The waitress approached our table, looked me directly in the eye and said, “Do you need change?”
Wait. What? You don’t even know me! How dare you?
I had to admit, though. She was right. I did need change. A lot of it. I decided to start with a slice of New York cheesecake (is there any other kind?) drizzled with strawberry syrup.
Luckily 2014 was right around the corner and I’d soon have the opportunity to issue false platitudes and reassuring justifications to myself and pretend that I’d try to improve.
Since she was there, I decided to ask her for her assessment and she gave me the following list.
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Fucking grats. A rock has completed another circuit around its star. You know what that means, right? I’ll be up late tonight cuddling my kitties who are freaked out by another round of “let’s shoot our guns straight up in the air” brought to you by the inbred idiots I call my neighbors.
That’s just swell.
According to NBC Today/MSNBC the fun doesn’t stop there, though. On Jan. 1, 2012, 40,000 new laws brought to life by signed bills will go into effect. Luckily for you and me that total does not include a mess of new federal “rules,” too.
For once I thought I’d try to get into the spirit of this stupid fucking made-up holiday that for most Americans is yet another excuse to go out and get shitfaced. To celebrate, I’m going to try to think up some more laws that should also exist.
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Reality kicked in yet?
For a lot of us, New Year’s Day packs a lot of mojo. (Or so I’ve heard. I’m not one of the “us.”) Still, sometimes I like to think big. “I’m going to be on Survivor,” I like to say quite often. It’ll never happen, of course, but what if it did? Wow. Even being the first one voted off would be one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. I say “one of” the greatest things because I’m one of the lucky people who married for love. What else did I have to bring to the table?
So yeah. There I was on New Year’s Day, calculator in hand, calculating the what ifs.
I punched in some numbers. “Oh hell yeah. I’m going to walk 3,000 miles this year. Totally. That’s only 10 miles a day and that still leaves me 65 days to goof off. Not too shabby.”
My old friend Reason was no where to be found. If he was, he would have smacked me upside the head and said something like, “Hey you friggin’ obliviot. 10 miles a day? Wake up! Even if it didn’t kill you, which it totally would, at three miles an hour that’ll take you over three hours a day! You don’t have that kind of time. Duh.”
Day One. January 1, 2011. Things got off to a pretty good start. I walked about a mile. There’s nothing quite like walking to the grocery store and bringing home groceries under your own power. I’m not sure why, but that’s just so cool. “I don’t need no damn car!” Still, that was only 10 percent of my daily goal. But better than nothing, right?
OK, so Day Two wasn’t quite as good. I was too tired and sore from the previous day’s excursions and took a day of rest. And that day of rest has been extended all the way to today, about three weeks later.
Oops. Time to grab the calculator again.
10 miles a day? What was I thinking? That’s insane. Plan B is three miles a day. With about 330 days left, I can still log 1,000 miles if I push it. That might work.
The point is to have fun and revise your goal each and every month until you have something realistic and workable.
On March 1st, I’ll be doing another revision. “Okay. One mile logged so far. About 300 days left. If I can manage two miles a day, I just might make it to 500.”
On April 1st it will be one mile logged, 270 days left, and at one mile I day I just might make it to 250 miles.
I think you see where this is going, right?
… fast forward to December 31, 2011 …
It’ll be early in the morning on New Year’s Eve. I’ll be holding a calculator in my hand. “Let’s see,” I’ll say. “If I can manage to walk 50 feet today, that’ll be, hmm, what? Oh yeah, the overall total for the entire year will be exactly one mile and fifty feet.”
That actually doesn’t sound quite so bad. So I got that to look forward to.
So, how are y’all doing on your New Year’s resolutions?
Music: 500 miles (get it fast before YouTube pulls the plug)
I had also written that I couldn’t even remember New Year’s resolutions I made just a year ago. I think that means it is probably safe to say I didn’t do much about keeping them. So I’m going to document mine in this post so I can come back in a year and see how I did.
- Be more honest
- Go out to restaurants less
- Be a better listener
- Go ovo-lacto vegetarian for the entire year
- Find some way to finally give Jane her birthday present
- Drink less alcohol
- Publish a podcast on my blog
- Eat less processed foods
- Be more moral and ethical
- Drink more water (using my Klean Kanteen to avoid bottle waste) and continue to abstain from things I’ve already given up like sugar, soda, coffee, and World of Warcraft
- Commence work on my book and produce at least one publishable sentence
- Keep my refrigerator as minimal as possible in the pursuit of 100% food efficiency
- Successfully complete the 2011 Shutterboo weekly photo challenge
- Blog every single day for the 2nd year in a row on the Abyss and blog every single week on my new blog
I’m going to try to conduct monthly self-assessments on my progress on the first day of each new month. The change to a new month seems like a good sort of reminder to help keep me on track.
2010 was much like any other year. Like many others in the media today, we now endeavor to “review” the year.
This is an appropriate activity that is seemingly enjoyed by humans when our most favorite planetoid has completed yet another circuit around our most favorite star.
Depending on IQ, if it is low enough, most will celebrate by crashing pots and pans at what they incorrectly deem to be “midnight.” Others will blow things up and shoot their guns in the air.
Because I’m cursed with intelligence all I can do is write this post and be in bed by 8:30.
2010 started like most any other year. Jan. 1, 2010 at midnight (GMT) was the first second of the year. In “epoch time” that is also known as 1262304000.
Epoch time, also known as Unix time, is a system of used by computers to keep track of the date and time. It counts the number of seconds that have elapsed since midnight Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) of January 1, 1970, not counting leap seconds. (If you really want to blow your mind you can read the Wikipedia article on Unix time. It will make your head feel funny.)
A “second” is a unit of time most of us are very familiar with. It was originally defined as 1/86400 of a “solar day.” There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, and 24 hours a day. So if we multiple those values, 60 x 60 x 24, we get 86,400 seconds. Viola! Therefore, 86,400 is the number of seconds in a day. Don’t believe me? Count to 86,400 and see how much time has gone by. Go ahead, try it! It’s fun!
But wait. It turns out that the rotation of the Earth, known as a day, is not always exactly 86,400 seconds. It turns out that the solar day is 1.7ms longer every century due mainly to “tidal friction” and “glacial rebound.” I don’t know about you but that scares the shit out of me. Our planet is getting slower!
The year will end on December 31, 2010 at 11:59:59 pm (GMT). This is 1293839999.
Now that we know the starting and ending epoch times of 2010, we can do the math. Simple subtraction on those two time values shows there were 31,536,000 seconds in 2010. That translates to 525,600 minutes, 8,760 hours and 365 days.
Wow, when you look at it that way, what an exciting year! I hope you all enjoyed those 31.5 million seconds as much as you possibly could.