Monday, September 03, 2007

Annual Report: Journaling

An important part of family history is recording one's personal history. Probably the best way to do that is to keep a journal and make regular entries in it. After university and before I got married, I did a moderate job of writing journal entries. I averaged one entry every three days. By 2006, when my first two children were toddlers, I was down to a pathetic rate of less than 1%.

In the annual report, I want to have a graph showing me how I've done on my journal. Have I been writing regularly? Have I been writing substantially? Have written more or less than in previous years. I'm not sure if this graph would be useful on a timeline or if it's better as an independent chart. Regardless, for the annual report, I think I'll use the metric of "words written" instead of "journal entries" written. That'll help me answer the question about substantial entries.

Collecting the data will be easy since I write my journal entries on the computer (or Palm Pilot and sync them). I have a program that counts the number of entries and it should be easy enough to modify it to count words too.

24 Jars of Crabapple Jelly

24 Jars of Crabapple Jelly
Originally uploaded by mndrix
If my first jars of crabapple jelly were still alive today, they would be nine years old. Unfortunately for them (and fortunately for me), they died a quick death at the hand of breakfast toast. In honor of their fond memory, the family and I canned 26 jars of crabapple jelly today. The crabapples were from our tree in the backyard. All 26 jars successfully sealed (even the two makeshift Smucker's jars not shown in the photo). Now I just hope it tastes good.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Treadmill with a USB interface

It seems like a simple request. I want a treadmill with a USB interface so that I can download workout data. The treadmill's computer already tracks heartrate, mileage, incline, etc. Just slap a USB interface on the side so that I can plug my SanDisk Cruzer into it and download my workout. A simple CSV file with "workout time", "distance", "average heart rate" would be enough to start with. Something like this:

time (minutes),distance (feet),heart rate (bpm)
I might actually run inside in the winter if I knew I was collecting data that I could turn into pretty graphs. Plus, I could put it in my annual report :)