Did you have an amazing 2006? Did you set a Guiness World Record? I tried to upset the Frosted Cupcake in Freefall record but failed (I only ate 47).
I think I had a pretty good year and I wanted to share some highlights, tools and tricks that keep me going and hopefully can be useful to you in 2007.
Add your own helpful sites and links in the comments!
READING AND WRITING
I’m a big reader and I’ve been slowly converting as much as I can to ebooks as the English bookstores here are not always fully stocked and I get tired of paying �10+ a book, and Amazon’s shipping rates leave something to be desired.
- Books read in 2006: 98 (52 of which were ebooks)
- Slowest month: October (3)
- Fiction Novels ideas entertained and elaborated: 7
- Fiction Novels finished: 0 (ah, win some, lose some!)
- Catalog your books online with Library Thing or Shelfari for a visual representation
- Dive into ebooks with eReader, Fictionwise, or Project Gutenberg for free ebooks.
- Write that novel this time around in November with Nanowrimo or find some Freelance Writing Jobs to keep you busy.
- Write better, blog better! Read Copyblogger’s Best Posts of 2006 for some good tips or read Strunk & White’s Elements of Style as a refresher.
- Go old-school and buy yourself an inkless pen that can write on any surface or check out SeeJaneWork which has some stylish buys.
BLOGGING, COMPUTING & ORGANIZATION
I’m also going as digital as possible – moving around countries and cities means I need to keep physical items to a minimum. I upgraded to Flickr Pro so that I can upload all my digital photos and have them backed up somewhere, and stop juggling multiple CDs or DVDs. I’m also starting to use Google Documents to keep documents and spreadsheets online and centralized, I’m even collaborating with my mom on our recipe book which is a shared document on Google – we can both insert and keep it updated!
- Blog posts this year: 113
- Bloglines feeds following: 217 in 15 categories
- Pictures taken / on Flickr: 1176 / 115 (+ some private)
- Bloggers met in 2006: 13 (Gia, Sara, Cynthia, Nicki, Avery, Shelley, Melinda, Yael, Judith, Carole, Annika, Kellee, Tania) and some other non-blogging Expats in Italy!
- Out with the old, in with the new – donate your old PC to Computers for Schools
- Do you NOT have a blog yet? Or want to change platforms? I use WordPress, but Blogger, LiveJournal or Vox will all do nicely.
- Stop bookmarking or using Favorites – use an RSS feeder (non-technical explanation of RSS here) such as Bloglines, Google Reader, Sage for Firefox or My Yahoo, to name a few.
- Create a wiki on your computer or online, get organized with Backpackit where you can brainstorm and info dump as you please.
- Set up reminders for important dates in Yahoo or Google calendars or send yourself a mail for a future date with FutureMail
- Protect yourself – I use ZoneLabs as a free firewall, keep Windows updated, defrag your hard drive or clean up the crap with CCleaner to get back free disk space
- Download free open-source software programs at Open Office or use Google’s free online software or switch to a Mac from Windows
- Become an advanced Flickr user to use your account to its fullest.
- The next time someone you’re looking for searches for themselves on Google, they’ll see you’re looking for them with Long Time Lost
Not much to say here. I hope to eat in 2007. Hopefully healthier and food of better quality, and more that I make myself.
- Stops documented on the Tour del Gelato: 8 – Add yours!
- Dominating tastes of 2006: Peperoncino – Hot Pepper, Cioccolato Fondente – Dark Chocolate, Gorgonzola
- Tastes I’m leaving behind: Milk Chocolate, Kinder chocolate, Mayonnaise, Panettone
- A re-discovery: Beets. After 20+ years of hating…I kind of like them now. I’ll have to try a few beet recipes I saw.
- Favorite kitchen helper: My silicone pot holders
- Find a new food blog to follow for inspiration – Well Fed Network has just posted the nominations for the 2006 Food Blog awards
- Find blogs that talk about Cupcakes, Candy and Candy, even Chocolate & Zucchini – BlogHer has a big list of food and drink blogs, so does Elise at Simply Recipes and so does Kiplog.
- Participate in group blogging events listed at Is My Blog Burning and post your beautiful food porn pics on Flickr.
- Find some new recipes at the Food Network or cool kitchen tools at Kitchen Contraptions
As for me, I’m following Ilva from Lucullian Delight’s example and making my list of “I Dare” cooking challenges for 2007:
- Eggplant Parmigiana – I always enjoy my mother-in-law’s and I know if I perfect this, S will marry me again. Don’t worry Mom, we’ll elope to Vegas.
- Troccoli– I’ve done homemade gnocchi a few times without a potato masher (lots of work) but I thought I’d try my hand at Troccoli, a handcut spaghetti-like egg noodle, this year
- Gelato– I talk about it enough, I should just make some! That way the best stop on the Tour del Gelato will be at my house.
- Roast– I have never made a roast. Can you believe it? I’m not sure if I’ll go with the English variety or the Italian one more like my MIL’s.
- Bread – I don’t know much about breadmaking, so I’d like to experiment a bit. The no-yeast bread sounds intriguing.
TRAVEL & MOVING AROUND
- Cities lived in: 2 – Pavia and Milan, Italy
- Countries visited: 2 – U.S. (once) and England (3 times!)
- Miles run this year: 65 (this was a very slow year starting with the gym membership in September – I’m hoping to change that in 2007)
- Amount spent on public / private transportation: �600 / �100
- Methods of transportation used: 8 – Train, plane, automobile, metropolitan, bus, tram, bicycle, feet
- Learn more before you go – check out WikiTravel or Slow Travel, use an online map tool to check out your destination or Google Earth with satellite images – some destinations will even show you buildings!
- Now iTunes has a language podcast section to learn languages!
- Money helped to raise for charity: $60,000 + �120 euro (work-related fundraiser)
- Pregnant bellies touched (no strangers): 3
- People I asked “Do you mind if I take a picture of ___?”:7
- Cameras broken: 1. Boo.
- Average hours spent on computer/day: 14 (not good)
Still have spare time? Links:
- Volunteer your time with Volunteer Match (US only) or your blood with the Red Cross
- Donate your computer’s processor time at night to BOINC as part of a desktop-grid network that might someday discover life on other planets
- Check out this great list of addictive online games or play some flash games at MiniClip.
- Or listen to dogs that really talk. Really.