2008 Resolutions

Why do we have resolutions if all they do is depress us when we don’t keep them? Earlier tonight, I composed my initial list of resolutions for 2008, and just a few minutes ago, I looked at my 2007 Resolutions post from last year. Of last year’s resolutions, I only completed two to my satisfaction: I got my taxes done on time and I bought a Variax.

This year’s list is much bigger, but possibly less restrictive. Several resolutions from last year carry over (and may well be perpetual entries, no matter how well I perform them), with lots of new entries. I’ll try to organize them into manageable sections, though I’m sure there will be crossover.

Creativity

1. Write more consistently, whether journaling, blogging, or creative writing.
2. Find another outlet for article writing (since ComputorEdge has gone virtual.)
3. Publish some fiction. (Didn’t I say this last year?)
4. Play more musical gigs.
5. Start teaching my stepson how to play guitar (his request, my responsibility to follow up.)
6. Transplant my Variax electronics into a Carvin Bolt kit or Warmoth guitar body.

Physical & Mental Health

1. Learn how to get up earlier, consistently.
2. Utilize my handheld BalanceLog software to track my eating and exercising habits.
3. Ride my bike or walk to work more often. (If I get up earlier, this is not a problem!)
4. Make appointments with the dentist to remove my errant wisdom teeth and extra teeth below the gum on the lower jaw.

Financial Health

1. Get the amp out of the pawn shop, and never put it in again.
2. Continue to provide quality computer consulting, but stop devaluing my services as much.
3. Keep current on space rent, car payment, mortgage, and car insurance.
4. Make a spending plan (a.k.a. budget) and stick to it.
5. Track finances better with Quicken on computer and handheld.

Home Improvements

1. Clean cat boxes daily.
2. Help more with household chores without having to be asked.
3. Reduce household clutter gradually (this will help mental health, too.)
4. Upgrade my computer (new mobo, RAM, and video.)
5. Replace carpet with hardwood flooring throughout the house.
6. Landscape yard.
7. Install carport/awning.

Whew! Am I setting myself up to fail? Probably, but as I established at the beginning of this post, that’s what resolutions are all about, right? At least making the list helps me keep an eye on the goals.

Stuck in the Mountains

I’m writing this post from a Safeway cafe area in Frisco, Colorado while I wait for parts to be delivered from the East Coast (which is pretentious enough to deserve capital letters, evidently.) I stayed in Silverthorne, Colorado last night because I-70 eastbound was closed due to blowing and drifting snow.

Today is my day off, actually. But since I was stuck here overnight and my employer is kind enough to pay for my hotel room and last night’s meal, I figure the least I can do is stay here long enough to get the parts to fix the self-checkout machine at this Safeway.

I considered writing last night, but didn’t get back to the hotel room until a little before 9:00 PM, due to an overcrowded restaurant. (35 minutes to get seated, another 35 minutes to get my sandwich, and 20 minutes to eat it and pay the check.) After that I talked with my wife on the phone for a while, then talked with my bandmate John about new domain names for the band. Www.steelriverthree.com lapsed because I didn’t have the money to renew it at the time, and a company called New Ventures Services Corp. (which is, I think, a subsidiary of Network Solutions, though there may be evidence to dispute that) snapped it up. When I inquired into purchasing the domain name back, I found out that it would cost a minimum of $100 plus a $19 fee just to make the offer. Even more ridiculous is the estimate that Network Solutions suggested I make for the domain name. Based on the fact that it’s a .com domain, and on the domain’s traffic history, the suggested offer was $8,800 to $11,300! Um, no. If New Ventures Services Corp. is truly an underling of Network Solutions, it seems that there is a conflict of interest here, and frankly, I think it should be investigated and regulated. But that’s because I’m a registered Democrat, of course.

At any rate, John and I settled on a new domain name, which I will publish here as soon as I get it activated. We will also have a MySpace presence for the first time, and some of our songs will be available for streaming on the MySpace page. Maybe that will generate some gigs for us.

As I look out the window at the bright blue skies above Frisco, shielding my eyes from the glare of the snow, I realize that things are good. If I’m bitching about Network Solutions fleecing me, things must not be too bad. And there are definitely worse places to be stuck on a Saturday morning.

Tune

Tune
(For Phil Sudo)

Earthly tones, with pitch
Ascending, stairsteps to
Divinity.  Silver strings,
Gossamer wings, carry us
Beyond this world to ride
Ethereal melodies.

Expectations fall away,
Allowing soul to soar
Drifting upward in a
Gyre, each cycle higher than
Before.  Tune up!  And
Elevate your consciousness.

— Stace Johnson, 2006

NaNoWriMo and General Creativity

I decided to try my hand at National Novel Writing Month this year. The idea is to spend the month of November writing a novel, focusing on output rather than quality. Once the text is out there, you have 50,000+ words to revise and sculpt into a quality novel. (A sculptor must define the general shape before refining the sculture, you know.)

I have yet to write a single word on my novel. It’s not because I don’t want to; I just haven’t had the time available during the first three days of the month. With the schedule I built for myself, I need to average 2,500 words per day to reach the goal of 50,000 words, and I’m already 7,500 words behind. I was tempted to just give it up for this year and concentrate on bringing in more freelance writing and consulting work, but Lannette encouraged me to do some writing on the novel every day anyway, even if I don’t meet the goal of NaNoWriMo. Somehow, I think she gets the point of the event more than I do.

In other news …

I have been revising the site a bit, changing the name to Lytspeed Communications and Consulting and building a page to house my writing and consulting credentials, hoping to generate some more income from freelance work. I pitched a number of article ideas to ComputorEdge for 2006, and hopefully I will continue to get work from the kind editors at that publication. (No, really, they are great to work with!)

Tomorrow, I will be recording some cover tunes with Steel River Three for our new demo CD. We hope to distribute the demo to radio stations and clubs in the area, which could lead to more additional income.