Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

Status Update

Posted from Culver City, California at 10:00 pm, May 16th, 2012

The latest happenings:

  • A blue jay unfortunately brought an end to our baby bird odyssey. After the jay’s first visit only three of the five birds remained, all of them scattered in the backyard after jumping out of the nest to escape. Having gotten rather attached to our little friends, we decided to put them back in the nest, and then went on blue jay patrol for several days. During that time there was more shuttling of baby birds back into the nest, until finally the jay showed up and the birds were big enough to fly away.
  • In a move that proves I am finally a grown up, Audrey and I now get HBO and our movies no longer make a beeping noise when someone says a naughty word.
  • Holliday IT Services, Inc is now a licensed California corporation. I am hoping that my meteoric rise to the role of company president will one day be chronicled by Hollywood in a film written by Aaron Sorkin.
  • The house continues to come together. So far we’ve become proud owners of an area rug, a new couch, and some end tables. It is a truly disturbing experience to walk into Best Buy and be excited about looking at appliances.

Baby phoebe returning to the nest

It’s worth two in the bush.

End of the Month Panic Entry

Posted from Culver City, California at 4:56 pm, April 30th, 2012

Following college graduation I took a six week trip through Europe. The only possessions that I had with me fit into a school-sized backpack and a small gym bag, and my money situation was such that sleeping in a bed each night wasn’t really an option; both of these limitations made for a very memorable experience. Here’s one entry from that trip:


Yesterday was the first day I haven’t written anything, so here goes – I took the 1:00 AM train from Genoa to Pisa, woke up at 4:30 having long ago passed Pisa, and then took the 5:15 back to Pisa, arriving at 6:45. On the first train I met a really nice Tunisian fellow who spoke some French and was thrilled to tell me about how Michael Jackson had been to Tunisia. I also met an annoying German.

In Pisa I found the tower by 7:15, and no one was there so I didn’t have to pay or deal with crowds. They’re apparently shoring up the foundations – the tower was really funky. Neat architecture, but with the tilt it looked very odd. I later got a cappuccino and then caught the 9:15 to Florence.

Florence was really cool. After running around with several Mexicans looking for a room I found one on my own. I then went to visit the Uffizi, which houses some great art. The Duomo is their big cathedral, which is huge and has an amazing dome. St. John’s baptistery has the famous bronze doors. The streets and buildings were all in good taste, unlike the baroque mess in Northern Europe.

The heat and lack of sleep got to me by 5:00, and by 6:30 I was in bed. I woke up at midnight, did laundry in the hostel sink, and overslept until 6:30 (I wanted to get up at 4:30). Now I’m on the train to Rome.

11:48 PM

Rome so far has been amazing. If I could afford it I could easily spend a month here. I first went to the Colosseum and met a Mexican guy named Raoul. We went to the Colosseum and Pantheon, he gave me a sandwich for lunch, then we went to some museums. After he left I bought a map of Rome, went back to the Colosseum, revisited the Forum, then walked along the Appian Way. It was awesome – I stood on the spot where Julius Caesar was cremated, saw some of the most famous sights in the world, and I’ve only seen a tiny fraction of Rome. Tonight I have no place to stay although I may try to get a train.

Caveat: I’ve got nothing against Germans in general, but that guy on the train was a weirdo.

The Birds

Posted from Culver City, California at 11:54 am, April 24th, 2012

The new house has proven to be a bit of an animal kingdom:

  • The two bird feeders are bringing in flocks of finches, sparrows, and doves, as well a variety of less-frequent visitors. It can be loud.
  • Proving the bird feeders support multiple levels of the food chain, a young sharp-shinned hawk has made the backyard his play area, and hangs out to terrorize the smaller birds on occasion. His attention isn’t only directed at birds: while I was doing some yard work he also took a shot at my head, apparently to ensure that I didn’t feel excluded.
  • There’s a crow who visits occasionally and has shown an irrational fear of salami.
  • The mammal situation consists of some wrestling baby squirrels, some very un-subtle neighborhood cats, and a family of tree-climbing rats that have made the area under the feeders their late night dining area.

