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My 2009 Plan File

2008 was Not My Favorite Year. Too many deaths, too many illnesses, too many trips to the dentist, and too many financial collapses. I have high hopes for 2009, but that’s part & parcel of being a Pollyanic Old Catholic. Hey, when you’re down this far, every direction is up, right?

So in this, the last (I sincerely hope) Contra entry that I will ever edit by hand, I present my plan file for the coming year:

  • Get Contra settled in to its new home on under the WordPress platform. Easy one, though we’ll know more tomorrow.
  • Begin and complete the rewrite of Assembly Language Step By Step for the Third Edition, and hopefully see it into print by the spring of 2010. This is a big-un, and the top priority, as there is considerable money riding on it.
  • Finish and publish Cold Hands and Other Stories, my second SF collection. Richard Bartrop has already sent me sketches for the cover art, and they look great. As soon as I can get “Drumlin Wheel” completed and cleaned up, I have enough material for a book, and after that, finishing it the book is just a few days of focused work.
  • Finish Old Catholics, or at least get another 50,000 words into it. (I have about 27,000 words down now.) This has been fun, and it’s certainly the quirkiest thing I’ve ever attempted to write.
  • Build a couple of radios. I have the schematic for John Baumann KB7NRN’s 2-tube FM BCB receiver, and that’s tops on the list.
  • Get my 40M dipole out of my alarm system’s hair and do some hamming on the low bands.
  • Get a 6M vertical of some sort situated in the attic.
  • Get the last crown installed in my mouth. (This should happen in early February.) That’s the end of a miserably massive piece of oral rehab that begin in January 2008, and (mercifully) this last step involves no cutting.
  • Finish and launch a couple of model rockets with the local club.
  • Read Many Books.
  • Eat Less Sugar. Eat More Meat. Lose More Weight. (More on this shortly.)
  • Enjoy the immediate presence of my wife, my dogs, and this extravagantly beautiful world.

Other things will certainly happen along the way, and maybe half of the above list will not happen, though I have great faith in the second item and complete faith in the last.

As for tonight, well, Carol and I will remain at home, watch a movie, brush dogs, and maybe have a glass of wine. There’s a decent conjunction of the Moon and Venus just after sunset, and I intend to gawk at that a little. Come midnight, I may jump up and yell “Bang!” in honor of fireworks, if I’m still awake. (If I’m not still awake, the kids down on Villegreen will handle it for me, and I’ll be awake one way or another.)

Happy New Year from both of us; like, how hard could that be?


  1. Jeff, Welcome to the world of writing posts with a “proper” editor and of no hand crafting of HTML. It’s a joy, let me tell you, having just switched, myself. Can’t think why it took me so long…

    Cheers, Julian

    1. It’s way better, though I’m still learning my way around the internals of WordPress. Case in point: You have an avatar in the comments, but I do not see a way to define an avatar for myself in any of the configuration machinery. (Any suggestions here? It’s probably something extremely obvious.)

      Zoundry Raven is very useful, though there is still a logistical issue with simultaneous postings when they contain images. The images “live” on WordPress, and are linked to from LJ, but Raven isn’t smart enough to first upload the image to WordPress and then calculate the link and insert it into the LJ post. I can’t complain too much–it’s free software, after all–but I still have to patch the LJ image link by hand after the entry itself has been posted.

  2. Ok. I think I get it. You need to set up an avatar with rather than set one up from within WordPress. That would explain a few things, though it wouldn’t be my first choice of how to do it–or at least I would give the damned admin the option of using one of his own images for the avatar!

  3. Erbo says:

    Anything that results in more books from you is, by definition, good.

    I’ve started looking at NASM under Linux more closely, in conjunction with some OS kernel research I’ve been looking at off and on…makes me wish I had that 3rd Edition already. 🙂

    1. You probably know this stuff already; the book is for rank beginners, and although I’m going to provide some new example code and describe a few tools that didn’t exist ten years ago (like the nemiver front-end to gdb) I won’t be pushing too hard even into intermediate territory. (I will be unapologetically explaining INT80 kernel calls, and will continue to slander gas and the ATT “mnemonics”.) I appreciate the vote of confidence, and would be curious to know what you’re working on.

      Hard to believe that the first edition appeared…20 years ago!

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