eitzen
The Death of Common Sense - Philip K. Howard
Hannibal Rising - Thomas Harris
Technopoly - Neil Postman*
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton*
This Momentary Marriage - Dr. John Piper*
Code of the Samurai - Thomas Cleary

If you are really interested, you can go through my blog posts over the last year and make rough correlations from certain posts to what I was reading at the time. I doubt you will have time to do this. I don't even have time to do this.

Read through the Bible in a year

Completed on 12/27/09! This was a really rewarding experience. Some books, like the prophets, dragged on a bit (I'm looking at you, Isaiah.) Others, like Genesis, still gave me new perspectives on stories I had read dozens of times before.

Not buy any new music

My iTunes tells me that I have added 612 new tracks to my library since 12/31/08. Some of these were gifts, but most were not. FAIL! I did get some really good stuff, though. Some highlights are:
  • Ki - Devin Townsend
  • Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw - Pelican
  • You've Come a Long Way Baby - Fatboy Slim
  • Everything That Happens Will Happen Today - David Byrne and Brian Eno
  • Silence Followed by a Deafening Roar - Paul Gilbert
  • Equinoxe - Jean Michel Jarre
  • The Man Who Sold The World - David Bowie

Double my blogs posts to 174

The side bar on your right will tell you how I did. Pretty sucky, I guess. Well, 132 is 75% of 174, so I get a C- on that one. But at least I didn't blogspam. I wrote when I felt like it and didn't when I was busy. A big part of my falling short is that I developed a serious interest in cycling over the summer, and spent most of my free time doing that. Looking back, some of my favorite posts from the year:

Memorize a list of logical fallacies

My hard drive crashed during the year, and I lost my web bookmarks. On top of that, I forgot all about this one. So, maybe a 50%.

Produce a piece of ambient music that I like

I got close, I think. But I gave my keyboard back to my parents in June, and haven't touched ambient music since then. A large part of that is lack of interest. After reading Outliers I realized that if I truly want to be good at something, I have to dedicate a LOT of time to it. I decided that making music wasn't something I wanted to pursue even fractionally.

Give away five Macs

This flat out did not happen. The reason for this is that after reading Cliff Stoll's criticisms of computer technology, I realized that kids don't need help being exposed to computers. They can learn to use them well on their own. Hence, this post about computer education. And this one. I did, however, supply three (or four :-( ) people with bicycles, which I am happy about.

What a year! I feel that I learned and grew a lot as a person, and am excited to see what this year will hold. Last year I didn't know I enjoyed cycling so much; what will I learn this year!?


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