It’s unclear what the future holds for the wildlife oasis that is our backyard, although some sort of water supply and potentially an owl house may be needed additions.

Our new roommates get lunch after the parent black phoebe checks out Audrey’s birdcam. Taken from the eave above our porch.

Dinner with Teddy, Carl and Jesus

Posted from Culver City, California at 6:37 pm, April 10th, 2012

The question that was posed: you can have dinner with three people who had a major influence on you. Who do you invite? While the answer is likely to change depending on mood, age, or time of day, here are my current choices:

  • Carl Sagan. If there is anyone who better encapsulates science, spirituality, and an ability to communicate, I couldn’t think of them. The opportunity to eat with someone who could explain details of the cosmos in understandable ways, who could expound on how the scientific wonders of the universe made him believe all the more in God, and who was infinitely curious about human nature and evolution, are all things that would make him a great dinner partner.
  • Jesus. I suspect Jesus would be on a lot of people’s lists, but for different reasons. It is questionable whether anyone has had a greater influence on philosophy and morality, and the opportunity to hear his thoughts about the world today would be a revelation in all senses of the word. Whether or not the real Jesus would have a direct line to the Almighty or simply be a teacher with profound views, spending a meal with him would be the most enlightening experience imaginable.
  • Teddy Roosevelt. America’s greatest conservationist President, the man who made the Panama Canal a reality, and an adventurer whose hunting and outdoor exploits are still revered. While he did a number of things that were worth questioning, a dinner with Teddy would be filled with stories and wisdom, and one that was sure to inspire.

The comments link is below – coming up with a list of three is a fun thought exercise, and I’d be very interested to hear what type of folks others would choose.

Summon the Heroes

Posted from Culver City, California at 1:38 pm, March 31st, 2012

The London Olympics start in about five months, and I won’t be attending them. However, sixteen years ago when the Olympics were in Atlanta I was there. Seeing as how that took place in the pre-journal days, it seems prudent to recount the adventure before senility sets in and I either forget the experience entirely or mis-remember and start believing that I won a bronze in men’s rhythmic gymnastics.

In the summer of 1996 I was working as a glorified janitor for the mechanical engineering department at Case Western Reserve University. Money was tight – $6.25 an hour didn’t go very far, even in days before monthly cell phone bills – and options for vacations were limited. However, about a week before the Games started it struck me that I’d wanted to go to the Olympics my entire life, and they were in the United States for only the second time since 1932.

My boss’s response to a request for a few days off to go to the Games consisted of three questions: “Do you know how you’re going to get there?”, “Do you have anywhere to stay?” and “Do you have any plan at all?”. After answering all of these in the negative, the extraordinarily cool Dave Conger laughed, told me to have the time of my life, and asked that I bring him back “something weird”.

At the time Greyhound was offering a student pass for something like $100 that allowed you to ride any bus to any destination, as often as you wanted, for one week. As a result, the transportation and lodging plan that developed was to take Greyhound round-trip to Atlanta, and to then sleep on overnight buses each night so I’d have a safe-ish place to spend the evening. The economics of this plan were hard to argue with, although the logistics left something to be desired. Nevertheless, my good friend Mike Collins dropped me at the Greyhound station after work and, bus ticket in hand, the adventure began.

Event tickets were limited to the cheapest ones available: $11 for men’s field hockey on July 21, $7 for USA vs. who-cares in baseball on July 22. While waiting in a long line to pick up tickets strangers I met started offering places to sleep – one guy had a rental apartment downtown and told me he’d simply give me the key, free of charge. I was twenty at the time and very self-conscious about always wanting to be able to repay any kindness, so I declined, but was nevertheless blown away at how generous and trusting people were being. Had I known that sleeping on a Greyhound would prove almost impossible, and that night two would find me curled up outdoors in a construction site in the suburbs, I might have reconsidered.

