The year-end review
This year's review was significantly complicated by the fact that the archives of this blog have been totally inaccessible for most of the year. So today I made use of some valuable holiday-time to correct the database corruption that was responsible1. So the archives are back, and now I can review them. Here's last year's review. I'm a little bit premature doing this review on the 26th, so let's hope nothing majorly newsworthy happens between now and the 31st, hey? This year, major events and better pieces of writing on this blog included...
- As usual, I'd resolved to post every day, so traffic was heavy...
- Emotional Animals were the order of the day at our New Year's Eve celebrations
- Ariel Sharon exited the political scene with a major stroke
- I somehow managed to become the top result for Orlando Bloom on Google image search, which drove stupid volumes of traffic to my site for the ensuing six months. A small percentage seem to have stuck around and subscribed to the RSS
- I found a new flat, although I didn't move in until February and didn't post pictures of the awesome 80sness of it until March.
- I had a day full of ideas. I love those days.
- I never did post that anablog, and I have a few more stored up since then.
- I made a little script to import MovableType blog entries into WordPress without comments as part of ongoing spam-reduction actions (fat lot of good it did).
- There was a huge international uproar about some Islamophobic cartoons in a Dutch newspaper. Europe tied itself into mental knots trying to defend freedom of speech for people who aren't keen on Arabs while maintaining that Holocaust denial and other laws against people who aren't keen on Jews are absolutely okay. The point of my first post, however, was a discussion of the nature of belief and why it is impossible -- physiologically -- to change the mind of a religious person.
- I made it clear that Valentine's Day is a day, not a season (actually, I did this in January).
- Hook-hand Abu Hamza finally went to jail, spurring the funniest Mock the Week episode ever.
- I projected my own self-loathing at a well-off young couple on the tube. At length.
- The Vice President of the United States shot an 80-year-old man in the face and neck at near point-blank range. You read that a few more times, go on. It feels good.
- I resolved to start eating like a grown-up at last. My cooking has been a lot more regular and healthy in 2006 than it was in 2005, though probably only about the same as 2004, when M was in charge of things.
- Coverage of the 2008 US Presidential Election began, and has continued steadily since.
- This blog turned five.
- The hype for Snakes on a Plane reached epic proportions before it was eventually released in August. It was a pretty good movie in the end, though disappointing commercially.
- I developed a nasty allergic reaction to some washing powder. Opportunistic infections followed and turned into a gigantic mess that had me itching frantically for almost 3 months. A really shitty bit of year.
- April continued its historical trend of being my quietest blogging month. I go outside in Spring.
- The infamous bread machine post started a firestorm of argument from all my hippy liberal friends. The right-wing shenanigans continued later in the month with my defence of globalization in the form of Tesco superstores. I should also point out that I was once again a trend-setter here, as the Economist followed up in December with a cover story questioning the true costs of so-called "ethical consumption" including organic, local and Fairtrade goods (predictably Fairtrade has rubbished the article, as have organic-growing hippies, but they're hardly impartial either). It continues to be an interesting debate, and I continue to be right ;-)
- Somewhat less high-mindedly, my phenomenal ass-recognition abilities were noted.
- I decided I'm still cool, for given values of cool.
- I launched seldo.net, an ambitious multi-user RSS reader site, which subsequently collapsed due to some technical issues and is currently suspended while I work on other projects. Wabson rescued me from my own incompetence by reinstating the original Afterlife.
- I considered leaving London for a new challenge. At the time, I was considering moving back to Trinidad, but dismissed it.
- Trinidad and Tobago qualified for, participated in, and were knocked out of the World Cup, with the whole nation screaming ecstatically for the entire month. As Y! was a sponsor of the cup, work was similarly awash with football mania, leading to a temporary spike in my levels of heterosexuality.
- I visted Ukraine and enjoyed myself enormously, taking hundreds of photos.
- I also broke up with my boyfriend of five months sometime around here. I didn't mention the start or the end of it on this blog, and that's how things are likely to continue. I'm not big on personal privacy on this blog, but my romantic life is not something I talk about here.
- I continued to complain of a lack of convenient legal ways to buy music. They've still not got their act together.
- Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger (neé MSN Messenger) began to interoperate at last, easily the most convenient large-scale infrastructural change to happen in my life since domain-name updates started being every 5 minutes.
- I loved Superman Returns. Yay for Bryan Singer! I bought myself the DVD for Christmas.
- My dental problems began, and persisted for several months, culminating several months later in a horrible episode of depression caused by side-effects of the antibiotics I was taking. What with that and the skin thing it was not a good year for me, medically speaking.
- I warned of the coming perils of Internet Explorer 7. I continue to maintain that a drastic and involuntary change of the primary browsing interface for 80% of the browsing public is going to wreak havoc in 2007.
- Castro began his slow decline. He's not likely to last 2007, and it will be interesting to see what happens to Cuba next year.
- I'd mentioned the terrible depths to which the Israeli-Palestinian situation was sinking the month before, but I underlined that both parties are equally reprehensible and washed my hands of the whole thing (an action which threw the geopolitical scene into turmoil, obviously). It will somehow manage to get worse this year, I've no doubt. Maybe someone will nuke Jerusalem (please)?
- The terrorists successfully destroyed our decadent Western lifestyle by making international air travel an almost unbearable chore. 2007 will see a plot involving exploding pants, and then the whole tourism industry will pack up its toys and go home.
- I liked the Orson album. Back in May I was digging the Snow Patrol album, to the horror of my more musically hip friends. Other musical favourites of 2006 included Muse, Sufjan Stevens (again), Larrikin Love and the Fratellis.
- I decided people should be taught how to raise children, or at least given a what-not-to-do guide. This anything-goes attitude is ridiculous.
- I pondered the similarity between airline security and DVD copy protection schemes (hint: both are doomed to fail)
- I wondered whether the warm fuzzy feeling you get in the heart of your own ghetto is worth the cost of being mildly out of place everywhere else.
- I started house hunting.
- I wrote part of a story. There's more of it written now put I've not posted it yet because I can't think of a plot, so I'm ending up with Neal Stephensonesque tracts of florid description with no aim in mind.
- Eleven months into my time at Yahoo!, I waxed lyrical about how much I love my job and was promptly made redundant the very next day. I got a job offer in London, got interviewed while visiting Yahoo! HQ, and took a job in San Francisco. The moving process is still underway, but the leaving parties are in January.
- I noted that web applications are hitting the tipping point of being more convenient than their desktop equivalents, even for identical functionality. This is a major turning point in the web's history, I think.
- I enjoyed the wedding of my friends Alex and Supraja. I've never enjoyed a wedding before, so it gives me hope for my brother's own in January.
- This site was broken into twice by scam artists using it as a base for phishing. Bastards.
- I came back to Trinidad as usual.
For the geeks: my host's configuration of mySQL now automatically updates the first TIMESTAMP field to the current time whenever that record is updated. The first TIMESTAMP field in my schema is the creation date of the record. So a bunch of month-parent records of my blog all decided they were in October, and so only looked for entries from that month... so every month became October. Yes, it's poor template design on my part, but also a rubbish feature of mySQL to turn on by default as of (I think) version 4.1...