This word — resolute — doesn’t show up as much in my reading as its verb and noun counterparts, resolve and resolution. It seems a little too formal for most writing occasions. Yet there’s something about it that I like. I vaguely recall a saying about how we use different words to convey the same idea, depending on the subject: “I’m resolute, you’re stubborn, and they’re pig-headed.” Not sure where the quote came from, and I’m sure I didn’t get it quite right, but I like it.

Today, of course, is the day we’re all supposed to list the things for which we will be resolute throughout the year. And so I’ll make my two resolute promises:

  • I will read at least six books this year.
  • I will write at least six entries on this blog.

In 2013 I read exactly one book ( An American Spy by Olen Steinhauer ) and wrote exactly one blog entry ( Tash ). The book was entertaining; the entry was full of sadness. They weren’t the only things I read or wrote, but they were the only sustained efforts that had nothing to do with programming for the web. I can do better.

WonderThe books, I’ve decided, don’t have to be novels, and they don’t have to target adults as their primary audience. Non-fiction, as long as it doesn’t involve programming, is fair game, as is young-adult fiction. As embarrassing as it is to admit, during the past few years my patience for long-winded, descriptive novels has dwindled, while I’ve found the narrative pacing of young-adult novels much more suited to my short attention span. My son, who is a voracious reader, has already recommended a couple books: Wonder and Divergent.

Should be a fun year.

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One day several years ago when I was suffering from depression and anxiety, I came home from work to find a small piece of plywood with a simple painting on it, done in the style of a local artist. Across … Continue reading 

Posted in friends and neighbors | 6 Comments

The Gym

After many frustrating months of trying to run for exercise and failing because of ongoing problems with my calf muscles and Achilles tendons, I started working out at 8th Day Gym (they’re on Facebook). I was already aware that I … Continue reading 

Posted in self-indulgence | 4 Comments

Dirty Clean Words

A few days ago Michigan state congresswoman Lisa Brown dared to utter the word “vagina” on the house floor. In return, she was prohibited from speaking the following day (cf. Detroit Free Press). Later, in a superb attempt at back-pedaling, … Continue reading 

Posted in miscellany | 11 Comments

Things we’re good at and things we like

Now that my kids are getting to an age at which their proclivities are becoming more defined, I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes us good at things and what makes us like things. I’ve heard people claim that … Continue reading 

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Handedness and Decisiveness

Researchers have firmly established as a very true fact™ that left-handed people are more creative than right-handed people and that ambidextrous monkeys are more talented than both. But what about people and robots who are neither right- nor left-handed and cannot show off their ambidextrosity at the talent show? What do researchers have to say about those who are right-handed at some things and left-handed at others? And why would anyone care?

Posted in self-indulgence | 4 Comments

What did you say?

When I read the first couple examples of a recent blog entry on “Marital by Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic, I laughed in absolute recognition of the scenes in my own life. Then I read this…

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Calling All iPhone Users

I finally got my very own iPhone this weekend, and I’m very excited about it. A lot of my geek friends are talking about the Android-based phones now and some are even acting like the iPhones are a bit passé, … Continue reading 

Posted in technology | 14 Comments

The World Is Too Much With Us

I’ve never been an outdoorsy kind of guy, but something about these first few lines from William Wordsworth’s poem resonates with me.
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers …

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Goodbye, Edgar

It all happened much more quickly than Sara and I had expected. We put our 1993 Volvo 240 Wagon on Craigs List last week, and within two hours it was sold. In addition to the guy who bought the car, three others called to ask if they could check it out…

Posted in family | 7 Comments