The Olympics itself were pretty much everything that could have been hoped for. I sat in downtown Atlanta in front of a fifty foot tall TV and cheered with a few thousand people when Kerri Strug clinched the gymnastics gold medal on a sprained ankle. I watched road cycling in the rain (because it was free) and met a former professional cyclist who insisted I sleep on her family’s couch that night. I scalped a ticket to swimming for less than face value shortly after the event started, took off running the two miles or so towards the swimming venue, and was later escorted out of the Athlete’s Village by Marines after unknowingly running through it and somehow getting past the first security checkpoint.

The highlight of the events I attended came after scalping a ticket to the cheapest tennis match available. On the bus there I met guy from Belgium who had a ticket to center court, and he told me that he would change tickets with me for one match so I could experience seeing the best players in the world. After enjoying a match between two obscure players on Court 14 (or wherever my ticket was for) I met him outside of center court and he told me that, instead of exchanging tickets, I should follow him and act like I knew what we were doing. No one checked my ticket closely, and we confidently strolled down next to the court and sat in the second row – apparently the corporate seats were all filled with squatters who then enjoyed matches featuring Gabriela Sabatini, Monica Seles, and Andre Agassi. After the third match I got up to get water and was busted on the way back in, but it was still a ridiculously cool experience.

After four days in Atlanta I came back to Cleveland, a Korean press guide in hand for Dave. The cyclist and the Belgian and I kept in touch for some time thereafter, recalling the few days that we had shared such excitement. While I won’t be in attendance for London, it’s a good bet that in the future the Olympic experience will be revisited, albeit with slightly more comfortable transportation and lodging that includes a bed.

In front of the Olympic Torch at Atlanta

In front of the Olympic Torch in Atlanta, 1996. I had mad hair.

Our Little Grey Friends

Posted from Culver City, California at 3:07 pm, March 25th, 2012

New house, similar visitors. It took less than a day for the finches to find the feeder, and the squirrels followed shortly thereafter. Feeder #2 is currently en route from Amazon and will double the size of the bird buffet.

Squirrel on the bird feeder

The squirrels haven’t yet resigned themselves to the fact that this is a squirrel-proof feeder, so rodents flying through the air and slipping off of plastic tubes have been a common sight over the past days.

Reason for Optimism

Posted from Culver City, California at 9:05 pm, March 19th, 2012

The sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia is one of the world’s most incredible places, and one that I’ve been fortunate enough to visit three times:

As amazing as it is today, South Georgia was once the most important seabird nesting site in the world, home to over 100 million nesting birds. The arrival of whalers and the introduction of rats to the island changed everything; birds that nest on the ground stand little or no chance against rats, and today it is mostly only the small offshore islands surrounding South Georgia that support large bird colonies.

South Georgia’s future will change dramatically this year. After a successful test run last year, 2013 and 2014 will see the largest rat eradication effort ever undertaken, with the hope of restoring South Georgia to its pre-whaling glory. The effort will be seven times larger than the largest eradication program previously undertaken, which was on Campbell Island in New Zealand.

While there is a lot to be discouraged about in the world today, particularly in the field of conservation, there are also a lot of good things going on. In the case of South Georgia, to know that the natural environment will be even more pristine in the future is a truly rare thing that is extraordinarily exciting to consider.

Grey-headed albatross, South Georgia Island

Grey-headed albatross on South Georgia Island in 2004. This bird was completely calm the entire time I sat with it, an experience that remains one of my favorite moments in life.

