It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. 2011 is now just a memory.

Although it is now just a memory, 2011 was a good memory. So many wonderful moments shared with wonderful people.

I find it is important (and accurate) to view each day as a gift. You don’t know how much longer you have left in this incredible thing we call life. And so as another year comes and goes, I find it helpful to think about how I can use the limited time I have. What goals can I set for the coming year?

A couple weeks ago I got introduced to a fantastic app called Day One, thanks to Episode 10 of the Ihnatko Almnanac. It’s a beautiful journal / diary application that is designed to make writing in it incredibly easy. If there is one killer feature that a journalling app should have, effortless entry has gotta be it, and Day One has nailed this.

I must confess that prior to imbibing episode 10 of the Ihnatko Almnanac, the idea of keeping a journal was not even on my radar. However, the episode got me to start thinking about it and the more I thought about it, the more intrigued I became.

As a software developer I work pretty much all day with a computer. During this time I’ll be engaged in various tasks such as writing code, debugging, testing, database design and problem solving. The natural inclination for me is to do all these tasks on the computer. There are so many great software tools available that it’s easy to find something that works for the current task and thus do it all on the screen.

As much as I love working on my computer, I’ve been discovering the power in using a different medium: a piece of paper and a pen (or pencil). There is something about using a pen and actually moving your hand that seems to help me when I’m working through a tough problem. I find it helps tap into the more creative “R-mode” thinking processes.

Octopress is a fantastic blogging platform and as I documented in a recent post, converting this site from Wordpress to Octopress was a smashing success. However, I did run into a minor hitch and thought it might be helpful to document the fix.

Today I started work on migrating another website over to Octopress and I ran into a problem with rake. Interestingly enough, I encountered this problem previously but didn’t document the solution. Since this is my second time seeing this error, I thought it might be helpful to document both the error and how I resolved it.

One of my favourite things about this time of year is the yearly traditions that we’ve begun to establish in our family. One of those traditions is going to the Bright Nights in Stanley Park event. When you combine trains and Christmas lights, it’s a pretty unbeatable duo, especially in the minds of my two young sons who are pretty big on both of these things.

Put on by the Vancouver Park Board and the British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, this is an essential Christmas event for families in the greater-Vancouver area. Not only do you have a good time by going, you also help support a great cause, the Burn Fund, which helps burn survivors and their families.

As I outlined in a recent post, I switched this site from Wordpress to the excellent Octopress blogging framework. I couldn’t be happier with the switch and I’m not surprised that others feel the same. There were several blog posts that were helpful in convincing me to move to Octopress and also in helping ease the transition. I would like to commend some of these articles to you now, especially if you are considering Octopress for your blog.

"Code Cards"

Who doesn’t love handmade letterpress cards? I sure do, and what a pleasure surprise it was to find some custom made letterpress cards for geeks!

My uncle, who is also a fellow geek, sent me a link to Code Cards about two weeks ago and after a quick browse through the site, I placed my order. I got the Egg Nog Arrays cards which includes a set of 4 cards & envelopes, with the cards written in Python, Ruby, PHP and JavaScript.