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A Year in Review, 2011 edition | Wired Cola

A Year in Review, 2011 edition

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Inspired by last year's summary, here's what I did in 2011:

In January, TLO bought us a car, as we finally surrendered to the reality that our semi-beloved New Beetle was not reliable, and between me and our mechanic, we had neither the will nor the wit to make it right. The Versa has been a quiet charmer: surprisingly comfy seating for four; flip the rear seat, and it eats bikes with no wheels off, no bad habits, driving-wise, and the cupholders can actually hold cups, unlike the comical VW cupholder parodies. (We also sold the Beetle, of course).

In May, my parents invited us to join them for a four-day cruise, which was a first for TLO and I. It was something we will do again.

In June, I went to Orlando for a major AV conference, and it was there, in a bar in the bowels of the Hard Rock Cafe (courtesy a vendor-sponsored party), that I saw the Canucks utterly fail to win Game 7 of the Stanley Cup, confirming my belief that it's the The President's Trophy that really matters.

I wrote a comprehensive guide to bicycle commuting for my workplace, as an interesting side job, along with a extra-nerdy appendix. I was proud of the effort, and I hope it drives a few people onto their bicycles.

I wrote an Essay in Favour of Plausible Events. This could go places.

TLO and I did our now-usual trip to Greece, this time in the Fall, and it was our best vacation ever. There were many delights large and small.

On a pet front, we adopted a cute Jack Russell Terrier cross named Abe. He is not perfect, but he is a delight, and even with the the usual biases accounted for, my favourite pet ever. The addition of a loach to our fish tank turned it into a Death Tank for all the other poor fish, but we have now converted the tank to all mean fish, and they, um, don't try to kill each other.

Bike racing was something I took a little more seriously this year, albeit in fits and starts. I've had a tremendous amount of fun, and I've picked my spots in terms of the kind of events I'm doing, often quite novel. As for the results, I didn't always cover myself in glory (fun notwithstanding), but I had my moments.

And really, track cycling deserves its own paragraph: I joined the Burnaby Velodrome Club this year, and am so glad I did. Aside from flattering my particular gifts as a rider, it has proven to be enormously entertaining, and I've even seen friends and family come out and have fun watching me tear up the track. This is all low-category beer-league nonsense, to be sure, but lots of fun.

Here were last year's resolutions, with scoring:

-Drink less, Internet less, eat less, ride more.
I drank about the same. I Internetted about the same. I ate the same, maybe slightly better. I rode more, though, getting close to my desired level of training.

-Learn some things. Greek or Objective-C, or project management, or personnel management. Any two would be great.
I learned a bit of Greek, and it was very good. Obj-C? Nothing. PM and PM? I learned on the job, but I feel like my project and personnel skill are slightly better than last year. I hope for a big breakthrough on projects in 2012, thanks to some tools, notably Basecamp, that I have started using habitually. Personnel skills? I've...gained a lot of experience.

-Learn or improve or regularly use a technique for making things with my hands. Brazing, whittling, circuit assembly. Something. Could even be more bike building, I guess.
Not much on this front. I did some random crafting, though, including sorting out a new camera strap (prototype here) that involved a bit of design and a bit of scrounging and a bit of sewing. It was interesting.

-re-exhibit the History of Video Games.
Watch this space.

-divest a considerable amount of my under-used bike gear. I have too many bikes, too many frames, too many parts. Time to tidy up.
With TLO's encouragement, I sold a lot of accumulated stuff, mostly not bike gear (car tires, roof racks, a dishwasher). This is still in the plans, but I may start fire-saling gear. What is good is that I didn't gain too much bike junk, and I did divest of old clothes, random junk, and unloved books in a fairly ruthless fashion.

-Some personal resolutions that are none of your business.
I can't remember exactly, so they probably only went so-so.

So here's some resolutions for next year, once again with lots of recycling:
Drink less, Internet less, eat less, train smart: not "ride more," as I think I've got enough riding in my schedule, so it's a matter of doing things correctly, so my weight goes down and my speed goes up, I do the valuable non-bike workouts that make me stronger and faster, and I plan around peak performances during goal events.

Learn Greek, start an Objective-C project (I actually have a project in mind this time), be better at my job.

Learn to use TLO's new sewing machine for minor alterations and a mini project. That will be my "use my hands" resolution, but I'm not giving up on getting a MAPP torch and some brazing wire.

Acquire a Computer Space arcade machine. Or maybe a Pong.

Sell some surplus bike frames.

Some personal resolutions that are none of your business.