The end of the year approaches.  Herewith the final general update of 2007 for the widely read and closely parsed Chronicle of Jason.

  1. Hooray for me!  Today I received word that my entry on "interpenetrated design" was final-accepted for inclusion in the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methods.  The write-up was 900 words of the driest prose I’ve penned in some time, but the assignment will be a valuable addition to my publication history, and I did learn a bit about the subject, too, during my literature search.  I’m especially grateful to the project’s editor for his patience as I worked through the drafting process; I dragged a bit, but now that I’m done, I’m suddenly motivated to do more professional writing.
  2. December was a fairly poor month, health-wise.  The cold lovingly shared by my nephew at Thanksgiving had transformed into a low-grade sinus infection; when that had cleared, a cold came back — the single worst experience with draining sinuses that I’ve had since childhood.  I even broke down, due in part to Sheila’s superior nagging, and purchased over-the-counter drugs to manage the snot flow.  All is better now, though.
  3. Christmas was delightful.  The aforementioned nephew was a little angel at both family Christmas parties, and it’s always a pleasure to see how my four "Indiana cousins" grow and develop over the years — they’re great kids.  And Robert and Sue are as charming as ever. 
  4. I think Tony is mad at me; I refused his last-minute plea to go to a Traverse City casino with him for New Year’s Eve.  "Only $500," he said.  I think I’ll buy new tires instead, since the Grand Cherokee of Power is dog-tracking like nobody’s business, which isn’t good during a Michigan winter.
  5. Had lunch with my cousin Callista on the 26th; she’s back in town briefly for the holidays.  Her first semester as a grad student at UW-Madison went well, and she’s adjusting to her new life there quite adeptly.  I’m proud of her.
  6. I’ve had some great opportunity to "sell" my workgroup at the hospital.  Our coding department, which is now under the aegis of my senior director, allowed me to do a show-and-tell with that department’s director and managers last week.  They are intrigued at the prospect of accurate quantification of staff productivity, and the theoretical model we’ve developed for registration can be applied to their area with little difficulty.  If this works, it could be a significant publishing opportunity.
  7. Had a conference call two weeks ago with the leadership team for the Quality and Productivity section of the American Statistical Association, for which in January I will "take office" as the 2008 publications officer-elect.  Interesting group, and a great professional opportunity.
  8. I bought a Fred Thompson T-shirt last week; it arrived today.  I like it — it has a profile of Sen. Thompson, next to a phrase: "Kill the Terrorists, protect the borders, punch the hippies."  I’m wearing it right now, as I type this at Kava House.  Hee hee.  UPDATE:  I just had a three-minute drop-by at my table by a guy named Tom who saw the shirt and chatted a bit about the primary season; he, too, is a FredHead.
  9. I’m now officially confirmed (insofar as I’ve submitted a deposit, anyway) for SCUBA training in Key Largo in the first week of March.  The folks at Silent World seem like the right fit; I figure that open-water diving there, and advanced OWD in Michigan over the summer, will get me much closer to my goal of divemaster certification in the next year.  Also, I’ve been exchanging e-mails with the proprietor of a skydiving school in the area — he tells me that the total costs for being ready for class A licensure with the United States Parachute Association is only about $1,400 for materials and 16 or so jumps (for training; you need 25 jumps and demonstrated proficiencies to sit for the licensing process).  So, I’m going to add that to the list of ’08 goals, too, but the school won’t open for the season until early April.
  10. Vonnie says the Ireland trip in August is still on.  I’m suddenly not that worried if the trip is canceled, because the annual Joint Statistical Meetings will be held at the same time, and I’ve submitted an abstract to deliver a concurrent paper at the conference.  So, I need for Ireland to be canceled, or the abstract to be rejected, lest I be somewhat screwed.


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