the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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Storming the Bastille of My Life

The only New Year's resolution I was ever any good at keeping was when I resolved to drink more sparkling wine, and let me tell you, that was a pretty great year as a result. (Feeling down? Bubbles will lift you up! Things are going well? Perfect--celebrate!) Thus do I excuse my belated blogging by vague hand-waving and mumbling that it's all part of the plan. I'm not making resolutions, damn it, I'm laying out a plan. (Yes, Blackadder fans, it's a cunning plan. Now shush.)

I found Chris Miller's call to arms particularly inspirational, and I've read more than once that the only way to really commit to a goal is to be public about it, to strike a bargain between support and accountability.

So, here's what I want out of 2011. Prepare, possibly, for TMI, but mostly the honesty that I think I have to employ if I'm going to make changes.

Physical Health

  1. Exercise 3 times weekly

    I am ridiculously terrible at this, and it shows--in my posture, in my physical stamina, in my aches and pains, in my energy level. I'll go six months or more between any kind of serious exertion, and that's just not sustainable. I want to be an embarassing pain to my daughter for many, many years to come! I've started taking daily walk breaks at work, but I'd like to do more. (Cheer/yell at me on Heia Heia...)

  2. Weight: 175 pounds (lose 15-20, depending on the week)

    Closely related to item 1. I'm closer to 200 than I should be without having an athletic build, and while the trajectory is gradual, it's still not in the right direction. It's time to change course while I can.

  3. Floss daily

    I go through phases of being awesome at this, and phases of totally failing. I'd like to stabilize that into solid win territory.

  4. Fix my sleep cycle

    After a trip to Colorado last summer, my bedtime never shifted back from Mountain to Eastern time. I've come to think of anything more than 5 hours of sleep as a luxury, and that's probably not good. Given that I'm up late blogging instead of sleeping, it's safe to say that I've got a lot of room for progress here.

Mental Health: Professional, Nerd, and Hobby Goals

  1. Speak at PyCon

    Step 1 is accomplished--my talk proposal was accepted. Now I need to deliver by putting together the ass-kicking talk that I want to give. Hopefully the fear of epic public failure will whip my perfectionist ass into shape on this front shortly.

  2. Catch up/stay current on photo uploads

    I'm months behind, but slowly clawing my way back. The dam appears to be breaking, though more slowly than I'd like.

  3. Restart From Python Import Podcast

    After a six-month hiatus, I finally bullied everyone enough to actually record an episode, so early progress is looking good. And we've got a February recording date on the calendar, so fingers are crossed that we can build a sustainable cadence here.

  4. Figure out what my job is

    It's been almost four years since I got laterally shifted into a "wandering samurai"/"ninja strike team leader" solo role, with lots of autonomy, no direct reports, and little more direction beyond "do bigger, harder projects". Now that I've gotten a title promotion to match, it's really important to me to figure out exactly what my job is supposed to be.

  5. Read Clean Code

    Seriously, I'm giving a PyCon talk about how not to make pretty code; I'm going to feel like the biggest fucking hypocrite if I haven't got through Clean Code by then.

  6. Read at least one book per month

    I used to devour books at frightening speeds, but ever since the kiddo came along, my reading has taken a sharp dive; lately it's been almost completely replaced by comics and graphic novels, which were easy to get into because I could fit them comfortably into her nap times. Now that she's three, I want to set a better example for her and model good reading behaviors--not to mention I miss the mental stimulation of longer reads.

  7. Blog twice monthly

    Now that I've switched over to Blogofile, I seem to be doing all right on this front. Time, of course, will tell, but I can definitely say that it's nice to have a non-microblogging outlet and form larger thoughts again.

  8. Launch at least one personal code project

    I have a couple of things that have been on the back burner for so long that it's getting embarrassing. I floated a couple of them by Chris, and it looks like he may be interested in helping me with the larger one, so there's hope for some external motivation here.


  1. Attend Clepy six times

    I still hate that it's on Monday nights, which never, ever, ever seem to be any good for me. But I need to get out of the office and be part of the Python community here, damn it. A 50% attendance rate seems like a good place to start.

  2. Monthly game night

    We did a non-video-game game night a month so ago, and everyone had a ton of fun. I'd like to make this a regular thing. Don't get me wrong--Rock Band is still my one true love!--but it's nice to be face-to-face around a table.

  3. Monthly photo walk

    This is off to a good start, and February's walk is scheduled. I have high hopes here. I rarely have the motivation to go shooting by myself, and when I do, I don't learn nearly as much or have as much fun as I do when I'm with friends.


  1. New camera body

    New toys are good. After four years of solid use on my Digital Rebel XT, I think it's time to move up a little bit.

  2. Fireplace

    Liz and I have been talking about replacing the fireplace doors (which no longer fully latch closed) for years. Time to bite the bullet and do it.

  3. Computers

    Liz's laptop is four, going on five, has come to the end of life on another battery, and is so full of data that she has to delete things to do software updates. It's time to end-of-life it and our early-2002 G4 iMac and replace them with something that will hold for another three or four years.

  4. Mailbox

    Our mailbox--a cheap plastic thing from Home Depot--is in really sad shape, sorely bent by years of snow plowing. We're gaining the upper hand on most of our yard, so having a box that's so far askew is really setting off my entropy alarms. I want to figure out a more solid solution that won't take quite as much of a beating every winter.

  5. Mattress

    Our mattress was awesome in 2000, but it sucks now, and is probably the source of or a contributing factor to our perceived poor-quality sleep.

  6. Budget

    Ha! Hahaha! Yeah. Right. Like that's going to happen. I've been flirting with this for years, but it never fully materializes. I think this may be the main thing separating me from feeling like a fully-fledged adult. So that probably means it needs attention.

Sometimes I look at that list and it seems overwhelming. Other times--like now--I think to myself that it's all pretty doable. After all, it's not like I've got anything silly like "world peace" on there (and a good thing too, or else what would I do in 2012?).

And I think if you can help to hold me accountable, I just might do it.

Aux armes citoyens!

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