We all get it. SOPA is bad. If you're unfamiliar with it, SOPA is the bill put before congress that, in an attempt to combat piracy, would have a hugely negative impact on the Internet. Today is the day that lots of sites, including Wikipedia and Reddit are apparently protesting this bill by going dark.
I appreciate a good protest, but this one seems somewhat poorly targetted to me, especially in light of the fact that the SOPA bill was officially shelved late last year.. But that's not the point of this post. I ran up against my first roadblock on Wikipedia this morning and was unable to view some content that I was looking up. I quickly found an easy way around it, and I wanted to share in case anyone else actually needed to use the Internet today.
So if you need to read something on Wikipedia today, just drag the bookmark below up to your toolbar. Whenever you run into one of the extraordinally annoying "SOPA is awful, please contact your congressman" messages, just click it and you'll have your content back.
Or, if you're a Google Chrome user, you can use this extension -- courtesty of Vivek Gupta -- to do the work automatically throughout the entire Wikpedia site. Enjoy. And, of course, be sure to contact your congressman.
I've never been one for New Year's resolutions, but I do like to set goals for myself from time to time. Ever since our trip to Prague last Fall I've been on a pretty good tear with my Kindle, reading my way through the Hunger Games series as well as Haruki Murakami's latest epic 1Q84. That's four books in around twelve weeks. That's pretty good, but I can do better. In 2012, I'm making it a goal to read 52 books. One every week.
I've already given myself a little bit of a head start, as I'm going to count a couple of books I technically started last year, but finished this month. I'm dangerously close to the end of Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything, and last week I finished up a re-read of Cormac McCarthy's dystopian masterpiece The Road. At January's prompting, I also started reading the Maze Runner series last week and I'm already into the second book. So I'm here at the beginning of week two, and I'm already close to checking four books off my list.
I know that this ambitious timetable probably won't allow me to read many books of much depth or length, but I still think it's attainable. I'll try to post monthly updates with where I'm at along with mini reviews for what I've been reading. In the meantime, why don't you join me? It doesn't have to be 52 books. Maybe 10 is more reasonable for you. I don't think the number is important, just the idea of challenging oneself is half of the point of this exercise.
I'm not entirely sure what happened over this past month, but frankly I don't care. The touchy, sleepless baby that we've been wrestling with for the past few months has suddently disappeared, only to be replaced by the lovely, happy little girl that we remember from six months ago. You'll never know how wonderful it is to go to bed knowing that you're going to let us sleep through the night, only to be woken up -- after 7am, I might add -- by the sweet babling and laughter of our little eleven month old.
Honestly, you've been such a joy to be around this month. I think I can pinpoint the day that it happened, actually. I was in Washington, D.C. on business the middle of the month and your mama diligently kept me in a steady supply of videos of you hamming it up. Most of the time when I go out of town, we hold our breath hoping that you'll cooperate and not be more than your mama can handle, but this time you were clearly very, very happy.
This month, you also experienced your very first Christmas! You've always been such an observer, so you were happy to just take a bit of a backseat this holiday and try to figure out exactly what was going on. You definitely liked all the lights, the oft-played She & Him Christmas album, and wearing your matching pajamas with cousins Emma and Will.
What you did not enjoy, however, was your fancy Christmas dress.
You really handled all the out-of-routine activity well, though. And I'm sure all the great new toys didn't hurt, either.
I can't believe that in just one more month you're going to be a full year old. I'm really glad that you'll be wrapping up your first year in such a happy way. You've always been fun, but this past month has far surpassed all of the months before this one. I can't wait to see where we go from here as we work our way toward your first birthday!
All my love,
Most years, compiling my year-end musical retrospective isn't too difficult. I fire up iTunes, sort everything by the "date added" field, and pick out ten to twelve tracks that really defined the year for me. This past year, however, I came up with 25 tracks.
I really only have two hard-and-fast rules when putting this playlist together: 1) The songs have to evoke a strong memory from the past year 2) Don't add more than 12 tracks. I've learned over the years that exceeding twelve tracks is the quickest way to make a playlist that falls short somewhere. There's always a dud song that kills the pace. This year, I'm throwing that rule out the window, and I think it's paid off.
If you would like to listen to the Team Soell 2011 Retrospective, titled Lucy & the Council of Elephants, you can listen below. If you'd like to take it with you "to go," you can download it in MP3 format. Finally, if you're an Rdio subscriber, you can listen to the companion playlist, although it is missing two songs that they apparently don't have the licenses for at the moment.
What about you? What are you best tracks of the year?