Dec 30 2008

Woot: 101st Post!

I didn’t realize my earlier post today was my 100th, so I’ll have to celebrate this one, the 101st.  (Or I could go back and delete one of the lamer ones….nah, too much trouble.)  I suppose that makes this as good a place as any for some thoughts about the past year and the coming one.

My main impression of the past year is that it flew by in a hurry.  I guess that’ll happen, when you move and get married and get busier at work all in one year.  Then there was the work at St. Rose, which I didn’t spend all that much time at, but when you go from zero hours of volunteering to some hours, it’s a change.  By most people’s social standards, I probably haven’t been that busy; but compared to my usual pace, this year has almost been hectic.

I’ll also remember this as the year of cluelessness about economics.  Gas prices went over $4, and people claimed we had hit Peak Oil and prices would never come down again.  Um, it’s $1.59 today.  Did we find a big ocean full of oil no one knew about?  No, it just turns out oil is a commodity, which means the price of it depends less on actual supply and demand than it does on perceptions in the commodities market.  The same thing was true of grain prices, which rose for the first time in decades and had people preaching doom about food shortages, despite the fact that the US government continues to pay farmers not to farm over 34 million acres of ground.   Another doozy:  The Clinton and Bush administrations decided to push lenders to give low-interest and no-money-down mortgages to high-risk applicants who would have been turned down by sensible standards in the past.  When many of those people predictably failed to keep up their payments and the home lending system crashed, experts decided this was the fault of deregulation twenty years ago.  Hmm…

Oh well, enough of the dumb stuff that happened.  On to some good stuff…

This was the year that the local food movement seemed to really gain traction in this area, getting regular mentions in the newspaper and attention from the grocery stores.  I expect that will continue in the coming year.  We did pretty well, raising some of our own food and buying some of the rest locally, but I hope to make a greater effort on that this year.  There are at least four farmers’ markets now in Quincy througout the week (that I know of), so it’s not hard to get to one and know where at least some of your food comes from.

This was also the year that the Latin Mass was brought back to Quincy.  That has rekindled my Catholic faith, which was pretty much at a low smolder in recent years.  Judging by the enthusiasm shown by all the people who helped get St. Rose ready with time and contributions, and the number of people who have been attending Mass since it started, I’m not the only one.  I’m looking forward to seeing how it grows and contributes to the faith of the community in the coming year.

Like I mentioned, I got married, which is pretty cool.  We’re still adjusting, because we’re both old enough to be pretty set in our ways, and a lot of my stuff is still boxed up in the garage because we don’t have much space, but none of that matters much.  It feels like we’re going somewhere together, with the same future in mind, which is really nice.

This was the year low-carbing seemed to really come together for me.  I finally reached a point where I knew I had to stick with this if I didn’t want to be diabetic or worse in another five years, not to mention increasingly overweight.  I’ve known that for a while, but for some reason it took a lot of research, self-testing, and time for it to sink in and become a real conviction.  Finally, I can politely turn down anyone’s dessert, no matter how hard they worked on it, no matter how many times they ask me if I’m sure I don’t want some.  It was a long road getting here.

Oh yes, this was also the year I got all the Magnum P.I. episodes on DVD, so be warned: there will be a slug of Magnum episode reviews coming at some point in the future!

I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions, but I do have some goals I plan to work on.  I have at least a half-dozen new web site ideas that I think could be popular and profitable, some of my own and some jointly with others, but they’re all stalled at the construction stage or three-quarters-formed in my head.  I’ve also got one of two online game ideas that I think are solid.  I intend to get all those into production this year, one every couple months.

I’m going to keep blogging here, at least every weekday and most weekends.  Readership is inching up ever so slowly, so that’s encouraging.  I’ll keep writing the Latin lessons weekly, which means they should continue for at least two years.

We want to find a place to start farming, even if it’s on a very small scale for now.  (We’re looking mostly in the Payson/Plainville area, if anyone knows of some pasture/timber ground with water on it that’s available for sale or rent.)  For starters, we want to raise enough beef, pork, chicken, and eggs for ourselves, but eventually we want to be able to sell to others too.  We’re also interested in raising freshwater prawns (shrimp), but that’s probably a longer-term project.

It’s starting to sound like next year will be even busier than this one, but if we get all that done, it’ll be worth it.

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