The End of Rent

Posted from Culver City, California at 7:48 pm, February 29th, 2012

A Leap Day 2012 status update:

  • The heavy items all got moved on Friday with the help of a U-Haul and two lovely gentlemen who happened to be hanging out in the Home Depot parking lot looking for work. They did the vast majority of the lifting, and two twenty-foot truckloads later nearly everything had magically transported four miles across town.
  • After a late night of cleaning, the old place was emptied and ready for inspection by the landlady; tomorrow will be the first day in my adult life where I am not paying rent. In a precursor to what could be future drama the landlady answered “I can’t tell you that” when asked if we would be getting our full security deposit back, so we may be exchanging letters that cite California renter law in the not-too-distant future.
  • In a poorly-conceived plan we had the asbestos removed prior to moving in, but haven’t yet been able to schedule the heating folks to put in replacement ducts. God noticed this oversight and thought it would be fun to send LA a week of temperatures in the forties, so the hats and scarves were some of the first items we unpacked.
  • In non-house news, due to tax law changes Holliday IT Services will soon become Holliday IT Services, Inc. Company president Holliday is looking forward to his reign of corporate terror.


Posted from Boise, Idaho at 10:11 pm, February 20th, 2012

Just over six years ago Audrey and I moved to the West Side of LA to live in a townhome next to a pond full of ducks, surrounded by trees full of squirrels, and with a neighborhood full of ill-behaved dogs that bark incessantly; two out of three ain’t bad.

Today, the move to our new casa is ongoing. There has been some drama as the old owner needed extra time to move out, but at this point his stuff is nearly gone, we’ve done some initial work (changing locks, removing asbestos), have scrubbed until our hands went numb, and have moved about a dozen carloads of stuff, including some of Audrey’s giant rolling shelves that were transported on the roof of the Subaru Beverly Hillbillies-style. The dust plume resulting from all of this activity has reduced us both to walking sinus colds, but breathing is clearly overrated.

In the midst of all of this moving I somehow managed to end up out of town in Boise for three days. Luckily I’ll be back on Thursday night in time to complete a mad scramble culminating in a U-Haul rental and the end of Great Move of 2012, followed by the beginning of the Neosho era.

Red-shouldered hawk

One of the neighbors that we will sadly be leaving behind.

Mallard Ducklings

The annual “running of the ducklings” is another event that will be greatly missed in our new home.

Real Estate for Dummies

Posted from Culver City, California at 9:08 am, February 12th, 2012

Things I think I’ve learned while buying my first house:

  • Spend time looking. It took several months for us to get an understanding of what neighborhoods we liked and what prices were fair. Being able to know where to look, and knowing what kind of house you can get for a specific price in each neighborhood is a huge advantage.
  • Use the internet. We got on Redfin early on, but during the first few months would also occasionally just follow signs to open houses. The latter approach isn’t productive – filter the houses before you go out.
  • Know the budget. We set a range, and only considered houses that were at the top of the range when we were really excited about them. This approach helped us categorize our interest – we automatically eliminated anything too expensive, and had to justify pricier homes by asking what feature of the house made it worth the extra price.
  • Be ready to move fast. We put an offer on our new house the day after the open house, and even moving that quickly we were competing with two other offers. Get pre-qualified, and if you find something you like jump on it.
  • Follow up. Audrey did a lot of follow-up with the agents, the escrow company, and others once we’d put down an offer, and it made a big difference – with different companies involved and a million things to do there are going to be issues that get missed, and it’s far easier to fix a problem earlier than doing so after it becomes a crisis.
  • Expect problems. With many documents we’ve had to send them, and then re-send them, and then send them again. Apparently with so many files to keep track of things get lost, don’t go to the right person, or need clarification, so expect to do a lot of things twice.
  • Title insurance is a scam. Just sayin’. Any insurance that pays out just 4.3% in claims of what it takes in as premiums is bogus, but the mortgage company won’t let you buy a house without it.


