New Year resolutions for 2017

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jack Brewhouse, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    It's the time of year again. A new year starts in a few hours and a new opportunity to make ourselves better people. So, I thought it might be nice to have a thread about what we're promising to do. Here are my offerings...

    1) Give up drinking alcohol. I've already quit beer and I think it's time for a year off. No more hangovers and a clear head to get on with more writing.
    2) More writing. I got 6 books up and running this year, I want to break that number in 2017 and push myself to get more marketing done. By the end of this year, I want people to know who I am.
    3) Get fit. I'm pretty healthy anyway but had a recent bout of flu where I had to back off the exercise a bit. I'm going to push a lot harder to get myself into better shape and make up what I've lost.
    4) Read more. I read very little fiction, I almost exclusively read factual accounts as research now. I want to put a few more novels under my belt.
    5) Cut down on coffee. I'm drinking way too much coffee.
    6) Stop buying stupid bike I don't need. I have a serious motorcycle problem and my house is full of them. For the sake of my sanity, it needs to stop.
    7) Build a cafe-racer. I have a specific bike in mind, it's a replica from a story and I need it in my life. I've not had a project motorcycle in a long, long time. I NEED.
    8) Meet new people. Most of the ex-pat community in this town is appalling. I was asked by a teacher in my school if I could supply him with some heroin, 'the good stuff' since he could only find weak rubbish. I told him I knew where he could get a really strong cup of coffee. This one is also for the sake of my sanity.
    9) Stop doing favours for everyone. I really do far too much for other people and almost never do anything for myself. Well, I've got people who depend on me now so I'm putting them first and everything else second. (It's likely I'll break this one first.)
    10) Do something new. Whatever it is... I need to find and do something I've never done before.

    What about you guys?
    Diziet Sma likes this.
  2. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    11) As James just ran past me, blowing his nose on my leg, I decided it was best to add a new, most important one. No more babies.
    Boreas likes this.
  3. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Mine are quite simple really.

    Drink less alcohol. I'm not going to go tee total, but I really need to cut down the intake.

    Start cooking better food. I want to rely less on store cupboard sauces, and start making more tasty meals from scratch. Money saved from less alcohol to be used for purchase of better ingredients.

    Get fitter. I don't do heavy exercise and never have. I walk around 4km per day on my commute but can't remember the last time I actually got out of breath from intentional exercise. I plan on buying a cycle in Spring time, with the aim being for me to cycle into work - a 20 mile / 32 km round trip.
    Diziet Sma likes this.
  4. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    That's good stuff. Living as I do in Cambodia, food is all backwards. Junk food is prohibitively expensive since there's very little proper infrastructure while proper organic ingredients are very cheap. I exercise a lot since there's a (minor) history of heart problems in my family which is also one of the reasons I became a veggie. Cycling is great exercise. I don't understand it though, I ride much further and at really high speeds on my motorcycle but it does nothing for my fitness. Something is clearly wrong somewhere.
  5. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I quit smoking six years ago, and I don't drink very often, so I'm fine there.

    I need to get fitter, though. I go through phases with exercise and the latter half of 2016 has been lazy for me in that respect. I bike most the time, but instead of mountain biking for fitness (and fun) like I've usually done twice a week, I've mostly just been biking for transport at an easy pace. Need to do more hiking as well, it's one of my favourite activities.

    I'd like to be able to read more than I did in 2016.

    And I need to waste less time on the internet.

    Great idea, but can you shower at work?
    Including science fiction? I've not gotten the impression that you read much SF.
    Diziet Sma likes this.
  6. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Fortunately yes. I think my colleagues will be less concerned about my odour, and more so about seeing me in lycra.
  7. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Ha! You'll oblige them, I hope.
  8. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    Exclusively Science-Fiction. There are no proper book shops here so we rely on second-hand stores. Consequently it's tough to find much reading material. While I publish on Amazon, I prefer the feel of a book in my hands. I do believe in online publishing from an environmental perspective as well as it being a more convenient format all round but there's nothing quite like an actual book in your actual hands, is there?
    I love sci-fi, I've been pushing it at school recently, trying to get across the idea that it represents a removal of boundaries. I think I have some converts, some of my students got it.
  9. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Great! Then we'll be seeing you more often in discussions here.

    You know, I resisted the idea of e-books for a long time precisely because of the way you feel towards a real, physical book. Then, when I finally got myself a Kindle, I became a convert. The sheer convenience of it just astounded me, even though I was mentally aware of its advantages. It is especially fantastic for when you're on the move. But I do seem to be reading more physical books again the last few months.

    What's the age range for your students? And what science fiction have you gotten them to read so far? I remember you mentioning some Asimov stories and Frankenstein (I think).
  10. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Nothing wrong with a couple of glasses of good wine a week.
    Cafelito, I can't function without it. I tried it and failed miserably so I'm embracing it wholly.
    I have been going twice a week to a Bootcamp class and they have been kicking the hell out of me, but I need to go back to my running, which I have neglected during the last six months and it really helps to keep my head clear from bad vibes.

