Get the Official Aretha Franklin Hat T-Shirt
ArethaHat.com?! On a t-shirt?!?! Bwahaha!
That whole site is hilarious. Fark-style sightings of Aretha hats! Love it.
22 Lifestyle Changes of Middle America
What people are doing more of (like drinking booze at home, going to state colleges (which aren’t all that cheap, but are cheaper than private colleges), eating at McDonald’s, abusing each other) and what people are doing less of (buying stuff, spending money).
Poolga iPhone and iPod Touch Wallpapers from a selection of designers and illustrators from around the world.
They are so deliciously gorgeous.
The wallpaper is what you see when your iPhone or iPod Touch been asleep and then you press the home or sleep/wake button that shows you the time and the “slide to unlock” bar. It’s not the background behind all your app buttons (that stays black), so no worries about the design being lost.
I just downloaded about 15 of them and put them on my iPhone. I wish there was a way to make them automatically rotate; I’m not sure I’ll remember to swap them out on a regular basis. I’m starting with My Mary Poppins Bag.
There are currently about 8 pages of designs to browse through and you can subscribe to the Poolga Tumblr for new design updates. You can also follow Poolga on Twitter: @Poolga.
Hubwear: Custom Travel Tees
Our most popular shirts feature two airport codes on the front and the same codes, in reverse, on the back.
Cool! I’d select MSP/DTW, of course. $35. Kid sizes for $32.
The New York Times makes near-real-time data from Congress available for tech-y types to play with. Cool! Almost makes me wish I new how to do that code-y stuff.
Eat the Stimulus: Investing in a new food system should be part of the economic-spending package
So the conventional wisdom is wrong; food-system reform can’t wait. But how do we elevate it on the national agenda when the political class is focused on other things? I have an idea that wouldn’t require a radically new program or a major expenditure of political capital.
He suggests bringing back local/regional food processing facilities like slaughterhouses and canneries and returning investment to school cafeterias since they don’t actually cook food in them anymore.
(via @The_Wedge, aka The Wedge Natural Foods Co-op in Minneapolis, which — with 13,000 members — is one of the largest such organizations in the country)
The Courage of Detroit
I actually got a little verklempt reading this Mitch Albom piece. It’s kind of about Detroit-as-a-sports-town as a metaphor for Detroit-as-a-failing-city. In true Mitch Albom style, it’s kind of about sports, but mostly not.
The Lions: The final straw in the decline of Detroit (2008- Kwame, Bailout, Lions)
A quite brilliant treatise on the current state of my hometown/homestate, from one of my college buddies.
Detroit, this is the lowest moment in our history. This is worse than the next three worst moments, two of which occurred this year: the race riots in 1968, the Big Three automakers getting bailed out, and Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick going to jail.
Provocative statement, eh? It makes sense. Read the whole thing.
Now that I’m high on accomplishment, time to voice my intentions for 2009.
- Money. It’s completely unsurprising to me that this is the first topic that popped into my head when I started to write this list. I have three complete years of Pearbudget spreadsheet data, including one full year of data for my current living situation, so I have a pretty good handle on how much I spend and where it goes. I hope and expect that this year will be the year that I go from bad-debt-reduction mode to save-up mode. I’ve been balancing both for a couple years, but I’m more than ready to leave that payoff/paydown stuff behind. This will be a big mental shift for me, as well, because I’ve pretty much never lived outside of debt-reduction mode.
My goals for 2009 are:
- Pay off that last credit card.
- Fully fund my Roth IRA for 2008.
- Determine how and where it’s prudent to combine finances with Missy and then do that.
- Save money as aggressively as I paid down my debt in 2008.
I expect that accomplishing these goals will be pretty easy.
- Home life. Things on this front are pretty damn good. It continues to amaze me how easy my relationship with Missy is. But I can’t say that there’s nothing I need to work on.
My goals for 2009 are:
- Be more helpful.
- Pull my weight around the house and take a more active role in taking care of house business. For example, that room upstairs ain’t gonna paint itself.
- Find out what steps Missy and I need to take to legally protect ourselves as much as possible and then do that.
I expect that accomplishing these goals will require some dedication. There’s lots of upside if I succeed, but not too much downside if I don’t, so I have to provide myself with some impetus and not be lazy about it.
