Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I've never been very big on 'journaling' in the traditional sense. I don't have a leather bound, a hardback, or any other form of journal that I update on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Growing up I always heard about the importance of journaling for posterity. Write your feelings, your thoughts, what's going on in life. Writing takes too long. This blog, of course, is a form of journal for me, but still not in the traditional sense. But at least it's something.

Over time I've warmed to the idea of keeping track of things but still can't behind writing. I still haven't found the motivation to write down the traditional type topics. What has happened is an odd collection of journals. It all began last year when I decided I wanted to keep track of my bike commuting miles. I created an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of various things. Then it progressed to a list of all the books I had read for the year (the rule being that the book is counted in the month it is finished). And it culminated with a 'body' journal. This one is my favorite. The idea came entirely from my friend Craig. The premise is that anytime you do something to your body that causes pain and discomfort for more than a couple days, it get's put in the journal. It's fantastic because I'll never be able to remember this stuff, but when I read about it again it brings back fond memories. Of course many of the entries could be embarrassing.

So without further adieu here's a recap of 2009:

Bike Commuting Highlights

  • Logged 206 days in the saddle

  • Covered 1,799 miles

  • Burned approximately 63,210 calories commuting

  • Drove the car 3 days

  • Rode the bus 7 days

  • Put in 20 days riding recreationally (mostly mountain biking)

  • Logged 128 miles (thank you short Glenwild loops at lunch

  • Burned 4,480 calories

  • In total has 226 riding days, 1,927 miles, and 67,690 calories burned

Here's the list of books I read in 2009, by month:

  • A Rumor of War

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid

  • Urban Homestead

  • Glorious Cause

  • Rise to Rebellion

  • Grace

  • Fablehaven

  • Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage for Fruits and Vegetables

  • The Art & Science of Dumpster Diving

  • The Last Lecture

  • Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star

  • Complete Guide to Container Gardening

  • Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague

  • The Collectors

  • Trial by Fury

  • Hot Money

  • The Urban Homestead

  • Stone Cold

  • The Backyard Homestead

  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

  • Homemade Root Beer, Soda & Pop

  • Taking the Fifth

  • Free-Range Kids: Giving our children the freedome we had without going nuts with worry

  • Revenge of the Whale: The True Story of the Whaleship Essex

  • Fablehaven 4: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary

  • The Backyard Homestead

  • Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

  • Jesus the Christ

  • Divine Justice

  • Born to Run

  • Between a Rock and a Hard Place - Aron Ralston

  • Influence: Science and Practice (5th Edition)

  • Believing Christ

  • Into the Wild

  • Deal Breaker

  • Enchantment

  • Monkey Wrench Gang

The Body Journal

This I didn't start until partway through the summer. My self-injury rate dropped dramatically once I started school because I don't have time to do anything else.

Click to see a larger image:

I'll keep these going during 2010 and will possibly add some others.

How about you? You keep any nontraditional journals?


Jessica said...

I especially like that a "simple math mistake" made it onto your chart. You got hurt doing math, lol.

Jessica said...

no, but I did read the Last Lecture. Very inspirational. How was Free-Range Kids? I am trying to read one parenting book a month this year.

Eric Miller said...

Jessica-I am glad I provide amusement for you, hehe.

Other Jessica-Free-Range kids was really good. The author dispels a lot common myths about 'dangers' our kids face. I liked it because it falls in line with a lot of my beliefs about raising kids. Parents are way too paranoid nowadays and the author has some compelling arguments and data to back herself up. I recommend it. It's a nice, fresh perspective from everything we've seen and read about lately.