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Explaining the 101 list

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This is the eighth and last of the posts in which I explain and motivate the items on my 101-in-1001 list. The list itself can be viewed here, where you can also find a list of all posts related to the list. If you want to follow my progress in more detail, you should check my profile page at the Day Zero Project.

Fix the browser bug on Snigel.nu

People using certain versions of Internet Explorer are experiencing problems with Snigel.nu. It looks perfectly fine in any other browser and even in some versions of IE. This is probably not my fault (I mean, since when was Microsoft known for making browsers compatible with web standards?), but it becomes my problem since some people can’t view the site properly. What happens is that everything stacks, so the menu comes last, after all the posts. I will probably need help fixing this. Are you interested? I’ll get you a pizza.

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: 5 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Merge SoaringCloudDragon.blogspot.com and Snigel.nu

For those of you who have missed that, I’m running a blog in Chinese as well. This is mostly because I want to practise writing Chinese, but perhaps something else will come of it as well. The point is that I don’t like Blogspot very much and I would like to merge the two sites. This is a lot easier in later versions of WordPress, so it should be possible to make the sites use the same database and look the same, although the posts will of course still be separate since most people who read my website either don’t want to read in English or don’t understand Chinese.

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: 5 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Sort and organise all personal files on all computers and all servers

My digital existence is a bit fragmented at the moment. I’m running two laptops and I still have old files on my previous stationary computer that I might want to keep. I need to go through everything and figure out how to store, synch and backup everything. I also have files on various web servers that badly need sorting.

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: 10 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Sort and organise all photos

Although I seldom take photos, I have accumulated a fair amount of pictures over the years. Right now, they are simply stored in a big pile in some folders on my hard drive and if I really wanted to find something, I wouldn’t even know where to start. Putting everything together and sorting the photos would be a good idea.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 5 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Establish a file system that works over many computers

This is really an extension of the above-mentioned two goals. Once I feel I have structured my files nicely, I want to find a way to synch everything or parts of the files between the computers I use. It seems most likely that minor things, such as personal files, will be shared using Dropbox, and that the rest will have to be synched manually.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 5 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Now let’s have a look at the meta section of the list, where I have some goals related to the list itself.

Explain and motivate all goals on the list

This is what I’m currently doing and this task is completed when this post is published. The idea is of course that by going through the list, I will weed out goals that real don’t belong there. I have changed a number of them as a result of motivating each and every one, so I think it was a good idea. Also, I’ve let other people know what  I mean with certain goals that on their own are far from self-explanatory.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 5 hours
Progress so far: 100%

Write about the former list, the current and the relationship between them

The most relevant question of all is of course why I want to start a list again. I didn’t finish all the things on the old list and I have been known to voice dislike with the whole set up, so why go at it yet again? I have my reasons, and I intend to write about them more extensively in an article. Briefly put, my motivation is that I hope that the list will provide me with a sharpened focus in some areas that otherwise might be lagging behind. I also think that even though the previous list was not fully completed, I still regard the project as hugely successful; I tried many new things and learnt much that I wouldn’t have done or learnt if it weren’t for the list.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 1 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Publish something about each task on the list

Putting the list online and talking about is one of the basic ideas behind the list. By telling other people what I want to achieve, I hope that you will be able to motivate me. Discussing the results of the gaols, whether they were failures or successes is a natural final step in the process. I’ve already one finished task I haven’t written about (the one about going to a party where I know less than 10% of the people), but that will come in due time.

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: 20 hours
Progress so far: 2%

Write a concluding essay on the subject of this list

The ultimate step is to conclude the entire project by writing about it. I think that I have learnt something from the previous list and I think that I will be more satisfied with the outcome of this one. I’m also older and I think that my interests and my life are less likely to go through radical changes in the coming years, which is more ideal for pursuing the goals on this list. However, only time will tell if I’m right, but regardless of what transpires, I’m still going to write about it!

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: 3 hours
Progress so far: 0%

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This is the seventh of the posts in which I explain and motivate the items on my 101-in-1001 list. The list itself can be viewed here, where you can also find a list of all posts related to the list. If you want to follow my progress in more detail, you should check my profile page at the Day Zero Project.

It seems likely that I will be some kind of teacher at least for a part of my professional life, so even though this category is not meant to include everything I plan to do, aiming for a teacher’s job is realistic and functions well as a working hypothesis.

