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December 31, 2008

2008 on Making Light
Posted by Patrick at 12:55 PM * 75 comments

Our Founder suggested that we all list our favorites from among our posts to Making Light’s front page over the last twelve months. Those lists follow, starting with Teresa’s selection from her own posts.

Here’s to 2009, which looks like it’ll be a hell of a ride. Let’s hope it takes us all someplace better, and that none of us get thrown out of the car.

From Teresa:

January 31: Top Al Qaeda Leader Killed (again). “It’s like being the drummer for Spinal Tap.”

February 2: Digression removed from a moderator’s comment. “In my opinion, a perfect user interface would automatically register the use of words and phrases like…”

February 25: The Secret Service writes off security for candidates. “The Dallas police, who are more conscious of these issues than most municipal police forces, told reporters that the Secret Service ordered them to suspend weapons screening while people were still arriving at an Obama rally this past Thursday.”

March 3: All come singing. “We seem to have hit some kind of a moment, because political music videos are popping up all over the place.”

April 16: Newsweek invents an alarming trend. “It’s much easier to make news sound exciting if you leave the facts out, as witness a recent story by Karen Springen in Newsweek about a children’s picture book about plastic surgery.”

The first week of May: A massive multiplayer collaborative damage-containment project. A server crashed at Hosting Matters. Shortly after that, Patrick discovered he’d been misconfiguring his regular backups of Making Light. After a terrible period of thinking everything had been lost, he found an anomalous backup from 01 March 2008. Thereafter, everyone pitched in to reconstruct March-April 2008 from browser caches, open tabs, and online aggregators. To read about it (except for the parts on AIM), start at Patrick’s Restoration drama. Follow its links to Abi’s weblog, Evilrooster Crows, where she hosted both the refugees and the reconstruction project. It was epic, and no one ever got thanked enough. I figure that’s my fault. I plead non-figurative PTSD.

June 18: AP to negotiate with sham “Media Bloggers Association”. “I’ve been monitoring reactions to the AP story. I haven’t seen a single weblog indicate that it had heard of the Media Bloggers Association before this story broke.”

July 3: McCain, sockpuppets, and comment spam. “I first noticed McCain’s comment spam solicitation page on his campaign website some weeks ago….I didn’t write about it at the time because I was sure McCain’s campaign strategists would immediately see what a terrible idea it was, and take it down.”

July 5: Cold beef salad with preserved lemons and fresh basil. “I’m recording this one because it turns out there’s something alchemical about the combination of cold beef, preserved lemons, and fresh basil.”

September 3: Pay attention to the little man behind the curtain. “The far right is a whining bunch of sissies who can’t stand up to one little breath of a suggestion of a hundredth of the abuse they habitually dish out. This goes a long way toward explaining why nobody likes them and they can’t get laid for free.”

September 20: Melanoma and narcissism. “Palin hasn’t bothered to keep track of the stories she tells. It’s not that she can’t; she’s not that stupid. Rather, it hasn’t occurred to her to do so. She isn’t thinking about other people’s reactions. That isn’t bad judgement, or an absence of judgement. It’s a pathological lack of interest in the subject.”

October 13: Hot cookies. “What you need is an 18th C. cookie mold…showing Elijah being carried off in his chariot, Elisha being mocked by the disobedient children of Bethel, and, right there in the foreground, a disobedient child being eaten by a bear. That’s putting the old-time religion back into Christmas, you betcha.”

October 21: What kind of “Election Day unrest” are we talking about? “This is setting up a fraudulent racist narrative: that any unrest on Election Day will consist of inner-city blacks rioting because the black candidate didn’t win.”

October 27: The religious right, gone barking mad. “‘Spiritual warfare’ is a sort of folk thaumaturgy with ambitions to theurgy. If it worked, it would be a branch of black magic.”

November 11: The Great War, ninety years on. “Today we solemnly observe the 90th anniversary of the end of the Great War, an event so huge and consequential that we’re still struggling to comprehend it.”

December 4: Plays Well With Lightning. “Today is the Feast of Saint Barbara: go blow something up.”

From Patrick:

January 20: Why, this is the whale, nor are we out of it. The sorrows of globalized capitalism, and a small redemption.

