Two new blogs: By the barrel, and Commonplacing

I recently started two new blogs. My new beer blog is called By the barrel, or Bend Beer Librarian. It will document my journey into craft beer appreciation. My twitter handle is @bythebbl.

After having to give up on moving to WordPress Multisite—couldn’t seem to migrate this blog without breaking an unacceptable amount of things—I installed two more instances of WordPress and set to learning a lot more about configuring WP—both thematically and securely.

If you want or need to know about WordPress I sincerely (and seriously) recommend Digging into WordPress by Chris Coyier and Jeff Starr, both the ebook and the blog.

This post might give you some ideas of their value: Best of DigWP.com. Or a post I wrote here a couple years ago: Digging Into WordPress v3 and its authors rock

I have finally been able to make full use of the book and the blog, along with some other sources I found via Google. Up until today I primarily focused on By the barrel as that is a new venture I am starting and I wanted to get it out there. Although there is some tweaking left to do, I think it is ready to be ‘released.’

Be aware that I did copy six posts over from this blog that were entirely about beer and beer events. But I do have some new stuff primed and almost ready. A couple of book reviews will be leading things off. It isn’t the Bend Beer Librarian for nothing.

Commonplacing is less ready for prime time as I still need to do a lot of backend business. It is really for me and serves as my Internet commonplace book. I started it about two years ago at Posterous and then switched to Tumblr for a better workflow of getting things into it. Recently I decided I wanted full possession of my own content and as I was already starting another blog I might as well start a third. As I said, feel free to poke around and even subscribe if you like but I cannot promise anything regarding its value to others.

From now on most of the beer-related stuff will be over at By the barrel although I reserve the right to mention them here. Grab a glass of tasty beer and join me in my new excursion.

Blog redesign and other putterings

I know most of you never see this site anymore and if/when you do see my posts you are probably seeing them in a feed reader. That’s OK. I probably read about 50% of the blogs I follow in Google Reader and 50% at the blog itself (by clicking through). To get a feel for a new blog or to read one I know is well-designed (say, Walt at Random or via negativa), I’ll click through for the better aesthetic experience.

All that said, I am redesigning my blog. I have scrapped the old Cutline theme that I have used since November 2006. Wow! Really‽

I am using the Twenty Eleven theme from WordPress but along with the Twenty Eleven with Sidebar in Posts child theme. I have been doing some tweaking to it—kind of the point of a child theme—but still want to do more.

I have made some headers, which rotate, from some of my photos and plan on doing more. I am hoping to use a Google Web Font (still need to choose which one) for my blog title. If that works, I may consider finding one for the main text of the blog but I am concerned with loading overhead. I am currently using Georgia for body text, which I like a lot better than the sans serif font the theme uses by default, but Georgia really isn’t that great of a serif font.

I still need to restyle some H3 elements I have used as heading within posts previously as they are kind of small and light, add post counts to the Archives page, take the “!” off the Contact Me! page, do a bit more adjusting of the header area, along with changing the font to something nicer up there, and a few other things. I have added the citation for the inspiration of the title to the tagline area but I’d prefer it to be part of the title properly. We’ll see.

If you are so inclined, please feel free to actually visit the blog and provide any thoughts on aesthetics, location of elements/widgets, etc., missing/preferred elements/widgets, etc. Keep in mind, though, that this is a fairly responsive design and will look different depending on screen resolution, size, etc. For instance, the sidebar items all shift to the bottom on our iPads to leave plenty of room for the body.

 

Constructing my Books Read in 2010 post

Constructing my previous post, Books Read in 2010, was far too difficult.  Still.

I keep a simple running list of books I read in VoodooPad, a personal wiki, on my laptop.  I record them by date started, author’s last name and title.  When I finish I add that date.  At some point I look them up in a library catalog—generally WorldCat nowadays—and bring them into Zotero and add them to a folder titled Books Read in 20xx.

In the past I have exported that folder from Zotero as a bibliography in HTML and pasted it into WordPress.  With some minor editing I got a decent bibliography including COinS data for every title.  But somewhere along the line over the last year or two things have gone wonky and some interaction between the COinS-formatted HTML from Zotero and WordPress have caused much of that data to be stripped out.  Last year was a real pain and seeing as this year my list was 20-some-odd percent longer I could not face all of that work simply to have much of it disappear no matter how much wrangling and struggling I did.

