I’m at home this holiday-eve and like millions of other Americans I went to see a movie today. It seems that no matter where you are, when you have a day that stores are closed the result is that people either watch TV or go to the movies. We saw, Juno, a movie about teenage pregnancy and the pressures of learning what it means to love.

Tonight is pretty normal, but something I don’t appreciate enough. I’m spending it in the kitchen, our social nesting place, cracking nuts and being the best sous chef I can be. The lights on the patio are lit red and I lit a log in the fireplace. June is being curious and Henry just woke up. It’s rather peaceful and surreal to be home-home for the holidays. It’s the first time that I feel comfortable calling my abode a home. It’s rather routine and comfortable at the same time.

Now is the time to reflect on the past year. What we did and what we failed to do. It’s a time to plan and hope for a better tomorrow – a better next year. A recap at this past year shows it has been a memorable one for many reasons.

  • Got married
  • Moved into a home
  • Started a business and hired 2 people
  • Turned 30
  • Learned to dance (Swing and Lindy) – and met some great friends S&E
  • Graduated with my Masters (w/ @packetshard)
  • Trip to London/Paris (Stonehenge and Bath in UK)
  • Training tour-de-asia (Sydney, Melbourne, Tokyo, Seoul) – visited the N/S Korea DMZ and climbed the Sydney Harbor bridge
  • Attended two weddings (Kristy/Greg & Lorie/Paul)
  • Saw the BYOBW (Bring Your Own Big Wheel) down Lombard
  • Trip to Seattle (@dacort, who partied with us in SF for NYE)
  • Discovered Facebook, Dopplr, GrandCentral

The list of things I didn’t do is shorter and less interesting. Maybe I one of the things I should do is complete my list of 100 goals in 1000 days.


Well, it seems my Mom is the most avid reader to my blog.  And by that I mean she is the only one who calls me to say I have not written in a while.  Now that she has fond my Flickr stream she seems more satisfied to know what is happening in my life.

But another friend of mine “E”, who is a grade school teacher, wrote on her recent parent-teacher meetings.  She said something that surprised and then scared me.  She says, “The nutso thing about conferences is the weird stuff the parents say that no one hears but you.”  It seems teachers are the confidant of parents – leaving me to wonder what my parents told my teachers back then.

As the holidays approach, I’m at home curled up next to my laptop (Chipmonkey said she saw the pulsating glow of a white LED in bed last night.)  It’s all writing and busy work for me.

Several friends have noted that I have not written anything in a long time (that being 23 days, 1 hour, 3 minutes ago).  I’m happy the traffic has finally died down over the “I’ll just pretend to hug you” post.  I was sick of getting 500+ hits a day off that one page, that had nothing to do with me.

I just don’t have much to say since subscribing to Facebook, Twitter, Dopplr, Flickr, and just about every other drop-the-last-vowel name you can think of.  I’ve resisted writing because I don’t care to tell people about the following things:

  • how judgmental I can be (people should not wear sandals… I’m sorry, it’s just wrong)
  • how stable things are (work, life, etc. is all pretty normal)
  • about my travels (I travel for work, nuff said)

Let’s answer some questions:

  1. How is your new home? Nice, we finally unpacked/repacked and cleaned up.  We have had several successful dinner events and hope for more in the future.
  2. What are you doing for the holidays? Following Dopplr you might see we are staying local and going to Sonoma for the weekend.  Happy to not endure the horrors of airports during this season.
  3. How are you doing?  Great.  Things are busy at work with ups and downs but exciting none the less.  I have a long to-do list that I’m working away at.
  4. Going to the gym?  Uhm… I’ll defer an answer until next month.
  5. What are you reading? The Intelligent Investor — an oldie but a goodie. (See also: Facebook book list)
  6. Traveling much? Thankfully December and January are (mostly) travel free.
  7. Enjoying SF?   Oh yes, but mostly due to our friends S&E, other visitors, and swing dancing.
  8. Oh yes, how is dance going? We are both doing well, which is usually predicated on the current level of practice.  Next up, Lindy Hop.

What? No more questions?  Oh great, because it’s late and I need to get some rest.

