Penultimate Day, 2009

Today is Penultimate Day, a day in which I look back over the preceding year and reflect upon the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let’s face it, life is not always pretty.

I’ve had better years, much better years, but I can remember very few that were as bad or worse than this year. (Perhaps I’m repressing my memories of them.) Just the same, I’ll try to focus on some of the positive things that occurred.

Despite being unemployed most of the year, we managed to get by although it meant dipping a little into my retirement funds. We had to do without some things and save up for some other things but the necessities were covered. Hopefully, next year will fare better for us.

I managed to get up north a couple of times this year and it’s always good to be “home” even if only for a couple of days. It really is a sanctuary. I’ll endeavor to visit more often next year.

My genealogy work was sporadic throughout the year. I did find some good information, particularly on my Warren ancestors. I found some online records from Pomfret, Vermont as well as new information on Oliver Warren’s Revolutionary War service. I also find information linking him to Asa Warren and Tabitha Johnson which, in turn, takes his lineage back to John Warren, the Emigrant, of Watertown. I also found new data on other family lines. The web site is due for an update, especially the trees.

Over the year, I dabbled with rudimentary web development, learning more about XHTML and CSS. I redesigned all of my sites. I also moved the genealogy site and a couple of my blogs to a new hosted site and added some things to my home web server.

Along the same lines, I began dabbling in Linux a bit more. I’ll be using Linux even more in the coming months as I migrate my Windows-based network to Linux before Microsoft finally shuts the door on Windows 2000. It will be challenge to do it without losing any functionality and services. I’ll still have Windows clients but the servers will be Linux. I’ll be encouraging the use of Linux desktops on the network as well.

In the area of health, I began tracking trends with my weight, blood pressure, and blood glucose. I noticed that in the first half of the year I was slowly gaining but it’s starting to move back down again. I’m still stuck on that 180-pound plateau. My blood pressure has been up and down but within an acceptable range. I wouldn’t call it under control yet. For the most part, my blood sugar has been a bit higher than I’d like it and watching my carbohydrates hasn’t had the expected results. When I see my doctor next week, I’ll address these concerns.

One notable lifestyle change I’ve made this year is taking up yoga. I’ve never had much success at maintaining a fitness program but I’ve been doing yoga since July and looking forward to expanding my yoga experience next year. I think what makes yoga appealing is its holistic approach to the body, the mind, and the spirit. It seems to be a good fit for me. I’ve begun attending more advanced classes, finding them quite challenging physically. It’s one hell of workout. Perhaps the biggest challenge has been establishing a practice at home. I think it’s a carry over from all of my previous attempts at getting into a fitness routine.

I guess my main objective for 2010 will be to get things to start coming together. Some good things have been set into motion and I’d like to see them gain momentum. There are some negative things that were carried over into 2009 that are still speeding along and some new problems that arose and seem to be gathering steam. I’d like slow them down, if not stop them altogether. It would be great come out of the first decade of the 21st Century on a positive note.

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