- Business. The more I spend time and money on my various web projects and the more I earn doing it, the more I see a need to separate that from my personal finances.
My goals for 2009 are:
- Meet with an accountant and determine the best way for me to manage my side-project finances.
- Keep track of the time I spend on my various web projects. I’m not sure how detailed I want or need this to be. I’m hoping it’ll help me gain some clarity around how much of my life this takes up and how much my time is worth.
- Write stuff off!
- Take myself seriously, take my projects seriously, have an actual plan for them, and execute on that plan.
I expect that the parts where I already have a pretty concrete action item will be a piece of cake, though they’ll require some discipline to do it in a timely fashion. I’m not really sure what that last part will look like.
- Social life. Even though I already feel like I’m crazy busy, I just need to get out of the house more. It’s not because I’m not having enough fun. I’ll admit it, I’m kind of a homebody, and I’m totally fine with that. It’s because no matter how awesome the internet is, face time with people can’t be replaced. There are so many people I know on Twitter that I would really like to sit down with.
My goals for 2009 are:
- Make a list of people I want to talk to and talk to them. In person.
- Try not to let living in the ‘burbs prevent me from doing stuff just because I think it’s too far to drive.
- Try not to let the fact that I don’t drink nearly as much as I used to prevent me from entering into social situations in which there is alcohol involved. This might seem like it’s coming out of the blue. All I know I’ve become increasingly intolerant of listening to people my age talk about getting trashed (as an end, not as a means or a coincidence). I have a hard time sometimes deciding and reconciling how much I want to drink (or not) and — just as important — how much I want to spend (or not).
I expect that I’ll do a pretty good job with these, until I get exhausted. I’ll have to push myself, but also acknowledge my own limitations as an introvert.
- My body. I said that my diet in 2008 was the healthiest it’s been. You wouldn’t know it from looking at my butt. This sounds so cliche and whatever to even say it, and I hate that I even think it, but I looked at pictures of myself from xmas and thought, “Holy shit! Is that what that looks like?” There are advantages and disadvantages to not having a full-length mirror and scale readily available. At the same time, my weight was very stable throughout the year, so I’ve clearly got a good balance of eating and working out. The psychological problem I’m having is that I’ve been skinnier, so I know I can be skinnier. Never mind that was because I barely ate because I was broke. Although it was also because I ran a lot more. But the trick here is that I need to be doing this because I enjoy the benefits of eating better and being in better shape, not out of shame and guilt.
My goals for 2009 are:
- Run a race. Any race. I clearly only stick to running when I’ve paid money to enter a race.
- Stop using the weather/my location as an excuse not to run. I’ve become a total wuss about the weather, even though I have plenty of cold weather running gear.
- Get a new bike, because I really do not enjoy riding the bike I have and it keeps me from riding as much as I could.
- Take another stab at biking to work.
- Take more responsibility for my eating habits. Missy feeds me. I need to learn to do it myself (and to feed her, too).
- Somewhat related to that, there needs to be a shift in my eating habits, and it’s only gonna happen if I do it myself because I can’t expect Missy to do it for me. Not sure yet what form this will take. Less red meat? Less meat all together? TBD.
I expect that I’ll have some mixed results here. It will require some discipline for sure. How I eat is as much about learning as it is about making radical changes. Actually thinking ahead about preparing meals is a total mindset shift for me. That change is far bigger than changing what I eat in the first place. As far as exercise, I already know what to do; I just have to do it.
And now that I look at all that, I’m overwhelmed. This year is not going to be a piece of cake.
One thing I’ll have to do is review progress more often and use it to keep up momentum. I got a huge high off of looking back at 2008. What more could I have done if I’d ridden that high more often?
One thing I’ll have to do is what I do at work when I’m feeling unmotivated which is turn on some tunes and schedule tasks/micromanage myself to death. I like Garrick’s idea of scheduling tasks as time blocks on a calendar as opposed to keeping a To Do list. Sometimes I have to not give myself a choice.
One thing I’ll do is get back to some 30-day challenges in 2009. I had some great successes with some of the ones I tried in late 2007 and early 2008.
Accomplishing these goals should be much like the 100 Pushup Challenge: Not at all easy, but totally doable.