I just finished a great weekend at home. We are slowly unpacking the boxes and setting things in their new place. I enjoy having so much extra space (a whole 900 sq. ft.) to put things. We set up a couch in the spare room and now all we need is a desk for it to be complete. I really look forward to the day when I can work at home and have a separate room for the “office”. The room has my bookshelf, a nice futon, and plenty of light.

We also purchased an extension cord (on sale) at Safeway so now we have power for the TV and DVD player. Ahh the excitement of electricity. Now if only I could get my laptop to do video out to the DVD player.  (After an hour of trying to hook up the DVI output on the Mac to the DVI input on the Hitachi TV – nothing worked.)

The weekend was a normal one of cleaning, laundry, shopping and gathering supplies for the coming week.  It’s just nice to have that stability and a groove.  I suppose it’s also calm because I haven’t traveled in a while, something I am rather enjoying.

I received my absentee ballot for San Francisco local elections. The mayoral elections, of course, includes incumbent and sometimes playboy Gavin Newsom. Also on the list is Josh Wolf, known in San Francisco and journalistic/video blog circles for serving “226 days in prison … longer than any other journalist in U.S. history has served for protecting source materials”.

I’m sure he is running out of protest, and is rightly upset about the current system. The primary thing, among many, that make me think he will not get elected is his platform that “he will wear a video camera everywhere he does his mayoral business“.

Now, I’m all for open and free exchange of information but 100% disclosure does not lead well to progress. Think of the last time you got mad at someone. You went through many stages of anger, frustration, confusion, reconciliation, and finally acceptance. Maybe there were other stages of confrontation, discussion, and negotiation thrown in there, but you didn’t reveal each of these to the person you were mad at. You work through the problem in your head or with others and then you come up with a solution that you can discuss with the person you were mad at. Privacy, not secrecy, is part of life and negotiations.

Sadly, this process can be used for good or evil. Maybe there are other ways to reduce corruption.

@dacort turned me on to a blog recently that is an interesting read.  Sufficient Thrust is a smartly named place where I read a piece about having no furniture.  I understand and appreciate her point that ‘things’ (i.e. furniture) can become clutter, but they can also be used for organization.  Of course, containers can be both good and evil as they can both organize and sustain useless expansion of junk.

(One design concept I really liked about her place was this, “I put eight dry-erase boards up around the living room area and hung my inboxes on the wall next to them.”  Imagine an entire wall of dry-erase!)

For me, open spaces are dangerous because they can be used, just like containers, to collect things that do not need collecting.  I like to use small spaces as a preventative measure against clutter.  I like small cars, apartments, desks, etc. because they force one to be efficient.  With limited space you carefully analyze if something really deserves retaining, placing, or displaying.  I dread the thought of having “storage space” or a basement because those are typically places where old things go to eternally hibernate.

Growing up my mom would tell me to clean my room, but instead of getting rid of things I would just organize them in organized and visually appealing piles.  I mastered the art of creating piles of papers, toys, clothes, or anything that needed cleaning.  The visual shift from clutter to piles passed my mom’s inspection and thus reinforced in me the importance of an organized mess. 🙂

Very rarely do we know all the details and impact of the substantial decisions we make.  Oh, we think we know them but there is no way to prove this.  Many times people attempt to make altruistic decisions that end up having a long term negative impact.  Other times people try to do good but it is perceived as evil and thus never takes off.  With the increase of information, the “optics” of a situation are often more important than the reality itself, which mind you is rarely ever fully known (see above.)  The high flow of information should theoretically make it easier to address this problem but usually this decreases the signal-to-noise ratio.

So we make the best decision we can with the evidence we are given.  But there is spin – the sounds around us that sway our decision one way or another.  Instead of having all the facts we look at the end result and pick that path we think will get us there.  But there are side effects to taking this prescribed medicine that are not always evident.  Side effects we could never have imaged because we don’t understand every facet of every market and industry.

For example, some people may want to increase military levels, but do not consider the residuals of an increased veterans administration,  increased GI bill, and an increase in so many other areas.

I don’t feel hindered by this dilemma but find it peculiar and interesting.  Sometimes you find yourself in a position of knowing what another person really wants and watch them make poor decisions based on misinformation.  Entire countries have been raised and taken down in the name of a common goal – leaving people asking, “was that goal accomplished?”

Revolutionaries are dangerous when they are misdirected.