Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 In Review

2010 has come and gone. What a great year it has been. So much has changed in just a years time. We got a new bathroom and roof here on the farm. We tried to sell our house in a very poor housing market while attempting to purchase our dream house. We traveled to Maine and back. I took off my shoes and learned how to run barefoot. I dropped 25 pounds in the process while I trained for (and completed) a 100k ultra marathon. We got a new van, sold our pop-up, spent a lot of time outdoors, and just enjoyed life to the max. A lot of great things happened this year.

The Log Home Dream

We did all we could to try and reach our dream of living in a log home. We fought and kicked and went through all the steps to try and sell our house and live the dream. We put multiple offers on the house that we thought was "the one". While we would have been able to do it, we struggled to sell our house. Everything was "contingent" on the sale of this home, and it just didn't happen. We feel that everything happens for a reason. If it was meant to be, it would have happened. No sweat, we're living large right here.

Hardbarger Dream Vacation
The biggest highlight of 2010 was by far, our family vacation up to Maine and back. Jennifer and I have wanted to go to Maine since the day we met. It has always been the place that has defined "rustic" for us. We planned for it and saved up our money for it. We took 2 full weeks in the middle of the summer to take our 3 girls on an epic camping trip through Woodstock, Cape Cod, and Maine. It was the most perfect journey up the Atlantic Coast with a popup camper and nothing else better to do. The girls still talk about it to this day, and it was by far the best spent 2 weeks of the entire year. We all made memories to last a lifetime, and I hope that our girls will remember all the fun times we had on this trip.

Personal Health and 62 Miles
This year was also kind of a rebirth for me as a runner. I totally changed my running style to be a minimalist runner. I gave all of my shoes away and resorted to a homemade pair of sandals, and a pair of VFF "toe shoes". I did all of my training with no shoes, and was able to complete my goal of finishing the Oil Creek 100K this past October. In the process of training for this race, I went in halves with a my best bud and we ordering the P90X fitness program. He tried it for a few weeks and then gave it to me to get my money's worth. I dedicated a lot of time to the program and was able to drop 25 lbs in 3 months. By watching what I ate every day and working out, I got stronger than I'd ever been in my life. This along with my barefoot running totally reshaped my legs and midsection in a good way. I can only hope that what I learned about myself this year will help me to achieve my fitness and running goals for 2011.

Unix and Basic Hacking
Another big goal of mine this year was to learn how to use my mac. I've always been baffled watching my good buddy, Ben work terminal app like a puppet. He's able to just "manage" his computer with a terminal screen. I've watched him query databases, install software, update his system, configure users, groups, and server permissions with nothing more than a blinking cursor on a terminal screen. "If I could only learn how to do that, I'd get so much work done...", well this was my year to learn Unix. I've gotten very familiar with "man" and "info" commands in terminal. I've got a huge stack of books that cover all aspects of Unix from Bash, to Vi, to Gnu/Linux, to you name it... I've been reading like crazy the last few months. As a windows developer, I've always relied on the graphical interfaces of my high-powered IDE's. While I started in Assembler Language on a Sun (i.e. Unix) machine, I quickly got away from it once I discovered Visual Basic and it was my time to get back to Unix as a complete noob.

Whats Next?
As a family, we've decided to just settle down and enjoy our farm for another year or two. We have no intentions on moving from our perfect little house after all that excitement. We've also decided to not plan any huge vacations this year and focus on a very simple series of small camping trips around the state. We've considered a small ski trip to Snow Trails or something. We're going to save up for an EPIC vacation in 2012. No hints just yet, but it'll be huge! As a runner, I am going to train for and attempt the Mohican 100 Mile trail race this June. I have a long way to go, but I'm up for the challenge. I've already warned Jennifer about my goal, and she's on board with my up coming training commitments. I'm going to keep my girls and this family my number 1 priority, but this 100 mile race comes in at a very close 2nd. As for my hacking goals, I do plan to do some cool stuff this year involving some new Linux skills and terminal wizardry. I've already got a Linux server setup and ready for me to "ssh" files to (thanks Ben). I do plan to make use of this server space very soon. I won't stray too far from Windows; after all, it's paying the bills. However, I do plan to broaden my options to non-Windows development quite a bit this year.

Happy New Year!
I'm sure that 2011 is going to be a great year!

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