Yes, it's the last day of the year.
Back at the old old job, some years we'd work late on New Year's Eve, frantically finishing up a project, boxing up the deliverables, and making a mad dash to the UPS office on University Avenue before it closed.
I'd kind of expected to do that this year, only without the tangible deliverables, shipping, and so on.
And, given the realities of the current work, I figured I might fudge the end of the day a little. Like, work through December 35th. (Well, the 34th; there's a family gathering on the 35th.)
But, no. I'm not getting much done today, and, right now, the difference between billing a few extra hours in this month and just letting them be in next month isn't really that important.
Cash flow this year has been appalling: a big chunk of the first part of the year went to no-revenue efforts to sort through the remains of a defunct company; I took that month off in summer; a fixed-price project took way too much time; much of what ought to have been work time was consumed by family crises, low-grade illness, and whatnot; and then there were vacation expenses, including an unplanned car rental, and there was the new water heater, and the very expensive repairs to the Prius.
Still, there's enough cash in the bank to keep me out of trouble for a couple of months, and enough work in the pipeline to keep me gainfully occupied for a while yet. So, unlike so many people, I'm not finishing the year in dire straits.
And maybe, since Huckleberry and Southmoon are so disappointed they didn't get a big ugly fountain for Christmas, I'll splurge on a little fountain for them for Twelfth Night. And I did splurge on a new (cheap) ushanka; not only is the old one a bit small for me (fine for costume wear, not so good for pulling down over the ears), but I don't know where it ended up after I took the winter stuff out of the trunk in preparation for the summer trip. New one promises to be a slightly loose fit.
But: once again, no lavish year-end CAPEX this year. I'd thought I'd at least upgrade EAGLE to version 7, which has some useful new features, but that can wait until I have a project for which the new features would actually be useful. (With the new XML file formats, being totally in sync with clients and subcontractors has become rather less important than it used to be.)
As for resolutions for next year... pretty much the usual. Bugging out of Silicon Valley has been on the to-do-soon list since about fall of 2012, but I didn't even manage to get away for a preliminary scouting mission until this past summer. Urgency is creeping up, what with alarming (indeed, downright Wagnerian) economic trends, but meanwhile my mother's health is not so good, and I don't think I'll be persuading my parents to tag along even as far as a nice suburb of Nashville, never mind the remote countryside, so I may be tied here by family obligations. Fingers crossed for the continuation of the local Potemkin economy....
Ah, well. Time to log the couple of billable hours I put in today (trying to track down timing issues in an FPGA; seems most of the really-worrisome ones involve interactions between the 100 MHz and 300 MHz clock domains, despite all the clocks being derived from a common reference, and fiddling with the phase settings yields results that don't appear to make sense and that certainly don't improve the margins any), and spend a short evening winding down from the day. Then an early bedtime, after snorting some Neosporin and cranking the humidifier up to full blast.
Yes, an early bedtime on New Year's Eve. Why do you think I blew the noisemaker on Vladivostok time?
Update: Either the neighborhood was uncharacteristically quiet last night, or I managed to sleep right through the fireworks. Haven't been outside yet to inspect the shiny new local year.