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Connecting via video

chat with dino

My holiday break was a lot of fun. I received a web cam from my brother as a gift and was playing with it a lot. The screenshot above is one where I am video chatting with a dinosaur (it is actually my friend that has a bunch of goofy effects on his camera, but the dino effect was, of course, my favorite).

I hadn’t really gotten into using video on the web much before now.  I had fiddled around with Skype, and will likely do more of that in the future.  But now that Gmail makes it so easy (it is already in my personal email), and now that I have my own web cam, I hope to be doing a lot more experimenting with video.

My main hope is that it will allow me to stay better connected with friends and family.  My fairly tech-savvy dad already had a web cam and we were playing with them over break.  I look forward to bridging the distance gap between Vermont and Minnesota using this technology.  I can maybe even chat with my mom and ask her if the new curtains she made me are installed correctly.

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On Resolutions

Many people think resolutions are stupid or pointless because they are always broken.  I happen to enjoy resolutions, even though I routinely break many of them year in and year out.  I like the idea of reaffirming your desire to do better–to become a better person.  This idea is something that is one of hugest driving factors of my life.  I like to ask myself, “how is this going to make me into a better human being?”

Failure is an inevitable part of life.  Of course you are not going to be able to keep all your resolutions.  But the act of resolving, of renewing that commitment to better yourself is something I find very strengthening and energizing.  I know that I am a broken, disjointed human being with more faults and vices than I can count, but I also can see that I am getting better and moving in desirable directions.  To err is human, but to persist in trying to correct your errors is a better sort of human.

So a few resolutions I have come up with this year are:

  • Stay better connected with friends – this should be easier with technology and social networking, but it only pays off what you put in.
  • Improve my concentration – There is a lot of talk that the web is decreasing our ability to focus our energy on one task. I love the interwebs, but I also want to be able to have the ability to sustain my attention on one thing as well.  This will likely involve things like unplugging for a while, meditation, and reading.
  • Eat better – I think I always have this one.  Probably because I eat so terribly around the holidays.  I would like to increase my vegetable intake and maybe have some fun with it: like trying out recipes with vegetables I rarely or never eat.  What even is Kohlrabi?

There will likely be some level of failure on these, but that is not the point.  Almost two years ago I quit smoking.  I don’t think I made a stated resolution to do it, but it was around the turn of the year.  The spirit of wanting to become something better, something more, is alive and vibrant this time of year.  What are you resolving to do to make yourself better?