Summary of 2011

In continuing with my Mayfly project tradition:

Condo and body renovations. Relationship and work ended. New job and dating began. Artistic, costume and guest successes amongst DC, Tico, Croatia, Berlin travel.

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Round One of 30 Day Challenge: a Successailure

So I was able to memorize 100 digits of Pi in thirty days, but I wasn’t able to do something every day towards that goal. My life (and my personal preference for variety) appears to work better with short bursts of dedicated activity than it does a daily commitment towards a task.

For the next 30 day challenge, I’m going to take on something that seems easier to remember to put time towards and which will address my recent lack of exercise: I am going to walk every day for 30 minutes. Since I’m going taking a vacation in DC soon, this should hopefully be manageable.

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Trying a new thing for 30 days, every 30 days

I was inspired by Matt Cutts’ 30 day challenge which I saw on BoingBoing to do my own 30 day challenge for at least a year. It’s such a great idea to be able to make things I’ve wanted to try into more manageable chunks, as a challenge with a limited timeframe.

I started by brainstorming things I’d like to do for 30 days and came up with the following:

  • Go vegetarian
  • Spend 15 minutes a day meditating
  • Walk 30 minutes a day
  • Memorize Pi to 100 characters using the Dominic System daily
  • Play one game of Go daily
  • Write a daily journal entry
  • Take a picture daily and post it to Facebook and flickr
  • Do an illustration every day
  • 30 days of not complaining or expressing negativity
  • Write down something I’m thankful for each day
  • Try one new thing every day
  • Write a kind letter of appreciation or admiration to a friend every day
  • Learn a new word every day
  • 30 days with no sugar
  • Yoga every day
  • Invite a friend to lunch or dinner every day
  • Talk to someone new every day

I’d love to hear other ideas if anyone has any and I’ll keep the progress posted here.

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Life is an experiment

I like this:

Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. Don’t waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Summary of 2010

I’m still a fan of keeping up the Mayfly Project tradition of summarizing my past year in 24 words. This year of life changes was difficult to smash into a tiny recap, but the challenge is a fun constraint, so here ’tis for 2010:

Traded long-term job and relationship for smartphone design gig and dating. Worked on my condo and yard. Danced with the fall of an Empire.

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ch-ch-ch-changes

I have so many changes going on in my life right now, it’s like a whirlwind that is hard to summarize in one blog post. Today was my last day at projekt202, after being there for 4.5 years. Everyone seemed genuinely sad that I was leaving and some colleagues in the room we all shared (the ROY room) even gave me a framed picture of us all. I was very touched by how thoughtful it was.

I’m going to be starting a new job doing design for smart phones (Android specifically) at Dell next week. I’m hoping it will give me some great new challenges and that I’ll quickly get accustomed to the longer commute (time to stock up on the podcasts!)

Tonight I celebrated by going to Uncorked with Liza and Frank. I won a bottle of sparkling wine there through a contest that the Goodlife Team put on, and so we enjoyed it with a charcuterie plate on the patio as the sun set over Austin. We ended up at Justine’s (I love that place) for dinner, where we indulged in some lardons and scallops on a bed of frissée, followed by an espresso and a creme brulée we split.

Since my francophone friend Patrick lives just down the street, I invited him to join us. He and I ended up chatting for hours on the patio and I enjoyed a glass of some of the best muscat I’ve had on this side of the big pond. We finished off the evening with a lively game of pétanque, which I’ve dreamt of playing ever since they opened and I saw they had a court.

It was a good first day for the immense blank slate that life is stretching out before me.

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tumblr blog and my internet presence

untitled-1.pngSince it’s much more convenient to post quick links and pictures with the tumblr bookmarklet, I now have a tumblr blog too.

Yes, my internet presence is scattered away from here, on twitter, facebook, delicious, flickr, yelp and elsewhere, like so many leaves in the wind. Fortunately, my identity lays intact nevertheless!

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24-word summary of 2009

I’ve been rather lazy about blogging ever since I got the twitter fever. However, since I’d still like to continue the Mayfly project (summarizing my past year in 24 words), here ’tis:

Hope changed to disappointment. Deepened friendships. Francophone fun. Developed WPF skills. Gained Mizu joy. Tried to buy a house and condo; succeeded with latter.

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a day in my life, told through brands

brandportrait.png

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the advantage of indirect mobile tags: a response to my comment

Someone responded to my ZDNet comment with a summary of the advantage of indirect mobile tagging which I think is relevant to point out:

The big advantage of indirect tags like this is that you can update where they point/what you get without having to reprint the posters etc. It also allows for a certain amount of screening to make it harder for them to be used for phishing, porn, etc. And it allows the tag owner to collect statistics on how the tag element of their marketing campaign is going.”

