The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

January 17, 2013

They Say You Want a Resolution…

Filed under: Random Stuff, Technology — Brian Lutz @ 11:30 pm

Resolution #1 for 2013:  Stop procrastinating.  Pretty sure I’ve already blown that one.  Especially because I just barely got around to making that one up.

Come to think of it, is there supposed to be a deadline for these kind of things?  Yeah, I know they’re supposed to be New Year’s resolutions, but who says you’re supposed to be making the things on January 1st?  Then again, according to the collective wisdom of the Internet, January 17th is supposed to be some sort of unofficial Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day.  I’m guessing you’re supposed to celebrate that by doing all the bad stuff you claimed you weren’t going to do anymore or something like that.  Then again, apparently the whole thing is based on when statistically most people will have given up on their resolutions, so maybe it might actually make some sense to wait for the traffic to die down, so to speak.  Sure, it probably just means that you’ll be ditching all your resolutions on February 7th instead (statistically speaking of course,) but maybe this way you’ll actually manage to get a treadmill at the gym while you’re making your halfhearted effort at improving yourself before your semi-inevitable regression to the mean.

Then again, I’ve never been all that big on the whole New Year’s resolution thing anyway.  I think I tried making a few of them back at the beginning of 2011, promptly managed to forget about all of them about three weeks later, then didn’t even bother with any last year.  I suppose I might have passively adopted a few of the standard resolution clichés somewhere along the line (Eat less junk food, lose some weight, stop setting things on fire for entertainment purposes, etc., etc., etc…) but probably managed about as well as most people do with those ones.  Well OK, I do mostly keep the latent pyromania under control these days,  but that one’s kind of a gimme since they tend to throw you in a highly fireproof jail cell if you do too much of that stuff.  The rest of them all kind of fell by the wayside the way they all usually do.  At least having access to some decent exercise equipment at my building means that I can  pass by the exercise room on the way to the mailboxes and feel kind of guilty about never using any of it for a lot less money than I’d spend on a health club that I pass by and feel guilty about never visiting.

Of course, none of this is to say that I’m not trying to find ways to improve myself, but I think of this less in terms of things that I need to do, and more in terms of things that I would like to accomplish, preferably before the end of the year.  Of course the last time I tried this I managed to accomplish roughly zero of the things I had planned on, but none of this is particularly earth-shattering stuff anyway.  That said, here are a few of my goals for the coming year (or what’s left of it anyway):

  • Learn how to work with electronics.  As I’ve mentioned in some of the posts about the laser cutting projects I’ve done, it seems like every time I head over to Metrix Create:Space to do lasercutting, I always walk out of the place feeling just a bit inadequate because it seems like everyone else there is working on much cooler stuff than I am.  I’ve actually done some work with electronics before back when I was in college, but I’ve managed to forget most of it by now, and the one class that I took barely scratched the surface of electrical engineering, which is a subject you could get yourself a Ph.D  in if you pursue it fervently enough.  I don’t expect to ever be building giant killer robots in a secret underground lair or anything like that (the opportunities to use one’s powers for evil around here seem dreadfully limited these days) but it’s definitely something I’d like to learn more about.  If nothing else, I still need to build that JAMMA Supergun I was talking about two years ago so I have something to play my arcade boards on.
  • Build a new computer.  To be honest, my current desktop system is holding up pretty well for me right now, but it is over three years old now, and I’m thinking it’s time to start looking at a new build.  I think I’m going to end up doing this one more in increments rather than just buying everything at once and putting it all together, but eventually I do plan to replace (almost) all of the major components.  In the first round of upgrades I’ll be getting a new case (a Cooler Master HAF X which I’ve actually already bought, and intend to move my current system into when it’s convenient to do so), an SSD to replace the system drive, and a new video card (currently I’m looking at a GeForce GTX 660 Ti, but I need to do a bit more homework on things before I jump in.)  After that, I think I’ll plan to follow with a new motherboard/CPU and RAM in about 6-12 months.  For a while now I’ve been tempted to just go all-out and build a high-end monster of a system, but it never seems like the performance of a high-end system like that quite lives up to the high cost, so I usually end up somewhere around a mid-to-upper range system.
  • Cut the clutter.  Although I do still quite like my apartment here in Downtown Bellevue (at least when the appliances are working, there’s a long story to that but I’ll hold off on it for now,) it does definitely get a bit crowded in here.  In particular, there are a couple of trouble spots in the living room and in the bedroom where stuff tends to accumulate, and I’d really like to find a better way to deal with things than to toss them onto the nearest convenient flat surface.  Ultimately I think the long-term solution is going to be to move to somewhere with enough space to actually store things,  but for now I’ve got to deal with what I have, so I’ll need to find ways to try to organize things better here.  I’m pretty sure that mostly translates to getting rid of a bunch of stuff, which is mostly a matter of sorting it and actually making the effort to get rid of it in one way or another.  It seems like the best way to avoid this is to not let it accumulate in the first place, but that tends to be kind of difficult in a small place like this.  In short, there’s not much room, but there’s definitely room for improvement.

So aside from the fact that it’s already nearly eighteen days into the new year, and that none of these goals are anything particularly earth-shattering, those are some of the things I’d like to get accomplished over the course of the upcoming  year.  I’d call them resolutions, but I think we might already be past the deadline to ditch those, so I might actually have to follow up on some of these if I did.  Besides, if I really wanted to make resolutions, I could always make them later.  I could always stop procrastinating  on December 31st, right?

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