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+ raelity bytes
+ paul e. [LJ]
+ Rain Graves
+ gnat [use Perl;]

Syndication feeds:
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My other sites:
- Silicon Valley Scale Modelers
- Book page for Programming Web Services With Perl

Other journals I read:
= DJ Adams
= rebecca blood
= Tim Bray
= Margaret Cho
= Warren Ellis
= Neil Gaiman
= Rafael Garcia-Suarez
= John Gorenfeld
= Lawrence Lessig
= Michael McCracken
= Jeff Vogel
= Norm Walsh
= Wil Wheaton

My journal at use.perl.org:
· Restless
· RPC-XML-0.57.tar.gz uploaded to PAUSE
· RPC-XML-0.56.tar.gz uploaded to PAUSE
· RPC-XML-0.55.tar.gz uploaded to PAUSE
· Forgive Me, Bretheren Monks
· Extry Extry: Winer Leaves the RSS Advisory Board
· RPC::XML 0.54 Uploaded
· The Books of Perl
· Good Intentions Don't Equal Good Results
· Errata Tracking Page for PWSWP
· Image::Size 2.992 Uploaded
· Props to Portland PM
· Lightning Talks
· OSCON, Tuesday
· OSCON Plans Now Set

» Blogs that link here

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We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others. — Will Rogers

A Look Back at 2003 2004.01.01.11:08

Taking a look back at my plans and goals for 2003, let's see how I did:

Things I Hoped to Accomplish

Listening to more classical music
Overall, I did this well. There's a nice classical station here in the bay area (102.1 KDFC), which I listen to when I'm not interested in what's on NPR. I also listened to a lot more material on CDs and in ripped files both at home and at work. As far as getting to know new material and composers, I only did so-so. Some of the new stuff I tried, I just didn't like. Some of it, I really liked. I have some leads on new composers/material I'll be trying out in 2004.
Write another book
Pretty mediocre progress on this front. I have an outline about 80% done, and a lot of ideas. But according to my contacts at ORA, the market for both Perl and Web Services is a little dry these days, and those are the elements I had in mind (I was planning an advanced volume to go with the first book). So I'm not sure where this will go, if it does at all.
Get to know certain people better
Alas, I don't recall exactly who all I had in mind when I wrote that, but I have a few ideas. In most cases, I didn't really manage it, though a few exceptions almost make up for the missed chances. But, as a counterpoint, I also met a number of new people this year, as well.
Improving life, health, etc.
Whatever I'd accomplished, I would be sitting here wishing for more, and that is in fact the case. But I did lose weight (enough for many people to comment on when I went to Oklahoma and Colorado), I'm practically down a whole waist-size in jeans. That is, the 42's I currently wear fall off without a belt, but going to a 40 is still a bit snug. My apartment is still in pretty bad shape, but I have done a lot of cleaning. It's just that the pack-rat in me doesn't want to let go that easily. I've thrown a considerable amount of cruft away in the last few months. Other health issues are still being worked on, but I seem to be on a better course of meds than I was a year ago, so there is definately some progress there as well.
Travel more, see at least one new place
This worked out, but not the way I had in mind. I went to Portland (Oregon) for the first time in July for the Open Source Conference, but I had been thinking in terms of Europe. But I didn't even make my usual trip to England due to trying to budget my vacation time for a friend's wedding. I went to Maryland in April and Oklahoma in July, both for national-level scale modeling shows. And I went to Colorado over Thanksgiving and (back to) Oklahoma for Christmas. So, no complaints. Europe will still be there this year...

Things I Hoped to Avoid

Falling back into depression
Of course, depression is a tricky and slippery eel to keep a hold of, but over all I think this went well. Changing my meds helped a lot, and I think that the medical side of my diagnosis has improved. On the mental side, I'm making progress, albeit more slowly than I'd like. I hope to see more strides in that area this year.
Re-gaining any of the lost weight
Hard to say– I'm quite sure I've ended 2003 weighing less than I started it. But I do think there was some fluctuation along the way. I know that if I have my size-42 jeans on without a belt, I can push them down over my hips without un-fastening them, so there's visible progress.
Increasing personal debt
Blew this one pretty badly. That's all I'll say, except that what I've done was (in my opinion) the right thing to do at the time, given the circumstances.
Wasted evenings
This got better, for certain. That isn't to say that it doesn't still happen, but it happens much less often. I finished a few models this year, and I've started going out and socializing more often, both of which are much preferred to sitting at home staring at the TV.
Other people's drama
Again, fairly well. Helped by the fact that most of my friends had fairly good years themselves. Those that had issues come up, they were legit issues, not just superfluous drama. Some of my friends weathered difficult times, and a couple of my friends survived complete life-changing events. As far as I know, all of my friends ended the year on a (reasonably) positive note.

So, there is is. Not as much as I would have liked, but more than enough to be happy about. Later, after I've slept some, I'll look ahead to 2004.

# [/thoughts]

Who Am I:
Randy J. Ray
Software Engineer


Buy my book!

Programming Web Services with Perl

I've also contributed three chapters to:

Computer Science & Perl Programming

Category quick-links:


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30 31          

Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep
Oct Nov Dec

Reading and Re-reading
· The Annotated Thursday: G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Would Be Thursday, G.K. Chesterton, Martin Gardner
· The Feeling Good Handbook, David D. Burns
· Organizing From the Inside Out, Julie Morgenstern
· XML Schema, Eric Van Der Vlist
· BEEP: The Definitive Guide, Marshall T. Rose

High in the queue
· Silk, Caitlin R. Kiernan
· Coldheart Canyon, Clive Barker
· Idoru, William Gibson
· Shared Source CLI Essentials, David Stutz, Ted Neward, Geoff Shilling

Recently finished
· Planetary Vol. 3: Leaving the 20th Century, Warren Ellis, et al

Recommended favorites
· The Cowboy Wally Show, Kyle Baker
· Lost Souls, Poppy Z. Brite
· The Alienist, Caleb Carr
· Quarantine, Greg Egan
· The Authority: Relentless, Warren Ellis et al.
· Planetary: All Over the World and Other..., Warren Ellis et al.
· American Gods, Neil Gaiman
· Good Omens, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
· Neuromancer, William Gibson
· A Philosophical Investigation, Philip Kerr
· Say You Want a Revolution (The Invisibles, Book 1), Grant Morrison et al
· You Are Worthless: Depressing Nuggets of..., Oswald T. Pratt and Scott Dickers
· Cryptonomicon, Neil Stephenson
· Rising Stars : Born In Fire (Vol. 1), J. Michael Straczynski

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