February 5: Endorsement. Of Obama. “On balance, I’m impressed. Not transported. Not uncritical. But impressed.”

March 11: Phase one: collect underpants. Announcing, some months in advance of its actual debut.

March 18: Arthur C. Clarke, 1917-2008. Memorializing.

March 30: The photograph that terrorized London. Spitalfields Market defends itself from the menace of tourist photography. I am impressed.

April 1: Amsterdam. Visiting Abi Sutherland’s adopted home town. With pictures.

April 6: Heads they win, tails we lose. Could have been describing the economic events of September onward.

September 6: I knew John McCain was hot for more wars, but… The New York Daily News reveals a hitherto-unknown detail of the McCain agenda.

September 15: The Most Terrifying Six Words in the English Language. “‘President Bush tried to calm investors.’”

October 23: Yeah, well, about that. Alan Greenspan admits that he may have been wrong about a thing or two.

October 25: Electoral history, pattern-making, and meaning. Seriously geeky adducing of patterns in American electoral history.

November 4: Watching the election results with Bruce Schneier, parts one, two, and three. Thanks again to Bruce for doing this, and for coping with the slowdowns that ensued when massive comment traffic brought Movable Type to its knees. I personally enjoyed getting to type “Making Light officially projects that Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States.” Come to think of it, I still do.

December 1: Our Exciting Neighbor to the North. Canada’s sudden and spectacular political crisis. Noteworthy less for the post than for the brilliant and informative comments posted to it, and to its successor post.

From Jim:

January 28: Cloverfield (with Spoilers). An emergency-preparedness post, in disguise.

June 30: If I Had Another Penny. “I first ran into ‘Byker Hill’ on a Boiled in Lead album, Old Lead.”

July 3: Eat Shit and Die. “I don’t often read books twice in rapid succession. I just did that with The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic—and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson.”

July 12: Trauma and You, Part Four: The Squishy Bits. “Soft-tissue injuries can be dramatic and grotesque. For this reason, even injuries that aren’t life-threating in themselves can prove deadly by distracting rescuers from the actual life-threatening injuries, particularly airway and breathing problems.”

August 13: The Ball of Kirriemuir.
Tuvok the Vulcan he was there
Standin’ at the bar,
Sayin’ “’This isn’t logical
An’ I’m not in pon farr.”

August 15: Gnomic Verses. “My father had some words of advice for me, and now I pass them on to you.”

August 19: Carl Drega, Part I. “Today is the 11th anniversary of the Colebrook Massacre. The first two murders were a mile north of my house at the store where I shop.” Part II and Part III.

September 9: Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe. “Let us talk, dearly beloved, about a reasonable pencil-and-paper crypto system, for those times when you don’t want to use your computer to encrypt stuff that you need to send to some other pal.”

October 14: The Blue Benn. A diner.

November 2: All Hail Macbeth! “ACT 1: SCENE III. A Starbucks near Brooklyn.”

November 23: Kennedy Assassination. “Yesterday was the 45th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Less than half of the people now alive in America remember the day. I was standing in the bus line at St. Patrick’s Parochial School, ready to go home, when I heard.”

December 18: “Sex with robots is more common than most people think”. “CNN: An inventor who claims he has never had time to find a human girlfriend has created his own perfect woman—a robot.”

From Avram:

January 30: Making your own fun. “This kind of thing—where you invite your customers in on the fun, and they take on some of the qualities of co-authors—seems especially well-suited to the Internet age.”

February 16: Bookhunter by Jason Shiga. “Imagine an action-packed police procedural, full of technical details like CSI, but all about bookbinding and library catalogs.”

March 4: Greyhawk’s flags at half-staff. “It’s hard to estimate the effect that Dungeons & Dragons has had on nerd culture—and by extension, the general culture. Like science fiction fandom before it, D&D provided a forum for imaginative play, and fostered an international social network for bright, quirky kids where they could find praise (and even get paid work) for their wit and creative work at an age when adults were more likely to ignore them or treat them as threats.”

March 28: Divided by common errors. “The point of a survey like this isn’t to discover minority opinions held by people who’ve thought about the issues. It’s to discover which way people twitch when you shout a buzz-phrase at them.”

