2007 Resolutions

Yes, like every other blogger in the blogosphere, I’m going to post my resolutions for the new year. I did this once before, in a prior incarnation of the Lytspeed Communications site, back before the term “blog” existed. I did keep a few of those resolutions, namely dropping the weight (45 pounds, actually!), playing more live music, volunteering for Colorado Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, and learning more about coding HTML, but not in 1997.

Yes, my online home turns ten years old this year. And though I don’t have the popularity or visitation that mainstream bloggers have, I do feel pretty good about being ahead of the curve.

I think my resolutions for this year are quite a bit more reasonable than the ones I made in 1997. Maybe I’ll look back in another nine or ten years and see how many of them I accomplished this year.

Okay, enough stalling. Here are my resolutions for 2007:

Manage Finances Better – I have always had a hard time with finances, and I’m getting tired of always being behind the 8-ball. It’s time for me to get it together this year.

Take Care of My Health – My heart attack scare of a couple of years ago really woke me up, and I have made some changes to prevent that from happening again. However, there are some other concerns I need to address before they become Big Issues.

Write Every Day – Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does make one better at what one practices, and I haven’t practiced writing enough. I need to write every day. What I write and which medium I use is immaterial; if I write every day, I will get back in the habit I used to have in college, when I was most prolific. Yes, that means more blog entries, too.

Publish Some Fiction – 2006 was a great year for me as far as writing goes. I published several articles at ComputorEdge, sold four poems to Romantic-Short-Love-Stories.com (now defunct, unfortunately), and actually managed to turn a meager profit for the year after deducting my writing-related expenses. However, I didn’t accomplish one of my main goals for last year, which was to publish some fiction. It’s time to complete the set this year.

Do My Taxes On Time – Last year, I was late — very late — in doing my taxes. I guess this could be part of managing my finances better.

Buy a Variax – Line 6 makes the ultimate geek guitar, and I want one so bad I can taste it. (Yum! Rosewood!) I have all kinds of ideas on how I could use it to make things easier in my gigs.

That’s it. Hopefully I’ll get somewhere with these goals this year, and if you’ve made resolutions, I hope you reach your goals as well.

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Wireless Security Revisited

Last year, I wrote an article for ComputorEdge about the dangers of leaving a wireless network unsecured. A reader, calling himself “Anonymous San Diego Criminal” responded to the article in a letter to the editor, complaining about how I was advocating wireless security and limiting the dispensation of free Internet access. He also said the article implied that anyone who used unsecured wireless networks without permission was committing a crime, hence the name he chose to identify himself with.

Today, I saw a news article (no longer online, from what I can tell) from a Portland, Oregon television station website, describing how a man had been arrested for persistent unauthorized use of a coffee shop’s wireless Internet connection. According to the story, the man was also a level 1 sex offender. Though the story doesn’t say what destinations his Internet packets visited, the fact that he is a sex offender and used someone else’s bandwidth for his Internet access seems suspect.

No, Mr. Anonymous San Diego Criminal, I don’t think most people intend to misuse unsecured wireless networks. But doesn’t it make sense to lock down the networks to keep out those who do misuse them?

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Blowing the Dust Off

It looks like it’s time to blow the dust off this blog again. Was the last entry really in November 2005? That doesn’t seem that long ago, but according to my calendar, it was about eight months ago. My, how time flies.

A number of things have come to pass since then, including gainful employment with IBM. In addition, I have a few more ComputorEdge articles under my belt, Keith and Logan are out of school for the year, and I have another writing opportunity taking shape behind this curtain over here.

But the most significant thing to happen in the last few months involves my wife, Lannette. She has been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS), a recognized disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. FMS is an often misunderstood malady, and some doctors don’t even recognize it as a valid disorder. Personally, I think they would recognize its validity if they had to deal with it from day to day.

I don’t have FMS, but I am familiar with it. I recognize it from when my brother had Fibromyalgia as a corrollary to Sjogren’s Syndrome. Lannette’s situation is a bit different, because FMS is her primary diagnosis; it is the source of unpredictable pain that moves all over her body from day to day. Living with FMS is a crap shoot for her. She just returned from a trip to visit family in the Pacific Northwest, and even though it was supposed to be a relaxing, renewing trip, it wore her out. She was exhausted when she arrived at DIA, and is taking it easy for a few days.

I’m constantly amazed by my wife. She’s the strongest survivor I’ve ever known. She was two blocks away from the Murrah Buiding in Oklahoma City when Timothy McVeigh blew it up on April 19th, 1995. She has been physically abused in ways that would stagger anyone, yet she still had the strength to fight back from all of that to start and administer an Internet newsgroup for women who have survived domestic violence.

I know that she will find her way through this challenge, find her “new normal.” She always has, always will.

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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.

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MileHiCon 37

In my e-mail box today were a couple of documents from the MileHiCon planning committee. I’ve been selected to participate in a couple of panel discussions on Saturday and Sunday, which sounds really cool.

As much as I’ve always enjoyed science fiction and fantasy, and have always wanted to go to MileHiCon, I have never been able to attend. In recent years, that has been because it was held on the same weekend as the manager meetings for my former company. This year, that’s not a problem, and I’ve been selected to actually participate, not just attend. That’s pretty cool!

I’m not sure it’s okay for me to list the panel topics or other panel members yet, so I won’t do that. But I can say that I will be on panels with a couple of Guests of Honor, as well as a couple of local authors. I guess I qualify as a local author now too, since I’m publishing regularly in ComputorEdge. Cool, eh?

Since one of the panels on which I’m supposed to participate runs in the early afternoon, it looks like I will have to sit out the first part of my PokerStars blogger tournament, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

The last convention I participated in was the World Horror Convention 2000, for which I played guitar in the opening ceremonies. Before that, I have to go back all the way to 1987, when I helped organize a science fiction literature conference at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Come to think of it, I’ve never actually gone to a con as a fan; I’ve always attended as either an organizer or participant in one of the events. Of course, that doesn’t mean my inner fanboy doesn’t get a chance to come out. 🙂

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