My next thought was that I would simply use the OpenBook plugin by John Miedema that I am using for book reviews [example post].  I was not looking forward to plugging one hundred or so ISBNs into its input form one at a time but it was in theory doable. [This was due more to how much work I had already done verifying ISBNs, “correcting” those in Zotero and pasting a copy of the ISBN into the text file created with the bibliography exported from Zotero than it was the effort to use the plugin.]

So I ran a little test trying a few “random” ISBNs from the list to see what the Open Library records looked like and/or if they had records for some of my less popular titles.  The results were horrible!  I estimated I would have to add records for at least 20 titles and fix records on 2 to 3 times that many.  I began slowly poking away at them over the course of a couple days—days when I should have been doing other things of course—and although my estimates were highly accurate I got it done.

At some point in my cataloging I noticed that Open Library had recently added a lists feature.  I thought perhaps I’ll just make a list there and point my blog readers to it; although that did strike me as rather dismal.  Of course, I noticed the list feature after I had added or re-cataloged somewhere around 30 books; which meant I had to look them all up again individually to add them to my new list.  ::sigh::

Then I discovered that you can export a list in either JSON, HTML or BibTex.  Sadly I know little to nothing about either JSON or BibTex so if they would have made my life easier—without a steep learning curve first—then I did myself a disfavor by using HTML.

Well, the HTML needed a lot of massaging to look decent once imported into WordPress.  As the native page exported by Open Library it looks OK, but WordPress treats those h3s, spans and divs much differently. [Technically not an export but a simplified page generated from your main list that you can save and/or copy from the source.]

I believe the titles are in the list in the order I entered them, or something close to that anyway.  Sadly, that order bears no relation to anything useful.  Thus, I had to cut and paste the whole list into the order I wanted.  Then I started playing with layout to see what would look decent enough in WordPress.  Once I figured it out I started changing the divs and h3s to spans and removing all the extraneous white space.  By hand.  TextEdit was of no use in the white space changing game.  As I was getting really tired of all the mousing, etc. involved I remembered that Dreamweaver might do a much better job with white space in find and replace.  With hope I fired up the long disused copy of DW and opened my file.  I highlighted a group of white space and a tag to change, hit ⌘-C to copy it, hit ⌘-F to open Find and Replace, saw that the white space was intact, put the cursor in the replace box, hit ⌘-V to paste the same in, deleted the white space I wanted removed, and hit OK.  It did what I wanted so I had it fix the rest of those and went on to the next bit needing fixed.  Thankfully Open Library had been consistent in how and where it added the white space.

After that it was rather simple to verify my data and do the odd minor correction here and there.  As for the ebooks, I pulled those out of my original list exported from Zotero and ginned them up in a text file with links to each book in feedbooks.  Yes, Open Library has ebooks but from what I could find not a single one from feedbooks.  I could have added them but I was in no mood to add another 18 books, and cataloging free ebooks that give absolutely no indication of which text they are was not something I intended to undertake.  Ebooks are great in many contexts!  Ebook metadata is in a despicable state! [That is a rant for another, and previous, occasion.]

Once I had the ebooks fully ginned up in the text file I cut and paste them into the blog post where they went in the list.  Then I wrote the text that went along with the list and waited for the end of the year a few days away.  On the 31st I made a few minor corrections to the list since I finished one of the books I had given up on and added another that I read on the 30th and 31st.  I also fixed the numbers/commentary regarding the other two books and added a bit more commentary.

Sadly, the only COinS data available is for the post itself and I doubt many of you are truly interested in adding my post to Zotero, Mendeley, or whatever.

If I had used OpenBook I could have had COinS.  But I got distracted by needing to fix so many records at Open Library and then by finding the Open Library list feature.  After spending so much time futzing and seeing what it would do for me I had given up on Open Library.  Honestly, I had no desire to copy and paste 100+ ISBNs into it one by one either.  Still, I wonder how well it would have handled the job? [John, if you are still reading, any idea how the plugin might handle 100+ titles using template 5, embedded? Certainly wouldn’t want to be making all those calls to OL live.]

None of this is meant to take away from the OpenBook plugin for which I greatly thank John Miedema!

It makes me sad that it is 2011 and this task is still so darn difficult.  Much progress has been made in the sharing and linking to book data on the web but it is still so crude.  Much of the assorted quasi-FRBRization going on in places like Open Library, WorldCat, goodreads, Library Thing, etc. actually seem to make it worse.  If one only cares about pointing at a title/work then things are somewhat better.  But I cared about editions long before I became a cataloger.  In most cases if someone takes a recommendation from me I could care less which edition of the work they read or listen to in the end.  But in some cases it does matter.  And for my own purposes I want to know which manifestation(s) of the work I engaged with.

