Niall’s virtual diary archives – Sunday 3rd January 2010

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Sunday 3rd January 2010: 4.28pm. Wow, some three months have passed and it's suddenly 2010! Has this been the longest break in virtual diary entries in twelve years? I think so. And yet again when I consider what I have done since the last entry, I know that I did loads of stuff but I can't quite think of any of it. What I have done recently is fix the "All Things Niall" Feed which had broken itself because Yahoo Pipes simply isn't working properly anymore and apparently they aren't going to fix it, so I wrote up some PHP which munges together all the feeds and outputs a combined feed which works nicely: this "blog" (I prefer "virtual diary") as it appears on Facebook and LinkedIn and many other sites, is now working again.

I went to the US for Thanksgiving in late November with Megan's family, then went travelling around Europe visiting people I'm still in contact with (and my apologies to those of you who weren't close enough to my line of travel this time round) which lasted until just before Christmas. My travels were hardly boring: I managed to fall severely out with Johanna over a matter of ideology, and we are no longer in regular contact at my insistence. Most sad. I am very upset about it.

The Christmas break seemed longer than usual this year in the sense that I haven't done any useful work since returning home until yesterday - partially the fault of how the weekends fell this year, but also a determined attempt to have a proper holiday break this year considering that the prior two Christmases were spent writing essays or other coursework which did not aid the holiday spirits! I suppose also that I am hoping for 2010 to be the start of a whole raft of new endeavours now that the company is established and trading with a hopefully viable business model, Megan has permission to stay and work in Ireland indefinitely and now we just need to kick off the next round. I finally went ahead and purchased an exercise bike - the outdoors proved too cold and inconvenient to incorporate into my daily schedule, and the PhD I was invited to apply for at UCC researching Federated Autonomic Trust Management did not come through for me which was a surprise given my superb background experience in that area - I had been anticipating walking in each day from a remote car park and that way gaining the needed exercise. Either way I recognise that my cardiovascular system isn't maintaining itself with zero effort any more - as I age it appears to need increasing maintenance much as with my gums where flossing has become very necessary as otherwise they recede (i.e. gum disease!).

Before leaving for Thanksgiving, I finally got around to erecting a proper company website for ned Productions Limited which is now listed on the navigation bar on the left and I also did some purchasing of stock and setting up of a shopping cart system such that internet users can buy stuff - probably Untangle boxes rather like this guy who beat me to it but thankfully he's US and dollar centric. During the latter end of October and the start of November I wrote a series of economic policy articles for the Irish progressive think-tank TASC copies of which I have placed on the neo-capitalism website as the last one was too radical for them to publish so they silently dropped me. I do remember doing some more work on nedmalloc for ARA and indeed I still have some loose ends to tie up there during the next few weeks, and hopefully before the end of January I'll release a beta of nedmalloc as it has so many new features. Social welfare still hasn't paid out which at six months now is breathtaking, but at least they owe me at least five grand now which is good since once again I will run out of money at the end of January. I also have the end of year tax and accounts filing for the company which must be lodged very shortly in a tax efficient manner i.e. cue me trudging through the Irish tax code.

Lastly, this year I will either get a PhD started or get that summaries of Economics papers book written. One or the other: failure to accomplish either is unacceptable now that the company is generating money though it will take some time before I can leave welfare support given the current economic climate. For the PhD, it all depends on obtaining research funding for which I firstly need a willing PhD supervisor - and that alone I have thus far failed to accomplish, but I am slowly getting closer.

Next entry will be in just a few weeks time: my annual "summary of the past year" post which I do around my birthday when I will turn thirty-two! Until then, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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