Posted from Culver City, California at 2:55 pm, January 28th, 2012
Lex Luthor: Miss Teschmacher, when I was six years old my father said to me…
Miss Teschmacher: “Get out.”
Lex Luthor: Ha ha. Before that. He said, “Son, stocks may rise and fall, utilities and transportation systems may collapse. People are no damn good, but they will always need land and they’ll pay through the nose to get it! Remember,” my father said…
Otis: “… land.”
Lex Luthor: Right.

After sitting out the real-estate boom of the 2000s Audrey and I started house hunting around March 2010. Twenty-two months and a ridiculous number of open houses later, we’re now seventeen days away from moving into our new place. Here are the gory details for those who are into such things:

  • We’re still in Culver City, although we’ll be four miles from our current location in the weird sliver of Culver City that juts west towards Marina del Rey.
  • 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, 2,100 square feet. The square footage includes a giant detached office that will be Audrey’s new shop and music space, but does not include a really cool screened-in back area.
  • There is room for at least 3-5 bird feeders, and I’m also planning on reading up on how to make the backyard attractive to owls, hawks, and other badass flying things.
  • The former owner took good care of the place, so aside from installation of a new furnace and air-conditioning unit we’re hoping not to be going too much deeper into debt after moving in.
  • We’ll be moved in by the end of February.
  • Our mortgage rate is awe-some. I don’t know from real estate, but buying when mortgage rates are at their lowest level since the 1950s seems like a winning bet.
  • Date and time of the inevitable housewarming party is still TBD; first the bird feeders, then the parties.

View Larger Map

The approximate location of the new casa (actual location hidden to prevent stalking by groupies). The new place is significantly closer to the water, which is great for going to the beach and bad for escaping tsunamis.

2012 Predictions

Posted from Culver City, California at 3:55 pm, January 8th, 2012

Continuing a tradition that is now in its fourth straight year (2009, 2010, 2011) here are my likely-to-be-laughably-incorrect predictions for 2012:

