Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hopes, Dreams and Aspirations for 2013

Yah, I could say these are my 2013 New Year's resolutions, but calling them "hopes, dreams and aspirations" is more...inclusive. (The more I write about this now the more I think this is a multi-year project...but....) Here they are:

Make more music.
  1. Play more banjo. Attend banjo camp in Port Townsend in September. Learn some new songs, and check out "three-finger style." Continue to learn frailing. Hang out with banjo players.
  2. Play more guitar. The more I played in 2012 the better it felt. Singing with DB, TC and CC on Christmas Eve was totally fun. More of that would be good. 
  3. Set up the recording studio. It's been...ahem...at least  fifteen years since I've recorded anything (and at the time it was all live Duk Bukki or Big Bird Cage. The boy is showing some interest in Garageband, perhaps encouraged by us following The Onlies. Maybe it's time.
  4. Sing. With other people. In harmony. Brian Eno (one of my heros) thinks we could fix the world if everyone would just sing a cappella together, and a recent scientific experiment suggests he may be right. I know singing with friends just gets me every time. I'd like to set up the opportunity to do this on a regular basis.
 Do more outside.
  1. S24Os. One of my absolute highlights of 2012 was the S24O bicycle trip with the boy to Fay Bainbridge State Park. He dug it too. I'd like to do more of this kind of thing! Possibly one that would be a repeat of our shuttle up to Snoqualmie Pass and downhill ride on the John Wayne Trail; another Fay Bainbridge trip; and maybe something farther afield on forest roads. By myself, I'd also like to get back to the Isle o' Vashon with my old motorcycle buddies. 
  2. Car camping with friends. The annual trips to Baker Lake over Father's Day weekend with HA, LT, FM and ML, and the Mt Baker Waldorf Pre-School Reunion during Seafair are two of my absolute favorite annual events. We usually get out a couple weekends by ourselves too, to Fort Flagler. I'd like to do more, and include friends we haven't camped with before, or for a long while, kinda like the Rookie Camping Trip with TK in 1997.
  3. Backpacking! Back in the day with TK and LH, I got out of the City on a regular basis, at least twice a month during the summer. I miss that. I'd like to introduce the boy to backpacking, with one short, easy overnight this year. 
  4. Cross-country skiing. I suspect I'll need to get over my adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) before it will be possible to get back into this...(but gosh, I sure hope it's gone by next Thanksgiving.) Twenty years ago with EC and then MD, cross-country skiing transformed my relationship with the winter rains in Seattle. Rain at sea level meant snow in the mountains! Another cool thing to do with the boy. 
  5. Continue to commute by bike. Not really aspirational, since I'm doing it virtually every day I'm at the office downtown already...but I think it's fine to consider the daily commute part of "doing stuff outside." 
  6. Sail more! I joined the Center for Wooden Boats last year, but didn't manage to get checked out for renting the boats. I need to do that. Then I can take the cool boats they have there out of an evening. This should be a regular thing during the summer. PE is right in the Vance Building, and is ready to go with me.
Repair relationships.
  1. Over the last ten years there have been several business and personal relationships that have not turned out as I hoped or expected. Setting aside the question of who's responsible for the situation, I'd like to reach out to those people and see what I can do to restore positive connections. If restoration is not possible, 2013 ought to be the year to let go and move on. 
Continue to do work I believe in.
  1. Get Park Passive certified as a Passive House by Passive House Academy.
  2. Move the design for the Multi-Generational Passivhaus along. Get it pre-certified by PHIUS by the end of the year.
  3. Continue mentoring the fabulous Tessa Smith. 
  4. Design and model at least one of the Case Study Passive Houses I've been sketching for three years.
Deepen my knowledge of Passive House.
  1. Take the THERM course from PHA.
  2. Learn WUFI Passive.
Build proficiency with ArchiCAD.
  1. Work through the rest of the Best Practices course on ArchiCAD.
  2. Implement EcoDesigner on a project.
Expand the tools for collaboration with clients, builders, consultants and contract employees. 
  1. Set up BIM Server/Teamwork.
  2. Utilize BIMx as a presentation and construction documentation tool. 
  3. Have at least one project with QR codes on the drawings linking to BIMx 3D models and/or details. 
Continue to revamp my business approach to provide both better service to my clients and more income for my family.

  1. Try alternatives to hourly billing. 
  2. Continue efficient and flexible arrangements with contract employees. 
  3. Develop the "two-day charrette" as suggested by SS, and offer that to prospective clients.
  4. See all of the above related to ArchiCAD and BIMx....
Minimalize.

In 1990 I moved to Seattle from New York City with every single one of my earthly possessions in an Econoline van. In the last 22 years I have accumulated vastly more stuff. It's time to divest. 
  1. A lot of the stuff came from my parents' house after Mom died in 2000 and Dad died in 2001. For many years it was simply not possible to let go of things—I missed them too much, and the material things, no matter how insignificant they might look, reminded me of them. I still think of them almost every day, but it's time to go through those boxes of photos and letters, keepsakes and memorabilia, and catalog gems, recycle, sell or toss junk, and distribute anything of emotional value to those who will appreciate it most. 
  2. Have a look at the tools in the garage, and garage-sale the ones I haven't used in 10+ years for sure, and have a hard look at the rest. One good Fein MultiMaster might replace a number of lesser tools. Here's an idea: Aim for being able to fit all of my tools in the Craftsman tool chest. (Oh man, that could be a challenge!)
  3. Give away the rest of the motorcycle lotions and potions.
  4. Take a hard look at 30+ year-old electronic recording and music equipment, and see what of it can be consolidated into computer-based software tools. Sell whatever can be duplicated digitally.
  5. Those vintage compact film cameras are incredible pieces of machinery...but are there any I can let go of?
  6. Most magazines are available online now. Recycle the remaining motorcycle, architecture, wooden boat, and photo magazines, or find someone who might like them.
Catalog and organize my own history.

Pretty much all of what I've saved from my own and my parents' past (I realize now) has been to pass along who I am, and who my parents were (since they were both gone before I had children), to my future children, that is, now in 2013, to my amazing nine-year-old son. I so wanted to know that stuff about my mom and dad, and just lapped it up as a kid whenever I discovered it in the attic or basement of our house in Ohio. In order for that to have any meaning if I'm not here, it all has to be a) edited and b) annotated. 
  1. Convert cassettes of the various bands I've been in since 1976 to mp3s. 
  2. Write on the back of photos. Who the people are, what year it is, where we are.
Wow. Well, I think I better stop here. Considering everything else that falls in a typical year, I think this is more than enough to lay out here. If I get 25% of this accomplished I'll feel good about it.

Happy New Year!

~RH