    I need to dedicate more time to reading work related books. As much as I enjoy the subject, it is hard in the evenings after a long day, particularly if this means not picking up any other fun novel.

    Above all, keep important things in perspective and enjoy myself responsibly . Bear's Forge of God really did have an impact on me. Who knows how long we have before all goes boom-boom...?

    @Jack Brewhouse, I agree with B. Nothing feels better than a real book in your hands, and nothing is more practical and economical than a Kindle. In the end, it comes down to reading.

    Ah! Nothing wrong with snotty babies! I spend my days surrounded by them...:)
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
    Boreas likes this.
  11. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    Age range is about 12-15. We've had a few excerpts of various things. I've made them read through some Asimov shorts but it's hard to get them interested. I have got them hooked on Futurama. It's a step in the right direction, at least now they are keen on sci-fi and open to new ideas.
  12. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    My only complaint with the Kindle is that the overwhelming choice makes me a little scatter brained, and I have a hard time deciding which book to start. That's not a problem I suffered with physical books.

    @Jack Brewhouse, you should also get them to watch some quality Japanese, science fiction anime. Planetes is an excellent hard SF series which focuses almost completely on human drama and sociological issues. But the background is as hard SF as you can get. And Studio Ghibli's Naussicca of the Valley of the Wind is a fantastic, far future, environmental allegory in an sf/fantasy format.

    And another resolution for 2017 is to start running again. We'll see if I start in January or February or March or April.

    When did you sneak that book in? That means you've already started your hard SF journey, and I thought you'd be starting it with Clarke. FoG is also one I want to read, but the next Bear book I have lined up is Beyond Heaven's River.
  13. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I have read it during this holiday. I didn't start with Clarke nor with Attanasio's The Last Legend of Earth because both are physical copies and I only travel with my Kindle.
    Regarding The Forge of God, I loved its concept, very thought provoking and "believable" in a way, and also its narrative style.
    Bear doesn't do cheap sentimentalism, but when the story requires it, he delivers it beautifully.
    Is this really Hard Science? I thought HS would imply more complex, scientific concepts.
    If that case, I'm so into HS!
    Anvil of Stars, the sequel, is very high on my TBR.

    Any special recommendations regarding G Bear's other tittles/series?
  14. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    There's a Greg Bear thread that might give you some ideas. I'm not well read up on his stuff yet.
  15. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you! I'll check it out.
    Cool avatar btw!
  16. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    We are almost at the end of January. How are you getting on with your resolutions?

    I’m have improved marginally on work related reading but not enough.,
    I have pushed myself to read more than one book at the time. This is not me at all, but I was finding a weariness and a lack of enthusiasm with some great books. I felt it shouldn’t be this way: “genre fatigue”

    So right now, I have 5 books on the go, risking a serious case of raw angst:
    • SF: Attanassio’s The Last Legend of Earth.
    • Historical Fiction: Killing Sócrates. M Chicot.
    • Fantasy: Gaiman’s Short Stories Smoke and Mirrors
    • Comics: A Spiegelman’s Maus and J Smith’s Bone.
    For my next reading choices, I think I need to pick some Fantasy and also get back to some Noir novels…

    As for going back to my running, it is too freaking cold, too much snow and treacherous ice. Not worth breaking a limb; that’s my excuse, anyway. I’m back though to Bootcamp classes. And yes, I hate being shouted at but it gets me moving.
  17. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    I'm definitely cooking better, but not necessarily healthier. I've started making my own beef stock which has resulted in awesome stews, and I'm quite taken by Moroccan style food atm .. pomegranate molasses is my new favourite ingredient. I'm not (generally) drinking in the week, weekends is a different matter! And my get fit regime was never going to start until spring time, so I'm on track with that one ;)
  18. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Impressive! We might turn this thread into a "Let's swap recipes". Something we don’t have over here is a wealth of ingredients. It tends to limit itself to the traditional Swiss style and some international very staple foods such as pizza, some Chinese basic ingredients and a couple of choices for Indian jar sauces. That’s about it.
    Pomegranate Molasses? Jeeez! How exotic is that? if I asked for that at my local market, I’d be sent to Coventry, well Basel in this case….:(
  19. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Hahaha! That wold be awesome. I'm the cook in my house, it's one of my favourite things to do 'to relax'.

    We're pretty lucky with ingredients in the UK. I can buy pretty much anything I want and don't have to go to too much trouble to get most of it.

    I actually had the national dish of Switzerland for my dinner last night .. I made a rosti .. but I don't think it was particularly Swiss .. I made it with parsnip and served with fried chorizo.
    Diziet Sma likes this.
  20. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Ha,ha! You have just reinvented the concept of Rösti, and, I must add, you did a great favour to the national Swiss cuisine. I enjoy cooking when having friends over. Good company, good wine: always fun; otherwise it is a daily chore...

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