April 13: Could lead to goose-stepping. “All of these tactics—the use of your ideals to overturn your trust in facts, the assertion of nebulous threats that justify arbitrary authority, the portrayal of protesters as lunatics, the claim that an all-encompassing bureaucracy has legitimate authority over our every breath and step, that you’ll be fine as long as you don’t ‘make trouble’—these tactics can be seen and heard every day wherever political discussion takes place.”

July 18: The “aye” in God’s mote. “Areas for further speculation: For Christians, could Jesus’s dual nature as wholly man and wholly God be described as a reconciliation of the use-mention distinction? For Jews, if the Torah is the blueprint used to create the universe, then the universe contains its own formal description, and must therefore also be subject to Gödel-type incompleteness.”

August 13: Paperblogging the Worldcon.
Drawing of overcast Denver skies

November 5: The content of his character. “I fully expect to get sick of hearing coded racial slurs in criticisms of Obama over the next few years.”

December 15: The other shoe. “Conclusion 13: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques for use at Guantanamo Bay was a direct cause of detainee abuse there.”

From Abi:

January 24: Open Thread C. Aliqui illustres loci communes, including sundry corrections, additions, and two separate translations of the Portal end titles theme into Latin.

February 21: Curating conversations (a meditation in the sunlight). “Somewhere in the war between enthusiasm and cynicism, the content of Patrick’s notes on the O’Reilly Tools for Change for Publishing conference went undiscussed. And I’m sorry about that, because some of them really got my attention. They looked neat. I wanted to hear more.” And the community obliged, with one of the more information-and-intelligence-dense threads I’ve had the privilege to be overwhelmed by here.

March 31: Deep Value. “Looking at a world where the economy is probably going to be tightening up for a while, I find myself drawn to things with deep value, things a little less dependent on the state of our technology and shipping infrastructure to build and repair. Living in a small country with a history of pollution problems, I want to own things I don’t have throw away after one use. And spending much of my time as a crafter, I am attracted to things that I can fix.” Look! So is everyone else! Neat!

April 6: Some must employ the scythe. “Once again, a major implementation goes pear-shaped. On Thursday, March 27, Heathrow Airport opened Terminal 5 with great fanfare. It promised a revolution in passenger convenience, and included a new automated baggage handling system1. But things did not go well, and the opening weeks are sure to become a case study in project failure.” Shorter me: I could have told them so.

July 29: am-phi-brach (n) + am-phi-brach (n) + i-amb (n).
A dictionary written in verse
Is not new, but quite the reverse
(I once had a tome
in the language of Rome
For Hebrew, but sadly quite terse.)

August 21: The honor of your assistance is requested in a small matter of language. “Gentle reader: In the course of her duties today, this blogger was obliged to consider the vast range of input to be expected from the ladies and gentlemen who do her company the honor of using its software. In particular, she was occupied with the task of addressing the tendency of some users to express an excess of emotion, or to seek to produce an improper effect upon the unsuspecting reader, with the strength of their language.” (Warning: the language in both the post and the subsequent thread is pretty fucking awful.)

The best of the non-political, plunder your memories and think about something other than the election threads:

September 21: Have a Dysfunctional Families Day. “If you all recall, back in May we identified a glaring gap in the holiday market. There are a plenitude of days for celebrating your parents and getting together with your family. There aren’t a lot of days when you can admit that your parents actually drove you completely bats, or that you’d rather learn autotrepanning with a Black and Decker than sit down with the people who made your first 18 years a misery.” Unsparing discussion follows.

October 16: Smulp. “Gandalf strode forward. ‘Gluttonous fool of a Took! You have eaten the stone-fruits of Gondolin, which we had preserved in the cool-room for our breakfast!’” How many ways can we apologize for the same thing?

October 20: Keymasters of the Universe, a novel. “I often think we’re living in an alternate history novel. Honesty, the events of the world are too strange to be real. In different times and different circumstances, my guess as to the author may change, but the overwhelming impression remains.” Lots of good alternate histories in the thread.

December 20: To make a community, sometimes you have to break a few loaves of bread. “One of the great pleasures of my job is that the entire office eats together. We get bread, cheese, milk, sauces, spreads, and meat delivered to the office, and every lunchtime we sit down around the table for sandwiches.” Food for thought.

