Aaron Brethorst

Round peg in a square hole, rabid generalist.

Body Integration

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December 12 – Body Integration

This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?

Whenever I exercise, which I probably don’t do as much as I should. Next question!


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December 14 – Appreciate

What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

People I can actually rely upon. I express my gratitude by telling them in plain English, “thank you for being a good, reliable friend.”


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December 13 – Action

When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?

Well, this is a dumb question. ‘Execution is what counts; what are you going to do?’ Well, uh yeah. Duh. Virtually every day is about execution for me. Walk the walk/talk the talk, etc. I’m going to keep doing exactly what I’ve been doing since I mapped out my personal mission statement back in September (no, I won’t tell you what it is…at least not in print).

5 Minutes

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December 15 – 5 Minutes

Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.

It’s not a thing, per se, but I never want to forget to trust my instincts with people and situations.

11 Things

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December 11 – 11 Things

What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

  1. Unnecessary stress
  2. Unhelpful people
  3. Overextending myself
  4. Forgetting to eat or drink enough water
  5. A lack of travel
  6. Unnecessary expenses
  7. Not getting enough exercise

There, that’s seven. How will I eliminate them? I doubt I’ll be able to eliminate all of them, but I can at least be cognizant and do my best to change my behavior of one or two at a time until I internalize them.


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December 10 – Wisdom

Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

Well, that’s an easy one: giving up on the startup I’d put my heart and soul into for two years because it was never going to make it, and instead focusing on being a contractor, consultant and independent software developer. My business has absolutely exploded, and I can barely keep up with it.

To put it another way: the wisest decision I made all year was to trust my instincts, regardless of what sort of grievances, complaints or thinly veiled threats I was hearing from other quarters.

Positive Comments on Every Programming Language I’ve Ever Learned

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  • C - So raw, so powerful, so easy to shoot yourself in foot.
  • Scheme - It may have taken me a month and a half to grok Scheme, but the moment that I finally did, angels sang and the heavens opened up to me.
  • Java - My introduction to OOP could have been significantly more painful had it been conducted in C++.
  • Objective C - It’s enabled me to create many lovely apps for two different platforms, and is also responsible for the bulk of my income today.
  • VDM-SL - A fantastically bizarre modeling language with built-in pre and post-conditions. The Professor from whom I learned this language was also responsible for instilling a deep fear of Airbus planes in me for a long time (as it works out, he was on Boeing’s dole), and also for imprinting this idiom deep into my brain: if (0 == someFunctionCall) { /* Apparently people call these ”Yoda Conditions” */ }
  • Tcl - Uhh, I managed to survive the assignments that required me to use it in college. I found Tk to be a rather novel UI toolkit.
  • Ruby - Beautiful, terse, and phenomenally expressive.
  • Javascript - What was once one of my least favorite programming languages has become one of my most favorite…as long as I have handy abstractions bolted on top, at least.
  • C# - It’s like Java, but without the suck. And the IDE…Oh, the IDE.
  • VB.NET - I guess that “My” namespace thing is cool.
  • PHP - In all seriousness, PHP is a bloated, ugly inconsistent, icky language, but it’s incredibly easy to use, and the only way to interact with Wordpress.

(based on a post from darevay.com)


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December 9 – Party  Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

This is sort of sad to say, but I don’t really remember going to any parties that really knocked my socks off this year: NYE was technically in 2009. I missed my 10 year high school reunion because of inclement weather and a general sense of apathy. I didn’t go to any conferences this year.

Huh, I guess I’m just boring. And, to top it off, I don’t have any plans for NYE 2010/2011 yet, either. I’m sure Naomi and I will sort something out for that, ultimately.


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December 7 – Community

Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

That’s an easy one: Office Nomads! I decided to check out Capitol Hill’s coworking space in September after running into their cofounder, Jacob, at a bar where I chatted with him for an hour about the experience of working in such a space instead of a cafe. I showed up the next day and plunked down my credit card after only a couple hours of blissful, productive work.

I had spent the past twelve months working in cafes, primarily 15th Ave Coffee and Tea, and was tired of the environment, the noise, the uncomfortable seating arrangements, the less than ideal wifi, and everything else about it. I was overdue for a change, and I’m relieved I made it, because being in the company of like-minded, diligently-working people for 6-8 hours a day has made me significantly happier and more productive than I was just three months ago.

In 2011? I’d love to become further plugged in to Seattle’s startup community. I’ve gotten a lot of exposure to it over the past year, but there is always plenty of room to grow.