  1. Since 2012 is a big election year, the obligatory election result predictions are:
    1. Obama will win re-election with a comparable number of electoral college votes to what he got in 2008. The 2008 election went 365-173 for Obama, so I’ll predict that he does no worse than 320 electoral college votes in 2012. I’m a bit biased on this – I think the guy has done a good job – but barring a huge scandal it seems to me that Mitt Romney (assuming he’s the nominee) is a weaker candidate than John McCain was.
    2. Democrats will lose 1-3 Senate seats. The Senate is currently 53-47 Democratic, but Democrats are defending 23 seats in 2012 while Republicans are defending just 10. Nate Silver at the New York Times is currently projecting Republicans will gain 4.7 seats, but I would expect that Massachusetts will go back to the “D” column and a few other races may be less close after the primaries when the choice of candidates is clearer. Additionally, I don’t think any of the current Republican presidential nominees will inspire high enough turnout to generate a huge number of “R” down-ballot votes.
    3. Democrats will gain 15 seats (+/-5) in the House. This is the first election since redistricting following the 2010 census and most politicians have been able to redraw their district borders in favorable ways. While some politicians will lose seats due to redistricting, overall I don’t think there will be as significant churn as what might otherwise have been expected given the historically low Congressional approval numbers.
  2. Tesla Motors will begin deliveries of the Model-S during July/August and will receive excellent reviews and heavy sales. They will not meet their delivery target of 7,000 vehicles for the year, but things will look good for them going into 2013.
  3. American men’s distance runners will win 2-3 medals (out of nine available) in the 1500, 5,000 and 10,000 meters at the London Olympics. After many years in which seeing an American even qualify for the finals of an Olympic distance race was a big deal, the current crop of athletes is an exciting bunch.
  4. Following the Arab Spring of 2011, 2012 will see change spread to Iran. The Iranian protests of 2009 did not lead to significant regime change, but coupled with economic impacts of ongoing sanctions the underlying unrest will finally lead to change.
  5. The long rumored Apple television will finally launch in 2012. The initial incarnation will offer simplicity and iTunes integration as its major selling points – it will wirelessly sync with other Apple devices, and will probably include some interesting new feature such as a built-in DVR, but will not be a replacement for cable. While it would be great to be able to watch network television on-demand, perhaps streamed from Apple servers, without Steve Jobs it’s tough to imagine Apple being able to negotiate the required deals to make that happen with anyone other than smaller networks and maybe a handful of premium services like HBO.
  6. Despite a handful of analysts predicting doom, the Euro will easily survive 2012. Similarly, much like the US jettisoned the Articles of Confederation for a Constitution that granted stronger centralized powers, 2012 will see centralized European institutions strengthened to transfer some power from individual countries to EU institutions.
  7. The Browns will not draft Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III. Team president Mike Holmgren is a guy who thinks he can turn a lower-round choice into a successful QB, and the Browns need a lot of good players rather than just one, so I suspect they will try to shop their draft pick (perhaps to Washington) in the hopes of getting a few extra picks.
  8. Virgin Galactic’s space plane will have several successful test flights by the end of 2012, and will be preparing for customer flights for 2013. SpaceX will successfully launch two missions to the ISS but will not launch the Falcon Heavy as currently scheduled on their launch manifest.
  9. After hearing arguments in March related to the Affordable Care Act the Supreme Court decision will not meaningfully affect the law. Similarly, despite political blustering there will be no significant changes made to the law either through Congressional action or budgetary maneuvering. While this law isn’t perfect by any means, as a self-employed individual I’ll nevertheless admit that I’m looking forward to the benefits its implementation will provide.
  10. The Dow Jones will finish the year near 13,000 (it’s at 12,360 as I write this), approximately where it was before the financial crisis began. The fact that companies are sitting on record amounts of cash and seem (finally) to be using some of it to hire again, and also that interest rates seem unlikely to rise any time soon, are both things that should help the stock market. If Obama wins the election then it seems likely that capital gains tax rates could rise, but that seems unlikely to significantly affect the market until 2013.
  11. Tiger Woods will have an exciting 2012, winning 1-2 majors and 4-6 tournaments. He finished 2011 well, and after two years without winning he’s got to have the fire to win again that should power him to work as hard as he did early in his career.
  12. Hollywood will announce that they are re-making at least one of the following five movies: Grease, It’s a Wonderful Life, Spartacus, Jason and the Argonauts, or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The movie studios can’t stop recycling films, so even though this prediction is a complete shot in the dark it wouldn’t be surprising to see it happen.
  13. Either Yahoo or AOL, or both, will not survive 2012. I’ve been predicting that Yahoo would be purchased for years and have been wrong for years; maybe 2012 is the year I finally get this right, but I’m throwing AOL in there as well to hedge my bet.

Check back in January 2013 to mock me for being wrong. For anyone who cares to start the mocking early, or who wants to include some of their own predictions, the comments link is below.

2011 Prediction Scorecard

Posted from Culver City, California at 7:21 am, January 3rd, 2012

Before reviewing the debacle that was my 2011 predictions, here’s the scorecard for past years: 2009: 5 out of 16, 2010: 7.5 out of 17.

And now, 2011…

  1. Gasoline will rise in price to over $4.00 per gallon by the end of 2011 as the economy improves.

    Today’s daily fuel price average according to the AAA fuel gauge report is $3.28. The “as the economy improves” assumption may have been where things went wrong there.

  2. Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul will all announce that they are running for President. Michael Bloomberg will toy with people and then announce that he isn’t running (this may last into 2012). Newt Gingrich will not run. No Democrat will mount a serious primary challenge against Obama.

    Sarah Palin disappeared at some point around noon on October 5, and Michelle Bachman, a pizza mogul, and men named “Newt” and “Mitt” all briefly led the Republican race. In my defense, I’m not sure anyone could have foreseen that.

  3. Apple will offer minor updates to the iPad and iPhone but will not have any major new product offerings in 2011. They will, however, offer users the ability to store content such as movies and music on Apple servers and access that content on any Apple device.