Some day the future may arrive and making a list like this in which the titles will bring their own (accurate) metadata along with them will be easy. That day simply has to arrive. Soon.

Then again, I’m still waiting on the flying car I was promised almost 50 years ago.

How It Seems To Me – Book review and OpenBook trial

I have been wanting to try the OpenBook plugin for WordPress for a while now. When I came back to blogging a few months ago John Miedema posted on his own blog that he was working on version 3 so I decided to wait. Well, he released v3 a couple of days ago so I decided I best step up.

I installed it a few minutes ago, grabbed the handiest book that I recently finished reading and here we are. In this post I chose to embed the HTML instead of having it make a live call to Open Library.

Phil Hey is a professor of English and writing at Briar CLiff University, where Sara works. A week or two back we had the privilege of going to a poetry reading by Phil where we picked up this book and a chapbook of his St. Francis feast day poems [BCU is a Franciscan Catholic university.].  Each year on St. Francis feast day (Oct. 4) Phil gets up at first light and writes a poem, which he collected into a chapbook last year.

I quite enjoyed these poems. They are very natural and primarily focused on the Midwest, small town, and positive feelings. But as one of the blurbs says on the back cover [James Autry]: “In these poems, Phil Hey offers his unconditional and uncompromising Midwestern sensibility without limiting the work in any way that could be described as ‘regional.’ I highly recommend this work.”

COinS. Screw ‘em!

COinS

I’m just giving up. There will be no more in my posts; at least for the citations I include.

I’m tired of all the work I have to do to get the citations out of Zotero as HTML, open the source of the generated web page, copy the div with the COinS, paste it into HTML view in WordPress, and then still freaking pray that it works.

I guess I’ll leave the supposed COinS generator plugin that I have that generates COinS for the blog posts themselves activated. Sometimes it fails too.  I had some back and forth with tech support a long while ago and it “failed” for stupid reasons back then. Seems it is still failing for asinine reasons. Really, anyone want to tell me what the offending character is in this post title? The Profession’s Models of Information – some comments

Not only are the COinS for the two citations I used missing but so is the one for the post itself.

This post has all of the COinS displaying that it should, one for the post and four for the four books.

Other recent posts (since I started blogging again in Aug) have varying degrees of what they should as far as the COinS are concerned.

If anyone besides me was actually making use of the COinS I was embedding then I sincerely apologize. The work involved to only get screwed over repeatedly is simply not worth it.

It may be “the future(tm)” but our tools still suck!

Digging Into WordPress v3 and its authors rock

This post is for all of you running WordPress blogs.

The short version:

These guys rock hard! Buy this book!

Longer version:

In case you do not know it, there is a blog called Digging Into WordPress which puts out a lot of valuable information on all aspects of WP.

A while ago they released a book and an ebook (pdf), also entitled Digging Into WordPress.  The ebook was $27 and comes with a lifetime of free upgrades.  I bought the book back in March and had all kinds of ideas on how to use it.  As my regular readers know a couple of marriages and a move 10 hours further westward got in the way of a lot of things.  But I have read parts and skimmed many others and I’m here to tell you that this book is useful.

Eventually along came WP v. 3 and their book was out-of-date.  But unlike lots of software books that are released at the same time as, or before, the software itself—and thus how accurate can they be?—they waited until they could do it proper using a fully functional release version just like you and me.

Well, that book was released just a couple of days ago.  I saw the blog post 2 days ago right before bed and noticed that they said everyone who had previously bought it had already received the download link to the new version via email.  But I had not.  So in the morning I checked into it.  According to comments on the announcement post it looked like lots of people had not gotten their emails either, primarily due to overaggressive spam filters.

We were supposed to find our original email receipt and email it to them.  Well, I found an email and started replying and then came up short.  This was the email I got when I put my name on the preorder list in Nov 2009 and was for a $9 discount.  Sadly, I had failed to use that discount.  I found my pdf and accompanying files (comes with some templates) and doing a Cmd-I I got the Finder Info where I had added a note that I got it on 28 March 2010.  I also verified that date in my Google Doc that I keep of all book purchases.  So I sadly and tentatively wrote my reply stating that this was all that I had, the date and price I had paid, and asked if there were some other way of proving I had purchased the book.  Within a matter of hours—keep in mind this is 2 guys and they’re handling lots of email and blog comments due to what in most cases was overaggressive spam filters—I had a gracious and courteous response that my update email had gone to a long gone email address and should they resend it to my gmail address?

