Thursday, January 10, 2008


Each year I choose an action verb that I can apply throughout the year to many different situations as a consistent self-improvement program. Generally three or four words come to mind when I start thinking about this in December. One word tends to stick by the new year and I really do keep the word in mind all year long.

This year my word is Elevate.

My word for last year was Execute. That was an effective word but my rule is "no repeats". So:

Elevate my execution. (oh yeah)

Elevate my sense of Love: giving and receiving.

Elevate my awareness of situations and my reactions to them.

Elevate listening. Elevate thinking.

Elevate my physical health.

Elevate my skills. Elevate my career.

Elevate my spirituality.

Elevate above and beyond negative energy.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Close... and Cold

Happy Perihelion everyone! The day when the Earth is closest to the Sun was a pretty darn cold day in Denver! And to think, we're about 3 million miles closer than at aphelion in July... When I walked to work downtown every day for nearly three years I gained a different appreciation for our seasons. In fact, it got to the point where I could walk outside and guess the temperature to within 1 degree (relative to a bank billboard just down the street - take that for what it is).

Interestingly, says today is perihelion and the U.S. Navy says tomorrow is. I'm not sure what the difference is there but maybe a few tens of thousands of miles. In that case I might side with the folks who's jobs are affected by a few tens of thousands of miles. And who knows, it might just be another Liberal attack on our understanding of the Earth's climate! (joke folks)

In any case, I love the comments with further explanation (about why it's cold and how you're slightly heavier) on the Earthsky post.

"I'm in love with this planet that I'm standing on" --Matt Johnson, The The

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

So Here's To Looking Back

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." On the whole, 2007 was a very good year and in many ways a positively life-changing year. Here are some highlights and not-so-highlights:

I started off 2007 by introducing some bad juju into my family. Bingo was a great puppy in so many ways - he was beautiful and soo intelligent - but in so many other ways he was absolutely the worst experience of 2007. My earlier post pretty much sums it up but even in horrible times I take away valuable lessons, and Bingo taught us that we're just not dog people (any more). Upon reflection though, the energy spent and repercussions of the decision to introduce a puppy into our family were felt far and wide through the year. It was crazy but the Bingo decision became a win-win for all parties involved and that's my take-away for the year.

If anything marked my abundance this year it was the absolute highlight of visiting my brother-in-law in New York. Closing Saturday night at a party on the rooftop of a Bleeker St. building, looking out over the Hudson at the lights of New Jersey and back at all the buildings surrounding me in Manhattan was the absolute pinnacle of my night life this year. But our other trips this year were great as we pulled a road trip to Moab and Arches National Park and introduced our daughter to tent camping and hiking, and a trip to San Diego to introduce the kids to the beaches of southern California, Sea World, and Disneyland.

My son started Kindergarten this year and that was a huge, amazing step. He's in a great class in an excellent school and we feel fortunate to live in a community with the great people we've met.

2007 was very interesting on the technical front as well. I completed three JSF projects and feel comfortable working with pretty much all of the aspects of the technology and feel like I've applied them to a very broad range of industrial enterprise software problems. Along the way, Furl was a vital tool personally coming up to speed with JSF. I love Furl!

Other sites that caught a significant amount of my attention in 2007 were Facebook (of course) and Amazon's DRM-free music download service. Still, I can't help wondering what is Facebook?

And from a pure entertainment standpoint, the best (by far) books I read in 2007 were The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman. Though The Little Book That Beats the Market by Joel Greenblatt and Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert were notables.

Finally, no reflection on the past year would be complete without the annual Netflix analysis: We consumed 85 movies in 2007, or 7 movies a month. Our high month was May with 11 movies and our low month was February with 2 movies. The only movies I loved (5 stars) were The Secret and No End in Sight. Notable movies I really liked (4 stars) were Apocalypto, The Fountain, Flags of Our Fathers, The Last King of Scotland, and A Face in the Crowd. The two movies I didn't care for at all were Happy Feet and Babel.

My word for 2007 was 'Execute'. So how did I do..? On the whole I feel like I executed in all aspects of my life... but I can always be better and that word was so 2007. It's time to move on. Happy New Year!