Read ten interesting articles about second language acquisition

This will probably be part of the term paper I will write next semester, but I still want to read more scientific research regarding second language acquisition. I have lots of ideas, obviously, but it would be nice to back them up with some solid research. Of course, language learning is difficult to research, because learning conditions and languages vary so much, but there should be interesting articles out there.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 15 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Learn and write about the five top origins of migration to Sweden outside Scandinavia

The goal here is to learn more about home countries of big minority groups in Sweden, in order to better understand students from these countries. This is of course not only related to teaching, because I feel that I know way too little about some countries that are both quite important in the world and which people now also have become a part of Sweden.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 15 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Create a system to record and keep useful classroom activities

Now and then, I stumble upon various useful exercises or activities, but since I have no systematic way of archiving them, I feel that most of them just pass me by. I might remember some of them, especially those I’ve tried myself, but the idea with this goal is to create a system that can catch whatever interesting ideas I read or hear about. It will probably involve digital scanning of texts, a functional file structure for sorting the data and some kind of summary/overview. My guess is that it will take some time to set up, but should then run smoothly once in place.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 5 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Get 2.0 on the Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test (need not be formal due to the cost)

I’ve never needed the Swedish SAT (Högskoleprovet), because my grades have always been enough, but I want to take the test anyway just to know what it’s about. This is partly because I’m curious, but it’s also because the test is very important for some students. Understanding what the test is about will perhaps also enable me to better understand what they are facing. Achieving the maximum grade is of course just to make it a bit challenging, but I don’t plan to do this formally, because each attempt (I will probably need more than one) costs a couple of hundred crowns.

Perceived difficulty: 5/10
Estimated time needed: 20 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Take one extra evening or summer course

It might sound odd, but I’ve actually never taken more than the normal number of credits per semester. I want to try that and see what it’s like. It’s quite probable that I won’t find it worthwhile, but I’m going to try it at least once. I have heaps of academic credits, but adding points in language related subjects would probably be a good idea nevertheless.

Perceived difficulty: 4/10
Estimated time needed: 100 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Evaluate myself as a teacher with the help of mentor(s)

Other people sometimes work as mirrors which we can use to better see what we are doing wrong. At some point, probably during the final semester of my education, I want to really think this through and discuss it with my mentor (or other involved teachers). I want to know what I can improve and what I’m doing well as it is. Involving students in this might also be a good idea, but that depends on the circumstances.

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: 5 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Formulate a teaching manifesto for English

As I said in the introduction, I think it’s highly likely that I will teach English for at least a part of my career. I know what I want when I study English and I generally try to understand what students want when I help them personally. Having a teaching job is something quite different though. It involves heeding regulations and being clear about where I want to lead a group of students rather than trying to help a few individuals. A manifesto which clearly states what I think is important and how I want to achieve it will force me both to think through what I think about teaching English, and how to go about it.

Perceived difficulty: 4/10
Estimated time needed: 10 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Formulate a teaching manifesto for Chinese

Same as above, but for Chinese. This will be slightly more hypothetical since there are no clear guidelines or regulations as far as I know. Still, thinking through what I want to teach and how to achieve that will be useful.

Perceived difficulty: 4/10
Estimated time needed: 10 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Write a CV and have it commented by someone knowledgeable

Actually, I’ve never written a CV in my life. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to find part-time (and full-time for one year) employment anyway. In the future, I will need to be clear about what I know and what I can do well, especially if I plan to move beyond teaching (perhaps doing something solely based on languages, either Chinese, English or both).

Perceived difficulty: 5/10
Estimated time needed: 10 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Graduate

Well, this goal is quite obvious. Regardless how much I like studying, I need to graduate. I need this because that will allow me to study more at higher levels, but I also need it because I will run out of money sooner or later (in a couple of years, just about when I graduate). Graduation in this case means graduating from the teachers’ program, hopefully with Chinese and English as my subjects. See this post for more details about my plan.

Perceived difficulty: 4/10
Estimated time needed: Silly to count
Progress so far: 0%

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This is the sixth of the posts in which I explain and motivate the items on my 101-in-1001 list. The list itself can be viewed here, where you can also find a list of all posts related to the list. If you want to follow my progress in more detail, you should check my profile page at the Day Zero Project.

Note: I’m skipping many goals here, because they have already been explained in detail. Look at this post for more details. Thus, I will only mention the goals not discussed in the previous article.

Be able to perform 15 dives with a degree of difficulty over 2.0

This goal needs some explaining because the number 2.0 is probably meaningless to most of you. Here are a few dives I can do that have difficulty 2.0 or above:

1. 1m, inward one-and-a-half somersault, tuck
2. 1m, forward two-and-a-half somersault, tuck
3. 3m, forward two-and-a-half somersault, tuck
4. 1m, back double somersault somersault, tuck
5. 3m, inward two-and-a-half somersault, tuck

There are also a couple of dives I have done, but that I don’t consider myself to be able to perform now:

1. 1m, forward double somersault
2. 10m, handstand forward one somersault
3. 3m, forward one-and-a-half somersault with one twist

This means that I have a couple of old dives to pick up, but also need to learn a few more. Learning to do a number of the above-mentioned dives in a piked position will give a few and adding twisting would also increase the number. I would say that this goal isn’t very hard, but it will take diligent practising over the next year or so.

Perceived difficulty: 4/10
Estimated time needed: ? hours
Progress so far: 35%

Walk 100 metres on my hands

This is an old goal and it’s really here mostly because I don’t want to give up. I managed somewhat more than 70 metres juts before I moved to Taiwan, but then I decided to put the project on ice for a while since the climate wasn’t very kind to physical performance. I now have no good excuse not to learn this. Sure, the goal is rather silly, but handstand endurance is quite good to have both in diving and gymnastics.

