Tuesday, December 29, 2009


A tradition I've been doing for several years now, here's where I look back at the past year, as represented by what I posted on.  

January started off with a bang - 31 posts.  Bam.  The mother-in-law was newly out of the house, we had snow, some fog, and I predicted I'd see 160 on the scale by this coming Thursday.  I guess I need to find someone lighter than me to go stand on the scale.
January 3 - "Motivation" - am amazed at how much easier it is to get chores done on a weeknight than it is on a Saturday when there is all day to do stuff. Lori wondered if it was because I'd already spent the day feeling productive and getting stuff done. But, I'm not sure that's it. I think it's more that I have the mental idea of a very short timeframe in which to get stuff done.

February saw practical tips on handling large volumes of email (a guide based on people continuously asking me at work how I did it), regrets over a Daddy/Daughter day that I felt like I phoned in, lots of photos off my cell phone from my trip to Arizona, I looked back on all the major lessons I've learned from each of my post-college jobs, and we projected the superbowl on the wall and now I wanted a projector.
February 11 - "Dirty Tricks Division" - I think if I had a little color printer, I'd want to have some fun.  Like a new note on the toilet paper... "Westin is proud to offer you this extra roll of Heavenly Wipes(tm) because sometimes we know you need more.  To use, simply remove the outer wrapper.  $8 will be added to your bill at the time of checkout."

March was when I got temporarily hooked on Uno online.  That didn't last long, tried flying a kite with Rachel, complained that Qwest still keeps giving us Tacoma phone books, saw the Seattle P.I. cease to be, seriously cleaned my cube (with photos) and had a lot of dreams.
March 22 - "Father and Son" - Tonight, I was sitting on the couch with Ben on my lap.  I was handing him goldfish one at a time and also eating them myself.  He leaned back and lifted his head to look at me.  Then he raised his arm with the golfdish towards me.  He eventually just leaned back until he was lying down so he could look at me.  He would repeat the almost-offer of the goldfish several times.

In April, I counted stuff (# of offices, length of time unemployed, # of bosses named Jeff or Rich), learned that even "when to call a girl back after a date" is set forth in the Bible (thanks "How I Met Your Mother"), continued to rail against how badly GM's mucked things up, enjoyed the rain, complained about Old Navy, and seemingly the big news of our year, we got the Wii Fit.
April 24 - "Mine" - And then inspiration hit. I instructed her to stay put and went and found her birth certificate. I showed her where it said 'Certificate of Live Birth' and 'State of California' and she brightened up and said "That's me!". She liked the colors of the embossing on the paper and seemed impressed by the notary impression. So I showed her where on the paper that it listed her name and my name and Lori's name. And I told her that this was proof from the state of California that she was our daughter and always would be.

In May there was a scare that there was something large in our attic - nope, just a crow clubbing something to death on the roof at 5 am; I talked about TV shows a lot, I tried to document my Wii Fit progress every day (didn't last long), and I proposed fractional pony ownership (similar to NetJets). Think this was also the month that Marcus killed himself, not that we'd find out about it for a few months.
May 6 - "Getting the Band Back Together" - I don't know why, but as I was sitting at dinner, I was struck with inspiration. If I were musical, I'd want to start a band and I'd call it "Store Brand." Our musical style? Covers, of course. (Yeah, I think I'm pretty clever.)

In June I reflected back on an email that Lori and I have been sending back and forth for over 10 years, started doing more creative writing, and took a real honest-to-goodness vacation - foreign country, days spent sitting and doing nothing, views of the water.  All of the sudden, I really miss Victoria. In early June I was inspired to think of a new way of organizing stuff at home, but then really didn't follow through with it.
June 13 - "Inappropriately Insecure" - A rather interesting phrase came up tonight in Small Group: Inappropriately Insecure.  It was used to describe someone who is so insecure that they rely on the rigidity of rules to get by.  Everything is black and white.  There's no deviation from the rules and that's the only time they feel safe.  I thought it was a rather interesting description and a great phrase.  I think I know some people like that and that I once had those tendencies.  But, especially at work, I think I am becoming more confident, more secure, more able to determine when rules should apply and when there is flexibility to choose the best course of action.  It is liberating to be secure, confident.

