Rules and Resolutions of 2009

By Alasdair Lumsden on 30 Dec 2008

As an earthly mortal human, I have an obligation to make the most of my short life here in the universe. Being born, here & now, in the free modern world, during what is arguably our civilizations peak, is one of the greatest miracles of luck imaginable. Squandering my life, or shortening it, would be incredibly foolish. So without further ado, here is my list of new years resolutions with this in mind.

Recycle Bin

The Eco Warrior


I like to recycle, and am the only person in our office who relentlessly separates out the trash into recyclables and non-recyclables. However the cleaner often comes and empties our makeshift recycling bins into the regular trash, and my work colleagues simply do not separate their waste. Whilst I can encourage them to recycle more, they simply won’t do it unless it’s incredibly easy (my work colleagues are very busy people). Thus I hearby decree I will have the business purchase office recycling bins.


I cycled into work for a few weeks towards the end of summer, and it was good. I even bought designer handle bars for my bike to make it look prettier. However when the weather got bad, the cycling ceased. What’s worse, I replaced it with driving a Honda Civic Type-S 2.0 Litre gas guzzler into work. Every single day. And you know what else is worse? I constantly forgot to pay the congestion charge, racking up over £600 in fines over the past 12 months. This is bad. Very bad.

Well while I purchased a Ken Buster just before Christmas to protect me from getting any more Congestion Charge fines (Which mysteriously hasn’t been delivered yet), I must stop driving everywhere. I hereby decree I will purchase winter cycling gear! Warm gloves, thermal technical clothing, and some kind of hat for keeping my ears warm. I have also negotiated permission to leave my bicycle in the front room of our house, instead of having to retrieve it from the shed each time I wish to use it.

I also must learn to cycle slowly. I am alarmingly competitive, and on the bike would try to beat my time into work each day, often resulting in the occasional sugar crash, wobbly legs or sick-for-the-whole-morning feelings. Bad Alasdair.

And I must also commit to taking the train on days it’s too terrible to cycle in. Why oh why can’t the overground railways implement Oyster Prepay for us ad-hoc travellers! *shakes fists*

Improve Health

Eat. I am notoriously bad for skipping meals, in particular breakfast, due to laziness and bad habits. I am also terrible for replacing meals with cupboard food, normally in the form of chocolate and biscuits! This morning is a classic example – wake up, turn on laptop, oh! Box of after eights left over from xmas, what a delicious brekfast substitute *nom nom nom*.

I therefore hereby decree I will do my very little best to eat a proper breakfast each day. I will also order fewer take aways, cook more, learn to cook more meals (I quite enjoy cooking when I can find the time to unplug (see below)).

I also decree I will dramatically cut my intake of sweets and delicious carbonated beverages.

Sleep (less). I am exceptionally bad at getting up. I love sleeping. Mmmm sleep. Just thinking about it makes me sleepy. But you know what? Sleeping so god damn much makes me lethargic, ineffective, late for work, and results in me wasting vast quantities of valuable life.

A classic example is getting up at 2pm on Saturday and Sunday, then spending the day doing very little, followed by rushing to the supermarket before it closes on Sunday at 4pm. I then struggle to get to bed on time, fail to get into work on time on Monday, and generally start the week off on a bad foot. BAD. MUST NOT DO THIS ANY LONGER.

Exercise. I do believe I covered this off above under "Cycling".

Personal Improvement

Me, circa 5+ years ago!Times have changed.

Appearance. I am a busy person (and a lazy one). As such my hair often grows past it’s cut by date, and my wardrobe is full of clothes I don’t like and don’t wear. I can be seen wearing the same pair of jeans 7 days a week. I occasionally let my designer stubble turn into a hobo beard. It has also been so long since I put product in my hair that I no longer posses the skills required to style it. Recent experiments in this area were an unmitigated embarrassing disaster.

I refuse to give in and become an unfashionable, unpresentable sandle wearing hippie. I resolve to stylise myself into a fashionable presentable person. Anyone care to take me shopping?

Socialising. My years of getting smashed, clubbing till 9am, depriving myself of sleep and vomiting on night busses are officially behind me. However I’m not going to let that stop me socialising. I resolve to go to the pub, attend more dinner parties, go to more social events, go to the cinema, museums, and generally attend the plethora of entertainment activities available.

Become More.

Learning. 2008 was a great year of learning. I think I learned more in 2008 than I did in the 3 years preceding it, especially with regards to work. We’ve gone from being a Linux focused company, to being a Solaris focused company. We’ve got many exciting projects underway involving the latest in breakthrough technologies. 2009 is going to be an exciting year ahead, and I need to keep on top of things and spend much time learning.

Contributing. In 2008, I can’t really say I contributed terribly much back to society. In 2009, I want to change that. I want EveryCity to be at the forefront of community activity, particularly with regards to Solaris. There’s a lot of knowledge we have internally about Solaris that may benefit others, and packages we use that would benefit the community.

I also fully intend to write a book on Solaris Administration. When I got started in Solaris, there were no good books on Amazon on the topic. They were all out of date or utterly irrelevant. I aim to change this. I’m hoping I can write something of the sort of quality that O’Reilly would be interested in publishing. We’ll see how much spare time I have!


Lastly, in 2009 I need to unplug more. 2008 was a hectic year for me – I don’t believe I’ve ever been busier. Being so busy is alarmingly stressful, and I have noticed a few grey hairs appearing! 2009 must be less stressful, more enjoyable, and more relaxing. I need to spend time at home relaxing rather than working. I need to delegate more to my staff, and I need to spend what time I do have off, not attached to a computer.

I hope everyone has had a good 2008, and I wish all the best for 2009 :)