my reflection of the year

How can it already be 2006 in just hours from now?

I drove up to Monterey yesterday to spend new year’s eve with some friends and had plenty of time to think about everything. I’ve really had an eventful year, one of the biggest of my life.

It started off by going to Germany in January/February. It was only 6 days with 2 of traveling, but this was the beginning. I am so very ready for another international trip.

I then spent a few months doing little of anything and I started a part-time web design job. In the meantime I picked up a couple of freelance web jobs and those have kept my plate full ever since.

In May, I went to Texas for over a month. It was a very welcome change of pace and I miss having the opportunity to spend lots of time in Texas, but hopefully I’ll get back sooner than later.

Before I left for Texas, I went on a job interview. After my trip, I went on a second interview where I was offered a new job. A new, full-time job. A new, full-time web design job. So after a week of contemplating, I decided to take it. So in celebration of this new job, I went to Monterey and San Francisco in July only to…

…get my car towed. They took my car from me because I had no car inspection sticker from Texas. So that forced me to register in California finally. That makes me a true California resident. San Francisco was a blast! It was nice to see a friend from Texas as well as my friends from Monterey.

Shortly after leaving San Francisco, I started my new job located in Santa Monica. This is quite a drive from my house, so a month later I started renting out a second place much closer so I could take the bus during the weekdays.

The only other memorable trip I took before Thanksgiving was to San Diego overnight on a whim. What a blast!

Thanksgiving was spent in San Angelo for a week and Christmas was spent in Colorado for a week. Both were spent with family and both were very enjoyable.

Overall, looking back at everything that’s happened, I’m amazed at how much traveling I did. International, domestic, and local. And, even though I have a full-time job this year, I hope that somehow in the next year I’m able to do just as much traveling, but to more international destinations. I am floating around the idea of going to London, Paris, and/or Italy. I am expecting to take at least one trip to Texas and one trip to New York City! Probably another trip to Monterey too. And hopefully another San Francisco trip. Now that I have a friend in Seattle, I’d like to do that city as well because it’s completely foreign to me.

My goals for the new year include paying off as much debt as possible, finding new opportunities for myself personally, and taking some financial risks to supplement my income. I also hope to get back into the music scene either behind the scenes or as a performer. And I need to go to the gym and I need to get any medical things out of the way.

This year was suprisingly eventful, but I expect next year to be the best year of my life. Many more changes are coming, hopefully in a timely manner too.

Now, I’m off to the Monterey Aquarium followed by an evening of nice champagne and celebration for this new year. Enjoy the New Year and make the best of everything in life!

And don’t forget to smile!

France does file sharing right!

Okay United States government, get the picture. It’s time to move to current times. Let’s make something like what France is doing work here.

The French government has voted on a draft legislation to legalize file-sharing (of files like music, movies, software, etc.). I would GLADLY pay $8.50/month to legalize what most kids my age already do illegally. I hope this passes into law and soon. Show the world what this kind of legislation can do to an industry.

chewbacca christmas

I’m so easily amused.

</I beard>

No more beard.

I beard.

Micah's beard

less work please

No more web design projects.

I can’t handle anymore at the moment. I am inundated with so much to do right now and I want a break. I’ve had to purposely neglect my own website while I finish these other projects. It sucks too because I can always use the extra money and pages to put into my portfolio. But, I realize I’m in over my head and I’m a little burnt out. Maybe this’ll change sometime next year but this is it for me for now. I have a feeling that this current round of sites will probably take another couple of months to completely finish but the workload right now is huge. And it’s almost Christmas. Blah.

Besides my freelance projects, I have my full-time and part-time design jobs that also keep me extremely busy. And I’ve had to neglect the part-time a lot because of the freelance. And there’s so much I could do on a weekly basis to help them out. Soon.

I think the foremost reason I’m ready to stop is because I’m not allowing myself any time to pursue other things. I want to do so much else while I live here in LA and now that I’m funding myself and paying off my debt, I need to spend my freetime pursuing those other passions. I do not want to be a one career guy but I am content doing the things I’m doing now. Maybe a little too content as I’ve overloaded myself, but life is good. I just know that if I don’t sacrifice some of this for other stuff, I’ll regret it. And I hate regrets.

The critical part of me continues to tell myself that I need to take some courses to learn programming languages (PHP, Javascript) or software (Flash) that I don’t know. It’s not that I am not able to learn this on my freetime, it’s just I don’t have enough freetime to even begin to sit down and hash it out. Not only that but the structure of a classroom where I can learn bits sequentially would highly benefit me. There are many applications of the classroom setting that I cannot stand, where it makes the material boring and mundane. But I think that learning moderately hard computing languages will take more effort and time that I can’t just sit down and dedicate (I guess the level of difficulty can be debated). Anyway, I’m not sure if this is going to be an option either.

Changes shall be made. I need them. Bad.

how my technology habits are changing

Five years ago, I owned a Pentium II 400MHz with 128MB RAM. Today, I own a Pentium IV 2.6GHz with 1GB RAM and a laptop with Pentium M 2.1GHz and 1.5GB RAM. Five years ago I had a huge 4GB hard drive. Today, I own five 120GB hard drives and a 160GB hard drive. Five years ago, I used a CD player for all my music needs. Today, I own an iPod and listen to everything on my computer. Five years ago, I was increasingly making my own CD mixes for my entertainment. Today, I download almost everything I want and have CDs and DVDs that I bought over a year ago just sitting around.

Times have changed. Every year comes out new technology, and every year I make at least one big technological change. In July of 2000, I bought a Qualcomm 2760 from Radio Shack and signed up for Sprint PCS. I wasn’t sure if I’d have the phone for more than a year since I could barely afford the monthly payments. But, as time went on and I used the phone more, I realized my needs had changed and using a cell phone was a necessity. To this day, I still use a Qualcomm 2760. Not the same exact phone I bought 5 years ago (I had to give it up last year because it was just falling apart) but one I bought off eBay last year for $15. But, I think the time has finally come that I need to spend the big bucks to upgrade. I can’t receive normal text messages. I can’t go online. I can’t turn my phone to vibrate. My battery life is only about an hour, if even that.

There comes a time when you have to realize and give in to the technology that overwhelms your life, and my time has come. I think my biggest fear about this change is that when I get the new phone I’ll be tempted to pay extra money for text messaging service, and possibly even Internet. Which raises my monthly bills. I already pay lots of money for other things, but the fact that I am so dependent on a cellular phone is scary. It’s my only means of vocal communication to the outside world which is not a PC. I do not directly pay for a landline and have no plans to anytime soon.

And now, I shall show you my lust.

PPC-6700

This beast allows you to do anything and everything. Not only can you connect to the phone network, you can take this phone and surf this web on your home wi-fi connection, just like a laptop! It has just about any feature I’ve ever wanted in a phone. Except for the price. It’s about $600. I’m almost willing to make that purchase because I know I’ll make it last for years. And I’m not willing to go with a cheaper phone with less features.

Merry Christmas to me… :o)