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Ten Resolutions for 2009

Here are my obligatory New Year’s Resolutions. These are my personal ones, what I’m doing for myself. I’ll also have a set of professional resolutions, what we at IBM call “Personal Business Commitments” or PBC’s. I still need to develop those for 2009.

  1. Exercise at least 30-minutes every day. Unlike every other January when I said this, this time I’ll actually do it. Really. Honest.
  2. Eat better: less saturated fat, more fiber, more veggies, more whole grains, etc.
  3. Suffer fools gladly, or at least a bit more gladly than I did in 2008.
  4. Learn how to use R well. I dabble with it today, but I don’t really know how to use its full power.
  5. Learn to program Python well. Today I can write programs to do simple administrative tasks, parsing data, downloading web pages, etc. But Python is here to stay and I feel my life would be simpler if I knew it well.
  6. Spend more time in the garden. With global warming, fuel prices, chaos in the Middle East, etc., it is absurd to eat tomatoes that have been shipped 2,000+ miles to my dinner table. I’m going to try to grow a substantial portion of the fresh vegetables that I eat.
  7. Read Ulysses, maybe twice.
  8. Enjoy turning 40, but not too much.
  9. Study a new language, something cool like Sumerian or Dutch.
  10. Spend more time when taking pictures and less time in Photoshop trying to fix them.
{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Leif Lodahl 2009/01/03, 1:35 pm

    Hi Robert,
    Good luck.

    One of my own relsolutions is to have less resolutions ;-) That way I have a good chance to reach the goals.

    I can recommend growing your own vegetables. I have done that for years (i even had my own hens for eggs earlier).

    Photoshop ? Why not use Gimp ? You disappoint me on this one, Rob.

    Happy new year

    Leif Lodahl

  • Jean Hollis Weber 2009/01/03, 3:47 pm

    Number 6 (grow own veg) should help with number 1 (get more exercise). :-)

  • Rob 2009/01/03, 5:15 pm

    #6 should help with #2 as well. Growing lettuce will be much easier than growing peperoni pizza.

    I haven’t looked at GIMP since 1999 or so. I promise to take another look. But my real goal here is to try to get the composition and technical aspects of the photo correct before I release the shutter, and reduce the time I spend fixing things later, regardless of what application I use.

  • Anonymous 2009/01/05, 4:28 am

    Even the Dutch don’t recommend learning Dutch – they are such a polyglot nation that it’s not unusual for someone from the Netherlands to speak three or four languages, and not rare for them to speak English better than most native English speakers, which is quite embarrassing.

    I’d go with Latin – it will help you to understand the roots of a large portion of the English language, help you learn Romance languages (like French, Spanish, Italian and Romanian), and enable you to read classic documents – such as Isaac Newton’s ‘Principia Mathematica’, or Seneca, or Ovid.

    Alternatively, try classical Arabic. Then you could read the mediaeval middle-eastern natural philospher’s works, and, if you wished, the Koran.

  • Jomar Silva 2009/01/05, 10:59 am

    Hi Rob,

    Learn Portuguese (or Spanish), to better understand how things runs under here :)



  • Bart Hanssens 2009/01/05, 2:23 pm

    Happy New Year Rob,

    if you really want to learn a cool language, try some Flemish dialect ;-)


  • Anonymous 2009/01/07, 11:02 am

    11. complete Part4 of the series on Document standards


  • Rob 2009/01/08, 11:34 am

    OK. Maybe I’ll learn Dutch, but also learn to dance the samba?

    Note also the New York Times article yesterday on R. Not very often that an open source statistical analysis package gets this kind of national coverage.

    The Times, they are a changin’.

  • Anonymous 2009/01/15, 2:03 pm

    Since you’re about to read Ulysses and to learn a new language.. How about starting to learn Finnish, then you could enjoy “In the Parlour at Alastalo” and its legendary scene, “a character’s journey to the mantelpiece to fetch a pipe is told in over seventy pages.” :)


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