Runaway Future

25.1.2009

A look back, to move ahead

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 21:47

As it seems to be a recurring instance, I close off 2008 with plenty left unsaid. I have 80-odd posts sitting in the hopper, with topics ranging from the NHL All-Star Game (happening today), to Obama (inaugurated last week), to the Canadian political scene (with the budget coming out next week). It’s always a case of never having the time, or the desire, or the drive. As the rest of the world speeds up, this site is left behind.

So here’s my 2008 year in review.

To start, as always, a link to the 2007 year in review. In retrospect, it’s surprising how the goals listed there manifested themselves. I didn’t do the 10k in the Bluenose, due to the ankle injury, but that turned into an increased focus on running, which dominated the last part of my year and provided a welcome release from the toils of the day. I’m set to run a half-marathon in the middle of February. Work has changed, with the major projects I talked about last year finally coming to fruition (hopefully in the next month). The change that I needed came, in the form of the superbike job. Travelling across Canada, making some extra coin and doing some interesting work. That said, I still wish I had more motivation to write, both here and elsewhere. I also was able to fulfill my actual New Year’s resolution: getting a library card.

The main things I’ll remember from 2008

The ankle injury was a pretty defining moment as it led to a much more serious focus on running.

The superbike job was also a great time. Especially the trip to Calgary.

There were more concerts, Matt Good again and Neil Young. Another cottage trip.

Work picked up a lot, becoming almost unbearable, but the tunnel I’ve found myself in seems to finally have a light.

Things I want from 2009

When asked what my New Year’s resolutions were, I said that I resolved to be more insensitive, immature, drink more, eat more fast food, less controlled and louder. Failing that I wished to get a submarine. My thinking was that if people usually don’t go through with their resolutions. So if I didn’t, it was ok. If I did, well a submarine would be pretty sweet.

That’s my joke for resolutions. My real resolution is to donate more. It’s from something I read in The Year of Living Biblically. I intend to write a review or something about the book at a later date, but the lesson stuck with me. The idea of tithing not to benefit a central church or religion, but to purely benefit others. I make a decent wage and looking around my apartment, I don’t need a new bigger TV or a new computer monitor or a new bed or a new couch. I can suffice quite comfortably with what I have. The idea from the book was to use the excess that you have to benefit others. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on ethics and morality and charity and privilege, so for now that’s my idea on how to make change in my world.

I’ve already identified a few charities that I wish to support, notably Right To Play, endMS and KidSport. But if there are any other ideas or suggestions, I would love to hear them.

Other than that, it’s the usual increased focus on writing, both here and even more notably for HF. I’ve pondered opening up a Tumblr blog and I want to fulfill that when I get the time as I think it would be a perfect outlet for the smaller things I come across that I might not have the time to examine in depth here. I look back through the archives here every now and then and marvel at the huge entries I posted. Coupling that with my past hockey work, I wonder where I got that drive and energy….and where it has gone.

I do have one main concern, not necessarily for 2009, but more for 2010. The superbike job is something I wish to continue with, but next year (the 2010 season), I won’t have enough vacation time to go to all the races. I’ve been using up unused vacation time from previous years for both last year and this year, but next year will be when I likely break even and run dry if I try to attend every race. It’s a concern, especially as I continue to convince myself that everything standing pat on the employment front for the time being is alright.

4.1.2009

mind = blown

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 22:01

So I’ll have something forthcoming sometime about all sorts of stuff and 2008 and new years and start (continue) writing on a semi-regular basis, but right now, as my pasta boils on the stove, I’m watching a documentary on Stephen Hawking and his theories.

Why is my mind blown? Because of something I never realised before.

Everyone knows who Stephen Hawking is. What I didn’t know was that due to his condition, he does everything in his head. The theories, the math, the diagrams. All in his head. He figured out the intricacies of quantum mechanics and black holes and subatomic particles and everything, in his head. I mean, it sounds so obvious now, because clearly his little talking computer could never handle the processing and concepts that Hawking is exploring and granted I don’t know how other quantum physicists go about uncovering the secrets of the universe (I assume they have some sort of assistance other then just sitting in a chair somewhere). But yeah, that’s an incredible example of intelligence. Like he’s coming up with the Theory of Everything. Not just 42, the answer to life, the universe and everything, but the actual question, or whatever. All in his head. Absolutely remarkable.

The only thing I can think of being anywhere comparable is a story I once read about people in solitary confinement playing chess against themselves in their mind to stay sane. But that’s really just more an exercise in memory, remembering the spots of 32 pieces on an imaginary 64 square board and developing strategy against yourself. This is a whole other level, he’s actually coming up with amazingly complex equations and theories. All in his mind.

How can anyone be that smart?

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