incessant record keeping

So one of the biggest reasons I want a blog is to keep a record of things. My life, mostly. But lately I’ve either been to busy to post, or I’ve been using Twitter to record my daily doings. I’m not doing a very good job or recording much of anything here.

For a while now, I’ve been thinking about how nice it would be to have a database-driven website where you can record just about anything, and view stats and numbers associated with those records. For example, as a personal project to better learn PHP and MySQL, I’m creating a site where Ally can keep track of the books she’s read. I’m making it expandable enough that eventually, multiple users will be able to use the same site, see what other books people have added, and associate those books with their own accounts. By “associate” I mean that they will be able to add it to their wishlist, or they can mark it as “already read” and put it in their archive of completed books. They’ll be able to pull up all sorts of numbers and stats, see graphs of books completed within a date ranges, let the site choose their next book for them based on any number or criteria, and so-on.

But I’m digressing a bit. The point is that it will be a simple website, and it’ll only take a minute to enter a new book you’ve read, yet you’ll be able to get all sorts of rich information out of it. I wish I could recreate this site for about a million different things, not just book reading.

Baby steps. I don’t have the know-how to create an infinitely customizable site where users can create their own set of record keeping data based on whatever’s important to them. Yet. Someday. For now, I just need somewhere to put things so I can easily “remember” them later (i.e. use a search bar to find them).

I have therefore decided to use this blog as a device for just that: record stats about my life. And to start, I’m going to create a post that simply records the bands I saw last night at the Guster concert. Utilizing tags, I’ll be able to later pull up posts for all the concerts I’ve been to (starting from today).

If I had started this about 8 years ago, I wouldn’t have to guess how many times I’ve seen Guster. “Was last night 10 or 11? 12 maybe? ” No more wondering.

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Welcome to the new year, the new decade, and the new Rhymes With Milk.

This last week has been full of reminiscing over the past ten years: the tragedies (9/11), the mistakes (Bush), the triumphs (Jon & Kate are off the air). Everybody has been very negative about it because they’re so fixated on all of the things that have gone wrong, so I’m done listening. I’m going to start looking forward, because this is bound to be a big next decade for me. I’m going to be my mid-thirties by the end of it. I’m probably going to be married, and have children and a mortgage. Who knows if this blog will still exist, but I sure hope it does.

In that vein, I’d like to layout some goals here. Not for the decade per se, a little more short-term than that, but still for the sake of posterity. Maybe on Jan 1, 2020 I’ll look back at this post and make myself feel sad about loosing my youth or something. Whatever.

Beyond posterity, I’m doing this for a few other reasons. I’ve set a lot of personal goals for myself over the last few years, and many have fallen horribly by the wayside for one reason or another. I’m hoping that publicly declaring them makes me more likely to pursue them. It might work, or it might not, but it’s worth a shot. Also, having a job has understandably distracted me from my personal life. I have fallen into a routine that essentially erases my weekdays, and makes me too tired on the weekends to do anything. For example, I have been “working” on this revised version of Rhymes With Milk since around August, and most of it got finished before I got my job and during my 4 day Thanksgiving weekend. It shouldn’t take me that long to do a relatively simple* website design, especially when it has been the top priority of my to-do list for that whole time. If I plan to get anything done ever again, I need to force myself to find the time to do it.

Anyway, here go the big ones:

  1. I want to ride my bike. A lot. I am declaring it now, I am definitely going to ride all 120 miles of the Triple Bypass on July 10th. I’d also like to do the 100 mile Centurian the following week, but their website has too little info so far for me to be sure of that just yet.
  2. I want to blog. When I stopped back in April 2009, I hated blogging. I stopped the Daily Picture Project, then I haphazardly put together an ugly and difficult to manage photoblog here on rwm which just drove me away from it altogether. These last few months, though, I’ve had a lot to say and nowhere to say it. Not that I have grand ideas that I think the world needs to hear. I just didn’t have a medium for exploring and processing subjects that I was interested in, or a place to record memories. This comes back to that posterity thing I was talking about earlier. I’d like to remember this decade, so starting today, January 1, 2010, I would like to start blogging, regardless of the fact that this site isn’t complete yet (just do me a favor and don’t go to the About or Contact pages. Or the permalink to this post. Or the archives. Well, actually go to the archives because they’re pretty cool looking, but ignore the fact that they don’t flow well with the rest of the site. And ignore the link colors in the archive, which I messed up somehow. I’ll have to fix that. If only I had the time…)

    UPDATE: I just made a small adjustment to the archives and now they’re all outta whack. Don’t bother going there for a while…

*I’m just going to say right now that this website was actually a bitch to make, I learned a lot, and it really stretched my abilities, particularly in the realm of WordPress PHP programming. I didn’t add anything too particularly complicated compared to “real” WordPress themes, but I went into it knowing hardly anything about the WordPress back end and coded everything from scratch.  There was a lot head scratching and “What the hell is this stupid loop everybody is obsessed with?” talk for the first month or two. Oh how naïve I was.

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date Jan 1st 2010
author Mike
category Life
tags, , ,
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