This task has been misunderstood by quite a lot of people. The problem is not balance. If never tired, I could probably walk for an hour without falling. Alas, strength is the big problem. Advancing up to 50 metres was okay, but after that it became really, really hard. Perhaps I’ll try a different method this time, but more importantly, I won’t give up.

Perceived difficulty: 8/10
Estimated time needed: ? hours
Progress so far: 35%

Be able to reach full front split and side split

Almost everything I do for fun (except perhaps studying Chinese) requires flexibility. In many cases, being flexible not only increases performance, but it also makes it more fun and decreases the risk of injury. I don’t mean to say that I’m extremely inflexible, but increasing flexibility has been a goal for some time and front split and side split seem like good goals. This is more a test of discipline than anything else.

Perceived difficulty: 7/10
Estimated time needed: ? hours
Progress so far: 0%

Sargent’s jump 80 cm

A Sargent’s jump is simply a rather crude method to measure vertical jumping height. Measure how far you can reach up a wall with one hand standing still, then jump and make a mark at the top of the trajectory. Measure the difference between these two points, this is your vertical. I currently have a vertical of 58 cm, which is without any dedicated training whatsoever. I don’t know how difficult it will be to reach 80, but it will either be hard or very hard.

Perceived difficulty: 7/10
Estimated time needed: ? hours
Progress so far: 0%

Study an anatomy handbook and learn at least 200 anatomical words

Some auxiliary knowledge about sports is always good to have. For instance, studying anatomy makes it easier to talk about training and to analyse what’s going on in a specific exercise. Studying one handbook won’t turn me into an expert, but it will probably help me understand the other tasks in this section of the list!

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: 20 hours
Progress so far: 0%

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This is the fifth of the posts in which I explain and motivate the items on my 101-in-1001 list. The list itself can be viewed here, where you can also find a list of all posts related to the list. If you want to follow my progress in more detail, you should check my profile page at the Day Zero Project.

Have a total of at least 120 academic credits in Chinese

This goal is mostly a question of bureaucracy; I need to convert the Chinese I know to the Swedish university system. 120 credits equals two years of pure Chinese, which is enough to start a master’s degree course if I want to. I plan to do this during the spring of 2011. I might have to learn some simplified characters, but I should do that anyway (see below).

Perceived difficulty: 4/10
Estimated time needed: 100 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Write 100 000 characters worth of blog entries in Chinese

I need to practice writing. Quantity is king here, even though I want to be corrected as much as possible as well. I need to get into the habit of writing more Chinese. 100 000 characters is a lot, around 100 major entries.

Perceived difficulty: 7/10
Estimated time needed: 200 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Launch HackingChinese.com and publish at least 50 articles

This is my major project to demystify learning Chinese. I think there is a lot to talk about and I think there are lots of people who are willing to listen. The project is not official yet, but as you can see if you care enough to enter the URL, the website is up and running. Comments are appreciated! At the moment, I have 16 articles, but the official launch date is still quite far away.

Perceived difficulty: 4/10
Estimated time needed: 40 hours
Progress so far: 15%

Have one month with over 5000 unique visitors to HackingChinese.com

Since I plan to write a book and to at least try to sell it, I want to build a substantial community. 5000 unique visitors is a very arbitrary number, I know, and I have no way of assessing how difficult it will be. The point is that I want to make a conscious effort to reach many people and force myself to read and understand how website communities and traffic works.

Perceived difficulty: ?/10
Estimated time needed: ? hours
Progress so far: 0%

Write a book about learning Chinese

A book is not the end result of the above-mentioned project, but it is a significant milestone. I want to summarise and present everything I’ve come to understand about learning Chinese over the past few years and present it as a book. Currently, there is a huge list of things I want to include, but when Hacknig Chinese is up and running properly, I will start working on the book.

Perceived difficulty: 8/10
Estimated time needed: 200 hours
Progress so far: 5%

Read ten university level textbooks in Chinese

My goal is to bring my Chinese to a level where I can take a master’s degree in Taiwan and survive the courses. This means I will have to get used to reading academic material, so reading ten textbooks will be an important step. I haven’t read a single book at this level before, so I expect the first one will take a lot of time.

Perceived difficulty: 8/10
Estimated time needed: 400 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Read a total of 10000 pages of Chinese (any text at any level)

This task overlaps the previous one since the both focus on reading, but 10 000 is a number which easily exceeds the pages in ten course books. In other words, I plan to read more Chinese in general, of any kind. This includes children’s books, novels and anything else I can lay my hands on.

Perceived difficulty: 8/10
Estimated time needed: 300 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Be able to listen to news broadcasts in Chinese with close to full comprehension

Listening is the area in which I need the most practice. I can understand the gist of news broadcasts now, but I need to listen a lot to increase this to the goal “close to full comprehension”. I plan to listen at home, on my way to class, when I walk, when I… well, most of the time, to be honest, although I don’t think listening when I sleep will do much good.