Comments on 2008 on Making Light:
#1 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 02:08 PM:

So much for getting anything done today ;>

#2 ::: Andrew Kanaber ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 02:13 PM:

Thanks, there's some good stuff here I'd missed.

Also, the Cloverfield link is missing a trailing 'l' and the Abi 'honor of your assistance' link is missing a starting quote so firefox thinks the end quote is part of the URL.

#3 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 02:22 PM:

Andrew @2:

Both fixed. Thanks for pointing them out.

#4 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 02:45 PM:

It's kinda been a crappy year overall, with that one upbeat moment in early November...but it's been a GREAT year on Making Light, hasn't it?

...on the blog itself, I mean, not so much for the people running and commenting on it. Some great posts though.

#5 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 03:44 PM:

You had me at "It's like being the drummer for Spinal Tap."

Happy 2009 to all the lumens of Making Light.

#6 ::: Nenya ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 04:08 PM:

Thank you so much for this retrospective. I remember many of these posts, and while I'm forcibly keeping myself from clicking the links to re-live all the wonderful comments or else I'll not get anything done today, it's wonderful to have them all in one spot like this.

Such genius and friendliness in this place.

May 2009 be a good year, and in the ways it isn't, may we all pull together.

#7 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 04:19 PM:

Just wanted to say thanks for the community & also Happy New Year!

A (mostly) lurker from a part of the world where it's already 2009.

#8 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 04:23 PM:

Xopher - yeah, it really has been a crappy year for us here as well. 2 layoffs, illness in the family, and general life stress. Good blogs help me get through the day though.

I'm hoping the new year brings us better days.

#9 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 04:33 PM:

Many great threads (even the ones I contributed to!) I smiled at most of them just reading the taglines. Must resist clicking through as I'm due in the pub to see in the New Year...

#10 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 04:34 PM:

Gah! Meant to say I'll raise a glass to Making Light (even if noone else there knows what I'm doing).

#11 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 05:00 PM:

Happy New Year to the Fluorosphere and all its denizens--may your 2009 be wonderful!

p.s. Thanks for the informative, thought-provoking, giggle-inducing and otherwise entertaining posts and comments, all. You make Making Light a most addictive part of my Internet wanderings.

#12 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 05:05 PM:

It's a rare weblog that has both insightful and entertaining posts, and a rarer that has such commentary to go with them. ML is as good as it gets on all counts.

#13 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 05:29 PM:

A compendium of commentary, how useful. Thanks to all who contributed to it.

#14 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 06:17 PM:

Well, I was wondering what I'd do with my afternoon....

Happy new year, photons!

#15 ::: sharon ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 06:39 PM:

Mmm, there was stuff I'd somehow managed to miss too. Like, there are people who still wear dresses?

Happy new year, y'all. Only 21 minutes to go here.

#16 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 06:39 PM:

It's half an hour into the New Year here in the Netherlands, and the fireworks, having finished their first burst, are on a steady course until at least 2am. The kids are just in bed, fried, after staying up till midnight. I will not be long behind them.

We skipped the bubbly because I am still sick after last night's all-night bleh session, and my mother (visiting) needs the Ceremonial Bowl beside her bed tonight. Not feeling celebratory.

But despite the immediate troubles, I'd like to wish everyone here, posters, commentariat and lurkers, a very happy New Year. Thank you all for the time you spent here in 2008. I look forward to seeing what we all write in 2009.

I love you all. I really do mean that.

#17 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 06:43 PM:

sharon @15:
Like, there are people who still wear dresses?

Wearin' one right now. I blame A Dress A Day.

#18 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 07:05 PM:

I think my favorite of the whole lot was Smulp, which word I have added to my Firefox spell checking dictionary to honor the occasion.

Here in Central Texas, I fully expect ubiquitous fireworks violations of the official burn ban (which was instituted due to the worst regional drought in decades).

My favorite New Year's Eve custom is to hold my breath as the clock strikes midnight, as a method of preventing the end of the world from happening at that time. If that doesn't work, then it was nice knowing you all....

#19 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 07:13 PM:

2008 was quite a year -- great ML threads, not-so-great things happening to too many Fluorospherians. Wishing everybody all the best for 2009!

