New Year – 2019

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Posted by w0ep on December 30, 2018 at 7:18 pm

[Saturday run: 8 miles in Starkville]

Two thousand eighteen is quickly winding down.

We did some travelling in 2018 and had a good year. In August we went on a camping trip in Colorado and also to the Iowa State Fair. In my world that is a pretty fine thing. I got to visit with the folks in Des Moines, with the Dykstra’s in Colorado (twice!), with Uncle Ron, the Powells, and lots of my wife’s runner friends. (I apologize if I’m leaving anyone out.) Also I had a work convention in Los Vegas and learned a lot from that.

I ate some Tasty Tacos in Des Moines and some Tex-Mex tacos in Houston. I had a piece of the best apple pie ever (BAPE) at Thanksgiving. And I think my effort at pumpkin pie at Christmas was the closest I’ve come to Ludeema quality (used lots of cinnamon). And I’ve eaten some steak this year that was just melt-in-your-mouth fantastic.

In 2019 I hope to:

Get my 40 meter CW radio in a box and finish the arduino programming for it.

Continue to look for new career possibilities.

Do a little better at limiting my food intake. Late 2018 had me sneaking back up to around 180 lbs. I’m still happy to be well under my maximum, but I would like to break through 170 and find a comfortable spot around 165. I can tell the difference between 170 and 180.

Make good headway toward paying off credit card debt. Here at the end of 2018 we have put a consolidation plan into action. Now the issue will be keeping the cards paid off from month to month.

Sell some stuff I no longer use and get it out of here.

Extend our tower so that the FM station antenna is closer to 100 ft.

I picked up a Bible reading schedule at church today. I’d like to take another shot at that. I feel like I’ve visited every part in a piecemeal fashion, some parts much more than others. But I would like to, maybe not in a year, maybe not in order but in an organized way, get all the way through, check all the boxes.

Clean out the garage – I think the biggest problem is disorganization. And I have a couple of bicycles I need to get rid of. One left during 2018, maybe I can get these other two gone. That would leave us with one, the only one that is actually functioning. I have boxes of “radio parts” that are partially full and at least could be combined. My workbench is piled with tools and stuff which is useful but should have a home other than in a pile on my workbench. (I could use another wheeled toolbox!)

Do something about my job, career, trajectory… who knows where we are going next. I’ve had the luxury of a long term job, for which I am grateful. But something has to change.


I remember sitting listening to my parents periodically make a “big list” of all of the projects they wanted to do. Most of which they never started. But some they started and completed. If nothing else the list-making helped them see each other’s priorities I think. Eventually they both found a strong desire to own some farm land. They shopped and found a small acreage which became a multi-year project and place of work and relaxation.

We do some of that list making at our house. My wife has a list of goals and we are steadily working on those. I have my little lists too. I think we both feel a bit transfixed by the possibility that we might need to move to find a new job and not knowing when that could happen. I am particularly susceptible to that kind of deer-in-the-headlights reaction. I get to a certain spot in a project and I’ll just let it sit for awhile to see if some solution presents itself. I have to be careful not to let that end up in wasted Facebook time or other wheel spinning.

Maybe I should just put that on my goal list for this year: Less time spent on social media. I’ve dropped off of Reddit, and my Facebook usage is moderate. I’ve been doing a bit on Stack Exchange but I think that is also going to be trimmed back.

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  • On December 31, 2018 at 11:46 pm Jonathan Howard said

    The New Year is an interesting time. It’s when the gyms are full. I only know this because people tell me. I’ve never been to one.

    I never understood why the folks bought the farm. A lot of weekends spent mowing and planting trees and driving there and back, instead of doing leisure activities such as hiking, biking, touring, fishing, reading, attending live music concerts, etc. But then again it’s 30 years since trees were planted so they can see what they did now that they are grown. That’s a feeling I’ll never know. Working at the farm probably feels like being productive – actually accomplishing something. Not possible when doing something passive such as a day at the beach reading while dogs are playing in the surf (something I enjoy). A work ethic thing. They had kids so maybe that’s a similar motivation – tend to something and see what happens. Of course in that case 3/4ths moved about as far away from them as is possible without leaving the lower 48.

    Moving for a new job is a bother but being open to it allows you a broader range of opportunities. I figure if you can move to Mississippi then you can stand moving to just about anywhere. I say this without ever having _been_ there.

  • On January 1, 2019 at 8:17 am w0ep said

    Well there you go! Three new things you could do in 2019: go to a gym, plant a tree and visit Mississippi.

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