So long story a little shorter, I got my updated ebook and I got it with a minimum of fuss. I have since realized why I never got a purchase receipt and why the update email went to an address that I no longer had well before I bought the book.

Godamn PayPal!  I purchased the book with PayPal.  Well, not really true as I was trying not to but it took over anyway.  Grrr!  Well, my PayPal account is stuck with an email address that I am not allowed to change because I cannot reply to the email they send there to verify that I want to change it.  Seriously!  I understand the need for protection of your users but then there is idiocy.  I no longer have that email because my (previous) ISP changed it.  It was my Insight email and Verizon Comcast bought them out and hamfistedly changed everyone’s email addresses.  They also just killed those accounts in full after 30 days.  No forwarding after that date; just dead.  Now even Verizon Comcast isn’t my ISP because I live somewhere else and thankfully no Verizon Comcast here. [Corrected 5 Sep 2010 upon realizing my brain fart.]

So all of this was caused by PayPal not allowing me to update my email address because they asininely assume that we all have perpetual access to every email address we have ever used.  Brilliant.  And so utterly wrong.

Anyway, Digging Into WordPress and Chris Coyier and Jeff Starr are excellent! They did me right and they did so graciously while under fire from many others for these same sorts of technological issues that are often out of our control.

So if you are running a WordPress blog buy Digging Into WordPress v. 3.0 You will not regret it!

5th blogging anniversary

29 January is the 5th anniversary of my public blogging. I had a Bloglines private blog for about 9 days before I got fed up with its lack of capabilities. That 1st proto-blog was called In My Secret Life… via Leonard Cohen.

The 1st public-facing blog debuted on 29 January 2005 at bookmark.typepad.com and was called …the thoughts are broken…, which is from Ripple by the Grateful Dead. This would have been the beginning of my 2nd full semester of library school.

On 20 July 2006 I flipped the switch on Off the Mark on my own domain and hosted by LISHost after some tribulations with Typepad over many months. The story of the name is at that post.

On 19 July 2009 I again changed the name of the blog; reasons listed at the post. It is now known as habitually probing generalist.

I will make no promises as to what will or will not happen on this blog in the future. I have not been writing much for quite a while now—some of the reasons are interspersed in posts over the last 18 months or so—and I do not know if or when I will pick up the virtual pen again or how frequently. But I do appreciate having this space as an outlet and knowing that thanks to RSS anyone who truly cares what I might have to say can simply wait on that eventuality to arrive.

Thanks to all who have been here with me any of this time. Hopefully you’ll see me around here some more and I certainly hope to see you (and your feedback/comments/critiques/cries of BS/etc.).

habitually probing generalist

Change of blog name

I have changed the name of my blog. Again. This time it should not break any of the Internet nor should you need to change feeds; I hope.

3 years ago tomorrow I moved my blog to WordPress and renamed it Off the Mark. This was after a few years of blogging at Typepad under the name …the thought are broken…. I had put out a call for suggestions and for slightly different reasons both Walt Crawford and Richard Urban recommended Off the Mark. For those and other reasons I liked it. But over time various (possible) connotations have been bugging me. I was certainly aware of them then but I dismissed them, at least in my own mind.

A few months after renaming my blog I read an article for a class and my tagline was born. That tagline is now being promoted to the name of my blog. Henceforth, this space is to be known as habitually probing generalist.

I feel that that far better represents me and how I’d like to be known. For now, Off the Mark will be my tagline.

In the interest of disclosure, I feel that the primary reason for this change is that which I stated above—Off the Mark carries certain negative connotations which I no longer am willing to ignore and habitually probing generalist better represents the external face I want to present. Secondarily, though, I cannot deny that the phrase “off the mark” is heavily represented and used on the Internet. There is a greeting card company with that name (I have enjoyed giving a card or 3 to others from that company; check them out) and at least another blog or two, besides being a common phrase in its own right. “Habitually probing generalist” appears to be only used by me and a few others who have referenced my tagline. Thus, I am laying claim to it. Carole Palmer deserves a boatload of credit for it but I alone am responsible for this specific formulation.

Working toward this change I made myself a new favicon about 2 weeks ago. No longer is my favicon barely distinguishable pink flowers but is a blue background with a whitish “hpg” in it. I still need to do a little code editing so the fonts are switched for the name and tagline on the blog but that can wait. A looming physical move takes precedence.