#20 ::: Christopher Kastensmidt ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 07:40 PM:

Happy New Year to the whole gang here at Making Light!

#21 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 07:56 PM:

Happy New Year, everybody!

#22 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 08:39 PM:

Happy New Year, entering the 10th year of the 21st century!

#23 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 08:42 PM:

2008 gave me two very good things:

Barack Obama as my President;

and the engagement of me and my partner of eight years so far, Keith K.. I asked him to marry me on Christmas Eve, and he said yes.

(The former had more to do with the latter than you might think. It's a lot easier to look with hope at the future now.)

May 2009 bring good things and happiness to all.

#24 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 08:50 PM:

I certainly hope that the next year will be an improvement over the last several.

#25 ::: Sajia Kabir ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 08:53 PM:

Congratulations, Caroline!

#26 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 09:08 PM:

I have a cold, which always makes me cranky. But it's a mild cold, which is good, and Barack Obama is going to be President in 3 weeks, which is great, and George Bush is going away, which I have longed for, and I am welcoming 2009 with an open heart because I really don't see what else to do. It's already arrived in much of the world. Caroline, congratulations!! To all here (and here, and here, and here, and there), Happy New Year!

#27 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 09:13 PM:

Good on you both, Caroline!

#28 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 09:20 PM:

everyone: happy new year, & thank you for making my favourite place on the internet!

caroline: woo! congratulations!

#29 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 09:34 PM:

Caroline @#23: Congratulations!

My own 2008 was frustrating, but a vast improvement over my prior situation....

#30 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 09:38 PM:

Yay for Caroline and Keith!

Yay for good times, good words, and good friends.

Yay for the future!

#31 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 09:42 PM:

We've got a fire crackling away in our fireplace, and just finished watching Sixteen Candles, which had a lot more bad language than I remember for a movie of the 80s, but no one else had seen it, so it was fun. We're making popcorn and firing up the Wii to play some games that should keep us awake until midnight.

At this hour, my parents traditionally wished us a happy new year and we all went to bed. I usually manage something in between.

Happy New Year to all Fluorospherians, great and small.

#32 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 09:59 PM:

Oh, Ginger's post reminds me--you all are still way back in 2008, aren't you? Well then, I bear important messages for you--from the future.

In the future, we have cake for breakfast.

(At least, so far.)

#33 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 10:08 PM:

After a truly horrible last month (my husband lost both of his grandparents) I am terrified that 2009 will continue in the same vein. Thank you for reminding me that we only have 3 weeks to go until President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama takes office. Admittedly, it won't make things magically better, but it gives me something to look forward to, and I needed that.
Thanks for giving me someplace to hang out and learn stuff. I quote y'all more than you will ever know, look up to some of you, and feel like I have a place to check in, even though I've only met one of you in real life.

#34 ::: Laina ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 10:12 PM:

I don't remember the last time I went somewhere for New Year's Eve. My tradition has become trying to stay awake long enough to see the New Year come in on the US east coast, an hour before it arrives here in Kansas, although I don't always make it.

I miss the New Year's Eves I spent in Germany, where the awesome fireworks made it impossible to sleep through midnight, even when I tried.

Best wishes to Caroline and Keith.

Happy New Year to all.

#35 ::: debcha ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 10:13 PM:

heresiarch, #32:

Yay! The future has cake!

Happy New Year everyone, belated or timely!

#36 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 10:29 PM:

A wonderful summary. Now, an interesting project would be to see how many of the bookmarked posts get new comments over the next couple of weeks....

#37 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 11:36 PM:

heresiarch @32: ..or death?

In about 30 minutes I, too, shall be from the future. I'm sure I shall have cake to report as well.

#38 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 11:38 PM:

May 2009 bring to all all the good that they desire, and no challenges that they cannot overcome. Thanks to our hosts and moderators for all that they have done to make 2008 here on ML a year of light.

#39 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 11:44 PM:

Caroline, #23, felicitations!

I'm waiting to see if we have covert fireworks in about 20 minutes. Shiva will be terrified.

There isn't any cake in the condo, but I usually have my first meal about 3pm anyway, so I'm not sure that's breakfast.

#40 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2008, 11:57 PM:

East Coast midnight is happening about now....

