When years go by it is common for people to look back on different things that happened and to reflect. Reflection is one of those good things that can help us bring into focus what has happened and thus we can identify both good and bad patterns. If we understand these patterns better we can make a real difference going forward.
This was a hard year for the economy and we all know people impacted by the downturn. Those that know me well know that I like to contribute to the arts, however, this year it became clear that when it came to spending money people were staying in versus going out. So I made a few of what I like to think are good changes:
- I worked hard to hold my levels of support
- I made an effort to attend as many Operas as I could because this is a great method of support
- I visited as many art museums as I could
Many people forget that just supporting an organization is not enough but it is important to also take part in their events and performances. In addition I continue to support different nonprofit organizations that work to make the world a better place regardless of physical ability, my hats off to all of you!
Looking Forward: Romeo and Juliet in Feb by the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Art Museum will be great fun!
On Software and Consulting
This year I have been developing multiple pieces of software for broad Quality Assurance Defect Tracking Applications and I have been fortunate to do consulting around the globe. It has been fun to play with the Rad Studio and the new VS and Objective C. I usually find myself surrounded by Dells, Macs, iPads and Droids! This can be great fun and a bit of a constant fight. Some years are building years and this has definitely been a building year. Code, Code, and more Code… I also had great fun consulting on Quality Assurance related matters. I would like to think that engineering is both a love and a skill for me and as all designers know there is a constant struggle between quality and great design.
Looking forward: Releasing, this spring, will be fun!
This year I went to a few new places, a few old places and a few exotic places. I would have to say that I enjoyed Asia greatly but my week in Vilnius with the United Nations had to be my favorite. In Vilnius I had the opportunity to meet many people concerned with the internet and the related Accessibility, Privacy, Security and the overall Impact on developing nations. It was a great conference IGF10 (you can google it) and of course I love Vilnius. In addition to this I got to spend a few days in the holy land. This was a trip that brought into focus some of my beliefs and hopes. I think it is important for those of faith to be able to both question and participate in their religion. There is no reason why reform should mean give up.
I am also very surprised that I did not go to Alaska this year; I guess too much press there. I did get to go to Tokyo with my nephew Ryan, that was fun and a bit of babysitting (in a good way Ryan)… Top spots of the year had to be: Jerusalem, Tokyo, Madrid and The Bridge Over the River Kwai!
Looking forward: Italy this January and Paris in Feb, with a trip to Vilnius sprinkled in.
Friends and Family
I am happy to say that all are well. Some new friends and some old ones are back and some have grown distant. People have graduated and people have started school, some have turned 50 and some struggle to get by. I have to say I love life and am fortunate to have great friends and family!
Looking Forward I hope to spend more time with my friends and family, all over the world. OH, and to hike to the top of MT Fuji with my Brother-In-Law, Ken in Aug ’11.
Art & Art
I have done some creative writing and a lot of painting this year. I have a new studio set up in the carriage house and no I have not “Learned the Piano or Violin”, YET, but the act of learning is very important to me.
Looking Forward: This Winter and spring will be dedicated to Painting I think!
I have, for many years, been focused on education and outreach as related to web governance. With this in mind I have continued to educate myself on Education. I have been particularly interested on how so many corporate, and nonprofit education and outreach programs have failed. I am very familiar with the “well at least we reached one in twenty”, or worse comments and perhaps I have accepted it. Going Forward, I have decided that this is no longer acceptable to me. This type of comment comes from those that have perhaps been unsuccessful in teaching or educating, and in most cases due to no fault of their own. It is just that people are put into positions of education and outreach that have no training in education whatsoever. We all know them, they put up a PowerPoint slide show and then repeat everything on the slides and they become a distraction to most in the room except the ones where “Preaching to the Choir” applies. I am now one class away from my education certificate and I will have it this spring.
Looking forward, I do commit to using technology as an aide and assuring, to the best of my ability, that it is not a distraction. On every chance I get to use clickers as clickers are wonderful tools to get instant feedback from an audience allowing you to understand if you are on track; it can be anonymous in nature which will bring more participation. And going forward I will try to never repeat a single word that is on a PowerPoint slide during a talk unless it is absolutely necessary!
Technology Predictions – Just One
The iWhatever will become the new Model T and Apple will need to cut back on production, just like ford did with the Model T, and perhaps the management at Apple will stick to the iWhatever stuff a bit too long. From a design and fusion perspective the iWhatever is moving to bloat and that is just not great design! How many will not be getting the new iPad because it has cameras?
So in closing, it is noon in Concord, New Years has gone by in Australia and I need to get some real work done, so with that, Happy new year everyone! I really look forward to seeing you in the New Year!