July was a dry month - not much posting going on, mostly just videos I found cool and screen captures of a busy day or the thermometer in my car.  I also spent more than half an hour screwing with a spammer who had hijacked my friend's Facebook account and was trying to get me to wire them money because they had apparently gotten stuck in London without their wallet.  (Or their four children under the age of 4, one of whom has had some health issues and needs a lot of care and attention.)
July 30 - "Leadership" - Can't remember exactly where I heard it, or if I even am getting the attribution quite right (Dupree?), but thought it was compelling.... Leaders have but two jobs: (1) Define reality. (2) Say "Thank you"

August was also a slow month.  Firestone went on my list, I formulated a plan for cold-call emails, fought with as Waste Management (I think I lost), spent way too much time detailing my (albeit amazing) iTunes smart playlist composition and gave the world unsolicited advice on vacations. 
August 3 - "Woo Hoo" - Not only have the idiots at the Box network been fired and horribly killed and Planet Express is back on the air (errr... in the air), but the new idiots have done something right... thank you to Fox and the stars of Futurama to the compromise that brings back the original voices.

In September, Lori and I stole away to Seattle for a very quick vacation to celebrate 10 years (sadly, the Hawaii trip was out of reach) (thank you Eskews for entertaining our children!), and I took some screen captures of some positive results in Wii Fit.  What a dud of a month, as far as regular posting went.
September 15 - "Yeah, I Brought It (2 of 2)" - Today is going to be an excellent day. I tangled with someone the other day - they had presented some information in an email that they had gathered and I started to try to reply and address some incorrect points in the email but eventually gave up and just said their email had too many problems for me to know where to begin and that we ought to meet. (Today's lesson for the corporate world, kids - check the org chart first - person didn't like what I said/how I said it and let some others know.) I do believe I've managed to since convince them that I'm a good guy.

3 posts total in October?  Sad, just sad.  I think I must have posted more on Facebook.  But I'm trying to post here on the blog first and let it flow over to Facebook since it'll be retained much longer on the blog.  Yeah, so I made fun of something I like (candy corn), purged my friends lists, and finally learned that Marcus had killed himself.
October 12 - "Fight Night" - Something happened today that's making me re-think how I use Social Media, if at all.  Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy hearing from my friends, but this event made me take stock of who my friends really are.  I heard a researcher recently quoted saying that people can have, I think, between 80-110 friends and really know them. Anyhow, as I looked at it, there were 436 on Facebook and 76 on Twitter, without a lot of overlap.  Were they all friends that I genuinely knew?  No.  I began slashing.  And then I slashed some more.  In the end, I had 233 friends on Facebook and 38 on Twitter.  (And that was after adding two on Twitter.)

November was a little better with 18 posts.  In a number of cases, I had a notepad open as I went through my day and would flip over and jot observations and thoughts and then at the end of the day, post them all at once.  I posted my second-favorite 120 (my first was "Unspoken" in June) and I've intended to follow-it up with additional pieces, but I've been struggling to put them together cohesively.  I might need to just dive in and write about Dell's (my character) backstory before returning to the present where the cop is riding up on the motorcycle behind his stopped truck.  Also questioned Target's new brand strategy, thought I'd solved perpetual motion (but instead got some physics lessons - though those are mostly on Facebook) and Google releases a new toy that I thought I wouldn't see before I got to heaven.
November 7 - "When Will I Learn There Are No Guarantees" - What the world needs now is a new Frank Sinatra. And not in a Cracker way (the person most likely to understand this reference probably wouldn't be caught dead listening to Cracker, so there you go.) And if you say "What about John Mayer?" Then you need a kick in that teeth. That overhyped commercialized pretty boy is nothing but a corporate tool and "Waiting for the World to Change" is a piece of falsely optimistic tripe that appeals to people who are way too self-absorbed, prideful and egotistical (sadly, a topic I'm all too qualified to speak on). You can keep waiting for the world to change, but you will change first. Trust me. The sooner you get real about this fact and look at what you can change at the same time, the more effective you'll be. Don't wait for the world to change around you. Seize the carp and whatnot.

In December, I posted some stats from iTunes about our music listening habits, cheered as Time Warner excised the cancer known as AOL, and suggested I ought to write more.  Ha Ha, Mr. 7 Posts.  And then on Tuesday, December 29, I was late for work.  Though I was there an hour late last night and the office will be virtually empty this morning, I don't think anyone will begrudge me a few minutes.
December 17 - "Undertow: Not a Book Review" - But, yeah, where does that leave me?  If you say "Write what you know." then suddenly I feel very dumb.  I have absolutely no interest in non-fiction, but I feel like I don't know enough about anything to make for a very interesting fiction story.  Or that it's going to be flat because I lack actual experiences to draw from.  And the images in my head, while rich, are sometimes difficult to draw out, or the detail required to give them life will bore people as it veers into non-fiction.

Related posts: 2008, 2007 (parts one, two and three), 2006 and 2005.