Nevertheless, I still don’t think that I’ll be using my phone to read Microsoft’s tags if it means sending information about myself, my phone or my location to their server, but that’s just me.

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how’d i get so passionate about mobile tagging? (original title: so i guess i’m a bit of a tech geek)

mobiletagging.png It’s a mystery to me. But for some reason, I felt compelled to write a lengthy comment in response to this ZDNet article which seemed to indicate that mobile tagging was the most important thing Microsoft has ever done.

Here’s what I said:

The sentence “the most important technology Microsoft has developed so far” might better be phrased as “the most important technology that already exists and that Microsoft adapted their own proprietary technology to copy, as well as popularize in the West with their marketing machine.”

I know that’s not as catchy and news-breaking, but let’s go over the facts that put this “next major big thing” into perspective:

1) Mobile tagging codes have existed since 2003 and there are around 70 different standards that exist. Some of the more popular are QR-Code and DataMatrix. More info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_tagging

2) There are two flavors of mobile codes: direct ones that don’t have to route back through a server to access their information and indirect ones that do have to access a server to give the user the information connected with the mobile tag.

3) Microsoft’s standard is indirect. That means you have to go through the Microsoft server to get the information. It is possible that they are collecting consumer data and location of the person accessing the data. It is also possible that in the near future, to be cost-effective, they will charge people who use the mobile tags to convey information. Microsoft’s disclaimer about the possibility of a fee to create tags in the future that you have to agree to in order to create them makes this a strong possibility.

4) Anyone can create direct mobile tags that give people information (such as some text, a phone number, location information or a URL). These mobile tags are free, don’t go through a server, and convey the information directly to the user. Here’s an example of a site that you can create one with: http://www.widgetbox.com/widget/barcode-and-mobile-tag-generator and an application that can read various formats of mobile tagging code: http://2dsense.com/default.aspx?id=details&sid=overview&tid=0

5) Microsoft’s proclaimed benefit of their proprietary tagging system is that they can fit more information in a smaller amount of space because of the use of color to convey additional information.

If this last item is the sole benefit to make people feel the need to have to access Microsoft servers to give and access information, it seems that we should also try to promote the other types of codes that are direct and forever free if we want a truly revolutionary concept.

Your argument as to the importance of tagging is solid. Microsoft’s role in this possibly world-changing technology is solely based on their ability to get people to drink the kool-aid through marketing and pretending that they invented a wheel that’s been around for a while.

Whoa. Did that all come out of me? I surprise myself sometimes.

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24 words to summarize the year: 2008

I’ve started to make it a tradition to do the Mayfly project thing of summarizing my past year in 24 words. I found this year incredibly hard to encapsulate since so many fabulous things happened, but since I still like the idea of embracing the constraint, here’s this year’s tidy and limited recap:

SF for three months. Traveled in six countries. Refound home and my own room. Celebrated Obama’s victory. Discovered tranquility being present in the Now.

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traveling almost constantly next month

map of my travelsNext month I will travel to the most cities and countries in the shortest time period in my life. Most of it will be for work, but I’m also looking forward to spending a brief vacation period in Barcelona and Paris. I wanted to be able to picture the time-line of the madness chrono-grapha-mologically, so I whipped up a Google Map of my whirlwind of upcoming trips.

I am already both excited about the journey and missing home at the same time!

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happy, part deux

Yet again, two years later than when I wrote this first happy post in July of 2006, I feel really happy and everything feels right in the world.

I feel fortunate to call the wonderful city of Austin home, and have had the incredible opportunity to get to live in my second favorite city (San Francisco) for a total of eight months over three different times in the past couple years while working remotely.

I feel fortunate to live with my love, José, and to continue to grow with him and to learn how to love him best.

I feel fortunate to work for a company that treats me exceptionally well, has sent me to Paris last year for work, and will send me to Massachusetts, New York, Miami, Sweden and Norway this next month. I always dreamed of having a job that would allow me to travel, and I’m definitely getting that in a major dose soon.

I feel fortunate to be able to practice my French with a fun group of francophones from all over the world who get together weekly for all kinds of activities.

I feel fortunate that I have had such wonderful parents who have loved and supported and encouraged me throughout my life.

I feel fortunate to have wonderful friends who inspire creativity and self-expression and love and silliness and joy and enthusiasm. I’m happy that a few friends who moved away have come to their senses and returned to Austin.

I feel fortunate that I get to “live in the future” with its wonderful perks (such as the iPhone.)

So, yet again, I just want to say, “Thank you, universe!” and Thank YOU All.

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Growing up in Denver nostalgia

I have never seen a post/discussion that captured the pop culture of growing up in the Denver area so well as this one on boingboing.

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