Eleven Things I Want To Complete In 2011

Last week, I mentioned that 2011 should be The Year Of The Completed Project for me.  I gave myself until today to come up with a list of projects that I haven’t completed over the years that I will complete by the end of 2011.  Given that this year is Two Thousand and Eleven (and that completing over two thousand items isn’t realistic), I figured that I’d limit my list to 11 items.  Here they are in no particular order along with how I plan to complete them and when I plan to complete them by.  I’m going to try to schedule things so that no two tasks are assigned the same completion month.  They can be completed early, but I don’t want to overload myself to the point that I drop one or more of the tasks again.

1. To Do List Sign – I would often be asked by B to do something only to forget about it later on.  To better remind myself, I purchased a dry erase board and some magnets.  The idea was to superglue the magnets to the back of the board and stick the board on our refrigerator.  Unfortunately, the magnets were far too weak for the job.  Plan B was to hang the board on the kitchen wall.  I have the perfect spot picked out and know just what I need to do… Except I never seem to get around to it.

This is an easy task.  All I need to do is buy some hooks (the kind that don’t leave marks on the walls when you remove them) and hang the frame.  I’m pretty sure we even have the hooks somewhere in the house.  I plan to complete this by the end of January.

2. Finish My “Packers” Story – No, this isn’t a story about a football team from Green Bay, but a science fiction story that I’ve had in my head for over a decade now.  I wrote it out once but was unhappy with the result and planned on rewriting it.  The entire world is mapped out in my head along with conflicts and everything.  I began rewriting it last year but then stopped writing for some reason.

I plan to pick up the writing again and finish it bit by bit over the course of the year.  I’m not sure when I’ll finish but I figure I’ll shoot for October.

3.  Math Board Game With NHL – Last year, I won the Geek Dad book.  Of the geeky projects contained inside, I selected a board game to do with NHL.  We planned it out, made the appropriate purchases and wrote out the cards.  When it came time to make the actual board for the game, though, my initial plan of printing out the board, coloring it in and gluing it down didn’t work out.  I postponed completion time after time until it just faded into the “I’ll do someday” pile.  There was a brief revival when, during one of NHL’s swim lessons, I was struck by the idea of making it a purely card-based game.  Instead of walking around a board, you would draw “terrain cards” that would have certain effects.  These terrain cards never left my notebook, though.

I will spend a few nights here and there with NHL, writing out these cards.  This shouldn’t take more than a few months so I’ll shoot for this to be completed in March.

4.  Upstairs Play Room – When NHL was a baby, we loved going upstairs to let him romp.  The room upstairs was quite big and allowed him more movement.  Plus, in these pre-wireless laptop days, this was where our computers were so we could go online.  At some point, the room became more and more cluttered with old toys and playtime there became less and less of a possibility.  We keep meaning to clean it up, and indeed have spent time up there cleaning, but we never seem to finish.

This project isn’t going to be an easy one.  There are old toys that we should get rid of as the boys have both outgrown them as well as old computer equipment that I need to deal with.  I won’t be able to do this alone, either.  There will be items that only B will know what to do with.  Plus, cleaning time is limited.  We can’t let the boys go up there without it being cleaned up a bit more and we can’t clean up there while the boys are unsupervised downstairs.  I can go up there a few nights a week to tidy things up, though.  Once that’s done, perhaps we can spend a few Saturdays up there letting the boys play in one section while we clean up another.  I’m going to put a long end-date on this to give us plenty of cleaning time.  Let’s say November.

5.  Paint the Door – When we were preparing our house for move-in, we painted all of the rooms.  While painting the door, I noticed that the existing paint was coming off.  I peeled some off, intending to smooth over that area and re-paint it.  But more and more came off.  I stopped when a good chunk of the door was de-painted, intending to come back and finish it up.  You can guess what happened.

This is a task that wouldn’t take long to complete.  Perhaps a day’s work.  Still, it is probably best left for the warmer weather when the boys can be occupied playing outside instead of getting close to any paint cans (or paint chips that may/may not have lead in them).  I’ll give this a completion time of July.

6. Paint the Ceiling – Along the same lines as #5, we had cracking paint in the ceiling of our dining room.  It got so bad that a big hunk of paint was drooping down.  It irritated me so much that I went up there with a blade and sliced it off.  One problem solved, it seemed, but now we had a big bare spot on our dining room ceiling.

As with the door, this would be best attempted during the spring/summer.  I’ll give this a completion time of June to position it near the door’s completion time.  (I could probably accomplish both in one day, actually, but I’ll consider them two separate jobs.)

7. Shred, Shred, Shred – As a victim of ID theft, I’m careful about what I throw out.  Anything with my personal information, signature, etc gets saved to be shredded.  There are just a couple of problems.  The first is that the shredder is quite loud.  This means that I can’t really shred papers when the kids are asleep.  The second problem is that the shredder tends to jam if you shred too much and don’t let it cool down.  The influx of to-shred-papers and lack of shredding time has led to a backlog.  I would need to set some time aside to shred these papers little by little until my backlog is gone.  I could probably complete this sometime in August.

8. Repair Desktop PC – A few months back, our desktop PC died.  The hard drive just went kaput.  Luckily, I had long ago backed up our data to an external hard drive.  However, that PC had performed vital services.  We used it as a file server, print server, and a base of operations to scan photos or documents.  Getting this PC back up and running would entail buying a new hard drive and reinstalling operating system.  This shouldn’t be too hard, but I was considering moving that PC to Linux.  I’ve always wanted to learn Linux and this seems like a golden opportunity.  Given the Linux learning curve (which could be nearly-nothing or could be steep), I’ll put this down as to be completed in May.

9. How It Works Blog Series – Back during BlogHer, Amy of Amiable Life gave me an idea for a series of blog posts.  I would take a technical subject like “How Does The Internet Work” and break it down so that it would be easy for people with a non-technical background to understand.  I had made the graphics for the first one but needed to do some voice over work for it.  Since this would be an open ended series of blog posts, I’m not sure how many there would be.  Thus, I’ll only put a completion date on the first post.  I can get the first one done by February.

10. Kids Game Review Blog Series – Last year, I noticed that NHL was playing a few video games.  Not a ton, mind you, but a few.  This got me to thinking that I should do a regular video game review blog series.  I would focus on how good the game was for children and might even include video reviews.  I’ve done posts along these lines for Math Rider (both a regular post and video review) and Mater’s Tall Tales for the Wii (again, regular and video reviews).  Still, there wasn’t any formulized blog post series.  Like the last item, an open ended blog post series isn’t going to have a real end date, so I’ll just put a deadline on the first post in the series: April.

11. The PB Files – Last year, I received a box of peanut butter from Peanut Butter & Co.  There wasn’t any expectation of reviews or blog posts, but I decided to do a series anyway.  Thus, the PB Files was born.  I completed six of the eight posts, but never did the last two.  Unfortunately, peanut butter isn’t so great on my weight loss plan.  So this will have to wait for a bit.  I should be able to get them done by September, though.

And there you have it.  My 11 projects in 2011.  Some are big and will take a lot of time and some aren’t so big.  Still, by the time the year is out, I should have a few less items on the old “Never Been Completed” pile.