"The man with one clock always knows what time it is. The man with two is never sure... and anybody with three clocks is just doomed." ;-)

#41 ::: Kelly McCullough ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2009, 12:00 AM:

Happy Hogmanay to the fluorosphere!

#42 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2009, 12:32 AM:

The future also has homemade shortbread. And mulled cider. Yay for 2009!*

*two and a half hours to go

#43 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2009, 12:48 AM:

David Harmon @ 40 ...
"The man with one clock always knows what time it is. The man with two is never sure... and anybody with three clocks is just doomed." ;-)

Sitting here with three clocks in immediate view (in three timezones), and one more just out of sight in a fourth, I'm not in the least bit confused about what time it is... just what timezone I'm in ;)

#44 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2009, 01:12 AM:

Two more hours until this wretched year goes away — well there were good times too, but altogether too much sturm und drang for my taste. We're going to catch a nap until the fireworks wake us up because I have to take Eva to the airport early; she's going back East to help move her mother into full-time care. So there will at least be some hangover from 2008 for a few days.

But hey! and hooray! for Caroline and Keith! And hip, hip, hooray for President Obama! And a happy New Year to all the Fluorosphere, and the world it illuminates.


#45 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2009, 01:50 AM:

Happy New Year, and a new President!

#46 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2009, 04:06 AM:

Congratulations, Caroline and Keith!

#47 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2009, 08:30 AM:

Caroline @ 23... Congrats!

#48 ::: Mark D. ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2009, 08:55 AM:

2009 may indeed be a helluva ride, but I can't think of better company to ride with.

Happy New Year to all!

#49 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2009, 09:25 AM:

Thank you for this! I've missed too many good things on Making Light in recent months (that darn baby and his selfish demands for my attention! sheesh!) so it's great to have this retrospective.

2008 was a wonderful year for me, despite the world falling apart. I met some of my ML friends for the first time, made new friends, became a mother, and helped send my favorite local politician to the white house (I didn't manage to bribe my way into his vacant senate seat, but there were a lot of folks in front of me).

I hope 2009 holds deep joys for everybody, particularly for those who had sorrows in 2008. Blessings, in particular, on all the hurt hearts and brains hereabouts.

#50 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2009, 11:24 AM:

Thank you, everyone!

It's the first day of 2009 and it's a beautiful day. I hope it is where you are, too.

#51 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2009, 11:24 AM:

Congratulations to Caroline and Keith.

#52 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2009, 03:40 PM:

Congretulations, Caroline and Keith! And congretulations, Mary Dell- I'm glad that someone had a great year.

#53 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2009, 05:47 PM:

Mary Dell @ 49... I didn't manage to bribe my way into his vacant senate seat

"Curses! Foiled again!"

#54 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2009, 06:17 PM:

Earl #18:

The fireworks violations were not only ubiquitous but almost egregious. Somebody up the hill kept it up until at least 1 am--in the middle of dry brush. I decided I was sufficiently squiffed on some good small-grower French stuff that I couldn't follow any fire procedures, particularly involving go bags, and turned over and forgot about it. Fortunately no unfortunatenesses occurred. I did notice that Lord British, perhaps feeling somewhat financially strapped by his space adventure, did not set anything off this year.

#55 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2009, 06:22 PM:

We took the occasion of the leap second to leap into the air.

We're still trying to sell our house so we can get one that better fits us--location, size, plan, community--and the financial meltdown is/was entirely not required.

My resolution for this year is to stop resenting all the changes to our life, mostly in the direction of looking at all times like we'd just been photographed for House and Garden, that we've made in order to conform to homebuyers' expectations. (Although I reserve the right to resent anything that adds stress to a 16-year-old cat in sometimes dubious health.)

#56 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2009, 07:04 PM:

2008 was fantastic for us. Still can't eat complex carbohydrates, but there's light at the end of the tunnel -- our son's nephrologist said, "Keep doing what you're doing, because I can't do any better; he's stable." Our daughter's Crohn's has remained symptom-free (over a year now).

Business-wise the entire year was insane, and I broke my yearly income record sometime in October. I think I've reached the limit for one-man technical translation, though. I have some ideas to increase my productivity, but I already got through 1.26 million words in 2008. Anything I can do that doesn't entail finishing my doctoral work in artificial intelligence is only going to be tweaks. I don't think I can do more than 1.5 million words.

