My 2006 Resolutions

Another year has gone by, and it’s time for my 2006 resolutions. I reviewed my goals from last year, and I can’t really complain much.

Last year was the second year that I published a list of resolutions. In keeping with some tradition, it’s time to review my list and update it for the New Year. As I’ve done in the past, I’ll start with my 2005 accomplishments and move on to what I’d like to complete this year.

2005 goals

Continue staying healthy

I managed to keep in pretty good shape in 2006, but I still need to move away from eating out much. At least I don’t hit the fast food places as often as I used to. I also managed to finally quit smoking on January 31. So far, I haven’t even smoked a puff. I think that alone is a great accomplishment, but I have more work to do.

Keep playing the guitar

I stopped taking lessons earlier, due because my teacher left to join a band. But I continued to try to work on my skills alone. After doing so, I realized that I need to take lessons again or force myself to get beyond the really basic stuff that I already know.

Improve my wardrobe

I started buying new clothing earlier this year, but then stalled for a little while. Then I started working for a clothing retailer. Now I have a fairly new wardrobe. I also started watching “What Not to Wear” on TLC. I am proud to say that I no longer have pleats in my wardrobe. I’ve adopted the philosophy, “dress for the job you want, not the one you have.”

Keep improving my analytical skills

I was thrown into project management this past year, which forced me to just hone my analytical skills on the fly. I have more work to do here, but I will continue to improve my policy analysis skills over the next couple of years.

Keep reducing the clutter

The apartment isn’t a fire trap, but it’s not immaculate either. I have to focus on cleaning it again. This past year, I cleaned out a lot of clothes that I didn’t wear anymore, and I managed to purchase new clothes (as I mentioned earlier). There are other areas that I need to focus on, and I’m sure I’ll get to them this year.

Keep adding content to the new site

I wanted to add dynamic content to my site, but that requires creating a SQL database and rewriting a number of pages in PHP (for those of you who have no idea what that means, let’s just say it’s all programming beyond what I know). I didn’t complete some of the things I wanted to finish, but I may work on that this year.

2006 Resolutions

Improve my organizational and career skills

I was thrown into managing my first major project in 2005: livestock premises registration. When I first agreed to take on the project, I didn’t realize how large the project would become. After about a year of managing this project, I’m glad to say that we’re done with phase one and have already kicked off phase two. Additionally, I’m now managing the implementation of the program and supervising staff to implement it. To stay on track, I really need to stay organized. So 2006 will see some improvements in my organizational and project management skills.

I’ve listed a number of goals for 2006 in my profession. I won’t bore you with the list here, but it involves dealing with much more than livestock premises registration and animal identification.

Keep my Web site fresh

I have to admit that I haven’t done a great job of keeping the site fresh lately. This is in part because I took on a part-time job and haven’t had time to manage the site. I also had to change the domain from .us to .net. There are a number of items that I still want to work on, and I hope to address those in 2006.

Save for a house

I stepped up and got real about saving for my first house last year. I am now putting away funds directly from my paycheck that I can’t touch until the certificate matures in two years.

Keep reducing the clutter

I started getting rid of a number of things in 2005. I plan on continuing this effort so I don’t have so much crap around me in 2006. Let’s just call it some major spring cleaning and preparing for the move.

Start running

I want to start running, but I need to find some motivation. I am surrounded by a number of people that run, so I hope to get advice from them this year. I also started developing my plan to start running, and I’ve already selected my starting date.

Continue making healthy choices

I managed to remain I shape for most of 2005. I even quit smoking once and for all on January 31. I hope to stay on track and possibly make even more healthy choices in 2006.

Improve my guitar playing

I discovered that I have music in me that’s trying to get out. I managed to write and record my first song last winter (it was a metal Christmas song that reflects the true feeling of Christmas in the middle of the Christmas season). Since then, I realized that I still have a long way to go with becoming more familiar with the guitar. I’ve been toying with the idea of joining a band, but I still have to work on my technique, speed, and knowledge.

What are my chances in 2006?

I took on my resolutions in 2005 and added some that I didn’t anticipate. The next year will see continued efforts at improvement.

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An interesting quote on Lincoln

I finally got around to watching the three-hour documentary “Lincoln” on the History Channel. Gore Vidal, author of the historical fiction “Lincoln” gives such a great quote during this documentary. It’s so revealing that I had to repeat it and add it to my list of quotes (which I haven’t updated in a very long time). The quote is in reference to Lincoln’s actions during the American Civil War.

“Lincoln made himself dictator. I could see how right wingers would be very fascinated by how you could become beloved by everybody. National hero. Suspend habeas corpus. Do in the fourth amendment. Do all kinds of… freedom of speech; the first amendment. Shut down newspapers. I mean, every dictatorial thing you could do he did out of military necessity, which is written in the constitution. Others later, whom I shall not name, have invoked this and pretended that they were wartime presidents when they were not. The war against terror is like a war against dandruff; I mean, it’s a metaphor; it’s not about anything. The Civil War is a little more serious.”

Searching my site

My search will not work for a while. This is because it is based on Google crawling the site, and it hasn’t done so due to the new domain (.net). It will hopefully be able to work again soon. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Rest in peace Lola Eugenia

June 9, 1916 – January 9, 2006

My last surviving grandparent, Eugenia Santillana, passed away on Monday, January 9. Unlike my other grandparents, I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with her. She moved to the US from her native Philippines in 1980 and helped raise my sister and me for five years. After visiting California and returning to the Philippines for a brief period, she returned for a little while before moving permanently to California. The last few years of her life were difficult as she continued to suffer from a list of medical problems. She was admitted to a nursing home in 2005 and put on life support. By Monday, life support could no longer keep her going.

I have many fond memories of my grandmother. When she first came to live with my family, she already had some health problems. But that never made her stop smiling. She traveled with my family, always found time to do some exercising (even if she had to sit), managed to always cook, and sat outside to soak up some fresh air. But her accomplishments go further. I also learned that she survived the Japanese invasion during World War II, my grandfather’s untimely death in 1978, one daughter’s death at an early age, and a dictatorial president (Marcos) for many decades. She managed to bring many of her children to the US, and she saw many of her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

As I helped lay her to rest, I couldn’t help but notice that she was beloved by so many people. It was really sad to watch her casket lowered into the ground, but many of us also realize that her suffering was finally over. I am glad that I was able to see her and pay my final respects.

I admit that this blog is long overdue, but I dedicate it to my grandmother, her family, her friends, and everyone whose lives she touched. May she rest eternally in peace.