My New Years Resolutions

This year, I will:

  • Totally empty my email inbox every day.
  • Read one classic novel published before 1950 each week.
  • Learn the names of the capitols, mottos, bird and mineral of all of the fifty states.
  • Learn to play five new musical instruments.
  • Lean to speak five new languages
  • In the spring, plant a large garden and live off the produce through the subsequent winter.
  • Learn how to frame pictures from scratch.
  • Reduce my personal carbon footprint to zero.
  • Clean the fridge once a week.
  • Go to the gym every fifteen minutes.
  • Change my own oil.
  • Learn fifty new emacs key combinations.
  • Not eat any jello.
  • See all the species of birds I’ve not seen yet.
  • Learn to develop Kodachrome in my basement.
  • Cut a new CD that makes the charts.
  • Learn to oil paint scenes with lakes with trees reflecting in the lakes.
  • Invent a new and better vacuum cleaner.
  • Stop using snark in my blogging.
  • Complete five levels of Zelda without using a walkthrough or Julia.
  • Find the highest point in Minnesota and name it after Huxley.
  • Capture a wolf, tame it, and give it to Julia for her birthday.
  • Make enough fire starters using old candle stubs, lint, egg cartons and pine cones to last through next spring.
  • Sell everything I own at eBay and replace it all with stuff I get from Target using the 10 percent coupon. Invest the earnings in a socially responsible mutual fund.
  • Use my Dremel tool for something.
  • Catch the largest muskie in Minnesota but don’t tell anybody about it.
  • Get rich and buy Amanda’s high school and give it to her so she’s the boss.
  • Design the first underground house that goes above ground.
  • Learn how to spin lint into fabric. Oh wait, I already used up all the lint. Well, maybe next year.
  • Teach the cat to use semaphore to indicate its needs.

What are your resolutions?


  1. #1 Stephanie Z
    January 1, 2011

    You eat Jello???!??!?

  2. #2 Jeff Sherry
    January 1, 2011

    Damned tough list to live up to. LOL. This sort of reminds me of giving up asparagus during lent when one doesn’t like asparagus.

  3. #3 NewEnglandBob
    January 1, 2011

    Stop using snark in my blogging.

    completely unrealistic!

  4. #4 Michael Meadon
    January 1, 2011


  5. #5 Mike Haubrich
    January 1, 2011

    I think that you can achieve at least half of these things, but the snark part is an unrealistic goal. Cross that one off forthwith.

    When I get rich this year, I will buy the school and make Amanda the boss so she can kick out all the students who disrupt her classes with stuff on creationism.

  6. #6 Jamie
    January 1, 2011

    All very reasonable…except for the 50 new emacs combinations. My goal (no joke) was to learn three. Last year, I added one to my repertoire, but 2010 was a year full of busy-work (read: word processing). Here’s to a year filled with plain text!

  7. #7 Erin R
    January 1, 2011

    I am a ‘vegetarian.’ I put it in quotes, because no matter how hard I try, I’m not sure I will ever be able to stop eating jello.*

    *If only because, with my infection-prone tonsils, it’s generally the only high-calorie thing I can eat along with pudding, since V8 doesn’t cut it. And it’s VERY delicious.

  8. #8 GoatRider
    January 1, 2011

    I resolve not to make any New Year’s Resolutions this year.


  9. #9 Benton Jackson
    January 1, 2011

    Stop using snark in my blogging.

    completely unrealistic!

    Especially since this entire post is snark.

  10. #10 John McKay
    January 1, 2011

    Last year I watched a pot till it boiled. This year I plan to teach old dogs new tricks.Then they will offer me big bucks to co-host Myth Busters.

  11. #11 Matt Bowman
    January 1, 2011

    You are one ambitious son of a gun. I’m gonna get rich this year too. I think I’ll try one of them magnetic bracelet thingies. I hear they attract some serious cash.

  12. #12 Greg Laden
    January 1, 2011

    Integrating comments ten and eleven: I learned this from mythbusters today: The term “son of a gun” refers to the old British Navy where the sailors slept (and apparently fornicated) on the gunnery deck. So a son of a gun is the bastard child of a British seaman.

  13. #13 gwen
    January 2, 2011

    I resolve to live to see the next New Year. I am incapable of resolving much more, and I can’t even promise that…

  14. #14 Sam Dei Lune
    January 2, 2011

    I absolutely love this post. It reminded me to laugh at myself for all of the things I told myself that I would do in 2011. If I can complete even a quarter of my list I think I will be satisfied. At the moment, I am fulfilling one of my goals, read more posts on Science Blogs. Happy New Year.

  15. #15 Marty
    January 2, 2011

    With my new wood pellet stove I managed a negative carbon footprint, thanks to a large indoor houseplant.