Perceived difficulty: 9/10
Estimated time needed: 500 hours
Progress so far: 5%

Learn the lyrics of 50 songs in Chinese

Listening to music is an interesting way of approaching a language. Not only does it involve listening to the language in question, but learning the lyrics also requires learning the words and the grammar. If the song is a good one, these grammar patterns and words will be reviewed often and with pleasure! Music is also an example of how language is used, even though it isn’t formally correct all the time.

Perceived difficulty: 4/10
Estimated time needed: 50 hours
Progress so far: 4%

Correct all the listed pronunciation mistakes in Chinese, at least when reading

It’s of course a lot harder to improve pronunciation when I live in Sweden compared to when I lived in Taiwan, but since I have a list which I think covers most of the problems I have, I think it’s still possible. Those people who are willing to help me can have a look at the list and evaluate my progress. Achieving all this for relaxed speech is of course very difficult, but the goal here is to be able to do it when reading.

Perceived difficulty: 8/10
Estimated time needed: 50 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Record one hour of Chinese to study my pronunciation

This is in line with the previous task, but the approach is somewhat different. Analysing my own speech has proved to be useful before and I don’t see why it shouldn’t again. I will try to do this both for reading and for speaking, but as is the case above, I strive towards attaining perfection for reading first. Then, that pronunciation can be transferred to spontaneous speech.

Perceived difficulty: 4/10
Estimated time needed: 3 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Learn at least 5000 new words and/or characters

I’ve said it before and I will say it again: vocabulary is king. I currently have 11 669 words in my database, so I plan to have around 17 000 towards the end of this period (hopefully more). I feel that the need for quantity is decreasing all the time, otherwise this goal would be more ambitious.

Perceived difficulty: 5/10
Estimated time needed: 500 hours
Progress so far: 8%

Learn to recognise all simplified Chinese characters

There are roughly 2000 simplified characters, but a huge majority of them (around 1750) are based on a systematic simplification of parts of characters which are generalised to other characters as well. I don’t know how difficult this will be, but my working hypothesis is that it won’t be too hard. I want to learn this because this is what I’m going to teach in the future. Note that I mean recognition here, I don’t plan to be able to write all these characters yet, that will have to come gradually.

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: 50 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Keep review queues in Anki at zero

Time-wise, this task overlaps the vocabulary task above, because I use Anki to learn new words. However, this item includes other languages, not only Chinese, even I think it unlikely that I will learn more than a few thousand words in any other language during this time. Also, in the time estimate here, entering the words isn’t included. On the other hand, I have around 15 000 words in Anki already! I spend roughly 30 minutes per day reviewing vocabulary, so the total time might exceed 600 hours.

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: 600 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Offer my help to all arriving Taiwanese exchange students

During my stay in Taiwan, I’ve had so many people who’ve helped me with thing that would have crushed me if I’d been forced to handle them on my own. Therefore, at the start of each academic year, I want to offer my help to all arriving Taiwanese exchange students. I’ve already done so this year, but so far, few people have actually used the help I’m offering. I plan to be more available in the future and be clearer about my ambition to help them as much as I can.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 20 hours
Progress so far: 20%

Record one issue of the Economist to study English pronunciation

My pronunciation in English is quite good at the moment, but there is always room for improvement. There are several people who record the audio edition of the Economist who speak what I deem to be perfect English. I intend to record articles equalling one issue of the magazine and analyse my own pronunciation as compared with that of the professional readers.

Perceived difficulty: 4/10
Estimated time needed: 25 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Study one solid English grammar book

Obviously, I know how to use English grammar, but that doesn’t mean I can explain to other people how to improve or why a certain sentence is better than what they’ve written. Studying grammar to learn how to teach English is of course a natural part of becoming a teacher, but I want to focus more on it. Studying (and learning) the contents of one solid grammar book should be a big step in that direction.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 25 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Learn all the words in the TOEFL words in my electronic dictionary

Improving my formal English is always a priority, so going through the suggested vocabulary for the TOEFL test on my electronic dictionary is a good idea. It’s also convenient because I have the words already prepared for me. I estimate that there are around 2500 words in this list that I need to study, either because I don’t know what they mean or because I’m not sure how to use them.

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: 100 hours
Progress so far: 10%

Learn full IPA for standardised Chinese, English and Swedish

The more languages I study and the more advanced my level becomes in these languages, I realise that learning phonetics properly is really important. I do think it’s a waste of time for beginner or intermediate students, but I don’t consider myself to be at that lever for any of the three languages I’m currently using or studying (Chinese, English, Swedish). This goal is as much about learning phonetics in general as learning the phonetic symbols, but since they go hand in hand, I think a wording like this works well.

Perceived difficulty: 5/10
Estimated time needed: 60 hours
Progress so far: 0%

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This is the third of the posts in which I explain and motivate the items on my 101-in-1001 list. The list itself can be viewed here, where you can also find a list of all posts related to the list. If you want to follow my progress in more detail, you should check my profile page at the Day Zero Project.

