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Purdy (2383)

Purdy
  jasonNO@SPAMpurdy.info
http://purdy.info/
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Yahoo! ID: jpurdy2 (Add User, Send Message)

Bleh - not feeling creative right now. You can check me out on PerlMonks [perlmonks.org].

Journal of Purdy (2383)

Friday December 31, 2004
11:14 AM

2004 In Review

[ #22519 ]

I liked spur's year-end review so much, I decided to do one, myself. An excellent way to reflect upon where you've been and also to keep yourself moving forward for next year.

Programming/Professional
I have continued to evolve my understanding and techniques of Web development, strengthening my usage of CGI::Application, picked up CGI::Session (instead of passing along tons of hidden variables) in the form of a CGI::Application plugin, and I've even made some contributions to CPAN this year. I also attended the LPW and I've learned a lot from that experience. I have even dabbled in test-driven development, though I'm still uncertain how best to test web apps.

I also attended ABM's first annual "roundtable" on what other publishers are doing with the internet, which was very eye-opening. I hope to attend the next one and bring my boss with me for future inspirational ideas.

Reading
I should keep better notes on what I've read - I will do so in the future. So here's a loose collection of books that I have read, in no order and hopefully correct (I may have read a few of these in '03):

  1. "Snow Crash", by Neal Stephenson
  2. "Diamond Age", by Neal Stephenson
  3. "Shutter Island", by Dennis Lehane
  4. "dot.bomb", by J. David Kuo
  5. "Relic", by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
  6. "Brimstone", by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
  7. "Prey", by Michael Crichton
  8. "Magician: Apprentice", by Raymond Feist
  9. "Magician: Master", by Raymond Feist
  10. "Darkness at Sethanon", by Raymond Feist
  11. "Silverthorn", by Raymond Feist
  12. "Deception Point", by Dan Brown
  13. "Digital Fortress", by Dan Brown
  14. "Mount Dragon", by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
  15. "Riptide", by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
  16. "Thunderhead", by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
  17. "The Ice Limit", by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
  18. "The Cabinet of Curiosities", by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
  19. "Still Life with Crows", by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
  20. "Rule of Four", by Ian Caldwell, Dustin Thomason
  21. "The Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl, Book 1)", by Eoin Colfer
  22. "The Arctic Incident (Artemis Fowl, Book 2)", by Eoin Colfer
  23. "The Zenith Angle", by Bruce Sterling
  24. "The Power of Persuasion : How We're Bought and Sold", by Robert V. Levine

Personal
2004 has been a great year, personally. Meredith has been a great addition to our family. I also started the South Beach Diet back on Labor Day and to date, have lost 42 pounds. I also feel great and my physical health has been confirmed as much, too.

Successes
Well, again, Meredith and the diet have been great successes for 2004. Meredith is healthy and there's much to be grateful for - we are so blessed with her. :) I'm also proud that we have already accomplished her college fund, which is a nice preparation for what's to come, 18 years from now. I also received a great review from $WORK and so my professional life is looking good, too.

I've also been able to streamline/reduce our expenses, both by accommodating our new lifestyle w/ Meredith and also by tailoring our lifestyle to synchronize with right prioritizations. For example, I was able to reduce our Cable bill in half (from $80/m to $40/m) by reducing Standard Cable to Basic Cable (basically, broadcast channels and a few others). They also reduced my Cable Internet bill when I threatened to drop them for a cheaper DSL service (they matched the price!). I also eliminated our cell phone bills by switching both my wife & I to prepaid cells, given that our usage is spare. So now instead of $70/m for cellphones, it's more like $10/m (and that's for both of us). So I'm really proud of trimming that fat from our monthly budget. I'm currently working on other fronts, too.

Another thing I'm proud of is that I've read more books than visits to the movie theater. I think I must have been to the movies five times or less - the Incredibles, the Harry Potter movie and Spiderman 2. I think that's it.

Also, I was able to get an article published (by O'Reilly, no less!), reviewing ActiveState's Komodo.

Failures
I'm not scared to admit my failures for 2004, either. I wasn't able to execute on two fronts - with the ApacheCon conference talk and a book-writing endeavour with Apress Books (on Perl/WebDev). I don't think that's really bad, mind you -- it kept me home from travels and sane from book-writing, but I do hate to disappoint others. Bill Cosby's quote comes to mind: "I don't know what the secret to success is, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone."

So I guess they're not really failures, or at least I don't see them as such. Moreso that they are my true (and imo, right) prioritizations taking root.

Speaking of prioritizations, one true failure has also been involved with what should be a top priority, with my belief in God and slipping away from Him and His Church. It is much harder to deal with going to Church when you'd like to spend time at home with Meredith, sleep in or just not deal with the Nursery, etc.

2005 Goals
Here are my goals for 2005, in no particular order:

  • Maintain Weight (never go above 218)
  • Read (and keep track of) 20 (or more) books
  • Plan Out Publishing Tools Effort (Open Source vs. not, business plan, etc)
  • Reinvest more time with Church
  • Continue to streamline expenses
  • Build a MythTV Boxen
  • Keep evolving WebDev Expertise (including test-driven dev)

Peace,

Jason

Note: I may update this post later as other thoughts come to mind...

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