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  Weekend Update 07:29 PM -- Fri January 6, 2006  

Ah, the weekend is here. So is the new year, or didn't you notice? Everybody does resolutions and whatnot, so here's what's happening with me for the new year:

We started on an exercise thing, as usual (though it's really just a coincidence that it's the new year - we started because Sol picked up a $1 book that had an exercise routine in it). That's going okay, we all know where it WILL go eventually, but we surely do try.

I finished reading Getting Things Done a month or so ago and semi-vowed to try implementing it. It's a system, ironically, not for getting things done, but rather for knowing what all you have to get done. You collect all the stuff in your life and keep track of it (and more importantly, decide what the very next action needed on it is), so at any given moment, you can just look in your files and see exactly what tasks could be done, were you not so lazy. It sounds pretty easy, not too pushy, and just plain useful. So I will give it a go.

Last year, I tried to read 50 books over the course of the year. I kept a nice excel spreadsheet (I keep nice excel spreadsheets of everything - there's nothing more fun than making a spreadsheet) detailing that, even rating the books. I only ended up finishing 34 books. But what I found was that I tended to avoid reading long books as much as possible, since I knew it would hurt my total. That was lame. So this year, I've tweaked it: I have the goal of reading 15,000 pages. That's 50 300-page books, using 300 pages as a reasonable average. According to the wonderful Excel, my 34 books from last year averaged 347 pages, so I'm being a little lenient, but maybe I'll make it this time! I just have to shy away from books with tremendously large pages and tiny print, I guess (I can go for words read next year, though that may be hard to track). To keep it more fun, I will share what I'm on with you and you can hear how much I hated it. For example, last year, I really hated everything by Eric Van Lustbader. He's a terrible writer.

Here are the books I rated 8/10 or higher last year:
  • A Theory Of Fun For Game Design, by Raph Koster (the only 10, the rest were all 8's)
  • Masters Of Doom, by David Kushner (not as good as others have said, though)
  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman
  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
  • Dancing Barefoot and Just A Geek, both by Wil Wheaton
  • Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, by Dan Brown (I actually hated them both for manipulating me into enjoying them... they're not good books in ANY WAY. It was like the fun of watching bad horror movies, only it made me feel unclean)
  • Children Of God, by Mary Doria Russell (interestingly, I rated The Sparrow a 7 and this an 8. I don't know if that is meaningful, or just different moods)
  • The Hugo Winners, volume something or other, edited by Isaac Asimov (one of many sci fi short story collections I read, thanks Thom!)

So there you go. This year begins with Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson, an 1100 page monster that would never have made the cut last year, Year's Best SF 8, edited by David G. Hartwell, yet another sci-fi short story collection, and Mastery, by George Leonard. Actually only started on the SF collection so far. I never find time to read. Just a little bit in bed. That's why when I make a schedule, I always try to work in some. Good for the brain and whatnot.

And that's about all I'm trying to do this year. I'd like to be vastly more successful in business and in life, but not really doing anything special there, other than pandering to the fans with a Loonyland sequel! I figure that's got to sell. And I may add a 3rd in the series next year. I've had an idea for the final chapter of it for years now, a huge world-changing twist to the whole story (and explaining so very much! If only you guys knew the truth!), but a pretty major thing to create. Since it is a finale, it will work fine after any number of normal Loonyland adventures. Maybe one day, we shall see Valentine Valley, or Easter Island. Maybe my turn-based game will be Loonyland Tactics. Who knows?
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