Attend two first-aid courses

On my old 101-in-1001 list, I had “attend a first-aid course”, simply because first aid is something everybody should know and I didn’t feel that I knew enough at that time. A few years have passed and I feel that whatever knowledge and experience I gained from the first course is starting to fade, so therefore I intend to attend a second first-aid course, probably one arranged by the Red Cross (same as last time). I plan to remember things this time, so going twice seems better than going once.

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: 15 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Donate blood 5 times

Donating blood is something that doesn’t cost me more than fifteen minutes now and then, but can help other people immensely. Also, I receive the additional benefit of having a health examination for free. Since I’ve lived abroad for a long time, I’m not allowed to donate blood until Christmas, but after that I plan to donate as often as I can. My goal is to go more than five times, but since I want to allow for periods of strenuous physical exercise, I’ve kept the number low.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 2 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Refresh my driving skills 3 times

This item is placed in this category somewhat arbitrarily, but even though I can’t have a real driver’s license, I still think it’s a good idea to be able to drive a car in case of emergencies. It’s also fun!

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 6 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Praise 10 strangers in person for something they have done well

Most people only think positive things about other people, especially strangers, we seldom say aloud when we think someone has done something great. I want to change that a little bit. I don’t know exactly what situations will arise, but I’ll be sure to tell you more about them when they do.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 1 minute
Progress so far: 0%

Go to a party where I know less than 10% of the people

This task is both about personal development and social situation. I think that it would be useful to be be able to thrive in situation where I know few people, as opposed to where I know almost everybody, which is the norm around here. Also, getting to know more people is a goal in itself, at least in the situation I’m in at the moment.

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: 2 hours
Progress so far: 100%

Take a dancing class (minimum ten times)

I have my own ideas about what kind of person I want to be, and being able to feel comfortable in most situations is definitely on the list of characteristics to strive for. Dancing is something I’ve never been good at, probably because I’m too self conscious and thus haven’t had lots of practice. Taking classes of some kind will at least give me the chance to appreciate it!

Perceived difficulty: 5/10
Estimated time needed: 20 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Focus on talking clearly and evaluate progress five times

Speaking slowly is not a virtue, but not being able to when required to is a sin. This is true in any language, but for me it’s relevant in Swedish and Chinese. English is not a problem, because I’m used to teaching English or speaking English with non-native speakers. This goal was very hard to define and the wording here is far from perfect. I do hope, however, that it will enable me to speak more slowly.

Perceived difficulty: 4/10
Estimated time needed: 2 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Perform ten random acts of kindness

A random act of kindness is something one does for someone else without any other aim than to make them happier. What I envisage here aren’t really random acts, because I want to plan them, but I want them to be anonymous and selfless. I probably won’t write about the acts themselves, since that would defy the aim of making them selfless (I gain credit because you, the reader of this website, like me more because I do nice things to other people).

Perceived difficulty: 4/10
Estimated time needed: 5 hours
Progress so far: 0%

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This is the third of the posts in which I explain and motivate the items on my 101-in-1001 list. The list itself can be viewed here, where you can also find a list of all posts related to the list. If you want to follow my progress in more detail, you should check my profile page at the Day Zero Project.

Cook 25 new vegetarian dishes

Even though I’m not a hardcore vegetarian, I’m going to cut down meat consumption to almost nothing (not including milk, eggs and fish). I’ve been a vegetarian for a couple of years before I left Sweden for Taiwan, so I know how to cook enough to survive and thrive, but I want to have this item on my list to expand my horizons a bit. New dishes here means finding a recipe and following it reasonably closely at least once.

Perceived difficulty: 1/10
Estimated time needed: 15 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Analyse what I eat three times, one week each time

This is something I’ve done before. It’s not only useful because I gain insights into what I eat, but I also learn a lot that lasts beyond the week I’m counting. I look things up, I measure things, I pay attention. Doing this three times, one week each time, spread out over the 1001 days will hopefully prove even more useful.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 5 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Use dental floss every day for a month

This is about creating a habit. Some dentist say flossing is as important as brushing my teeth, but still I hardly ever do the former. I have strong teeth, but it doesn’t hurt taking good care of them.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 1 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Learn to sleep comfortably on my back

I actually succeeded with this goal on my former list, but I’ve forgotten how to do it. The thing is that I can’t sleep on my back, or at least it takes me an hour to fall asleep that way compared with the one minute I usually need. Sleeping on my back is useful because sometimes sleep conditions make it the best choice, but it’s also better for my back than sleeping on my stomach.

Perceived difficulty: 5/10
Estimated time needed: ?
Progress so far: 0%

Make sure I have enough plants to be satisfied

I love having plants of all kinds where I live, but during the last two years in Taiwan, I’ve felt that it’s pointless to buy anything since I’ve been moving around so much. Now that I’m back in Sweden again, I’m going to make sure that I have what I neeed to be happy. It doesn’t cost much compared to how much I like it. I’m moving to a new apartment this Saturday, so the quest for potted plants should start soon afterwards!

