Jan 062017

2017 IntentionsI never make New Years Resolutions, I believe I’ve covered that before. As odd as it sounds, I have more motivation to complete a set of goals (instead of the proverbial “resolution”). So what are my 2017 intentions? I know this year will be a year of change but I’m not at liberty to say, yet, what will be changing. You will know when it happens because it will warrant a blog post (or two). I do not want to write another long-winded post so, for brevity sake, I’m going to get started.

Biggs Labs – Smart Home

I have all the components I need now to complete my Siri integration with SmartThings using a Raspberry Pi. I just need to make myself sit down to install and configure. My Christmas lights were the perfect test subject for programming automation using SmartThings Apps. While we were away for Christmas, SmartThings was programmed to turn on my outdoor Christmas lights and my indoor lights, thus making it appear that someone is home.

We have smart dimmer switches which we plan to install to control the LED ceiling lights. This will give us the capability to adjust the lighting, as necessary, using SmartThings/Z-Wave capable devices (i.e. our phones). Once the switches are installed and the Raspberry Pi is configured, I should be able to ask Siri to dim the lights (ex: for a movie, perhaps).

 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge

In a previous post I took you through my year in books. I have already committed to the same reading challenge this year, however, I did not go crazy and set the goal to 25 books. I did set it to 15 books again because I know I came close last year. It’s going to come down to choosing the books carefully. Obviously the longer the book the longer it will take me to read it. I guess its good that George R. R. Martin doesn’t plan to release his next book this decade year. Here are a couple of books I am committing to this year:

  •   Summoner of Storms – I am currently about half way through book 3 of the Catalysts of Chaos series.
  •  War of the Ancients: The Sundering – Finish the final book in the War of the Ancients trilogy by Richard A. Knaak.
  •   Clash of Catalysts – Volume 4 of C. Greenwood’s Catalysts of Chaos series. The final chapter in Earth Realms battle against Rathnakar and his evil forces.
  •  Wrigleyville – A magical history tour of the Chicago Cubs. This is a book I’ve been wanting to read for years, however it is quite long.
  •  Heartless – The latest re-imagining of classic storybook characters by Marissa Meyer. I have high hopes for this book as Marissa Meyer tells a story about the Queen of Hearts, long before she was shouting “off with their heads”

 Fitness and Health

Flying Pig MarathonOf course I am doing the Walk to Mordor challenge again, in fact I will also complete the extra 1,625 miles for the “and Back Again” leg. This year I am determined more than ever as I need to drop 30 pounds (again). Around March I will start the Couch-2-5K training program again. I will complete it this time and I will then run my first 5K. If I miss all my other goals this year, running my first 5K will not be one of them. This is something I really want to accomplish. I haven’t chosen which 5K to run yet. It might be the Flying Pig or it might be the Red Legs.

If you are interested in trying the Walk to Mordor challenge yourself, I have a place where you can track your progress. Head over and sign up!

Professional Skills Development

One of my goals, every year, for my job is to learn a new technology that might be useful on a current project or on future projects. This will be important this year more than any other year. Therefore I am making it a personal 2017 goal to either learn something brand new and/or become proficient in something that has been recently updated. I don’t have anything specific in mind yet, but my preliminary thoughts are Angular 2 or Swift (iOS development language). I will be using my favorite online video learning sight, Pluralsight. It doesn’t matter what you do for a living, there is always an opportunity somewhere to improve on a skill or learn a new skill. It’s great for your career and its great for your mind.

All right, I’m starting to get too verbose. Stopping with this small list.

Good luck with your 2017 Intentions!


I could accomplish so much more if I only had minions!


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