Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012: The Year That Was

Today is the first day of 2013.  I sit at my kitchen table in front of my laptop with a compile of MESS going in the background.  Like many people today, I sit here finding myself thinking back over the last 365 days.

Certainly, the biggest thing that stands out for me was the passing of our dear dog, Abby.  She was a constant and faithful companion for her eleven and a half years, and was a far better dog than we could have hoped for.  I think about her all the time.
Abby:  January 2001 - August 2012
We now have Buddy in our lives.  Buddy is quite a different dog than Abby was, and certainly a lot more will be written about him in the days and weeks ahead.  He has scared us with some health issues and he has entertained us with his puppy-dog antics.  I look at him each day and wonder what kind of dog he'll turn out to be.  The one thing we learned from Abby is that this is pretty much impossible to predict.
Impossible, Except To Say That He Is Going To Be Trouble
Anyhoo, I sat down and set some goals for myself in 2012 around this time last year.  This was actually a very useful thing to do.  I like to cross things off my TODO list, and I found that putting this list out there was a pretty strong motivator in getting me off my butt.  I need to mull this over a bit still, but I certainly want a new list going in to 2013.  In the meantime, why not take a look back while waiting for the compile to finish to see how I've done in 2012?

Working Out

Goal #1 Hit: "Deadlift 405lbs for a single rep. That's four wheels a side. This goal should be doable. I just have to do it."

It wasn't long after I wrote this that I wrote some more about how much it sucked to have written that in the first place.  In a nutshell, why was I talking about something I could do rather than just going and doing it?  So I went and did it, and made it with pounds to spare.  The year went by and my deadlift continued to improve, culminating with this bad boy.
435 lbs, Baby

Goal #2 Missed (barely): "Squat 280lbs for a single rep below parallel.  285lbs - 290lbs would be even better, as this would be 2x bodyweight."

This was a case of "close, but no cigar".  I hit a 275 lb squat in May, a weight that was indeed 2x my bodyweight at the time.  But 275 lbs is not 280 lbs, so I did not reach this goal.  It wasn't for lack of trying though.  I hit that 275 after several runs of Sheiko, an extremely high volume routine designed to bring your numbers up.

This is a worthy goal to keep shooting for.  Unfortunately, a long stint in Mexico has caused my strength to drop off sharply and my squat seems to have been hit the hardest.  It is coming up again since my return, but a second trip is on the horizon and back down I'll go.  Such is life.


Goal #3 Missed: "Get some basic home monitoring going by Christmas 2012."

I put some considerable time into this one but didn't hit it either.  I ran into a couple of snags.  First was the aforementioned  long stint in Mexico.  Second was that my WRT-54G router decided to start acting flaky as I sat down to implement some of this stuff.  The idea was to hack the router so I could plug a Jeenode into it to act as a receiver to other remote Jeenodes around the house.  I added the serial port and SD card mods, but my attempts to get Optware installed on the thing were randomly failing and I couldn't figure out why.  I had suspected bugs in the custom firmware and kept trying various options to see if that would make the problem go away.  Then the router fell over altogether so I bought the mighty Asus RT-NT16 to replace it.  That router now runs Tomato by Shibby with Optware installed just fine.

Again, this is a worthy goal to keep pursuing in 2013.

Goal #4 - Hit: "Get a standalone receiver picking up the transmissions from a Davis outdoor sensor suite by the end of 2012."

I hit this baby back in April and was pretty psyched at having done so.  After that I had to spend a bunch of time figuring out what those transmissions actually carried.  First I sorted out rain and followed that up with outdoor humidity.  The deciphering of all the weather related parameters is now laid bare on github.
This Took Forever To Get Right
I want to keep plugging away at this stuff going into 2013.  I wrote last time about how Davis' recent antics were making me pretty grumpy.  It is my data, and I don't want people trying to take it away from me.

Goal #5 - Hit: "Keep this blog going, share the adventure, and enjoy the ride."

I put up 25 posts in the past year.  Not incredibly prolific, but far from abandoned.  I wrote some stuff that made people laugh, and I wrote some stuff that made people cry.  The goal of this blog was never just to put something out there.  If it wasn't going to be interesting or entertaining, it wouldn't be worth the effort.  Hope you think that it has been.

Have a good 2013 from all of us here at Mad Scientist Labs.  Enjoy the ride

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