Friday, December 28, 2012

2013 Resolutions

Well, I guess updating this blog more is a good place to start!

Let's see. I think this year I'll go for a multi-pronged approach. Let's start with the physical.

  • Get to the gym more often. Lift twice a week (general upper body stuff).
  • Prep for the upcoming biking season. That means legs twice a week. Work back up to a mile of lunges at least once a week. Time to drag out the rollers as well!
  • Go on some bike trips. Maybe something along the lines of Ride the Rockies again, maybe a multi-day mountain bike trip. Maybe a solo hiking trip... 
  • Try and get a mountain bike tour organized with my brother!

Moving on - how about the shop skillz? We'll start with the design stuff. 

  • Learn a CAD package. I've chosen Rhino for the Mac which looks like a really nice product. I'll start by trying to reproduce some of the drawings from Elmer's Engines
  • Practice some basic skills, like threading on the lathe, layout, etc. 
  • Learn to braze!!! I received a Victor oxy-acetylene kit for Christmas. I've got a bunch of old bike parts laying around, and some projects in mind...
Eat more brain food. We'll start with Math:

  • Review calculus. I've been going through the khan academy's differential calculus classes. Keep doing that (and find some that go into a bit more detail). 
  • Review some of my old engineering kinematics and modeling texts (to work in conjunction with building up shop skillz).
  • Review linear algebra (to help understand some of the more esoteric maths used in machine intelligence algorithms)
On to Computer Science:

  • Work on matrix transformations in 3D until they're second nature. I'll want to do this so that playing around with the next bullet point will be easier/more fun.
  • Do some cool stuff with Cinder (the creative programming framework).
  • Play around with some machine intelligence algorithms. I've picked up a few interesting books on the topic. It'd be fun to apply them to some projects...

  • Yeah - more shop stuff. I've got an arduino, a motor shield, and a couple of scavenged motors to play with. Why not try and make something fun?
  • I've also become fascinated with the 3D printing movement. Seems like a natural thing to play with.

And finally, Music:

  • I've got a bunch of instruments around the place that I haven't played in years. My silly resolution for the year is to learn at least one song on each of the following:
    • Banjo - maybe something like Cripple Creek?
    • Classical guitar (this is something I've played quite a bit - I'll have to resist the temptation to go big until I'm back in shape!)
    • Acoustic guitar - maybe a nice Gillian Welch song
    • Electric guitar - (starting to see a theme here...)
    • Mandolin - I'm thinking "I'll fly away"
    • Fiddle - I'd love to find an arrangement of this - Beulah Land
There - that should do.  I'll try and post weekly progress on these goals, and any other musings.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Resolutions

Well, here's my list of things to work on for 2012 - these are the big ones:

1. Take a couple of the Stanford online Computer Science classes, as a way to get my flabby brain back in shape. Specifically, the class on Machine Learning and the class on Probabilistic Graphical Models.

2. Get ready for cycling season. I'd like to get back into the same shape I was in prior to my first Ride-the-Rockies expedition.

3.  Deploy a Big-Data/Statistical Modeling application to the web.

4. Build some cool stuff. Maybe a model stirling engine, maybe a cool Arduino-based robot.

5. Be more social (for Deb).

Here's a good list from Woody Guthrie. I reserve the right to crib off of him.