2008 was the first year in a long, long, long time where I felt as though I'd finally gotten something right. I can only hope 2009 will be as good.

But on the larger stage: 2009 is the year we'll starting putting it all back together. It's patently untrue that we have nowhere to go but up -- but there's plenty of up to go. It's going to be a good year.

Have a happy new year, y un prospero nuevo año, all of you.

#57 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2009, 07:09 PM:

Oh -- in re fireworks -- here in PR, fireworks are the norm at midnight. We went up on the roof (we're on the top of a three-story building) and could see the entire city -- it was fantastic, and then the Front Tina, an oil tanker which has mysteriously been in port for two weeks, blew her megahorn right on the dot at midnight.

Talk about a high. I'm tearing up just remembering it.

#58 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 01, 2009, 09:46 PM:

Michael Roberts @ #57, from context I expected you to stop the sentence

"and then the Front Tina, an oil tanker which has mysteriously been in port for two weeks, blew

right there.

#59 ::: Dr. Psycho ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2009, 10:53 PM:

I want a megahorn.

Or, really, anything that can honestly be described with the prefix "mega", although most of those would not be as cool as a megahorn.

#60 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2009, 10:59 PM:

Megacolon, for example....

#61 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2009, 11:15 PM:


Congratulations, Caroline and Keith!

Marilee @ 39: whenever you first break your fast in a day, it's breakfast time.

#62 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2009, 07:59 AM:

59, 60: Hepatomegaly?

#63 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2009, 11:41 AM:

Dr. Psycho @#59: I suspect that a megahorn would be less something you carry off, than something you visit! (You probably wouldn't want to live n it. ;-) )

#64 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2009, 12:59 PM:

This really dates me, but Megahorn and Hardart's? Couldn't Peter Schickele have used on of those!

#65 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2009, 05:43 PM:

Bruce Cohen (StM): Schickele wouldn't, but PDQ might.

I've been to some of Schikele's non-PDQ stuff (the Alligator Quartet performs things he writes, some of which with the intent of them doing it), and it's really good.

#66 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2009, 07:12 PM:

Did someone mention Peter Schickele & PDQ Bach? (Concert listings, inter alia.)

#67 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2009, 07:30 PM:

I wager a Megahorn would blow you right off the vessel if you were to be standing in front of it when it's tooted.

#68 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2009, 11:16 AM:

Terry Karney:

I've been to some of Schikele's non-PDQ stuff (the Alligator Quartet performs things he writes, some of which with the intent of them doing it), and it's really good.

Did they do any of the Silent Running soundtrack? Because I liked it so well that when I found a copy in Europe I hauled the LP in my luggage for four weeks until we returned to the USA...

#69 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2009, 11:34 AM:

Bruce E Durocer II @ 68... Here's the coming attraction for Silent Running. It's probably time for me to watch the movie again.

#70 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2009, 12:37 PM:


I've got the DVD, thanks. I was just wondering if they'd done the soundtrack in live performance, because it's a really good soundtrack.

#71 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2009, 05:54 PM:


So am I the only one who thinks the Front Tina should have been transporting cheese?

This would also fit in with the megahorn...

#72 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2009, 07:13 PM:

Bruce Cohen (StM): No. They were doing occaisional works, mostly things he'd done which weren't known; which is the general nature of his concerts.

#73 ::: Joe McMahon ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2009, 08:29 PM:

There wasn't an appropriate context in which to mention it before - but here's a link between PDQ's universe and Girl Genius. I believe there may be a megahorn up and to the right.

#74 ::: edward oleander ::: (view all by) ::: January 05, 2009, 11:27 PM:

A late Happy New Year to all, and a big Thank You to our hosts for the 2008 Compendium...

It reminds me that Making Light is real, and full of good people, and the whole thing isn't just something made of Wishful Thinking by a brain desperate to forget most of what happened this past year...

To Soren, Xopher, Josh, and everyone else out there, may my boss have the year you just had, and may you have the wonderful year you deserve!

#75 ::: Xopher Halftongue sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 08:38 AM:

Text appears to have been copied from a legit comment, but .ru addresses give it away.

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