Perceived difficulty: 1/10
Estimated time needed: 1 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Buy something from Hans-Werner Sahm

Hans-Werner Sahm (click for a picture search on Google) is one of my favourite artists and has been for quite a while. I haven’t decided what to buy (it might be anything from lots of postcards to full-size prints), but I am going to buy something.

Perceived difficulty: 1/10
Estimated time needed: 1 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Distill memories from Taiwan into something that can be put on a wall

I have so many memories from my two years in Taiwan that it will never be possible to express them all in some form. However, I do want to create something which can remind me of all the good things I experienced there and I want to be able to put it on the wall. It will probably be a collection of photos arranged in some cool way, probably similar to what I’ve done before, but with a more careful selection of photos.

Perceived difficulty: 1/10
Estimated time needed: 4 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Study three books about sleeping

We spend quite a big part of our lives sleeping and even though I think I’ve taken more care to research the subject than most people who aren’t doctors or psychologists, I still think I know far too little. I’m going to change that. I’m mostly interested in normal sleep here, but dreaming might also be on the menu. However, I’m planning to read scientific material, not dream reading or anything like that!

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 30 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Monitor everything I buy for one month

I’m by nature rather thrifty, but I don think there is a point in breaking down various everyday habits to see how they work and what they really contain. I don’t really know what I hope to find here, but I suspect that perhaps I have some misguided conceptions about my consumption patterns. A month should be enough, although longer might be preferable.

Perceived difficulty: 1/10
Estimated time needed: 2 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Don’t accept second best solutions in my apartment because I’m lazy

This is serious! I’m tired of being content with second rate solutions when it comes to living. If I have the option of spending five minutes extra to tuck that cable away neatly or fix some quirk in the lighting, I’m by Zarquon going to do it. This starts when I move this Saturday and last until the end of time.

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: 1001 days
Progress so far: 0%

Get an ID card

At the moment, I’m using my passport whenever I need to prove who I am and that’s not good. The passport lasts for many years and can be declared invalid if it’s worn-out, it’s big and it’s more expensive. I do of course need a passport as well, but getting an ID card to use in all cases except travelling would make some things a lot easier.

Perceived difficulty: 1/10
Estimated time needed: 1 hour
Progress so far: 0%

Update and upgrade my medical equipment

A couple of years ago, I made sure that I had medical equipment to cover first-aid situations, but also necessary things to survive for a while in more long-drawn scenarios. Since I haven’t even been in the country for a couple of years, I definitely need to go through and check what I have. Consulting a few doctors and useful websites will probably do the trick.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 5 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Don’t eat meat I’ve bought myself more than once a week

Could I just have stated “don’t eat meat” or something like that? Well, perhaps I should have, but I hate imposing my lifestyle on other people, regardless of whether I think it’s superior or not. I don’t want to be the guy people feel embarrassed to invite because they know they can’t cook something nice that has not dead animals in it. I’m also going to buy meat myself now and then, usually in restaurants if the vegetarian alternatives are too few, but it will probably be a lot less than once a week. I do this mostly for environmental reasons; eating lots of meat simply isn’t going to save the planet.

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: 1001 days
Progress so far: 0%

Explore, research and evaluate the electronic book reader market

I’m convinced that electronic books have to supplant printed books, it’s just a matter of time. Perhaps the time has already come, but the problem is that I’ve been too lazy to learn enough to know that. I plan to change that by exploring, researching and evaluating the available options. My goal is of course to find an e-reading solution I like, but that would be too lofty a goal.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 4 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Follow my no-new-books manifesto

This can be summarised as “don’t buy new books if it can’t be helped or if I really have to”. I’ve explained it in more detail here.

Perceived difficulty: 4/10
Estimated time needed: 1001 days
Progress so far: 0%

Have an economic buffer after 1001 days of at least 100 000 SEK (can be borrowed)

This might look like a weird goal. Everybody can borrow money if they really want to. Why not formulate a goal that says I should have no debts and have a certain amount of money on my bank account? Because that would be stupid. If I continue like I do now, I will be broke around the same time I graduate, provided that I don’t work a lot. This means no debts and no money and that’s a bad situation which gives me very little room to manoeuvre. My goal is to have around 100 000 SEK (above 10 000 euro) when I graduate, but if need be, I’ll borrow the money using the generous student loans. Of course, I do not intend to spend the money until after I graduate. Another option would be to work a lot, but that comes with other disadvantages. Time will tell.

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: ?
Progress so far: 0%

Re-examine the need for reading glasses

Silly wording, perhaps, because anyone that has seen me reading knows that I need glasses. The problem is that they don’t help very much, because the problems with my eyes are rather complicated. However, I think that reading glasses might help just a tiny bit, perhaps 5% or so and I should explore that further. 5% might mean that I can read Chinese more easily, for instance.

