Monday, January 4, 2010

On Grievances...

A year ago, I started an annual tradition of creating a wordle of my blog, so here is this year's visual.



Comparing it with the one from last year, not a lot appears to have changed, at least on the surface - still a lot of Eclipse and modeling. By contrast, this New Year will no doubt bring a lot of change.

Last week I tweeted about ten things from 2009 that I hope to do without in 2010. I thought it would be fitting to start the year by posting them here so that I can reflect on each item in more detail.

10. Corporate Politics

I've never been a fan of office politics, but having worked closely with executive teams over the past few years, I've had more than my fill for a while. So far, working independently has been a welcome breath of fresh air.

9. OS Upgrades

Somehow I allowed myself to get sucked into the hype of Snow Leopard and jumped the gun. The outcome of my various installation attempts was probably best summed up by Mosspuppet in his video review. Luckily, I had the foresight to back everything up with my Time Capsule ahead of time, so all was not lost. I was amused, though, upon taking the media back to the Apple store for a refund, at the salesperson's suggestion that I try another copy, implying that somehow my copy may have been defective. Huh? Oh, and Windows 7? I don't think so.

8. Piracy

I had to laugh when more than one person replied to this one with a suggestion that I avoid boating in Somalia. I had to clarify that I was referring to things more torrent-related. Yes, I believe in open source and I do feel that the concept of ownership is evolving rapidly in response to the new economy, but I refuse to use my altruistic beliefs as a justification for pirating content (movies, music, games, software, etc.). I guess that means I'll be waiting to see the second season of True Blood until it's finally (if ever!) released on DVD. Assuming I can convince my wife to wait. ;)

7. Overdue Invoices

One of the hardest things to get used to about being a freelancer (for me) is cash flow (or lack thereof). On more than one occasion I found myself waiting longer than I should have for invoices to be paid. In the future, I'll consider front-loading my engagements or building interest charges into the contract terms.

6. Protracted Renovations

We hired a contractor for what we were told would be a three week project which ended up taking over three months. The irony was that we went with a contractor in the interest of expediency, thinking that it would take us much longer to do it ourselves. Next time, we'll think twice.

5. Airline Status

I achieved airline status for the second year in a row. To me, that's a indication that I've been traveling too much. Luckily, I've had much fewer reasons to travel since becoming an independent, so I doubt I'll achieve status next year.

4. Censorship

This is my blog. The thoughts and opinions expressed on it are, and always have been, my own, and I intend to keep it that way. I'll not again consider changing the content of any of my posts to placate any of its readers.

3. Staycations

Our plan for summer vacation last year was to spend a few weeks at a fractional ownership cottage we were buying. But, the economy took its inevitable toll on that venture, and we wound up staying around home for a summer "stay"cation. Unfortunately, though, I was too busy dealing with my new employment situation to relax, so it wasn't much like a vacation at all. The past couple of weeks home with the kids have reminded me what's most important in life, so we'll be taking that vacation this coming summer whether we can afford to or not!

2. Legal Fees

Lawyers are there to protect you when you need them, but ultimately they're out to make a living too. One of the tidbits from the Lead to Win program that really resonated with me was the notion that the law is often argued on the basis of principal, not principle. In any case, I plan to keep situations (real estate, business, or otherwise) where I need a lawyer to a minimum.

1. Cancer

Some are shocked by my openness about the details of my personal life, and in particular my mother's recent battle with breast cancer. Personally, I've been surprised by the number of people I know that have since shared details with me about encounters with the disease in their lives. I'm not sure why we don't talk more openly about things like this, but we should. I'm happy to say that my mother's treatments (chemotherapy and radiation) were a success (as far as we can tell) and she's well on her way to getting back on top of her life again (not that she ever really faltered). As of today, I start training again for the Weekend to End Women's Cancers in Ottawa this coming June. Donations are, of course, welcome and appreciated!

Here's to 2010 and all the changes (for the better) that it will bring!

1 comment:

martin.fluegge said...

Hi Kenn,

I hope you will manage to avoid also those points. Especially 1.) is hopefully no topic in 2010 anymore. I know from my own family how hard it can be if one suffers from cancer. So I wish you and your family all the best for 2010. But more than anything else – health.:)