Sunday, February 27, 2011

New ventures

I've had some ideas rolling around in the back of my mind for some time now. I wanted to start new blogs - not necessarily about my personal life, but something to share with others.

I finally took the next step. I registered three domain names and will be setting up hosting in the next day or so.

The three domains and their purposes are:
  • In Old Fort Dodge: news articles from the early days of Fort Dodge, Iowa, and the surrounding area. These will be printed exactly as they appeared in the publication of the time. (This site is now active.)
  • A Vague Recollection: I'll begin with my personal memories and possible add interviews of others. I use this phrase when recalling something that I know could be tainted by time and/or previous retellings.
  • A Wiser Steward: Learning to take care of my personal stewardship, live frugally and improve my life.
In Old Fort Dodge should launch March 1, which is Tuesday. I plan to set up posts ahead of time, timed to release on the day of publication matching when they were first published. So March 1 will have an article from March 1 of a previous year.

Eventually I'll set up my own WordPress themes, but for now I'll pick some free ones that suit my mood. I have to get past my mental block about CSS - for some reason my mind resists learning it well. I "get" the need for using CSS and I "get" how it works, but I don't "get" how to actually do it. But I have my "CSS: The Missing Manual" and I'll get it eventually.

I'm still going to work on learning German. Oh, and I need to be more consistent about reading the scriptures. And I've got a few other things I feel I need to do. That's partly what "A Wiser Steward" is all about. I originally planned a blog about working finances while consistently paying tithing. But I realized that there's more to it than that. It's not just finances, it's also managing my time and doing constructive things.

So, here I am with all these grand plans. So far this year my one success story has been quitting playing Zynga games on Facebook. I relapsed a couple of times, but I found that it's mostly been pretty easy once I blocked the games. Setting a short (one-month) deadline was key - I didn't feel that deprived when it was only for one month, but it also broke the hold the games had on me.

So I'll be figuring myself out, figuring out CSS, learning German ... guess it's not so bad that I'm not in college this year. Not sure I would have the time.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Year's Resolution part 2

I backslid a little bit on my New Year's resolution. I played Farmville for about half an hour and played Frontierville for three days. On the fourth day, it wouldn't load, so I deleted it. I haven't played any of the games since.

Part 2 is replacing the "bad" behavior with something positive. I've got several plans - two or three new blogs with specific purposes, and some educational plans. One of my ideas is taken from my cousin Neela. She has a blog called "What Would Super Junior Do?" where she talks about her family and her "obsession" with a Korean boy band called "Super Junior."

Neela likes this band so much she is learning Korean so she can understand what they are singing. She does also like other things about Korean culture, but the band is her main reason.

So here's my plan: I will begin learning German again. I took German and Spanish in high school. I liked things about both languages and at the time even planned to join the Air Force and learn more languages. But my weight was in the way and instead of doing something about that, I gave up on that plan and went in a different direction.

Since then I have used my meager Spanish skills to order meals at Mexican restaurants. "Un torta de lengua, sin cebollas, por favor." I haven't used German at all. And my obsession with getting things perfect or not doing anything at all means I put things off and don't accomplish anything. It also means I waver between choosing between one thing or another and usually never choose. So when I have thought about resuming language studies, I think "oh, Spanish would be more useful in real life" and "German is the language of many of my ancestors and would be more useful in family history." So I put it off.

I'm going with German. I have a list of resources that can help people learn languages for free. The church has a magazine called the Liahona that has articles from the Ensign, New Era and Friend in different languages. My mom is the ward magazine representative, she would be glad to order it for me in German. And the church's website offers various language versions,  including the scriptures in those languages.

So the next step is to make my decision public, thereby making myself accountable to produce results. If you don't tell anyone what you are doing, nobody will encourage - or nag - you to continue. And I'll take either. ;-)

Guten Tag.