Perceived difficulty: 1/10
Estimated time needed: 2 hours
Progress so far: 0%

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This is the second of the posts in which I explain and motivate the items on my 101-in-1001 list. The list itself can be viewed here, where you can also find a list of all posts related to the list. If you want to follow my progress in more detail, you should check my profile page at the Day Zero Project.

Learn to average blindfolded cubing below 10 minutes and over 90% accuracy

I had at least one goal relating to Rubik’s cube on the previous list, but I never realised that it would be something I kept developing. It’s a hobby of mine that comes and goes; sometimes I spend many hours a day, only to leave it untouched for months. Lately, I’ve grown less interested in speedcubing and more interested in blindfolded cubing (BLD), simply because there are so many cool things related to memory involved. I can currently solve the cube blindfolded about 50% of the time and around 12 minutes or so, including memorising the scramble.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 10 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Learn to solve three cubes blindfolded

Multi BLD is something I have never tried, but I want to check how difficult it is. The world record is something like 15 cubes memorised in sequence and then solved in one go, but that’s quite bizarre. I think solving three should be okay, but it will require of me to create some cool mnemonic systems to separate the cubes from each other. It will also require accuracy, but that comes with the goal above as well.

Perceived difficulty: 8/10
Estimated time needed: 10 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Solve the 5x5x5 cube without any help

Solving new kind of cube-like puzzles is quite fun, but it takes some time. I’ve solved most of the common puzzles up to the 4x4x4, but I haven’t tried the 5x5x5 yet. Admittedly, I cheated with the parity error on the 4x4x4, but I’m not going to do any cheating this time. However, I think this will be easier than the 4x4x4, so I should be okay.

Perceived difficulty: 5/10
Estimated time needed: 5 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Send a photo of myself to strangers and ask them to describe what kind of person I am

I think most people are curious about what other people think about them before they get to know each other. This is one way of finding that out. I intend to take a photo of the way I typically look and send it to people and tell them to describe what kind of person they think is on the picture. I’ve done this with shoes before and that was amazingly accurate, so I expect a photo of an entire person will be a lot more interesting. Using other people as mirrors is one way of getting to know oneself better!

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 2 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Spend one day blindfolded

What’s it like being blind? Well, being blindfolded one day probably won’t answer that question, but I think it might be interesting anyway. I’m not after finding out how annoying everyday life will be, so I’m going to pick a Saturday or Sunday when I can take it easy and when I don’t have to go anywhere. I don’t really know what to expect from this, but I hope it will give me something.

Perceived difficulty: 1/10
Estimated time needed: 24 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Use my left hand instead of my right for one week

I’m not sure how much trust should be put in people who say that using both sides of the brain makes us smarter, but it certainly doesn’t hurt trying. The major reason for wanting to try this is to be more versatile, because, quite frankly, sometimes it’s useful to be able to use both hands I think that a single week will help a lot.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 1 week
Progress so far: 0%

Spend three days with no contact with civilisation

I had a week on my previous list, but ended up spending only five days in the wilderness. I think one week is too long, but the experience was very valuable in itself and I want to do it again. Three days seems more reasonable, but I might end up doing it more than once.

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: 3 days
Progress so far: 0%

Participate in three competitions of any kind

It might come as a surprise to some of you, but I generally don’t like competitions. I’m very good at competing against myself and challenging things I’ve accomplished before, but pitting myself against others in competitions is never something I’ve enjoyed. However, I do think that competitions offer a special kind of opportunity to learn, so I want to try it out. I have one diving competition in mind, but the other two might be anything from boardgames to more diving.

Perceived difficulty: 4/10
Estimated time needed: ?
Progress so far: 5%

Collect images, quotes or scraps and put them on display

I like having clever, beautiful and funny things around me (I think I need a girlfriend), and collecting lots of cool quotes, pictures and various other things to put on the wall is a nice way of doing this. I have around 50 or so now, but they need to be rearranged and reassembled, because some of them didn’t make it to Taiwan and back.

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: 5 hours
Progress so far: 40%

Get some informative and fancy business cards

The only reason I don’t have some kind of business card is that I’m lazy. I mean, how difficult is to to order something basic but which still looks okay? Sometimes it’s very, very practical to have contact information in that form!

Perceived difficulty: 1/10
Estimated time needed: 2 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Buy five new board or card games

I’m not only lazy, I’m stingy as well, even when it comes to things I like doing. Board and card games are nice, but I still only own a handful I really like. During these 1001 days, I want to increase the collection with at least five new games.

Perceived difficulty: 1/10
Estimated time needed: 1 hour
Progress so far: 0%

Watch the top 100 movies on IMDB

This is also residue from the previous list. I want to watch these movies not necessarily because they are great (although many of them are), but because it grants me access to social contexts that would otherwise have been closed. I’m close to illiterate when it comes to actors and only a little bit better at movies. Feeling excluded every time people talk about films isn’t my idea of having fun. I think I have seen around 40 of them already.