With my blogging output over the last year a few of you might well ask “What is the point of a name change for a moribund blog?” Sadly, that is a valid question. I cannot make any promises but ….

CAS project

Friday I met with my academic advisor, Dean John Unsworth, about my CAS paper, for the first time in about 11 months. The gist of what we discussed is that things are settling down in my life (as much as possible for someone with a temporary job) and that I am ready, and looking forward, to beginning on the job of writing and defending this paper.

First, I must get physically moved across town and somewhat unpacked but then I should be able to devote far more time to it than I was willing to over the last year. The love of my life and I will live together and there will be no more of that whose apartment are we going to?, are you/am I spending the night?, blah blah. Perhaps more importantly, I will have research time once my 2nd year Visiting Professor appointment starts 16 August. This should make a major difference in my mental ability to focus on the task at hand. Also, S will be majorly busy and working many hours in September and October so I hope to use some of that time to get back in the flow of reading and writing towards a directed end.

My time over the last year has by no stretch been a waste! I have read far more broadly in a vast array of disciplines, topics and genres, which has better prepared me to think about and critique the actual use of language and communication. I was on a panel at ASIS&T last year where I spoke about Integrationism in regards to tagging. I also attended the 1st Ethics of Information Organization conference this May.

I now have an idea for a draft proposal for a presentation at the 2nd Ethics conference next year. This also forms a small but core portion of my critique of the uses of the concepts of language and communication in LIS. Thus, working towards fleshing this out will be a big help in a key premise of my argument. I might also be able to then expand on it or shift it a bit to present at ASIS&T or the SIG-CR preconference next year in 2010.

I also have an idea for a way to have interested parties work with me to compile a “listing” of theories of language and communication used in LIS and citations of works that explicitly use them, well or not. On this head, though, I am first doing a bit of research to seed the list and to determine what might be the best tool to use for a (small, I assume) group to manage it while making it publicly available. Stay tuned.

… and this means what for the blog?

Well, I hope that I will blogging much of what I get up to. I will need to reread many things and refresh my memory of what they say. Summarizing these for the blog is a possibility, as is comparing and contrasting ideas. Bouncing ideas and/or draft paragraphs/sections of my paper or my conference presentation ideas off of my readers are distinct possibilities, too.

No promises. But. I hope that I can claim that—for the near future, at least—I am back.

Sing a song with a friend
Change the shape that I’m in,
And get back in the game,
And start playin’ again

John Prine. Clay Pigeons.

It’s like talking to the wall

He’s incommunicado
No comment to make
He’s saying nothing at all

Yeah but in the communique
You know he’s gonna come clean

[Communique – Dire Straits]

Seems I don’t have much to say anymore. We’ve all read of the death of blogging. The move to Friendfeed and Twitter. XYZ.

None of those are entirely true. I have plenty to say and a fair bit to talk about. [I have a whole series of posts about the Ethics of Info Org conference I went to at the end of May planned out and started]. But there are other things that I have chosen to give my time to.

Work

Recently I was engaged in a project at work which involved us processing about 41,000 volumes of serials and monographic series out to our Oak Street remote storage facility in a projected 10-week period this summer. We managed to finish the project in 6 weeks.

I was the primary cataloger, 95%+ of the time. As in I was 95% of total cataloger time spent on it. This means that conservatively I had “critical eyes” on 1000 bib records a week.

I lasted just over 5 weeks before my mind shut down on me. Pretty much literally. Luckily El Diablo was there to step in and finish the project. By the time a couple days passed and I was ready to return they had wrapped it all up.

In other work-related news, I have accepted an offer for another year as a Visiting Serials Cataloger and Visiting Assistant Professor of Library Administration. Yay for knowing I’ll have a job in the near future. The current contract was over 15 August so this is none too soon. [Hopefully the Trustee’s approval will be routine.]

Moving

I have met the woman I was destined to spend my life with. She is my heart and soul and shortly I will no longer live alone.

At the end of the work day, I go home to do every thing that our project team was doing. I am pulling, inventorying, checking, boxing and slinging the boxes for our move across town. “Life is grand.”

Well, life was grand. A wrinkle has been added which complicates things, to say the least. I am kind of stressing right now but will recover. I’d put my moving skills up against anyone’s. Sad as that may be.

In this department life can throw whatever it wants at me. I care little, even if it stresses me in the short-term. I am shortly moving in with the woman who I have chosen to give my time (and life) to. I shall give her as much of it as is required.

