New Years Resolutions for 2008

27 12 2007
Got these cool Von Zipper sunglasses for my birthday from Lauren

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here at Ideate. I’d blame it on my new, more substantial co-authored blog, the UIThread, but I have to admit that procrastination has a lot to do with it. I think I might go ahead and give an update before I list my new years resolutions for 2008- mostly to satisfy my self.

The best way to give a personal update may be to revisit my new years resolutions from last year and see how I’ve done (Cody’s 2007 New Years Resolutions). I have to say that I am a little proud of myself- I have accomplished all of them successfully! That may be a first! I think the secret to setting and completing personal goals like this is to create easy goals operationalize some kind of measurable outcome. Often people set goals like “I want to cut back on eating fast food” or “I want to start doing more things for the community”. These goals are self-gratifying on a plane of non-accomplishments such that you leave the goal just vague enough to either ignore or justify in the future. For instance, if I decide to go to Subway once or twice when I was thinking about going to Carl’s Jr., it will be easy for me to tell myself that I’ve done what I set out to do. But really, is that what we meant when we made that new year’s resolution? What have I gotten out of cheating myself? These goals should be important, powerful, and measurable. You shouldn’t be afraid of failure to the point that you rid the chance of success…

Here is a wrap-up of my 2007:

For resolution 1, I did indeed run a 5k under 25 minutes. In fact, it was just about 24 minutes. Not bad. I also successfully ran my fastest half-marathon (while sick might I add). I only take partial responsibility for these personal feats as I owe a significant portion to Nike and Apple for my motivational toy of the year. I do still feel like I have a lot of room for improvement in the overall fitness area though (to be honest, my expectations are set so high that I fully anticipate having a magazine-cover physique. Probably not realistic. I don’t know what that says about me). I suppose I will build upon this resolution for next year and see how I feel then.

For resolution 2, I was hired at my new job, Mitchell International, in June as an Interaction Designer. My resolution stipulations were that it paid well and that it would have great benefits- all of which are true. Not only that, I have found myself significantly challenged and working with some really intelligent and well-experienced colleagues that I think I’ll continue to learn a lot from. I don’t know where my employment will take me, but for now I am very glad that I made the transition and completed my second new year’s resolution.

Resolution number 3 was also completed. In fact, Lauren and I just got back 4 days ago from the Bahamas where we stayed at Atlantis with my sisters, brother-in-law and niece and nephew. Although expensive, it was a great trip. I definitely would not have been able to accomplish this on my own! Since my first visit to the Bahamas in 2005, and subsequent travels afterwards, I have since come to realize the power in new experiences such as vacations. Memories have increased their value for me, even in monetary notions. I think about all of the things on which I spent my money over the last few years. Only some of them I remember and still care much about. The memories created by great vacations and new experiences in unfamiliar places are so precious to me and I look forward to chasing more of this in the future.

Lastly, and perhaps the greatest accomplishment, is my resolution number 4, which called for my engagement to my girlfriend of over 7 years. I have to say that this was a huge success and I am really happy with the way it went down (by the way, she said yes). It involved surprise, deception (in a good way), family, a ring that I loved, and great atmosphere. What more could I ask for?

I’ll go ahead and weave this last completed resolution for 2007 into the first for 2008. Here are my new year’s resolutions for this year:

  1. To successfully help plan for Lauren’s and my wedding in August. This would include my responsibility to plan and book our honeymoon. Right now I am interested in Fiji. We’ll see how this goes! I recently participated in review the new and upcoming site Blissport, which is a website dedicated to planning and booking honeymoons for newly engaged couples (targeted at the guy) based on their preferences. I am interested to see it when it is launched and hopefully it will aid me in my tasks!
  2. Along with that, my second resolution is to have moved into a newer, nicer, and larger apartment. I still don’t plan on buying a house or condo until Lauren is finished with college and we have two salaries at our disposal. Hopefully that will happen in 2009, or early 2010- before the market picks up again and prices begin increasing. Nevertheless, I’d like to be in a place with at least 2 bedrooms and a bit closer to work until that time.
  3. To continue on my quest for physical fitness and health accomplishments, I have a two-pronged resolution. I’d like to attain a weight of 180 lbs or under, and I’d also like to accomplish one of two things (if either of them are accomplished, I’d be happy); Either run a half-marathon in under 1 hour and 48 minutes, or run a full marathon (no time constraints here).
  4. Lastly, I want to either be started in a Graduate School program, or at the very least have my applications sent and a plan of attack for attaining my Master’s degree. Right now, I have an idea on where to go and a general cloudy notion of how to get there, but I need to get more specificity regarding funds, scheduling, validation in preferred school and program, etc. Currently, I am leaning towards starting a MS in HCI at Rensselaer (RPI) in Fall 2008 through their EWP program, which would allow me to work my day job and do school at night and weekends from home. However, if I am absolutely sure I want to do this, I need to get on with taking the GRE soon and getting letters o recommendation before I can even apply…

Well, since I accomplished all of my 2007 resolutions, I guess I should say that I had a fantastic year. If I can do the same for 2008, I can only hope that it will be just as fantastic. In addition to accomplishing my goals, I am also planning on going to Cape Town, South Africa for DIS 2008 in February with a good friend. Let’s see how it goes this year!

Hope everybody reading is setting great goals for themselves as well and GOOD LUCK to everyone in accomplishing them! Happy New Year.


Jeff Hawkins on TED Talks

27 06 2007

Are you infatuated with Jeff Hawkins and his model of Hierarchical Temporal Memory systems too? I thought so…

If you don’t know, Jeff Hawkins is the man behind the Palm Pilot and Foleo (among other technological inventions). He also opened the Redwood Neuroscience Institute and began his company Numenta a couple of years ago. This is his talk at TED Talks in Monterey. He discusses his framework for how the brain works and some of the implications for computational implementation in the near future. Brilliant…

Read his book, On Intelligence.

The Fridge of the Future Present

20 06 2007

Appliances: Dry Erase Fridge Makes Food Preservation Fun Again – Gizmodo

Here’s a nice low-fidelity solution for interactive refrigerators. You’ve heard of/seen the ones that live at Fry’s and Best Buy and contain interactive touchscreen computers, allowing you to keep grocery lists, order food, and even examine current refrigerator properties like temperature and known food contents (which would have to be self-input…In the future, all groceries might have RFID tags bypassing that painful and needless step).

This one is much more simple: Coat the fridge with dry-erase material and let the humans go to work!

I’d like to have one to leave notes for family members, keep on-the-fly grocery needs, and any other thoughts that find my whilst in the kitchen! It’s a great capture tool…The best part is that it doesn’t assume what tasks you would use it for like a computer would almost surely do. (actually, the best part is the comparative $$$ savings, but that’s much more obvious).

Meet Charlie (nicely done slide show)

15 06 2007

My Web 2.0 Identity Portal

6 06 2007

I’ve published by “contact me” page on my website. I wanted it to be a source for all of my web 2.0 identities for friends and coworkers to use, while also advertising some of the sites I think are pretty cool (except myspace- I have it on there purely for connection- I hate it).

the contact page at my site:

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