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The Bookshelf

Doug's bookshelf: read

AntwerpWarsaw BikiniIcelandHow the Soldier Repairs the GramophoneThe Original of LauraBrief Interviews with Hideous Men

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Doug's  book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Time Since Reboot

  • 1177 days, 23 hours, 47 minutes, 5 seconds ago

Two Victories

 

 

The final plays from the 2009 and 2010 BCS National Championship games.  Cheers to the great football state of Alabama – producing the last two national champions and the last two Heisman trophy winners.  I think we can keep the streak alive in 2011.  This one is somewhat reminiscent, in my mind, of Two Histories from August 2009. 

View the photo gallery here.

Update: Photography Site Lives!

IMG04490-20110116-1033The dedicated photography website is finally current. 

Last night I unpacked the desktop setup – dual monitors and all – and got innovative with the dining room table and some cable ties.  Aside from some outdated software and virus definitions and what-not, everything was in working order and all hardware survived the cross-country move intact.  (My wife’s concerns about possible dog urination-related corrosion also proved to be unfounded.) 

There is definitely something about 1) a fully functional workspace and 2) some semblance of a final product that seem to inject some necessary creative energy into the process.  My photography has a place to live and breathe.  I will be able to manage and edit photos on screens large enough to be useful.  And my wife, if she so desires, doesn’t have to browse facebook on a mobile phone screen the size of a postage stamp.  Everybody wins!

Anyway, it isn’t anything miraculously advanced, but it is absolutely up-to-date.  Visit www.dougscarboroughphotography.com to view the gallery. 

Phoenix Metro via Piestewa

 

 

photo gallery is not current.

The 2011 Resolutions

Resolution SpreadsheetThe line of thought goes something like: a public declaration = greater accountability. 

Here we are at the beginning of another year, where tradition says you are supposed to re-evaluate your lives and resolve to better yourselves via the "new year’s resolutions" you will make and subsequently conveniently forget about in a month.  I have never had much luck with the resolution thing, but self-evaluation is always good and what better time to do that than at the glaring break in the calendar year?  So, in the spirit of greater accountability, here we go.  What follows is a description of this year’s self-betterment system: obsessively over-thought, needlessly compartmentalized and impossibly complicated (i.e., new year’s resolutions: grammaticaster-style!).

This year I have divided my resolutions into quantitative and qualitative categories.  For the first, I have devised a spreadsheet (because that’s what we accountants do) by which I will keep track of my progress toward six weekly goals.  They are:

  1. Write at least 500 words (or, alternatively, conduct a photo session or develop a batch of photographs) per day.  I believe I read somewhere that, at some point in his career, Ernest Hemingway would not allow himself to start his day until he had written 500 words.  Then, I presume, he could commence the drinking.
  2. Read at least 60 pages per day.  Again, I cannot recall the source, but I think this was the number some literature blogger or another came up with as a goal for him/herself.  Arbitrary goals.  Gotta love ’em.
  3. Do at least 200 reps of some sort of exercise or run 5 kilometers every day.  Again, arbitrary… based a little on what my routine used to be in college, when I was at least a tiny bit disciplined about my physical fitness.
  4. Publish at least one article a week.  The word ‘article’ is used extremely loosely.  For example, this piece of shit is an ‘article’.
  5. Publish at least one photograph.  As above, quality of work is not necessarily a consideration.
  6. Write a letter (or letter-length e-mail) at least twice a week.  Similar in spirit to #3, this was a correspondence-as-writing-practice habit I developed in college and subsequently have allowed to lapse.  My final year at Alabama is what I consider to be my highest-functioning period as far as creating art and feeling good about myself.  Dating young coeds and taking advantage of an unnaturally high metabolism might be things of the past, but I can try to get some of the magic back, dammit.

The beauty of the spreadsheet is my grading system.  If I hit all of my goals for the entire week, it adds up to 100%.  Each goal has a box that gets a check if completed.  But everything is interchangeable – in other words, if I run 10 kilometers (and assuming that doesn’t kill me) one day, then that counts as much as having run 5 kilometers and written 500 words.  And so on.  So my real goal is not necessarily to check every box, but to have done enough to add up to 100% for the week.  Taken to the extreme: if I write 21,000 words in a week, I don’t have to worry about meeting any other goals.

The qualitative resolutions are the more nebulous ones I cannot keep track of via my system.  They include a) eating as little processed food as possible, b) forcing myself to overcome my telephone anxiety by calling people more readily and more often, c) paying down my credit card debt (thanks for derailing that one last year, Auburn), d) living more mindfully, e) getting more sleep at night, f) starting the day earlier and more alertly, and g) working toward ‘goal x’ – a deep, secret goal that I promise to reveal if I ever achieve it. 

There you have it.  If you have any interesting resolutions or have contrived a wacky way of keeping track of them, give me a slap in the comments.