Another wrinkle has arisen in the time it has taken me to finish this post. If it appears somewhat disjointed I apologize as the several weeks it has taken has required several rewrites and as many removals and additions.

New Employee Recognition Day

A couple weeks back the library held its annual New Employee Recognition Day. Seeing as I was hired within the last year I was—like all others hired in the last year—introduced by the Dean. Based on the state of this humble blog in the past year I was horrified that the vast majority of my intro came from my About page here. My being named one of “The LISNews 10 Blogs to Read on 2008” was trotted out as I shrank in embarrassment. At least it made me realize I need to update that page.

The blog

Speaking of the blog, there are going to be a few changes around here soon. Does that mean I may finally start posting again? I can’t really say.

One of my first thoughts upon hearing the Dean tell everyone assembled at NERD (Oops, I doubt they mean for that acronym to be used) was to simply kill it entirely. Oh, yes. I did seriously consider that.

But as several other libloggers have written recently, I like having this space in case I do want to share and get around to doing so. It’s nice to know it is here waiting on me.

Was having trouble getting in to my own domain recently for assorted reasons but finally got it figured out. Thus, I just upgraded from WordPress 2.7 to 2.8.1 with one click (after backing up). Plugin upgrades also only required one click each. Wow! Can I just say “Wow!”

Anyway. Enough of this blather for now. It is time to kill this thing and just post it. With any luck anyone still out there will be hearing from me again soon.

Some things about the new year

Not sure where this blog is going this year. I said some things last year about where I wanted to take it / thought it might go and it got nowhere near any of those places.

I read through all of my posts for 2008 on the 1st and 2nd. Wow! What a year! Talk about ups and downs. The reading went much quicker for the back half of the year seeing as I had but a handful of posts over the last quarter of the year.

I did and still do have some things to say. But for many reasons I chose/choose not to and/or am unable to do so—both good things and not so good things.

Things are really good in my life in some ways as I enter a new year and rapidly reach the half century mark. But I don’t get to say much about those.

I am in love and have the love of an amazingly wonderful woman. ‘Nuff said.

Some things are not so good; but really no worse than for many.

I have a job. For several more months anyway. But better than some, I knew from the start that it would end [on 15 August 2009]. At the time I got it there was a very good chance that it could be extended. With the economy tanked that is highly unlikely, though. So now I truly am on the job market—with many others—in an extremely poor economy.

It was a year of growth—some painful, some pleasant—and recognition of some areas which need improvement. In some cases I have a good idea and plan for how to work on those areas. Some are still too amorphously vague to have a plan; but awareness—or working towards awareness, at least—is the first step.

I have been working on a long post on the books I read this past year and WordPress is giving me fits. Apoplectic fits. Not sure if/when it will get posted anymore. The formatting keeps changing as WP sees fit from moment-to-moment. As soon as I figure out how to work around what it is doing it does something else. And now it is pulling out assorted COinS data. It is all becoming too much. [Hopefully it will be following on the heels of this one. ::fingers crossed::]

Also, one of the things I came across in re-reading my blog posts was my comments on censoring myself in my post “Some things read this week feature is over.” Now, none of those reasons have gone away although I was managing to ignore them as I constructed my Books Read in 2008 post. This morning [Saturday], in a different context, I was reminded that perhaps I am putting too much out there. So now I have to decide what to do with that post on top of trying to fight with WP.

I have no idea what this year will bring. I do have some hopes and desires but it is also a time of great change for S and for me.

I sincerely hope that I can continue to be the man I want to be in this relationship and that I can continue growing as that man.

I hope that I can be better at some things than I was in the past year. There were several issues that I wanted to comment on and had told others that I would that I never got to. Finding a way to discuss these issues in a more positive way is a big desire of mine. Finding a way to discuss them in a way I feel “safe” doing so is a hope.

I hope that I will be better at working on my breathing and perhaps find a way into yoga and other forms of exercise. I also hope I take up running again as soon as spring allows.

I hope to have a job after 15 August. And that it be interesting, challenging and with good people in a nice setting (work and non-work) is a desire.

Staying in better touch with assorted, but specific, people is a hope. Toward that end I am now in FriendFeed as it allows for a different kind of conversation than blogs or facebook. That, of course, is not enough and I must truly work harder at this.

I have many other hopes and desires for the new year. Some are concrete and some are still pretty abstract.

Besides hoping that everyone can be the person they desire to be in this year, my biggest hope and desire is that I actively and continuously work at being/becoming the person I want to be.