    Both the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4s were minor updates, and iCloud allows storing content on Apple servers. I should probably stick to technology predictions for 2012.

  4. The national unemployment rate will drop from its current rate of 9.7 percent to between 8.8 to 9.1 percent.

    The number hovered around nine percent all year then dropped to 8.6 percent for November. However, since I’m doing the scoring, and since the justification for that sudden drop was that fewer people were filing claims (rather than more people finding jobs) I’m scoring this is a correct prediction. Anyone who disagrees with that decision can go through proper channels to file an appeal.

  5. US men’s distance runners will set national records in at least three of the following events: 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 10,000m, marathon.

    Bernard Lagat set a new 5000m record of 12:53.6 on July 22 in Monaco, and Galen Rupp broke the 10,000m record with a 26:48 in Brussels on September 16. Ryan Hall ran the fastest marathon ever by an American with a 2:04:58 in Boston, but it wasn’t counted as a record due to Boston’s course setup; however, it was a ridiculous run that was 40 seconds faster than the existing record, so I’m counting this prediction as another correct guess.

  6. Neither court challenges nor budgetary maneuvering will affect the Affordable Care Act / Obamacare.

    The law is moving forward, and while the Supreme Court has agreed to hear challenges in March 2012, thus far it looks like it will be implemented as scheduled.

  7. Yahoo and Adobe will both be purchased.

    I’ve been predicting this for a while now, and have been wrong for a while, too. Somehow Yahoo continues to chug along, and Adobe has failed to cash-in on their once-ubiquitous and soon-to-be-obsolete Flash technology.

  8. SpaceX will launch only three of the five Falcon 9 missions on their current launch manifest, but all will be successful. They will also launch two of their Falcon 1e rockets successfully.

    After an amazingly successful 2010 SpaceX failed to launch a single rocket this year, so this prediction was a spectacular failure. Hopefully they will get back on track in 2012 beginning with their scheduled mission to the space station on February 7.

  9. 3D televisions will still not be a big deal.

    3-D TV sales actually declined in Q3 2011. Manufacturers may eventually figure this technology out, but I suspect that something more akin to Ultra High Definition TVs will instead be the next big thing in television.

  10. Splits in the Republican party between social conservatives and fiscal conservatives will increase significantly.

    House Republicans have been surprisingly united and have also managed to focus on fiscal issues rather than social issues. The debt ceiling debacle and the late fight over payroll taxes had the potential to split the party, but they surprisingly stayed united. Another wrong prediction, and another reason why I don’t write about politics very often.

  11. Labor disputes in the NFL will not affect the regular season. A lockout will be imposed in the NBA and the regular season will be shortened as a result.

    Got this one right, although I’m actually surprised the NBA lockout didn’t last longer.

  12. Cape Wind and Bluewater Wind will both start construction of their offshore wind farm projects in 2011 after years of legal wrangling and delays.

    Neither has begun construction as ongoing legal battles and other delays tie things up. I’m a fan of windmills, and am bummed out that the US thus far hasn’t figured out a way to make offshore wind work.

  13. Total downloads of JAMWiki will exceed 15,000 for the year.

    Final download numbers for 2011 were 16,805, but somehow about 6,000 of those came from Khazakhstan in February, so in the interest of not supporting Soviet hackers this one unfortunately goes down as an incorrect prediction.

  14. 2011 will see not just two, but three journal entries every month.

    As predicted, the ongoing tradition of questionable writing and end-of-the-month entries expanded in 2011, and with ongoing effort should continue into 2012.

Final score: 7 out of 14, which shockingly is the best success rate in the three years that I’ve been making predictions. It’s unlikely that I’m getting any better at this, but dumb luck says I’ve got to be right occasionally. The 2012 predictions will be up soon, and they will undoubtedly return things to the historical rates of inaccuracy.