Headlines for Thursday:


Priorities - A: high, B: medium, C: low; Status - _: unfinished, X: finished, C: cancelled, P: pending, o: in progress, >: delegated. Covey quadrants - Q1 & Q3: urgent, Q1 & Q2: important
AX@1900 Attend Mensa last hurrah, fireworks
AXFind better host for Adphoto
AXReview my year using mom's forwarded questions
AXCheck Flickr's terms to see if we can use that for our photos
AXBackup plannerlove pmwiki
AXWrite outline for article about personal wikis (writing)
AXBackup robotics mediawiki


1. Top 13 questions to ask yourself

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From Kevin Eikenberry, forwarded by Mom:

  1. What did I learn this year?
  2. What did I accomplish this year?
  3. Which accomplishments am I proudest of?
  4. Knowing what I know now, what would I have done differently in the past year?
  5. What will be my greatest lasting memories of this year?
  6. In what ways did I contribute?
  7. What were my biggest challenges or obstacles?
  8. What obstacles did I overcome?
  9. Who are the most interesting people I met?
  10. How have they changed my life?
  11. How am I different now than I was at the start of the year?
  12. What am I most grateful for?
  13. What else do I want to reflect on?

2. Reflections on 2005

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This year saw me in three countries: Japan, Philippines, and Canada. On the surface level, I learned about a fair number of things: Jakarta Struts, Ruby, engineering psychology and human performance...

Other things I learned:

  • I love writing. One article in the Linux Journal resulted in dozens of e-mail. My column in Computerworld On Campus got a lot of feedback from students whose lives I'd touched (even if only lightly). My weekly posts on diyplanner.com get feedback, too. I love writing. I can affect people through it. What took me so long?
  • I need people. This was the year that my current barkada really came together. The year started with the Digital Pinay fiasco, which was how Clair and I really got to know each other. The year also saw Slycesoft developments and our little triumphs and crises. I'm also very glad I have Dominique and my family. =) With them, the future looks even better.
  • I have much, much more to learn about the working world. If I could do one thing over this year, it would be that span of time at a company in Cebu. Looking back, I can see how I could've been more politically sensitive. It was a valuable lesson, and one I'll keep in mind.
  • I want--no, _need_--to make a difference. =)

My biggest challenge for 2005: graduate school

My biggest challenge was adapting to graduate school. I found it difficult to be motivated and confident. I had a really bad attack of the impostor syndrome that made me almost quit my teaching assistantship because I felt I was doing the students such a disservice by teaching something I didn't really know. The students reassured me, my professor and the previous teaching assistant helped me, and even the assistant department chair called me in and half-scolded, half-encouraged me.

The engineering psychology and human performance class was interesting, too. The lab reports really helped me review statistics, and I enjoyed writing. If I could do one thing differently, I wish I had kept my new-found study habits instead of getting frustrated in lectures. I used to read ahead, but I found it difficult to pay attention in class, so I ended up just reading afterwards. Maybe graduate-oriented classes will be more engaging.

Searching for a good project was also very difficult. My research supervisor and I went through so many ideas. Because I didn't have a clear research question in mind, I felt adrift and frustrated. I wasn't sure if graduate school was worth the opportunity cost. I'm happy now, though. We've found something that not only fits in with our short- and medium-term goals, but also helps me with my long-term goals. I think social search provides interesting possibilities, particularly if we can make it much easier to do, much more mainstream. I'm curious about whether we can make it easy to filter by multiple networks, too. I still feel a little guilty about not having completed my reading paper, but I resolve to turn in an absolutely wonderful one next term! =)

I think the secret to life is being fully in the present, wherever I am. I'm looking forward to throwing myself into the metadata course when I get back to Canada, and I'm setting aside time to read papers while on vacation.

Best memories for 2005

Listening to my family's stories. Chasing horses and ice cream carts while learning photography. Hanging out with my friends. Geek lurv. (Hi Dominique! Hi Clair and JM! Hi Paolo and Kris! Hi Marcelle and Gin! ;) ) Digital Pinay smackdown. Long phone calls and Skype sessions. Cryptograms. Graduate House people and activities. New friends and old friends. =)

Goals for 2006

  • Read more. I want to read at least a book a week and a scholarly paper a day.
  • Write more. I want to write a scholarly paper. I want to continue writing articles for magazines. I want to post thoughtful pieces on my blog more often. =)
  • Study more. I want to make my department glad they took a chance on me. =)
  • Do more. I want to lay the groundwork so that I have an idea of what to do after my master's degree.
  • Live more. I want to make more friends in the Philippines and in Canada. I want our barkada to grow--fresh blood! =)--and I want to find a group of people I can hang out with in Canada.
  • Be more. I want to make a difference (even a small one!) at least every week.

On Technorati:

3. Mr. Yoest's Ten Simple Rules for Dating My Daughter

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And I thought my OnLove page was weird. ;)

Rule Five: It is usually understood that in order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is "early."

4. Adphoto website plans

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My dad wants to be able to update the pictures on the Adphoto website easily. The iPhoto Flickr export plugin looks pretty nifty, and if I can make something similar, that would be ubercool.

Hmm. Must redesign site. Brochure-ware, perhaps also stock photography?

On Technorati:

5. Looking for a new web host for Adphoto

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The .ph domain will be a hassle to update (maybe we should just get that delegated?), but it might be worth switching to a new web host.

I need PHP, MySQL, mail hosting, FTP access, 1 GB storage, and ImageMagick support. We use less than 1 GB a month. I'd like shell access. Python and Perl support would be really fun. Ruby would make me thrilled. I plan to set up a tagged photoblog / photographers' portfolio.

We're currently paying ~ USD 8 / month. I'd prefer to keep money in the Philippines, and most of our traffic comes from the Philippines anyway. Know of any locally-hosted servers? If not, I'll probably go for http://www.site5.com/hosting/comparison.php .

On Technorati: ,

6. RSS mess

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Darn. Why are things getting double-escaped in my RSS feed?

Testing, testing.