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: 120 hours
Progress so far: 40%

Watch 5 movies from each continent

Diversity! I don’t want to be the kind of guy who only knows about Hollywood. Asia is not a problem, but what about Africa and South America? If you have any suggestions, let me know! I will include movies I’ve seen recently into this goal, so I don’t intend to watch five new movies from Europe, Asia and North America.

Perceived difficulty: 1/10
Estimated time needed: 10 hours
Progress so far: 50%

Compile a “best of Snigel” CD and trade it with 10 others for their favourite music

This is a great idea I didn’t really finish last time. The concept is simple: collect songs enough to fill a normal audio CD and trade it with ten friends for their favourite music. That way, I will get around 200 new songs to listen to, songs that someone I know and/or care about think is the best that’s ever been produced. This also gives me opportunities to find new bands I like and broaden my horizons a bit.

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 2 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Find ten new bands I really like

Similar to the goal above, this is about broadening my horizons. I tend to listen to the same couple of thousand songs all the time. I like this, but I would also like to be more flexible and like more kinds of music. I’m convinced that liking music is mostly about habit, so forcing myself to find bands I like will probably work!

Perceived difficulty: 1/10
Estimated time needed: 5 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Tags: , , ,

This is the first of the posts in which I explain and motivate the items on my 101-in-1001 list. The list itself can be viewed here, where you can also find a list of all posts related to the list. If you want to follow my progress in more detail, you should check my profile page at the Day Zero Project.

Publish my role-playing game Magneter och mirakel

It shouldn’t take five years to write a role-playing game, even if you rewrite the text from scratch twice and the final result is almost one million characters. It’s time to publish this game and it’s time to do it pretty soon. Read more here about my biggest writing project so far. I plan to publish Magneter och mirakel early next year, hopefully before the end of March so it’s ready for the annual gaming convention in Gothenburg on Easter. Note that the game is already written and this goal is about having it published. The game itself took thousands of hours to write.

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: 20 hours
Progress so far: 10%

Publish the story-telling game Nostalgia

This is perhaps the best gaming concept I’ve ever been involved in, but Martin and I didn’t make the most of the concept’s potential when we published Nostalgi in Swedish many years ago. This is the new edition, re-written from scratch and in English. I’m writing it mostly on my own and this time the full potential of the concept will be realised in the final product. Read more about Nostalgia here. In the best of worlds, Nostalgia will also be published in early 2011.

Perceived difficulty: 6/10
Estimated time needed: 50 hours
Progress so far: 25%

Publish yet another Kaleidoskop game

Writing role-playing games is one of the things I like doing most, and if it weren’t for the problem of illustrations and all the practical problems involved in publishing, I would write a lot more. Still, I have the ambition to publish at least one major game during the relevant time period. It might not be something I write entirely on my own, but I don’t mean small contributions to other Kaleidoskop games.

Perceived difficulty: ?/10
Estimated time needed: 50 hours
Progress so far: 0%

Contribute 20 articles to Haragada

This is also a game based on a cool concept (albeit not as cool as Nostalgia and rather more focused on setting). It’s a collaborative project and a revision of an earlier game with the same name, although there will be few similarities between the two editions (the next version might be more than ten times longer, for instance). I don’t plan to be heavily involved in high-level work on this project, but I will do my bit and contribute at least 20 articles in various lengths.

Perceived difficulty: 3/10
Estimated time needed: 20 hours
Progress so far: 35%

Complete my current novel

As is the case with Magneter och mirakel above, it simply isn’t okay that it should take many, many years to write a novel, especially when the reason that it hasn’t been completed yet is that I’m lazy, not that I’m a perfectionist who takes too much time on details. Read more about the novel here. I have finished the first part out of four and the planning for the two coming parts is mostly completed.

Perceived difficulty: 9/10
Estimated time needed: 100 hours
Progress so far: 20%

Write another novel (about Taiwan)

This will be a novel based on my experiences living in Taiwan. It will be some kind of pseudo autobiography, meaning that it’s about me but will not be an account of my stay in Taiwan. This project is just a collection of ideas, but I definitely want to write something about my two years in Taiwan.

Perceived difficulty: 9/10
Estimated time needed: 200 hours
Progress so far: 2%

Write ten short stories

Writing short stories is partly a preparation for novel writing, but it’s also part of it. For instance, I plan to write a short story collection which deals with the same issues as the first novel mentioned above. It will be directly related to that project and apart from experimenting with style, I want to explore the setting more.

Perceived difficulty: 6/10
Estimated time needed: 20 hours
Progress so far: 10%

Write an article about the snel hest meme

Yes, I like horses. No, not real horses, I like the abstract concept of a horse. This is extremely hard to explain to other people, even Swedish people who know what snel hest is, because this is more than just a silly mathematical equation. I’ve tried to explain this in Swedish, English and Chinese, but I still haven’t written anything about this idiosyncrasy of mine. Let’s change that!

Perceived difficulty: 2/10
Estimated time needed: 2 hours
Progress so far: 0%

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