1) I will finish the rough draft of Prophecy by June 30, 2004: Accomplished.
2) By the end of 2004, I will have revised Prophecy into a complete and coherent novel that I am willing to show to at least six friends: Accomplished.
Although I haven't technically shown it to six people yet. (The file is over a meg and I'm waiting on some of the people I picked as beta readers to let me know if their inbox can handle it before I send it.) I've offered to show it, though, which is the spirit of the resolution.
Incidentally, thank you, very much, to everyone who offered to read the manuscript. If Prophecy survives the first wave of readers and gets revised, I shall most likely be checking with everyone who offered but didn't get subjected to it this round if they're still willing to look at it. O:)
3) Once I have achieved my first and second resolutions, I will be proud of myself. I will not qualify my achievements with "yes, but ...": Half-Accomplished.
Admittedly, I am proud of myself, but there has been an awful lot of "yes, but" (in spirit if not in exact wording) whenever I've refered to the manuscript.
4) I will weigh 130 lbs or less, or have a 26" waist, by the end of 2004.: Half-Accomplished.
When I made that resolution a year ago, my scale said I weighed 140 lbs. I stepped on the same scale before starting this entry, and it reported me at 137 lbs. I realize that this does not sound like meaningful progress.
However! It's not quite as bad as it looks. For starters, I 'gained' three pounds when I moved the scale from the carpeted downstairs bathroom to the linoleum of the upstairs bathroom. If I moved the scale back downstairs, it'd have me at 134 lbs. So I've lost six of the ten pounds I intended to lose, which isn't so bad.
The other piece of good news is that most of my weight loss has been since September -- meaning that I am on the losing-weight track right now. Even the holiday season and abundance of junk food hasn't thrown me off, much to my surprise. In any case, it's not inconcievable that I'll continue to lose weight in the coming year. Overall, I'm satisfied with this.
5. I will finish the JTM campaign, and start roleplaying online again: Accomplished.
I've been a little dispirited about this resolution. First, I'd wanted to run an epilogue session after the grand finale session of JTM, but I never did. Second, I'd planned that my next RPG would have every PC playing every two weeks, and some of the PCs have gone several weeks between sessions.
And then I considered how many Game of October sessions there have actually been in the last six months: 35. OK, I don't feel like such a slacker any more.
6. I will strive to be calmer and more emotionally stable: Um.
I'm not sure how to measure this. I think I've done better at staying calm, but I don't have a systemic feel for this.
7. Get the basement to stop leaking: Oops.
In retrospect, I am much amused that I was "mostly putting this on the list because I want some easy ones on here". Bwahahaha.
I haven't done a state-of-the-basement in some months, so here's an update.
My application to the city's homeowner rebate program was tentatively approved. I needed to get my contractor(s) to sign the city's provided contracts, promising to render their assorted services. Then the city was supposed to send out an inspector.
On December 10th, I called back the Dry Basement contractor. He'd matched (approximately) EC Waterproofing's bid the last time I had him in, and they'd called to say they had new products to offer. I figured if he'd match EC Waterproofing again, I'd have him sign a contract right there, and get the work done as soon as possible after the city inspection.
Well, all the contractors I've spoken with have come to the same solution as the "cheapest effective" an interior drain system. This involves breaking up the floor next to the walls, and digging out the ground next to the wall's footing. My existing sump pump adjoins one wall. Mr. Kragnes, the representative from Dry Basement, wandered about taking measurements for a while, then inspected my sump pump. Then the ground around my sump pump. Then the walls next to my sump pump.
"I don't think your walls are on a footing."
Apparently, the walls of my basement were laid at the same time as the floor. The floor is the footing. Which means you can't just dig out the floor and expect the walls to stay standing afterwards.
No interior drain for me.
The exterior drain is prohibitively expensive. Mr. Kragnes gave a ballpark quote of $30,000. Even if I could find a cheaper contractor, no one I've spoken with has made the exterior route sound remotely affordable.
There was one silver lining to his visit, however. Several months ago, one of my neighbors suggested that the coming sewer system would alleviate my flooding problem. I dismissed this possibility after speaking with the city sewer folks and being told it would have no effect. "The sewer will only remove waste water from the houses; it's not going to take rainwater out of the ground."
This is true ... but what it fails to account for is where the waste water from the houses in my neighborhood is currently going: into the ground. Yes, we all have septic tanks and the water is treated and presumably harmless when it leeches back into the soil. But it's still water.
And it's quite probably where all the water that's flowing under my house and being continually pumped out by my sump pump, rain or shine, is coming from. Just having the city remove all that leechate from the septic systems could make a big difference in how much water is in the ground around my house. And with less water in the ground from the start, the ground should be able to absorb more when we do get a heavy rain.
So I have reason, once again, to hope that this problem may solve itself.
In the meantime, I had my plumber return and install a backup hydropump for the sump pit. Now if anything happens to my regular pump (ie, the power fails again), then the hydropump will take over using city water pressure. Mr. Kragnes was skeptical about the hydropump -- he said they didn't move enough water. But we turned off the regular pump for a little while to test out the hydropump. It's pumping much faster than water is coming in. I think it'll do just fine in an emergency, for an indefinite period of time. Unlike any battery-based backup, I don't have to worry about the battery dying, or exhausting itself.
The other silver lining to not doing an interior drain is that I don't have to move all the junk out of my basement so that contractors can work down there. :D
I'm considering some kind of water-channelling method down there, myself. kagetsume had suggested splitting PVP pipes in half, glueing them around the leak-prone areas of the walls, and channeling the pipes toward the existing sump pump. This would be sturdy, but hard to get rid of (or even to tell if they were needed) if the problem goes away. Also, it'd be ugly, and I'd have to either punch holes through my drywall to run the pipes, or have pipes running back and forth along non-leaking walls.
I've also considered the simpler-still option of glueing plastic sheeting over the affected areas, and letting that run to the pit. It'd be easier to put in and to remove. But it'd also be prone to tearing.
Alternatively, I could do nothing at all and hope the sewer system saves me. O:) In any case, the worst flooding issues -- the one that nearly cost me my water heater, for example -- are fixed with the introduction of the hydropump. So I'm relatively happy with the situation as it stands.
8) To have at least five pairs of pants for work that fit well: Accomplished.
This one actually was easy. At least compared to the whole basement thing, anyway.
9) I will not be discouraged or give up trying, regardless of how many or how few of these resolutions I fail to achieve at the end of the year: Accomplished.
I'm so not-discouraged that I think I'll even make some new resolutions for 2005. But not tonight.
So, net result:
5 out of 9 achieved.
Not too bad, all things considered. I'll see if I can't do better next year.