January 1st, 2005

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[voice="Ted Baxter"]The Year in Review![voice="normal"]

Many people seem to be posting "2004 in review" messages, so I will, too.

Big change: I got non-contract employment in February! I've spent the year doing something that hits kind of close to home: implementing EIA 708-B, the standard for closed captioning for ATSC (the flavor of digital TV used in the US). It's been educational... the first serious programming I've done in quite a while... and a bit reminiscent of the Terry Gilliam cartoon about the history of flight where the king orders the best minds of his realm together to solve the problem of flight—by bringing them to the top of a cliff and ordering them, one by one, "FLY!" and then kicking them off.

Concentio Agnorum now has its first CD out. It's a short one, but it's a start. CA's deficiencies are in repertoire and polyphonicity (a duo playing monophonic instruments just can't get very far in that respect, unless they're Rahsaan Roland Kirk clones, and we're definitely not!), and we plan to work on those this year. (Actually, there are one-handed recorders, so in theory, aside from articulation issues, we could do quartets... but they're kind of expensive.)

I bit the bullet and have actually put two heatsinks on CPUs this year. In canonical "beginner's luck" style, the first one went beautifully. The second had a scary moment, but came out fine in the end. As a result, my sister now has a much speedier computer than before, and I'm trying very hard to get her seriously into it. More on that in a separate entry.

Aside from that, the big (to us as individuals) events of the year have had more effect on irpooh than on me, and I think she's already written about them.
  • Current Music
    "Auld Lang Syne," Wild Mountain Thyme
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Portrait of the Artist as a Middle-Aged Fogey

This New Year's Eve I spent with friends from the SCA Barony I am part of. I'm not a big one for parties, but you can't beat the company (except by adding some folks who were not near at the time). The site was nice, too... a building with a kitchen, a room for dining etc., and two large rooms divided into three sections, each with bunk beds so that we could stay late and avoid the bozos that are, alas, on the road that night of each year.

Kyou no tema... sorry, I'm watching Iron Chef... the theme was pirates, though costume was optional. The costumes that people were wearing were pretty darned impressive. We decided against costume; someone else had mentioned the idea we were going to try. (Sigh...)

Unfortunately, I have a hard time staying up late. I faded out around 10:00 p.m. and went to my bunk to nap. irpooh woke me about ten minutes before midnight, and we saw the new year in. (If only people hadn't jumped the gun with the noisemakers...)

His Excellency finally kept a promise he'd made some time back: if Her Excellency would play three songs on recorder, he would take up his fiddle once again after having not played for quite a while. He comported himself quite well indeed for such a delay.

After that, I packed it in for the night. I heard the strains of "Hotspur" as I faded into sleep...

...and awoke a little bit before 7:00 a.m. His Excellency had already left; he had to work. I, like most of the people, had evidently missed out on the, um, predawn excitement, involving a Mexican who claimed to have been walking from Boone to Des Moines, the site manager, the police, and a phone call to Elvis.

We had collectively brought breakfast material, and I actually cooked for the first time in more years than I really want to think about, making my own pancakes. After a while, irpooh and I crashed again and awoke somewhere around noon, in time to help some with cleanup and get on our very cautious way over roads covered with freezing rain. Fortunately, the roads improved thanks to sand and other treatment as we got to more major thoroughfares.
  • Current Music
    "The Old Year Now Away is Fled" (to the tune of "Greensleeves")