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2008: Starting the New Year Late Again

To kick off 2008, this post will be personal. Sort of a “get my bearings” post to start off on the right foot. You may want to skip reading this if you have something better to do, but it may spark some ideas for yourself.

This post was long delayed. It’s been my longest writing dry spell in months, mainly due to some rough times in my life right now (more on this later). In addition, as in 2007, it’s taken me about three weeks to figure out my focus for the coming year. I really kicked off 2007 on January 20th, when I started my diet. It was a year of extremes for me, and one I’d never want to experience again. There were some very positive achievements, but some seriously depressing and frustrating times. But I’ll focus on the positive here to kick off the new year.

  1. 2007 was the year I finally lost the weight I’ve wanted to lose for about 25 years. I reached that point of “I had it.” That point where you just can’t take it anymore. And I lost around 70 pounds. I still want to lose another 10 or so, but as long as I stay around where I am, I’m happy. I haven’t been in this good shape since, well, ever. This is the first time I can remember feeling slim. My previous slim days was another life ago, and I never knew fat then, so I didn’t have anything to compare it to. This was a great year as far as this is concerned, and it wasn’t really painful at all. Wish I did it years ago, but at least I DID IT!
  2. 2007 was the year I finally helped kick off a user group. I’ve wanted to do this for several years, and by pushing for it and making my intentions known, I got myself into a situation to make it happen. I initially tried to do this on my own, but realized it was impossible. Thanks to Leo Junquera and Louis Edouard, this is now real. Louis ran the prior version of the .NET user group ON HIS OWN, which amazes me. And without his role at UConn, none of this would have happened. And Leo has an amazing ability to find unbelievable speakers, and has great ideas for making this so much more. And not only did we start one user group, but actually two user groups AND the next great thing that happened…
  3. 2007 was the year I helped run a very successful code camp. This came together so fast, that it took some time afterwards for it to hit me. It’s given me a lot of confidence to organize this type of event in the future. I also discovered through this experience that I’m a much more capable manager than I previously thought. I sort of grabbed that role, but I’m sure my co-chairs, Leo and Louis would do just as well managing future events. This whole experience has gotten the wheels turning in my mind for so much more!
  4. 2007 was the year I really started writing. But it’s still so much less than I want to write. I’m still trying to find my voice on the page and just be myself. I tend to hold back a bit, and I feel some of my writing is still a bit stilted, but I’m learning to relax. I’m starting to feel a little less self-conscious about it (and, ouch, my parents are reading EEK). I have so, so, so much to say, but I need to stay focused.

In 2008:

I want to write a lot more. I want to get much more involved in other conversations on other blogs and such. I feel I have a lot to contribute, but I have to prove it, mainly to myself. I need to learn to be myself in my writing. I claim I’m opinionated, but I sometimes hold back on that. I need to concentrate on a few main topics to keep this blog focused. I’ve been reading a LOT about blogging, and I’m taking many of the ideas I’ve read about to heart. Like Bob Walsh suggests in his book Clear Blogging, I’m going to try to focus on what I’m most passionate about. There are several such topics, some of which are unrelated. Some people recommend having separate blogs to keep the audience (hah!) interested and coming back for more. But since this blog is named after myself (uh, no ego involved there, no sir Redfaced / Embarassed), I think it’s more fitting to be true to that. So I’ll follow another implied suggestion of Bob’s, which is to dedicate a topic or sub-topic to each day of the week. If people are only interested in one or two topics, they can choose to only visit on those days. Or if they subscribe to my feed, they can ignore the articles from some days, knowing that I’ll be writing on interesting (to them) topics the other days.

As of now, here are the topics I care most about, and will be dedicating to different days of the week (haven’t assigned which, yet):

  • Productivity (mainly through technology)
  • Micro-ISV (I’m working on starting one, so I’ll walk through that experience)
  • Training and Education (I’m also looking to start a training company or wing of the Micro-ISV venture)
  • Leadership (my roles have been leadership roles for the past 20 years or so, and I have a lot to say here)
  • Music (this is a major passion of mine, but a bit off-topic from the above items, so this may be a weekend topic)

Also in 2008:

I want to get the new Micro-ISV off the ground. My team and I have been working on this in fits and starts for several years, but it’s finally close to reality, and now my current employer is aware of my dreams for this. Being entrepreneurial themselves, the founders may be willing to help. I understand that they’ve helped other employees. Unfortunately, my business partner for almost 20 years (in my previous consulting company, and one of the partners of this new venture) is in very critical condition after a bad car wreck in December. As of this writing, he’s been in a coma for a month, and we have no idea what’s going to happen. But this has lit a fire under all of us to get this going, and secure the funding we need.

I really can’t plan much more beyond the above two major goals, on top of continuing my work for the technical community with the user groups.

One more thing. I’ll often have other random thoughts that I’d rather not post full articles about. So I’ll post them as little notes at the end of my normal posts, clearly delineated so you could ignore if you’d like. Sort of like a personal Twitter. Here comes one now…

Random Thought:
Angels and Airwaves’ new album, I-Empire, is currently my favorite album of all-time, bypassing U2’s The Joshua Tree. I may change my mind next year, but it took 20 years to knock a U2 album out of first place for me. I never get sick of it, and I can listen 100 times a day. Amazing stuff. It’s magical.

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