It's a little after 7 p.m. on December 31 as I type this. The bubbly is still chilling, but won't be for very much longer.
The year past has had its ups and downs, as most years do. Your mileage may vary, but at least in my corner of the universe there have been no close friends or relatives passing away - though everyone is a year older and, as Pink Floyd reminds us, "another year closer to death," we are all still here. Health issues for various people come and go, though as the cliche says it beats the alternative.
On a larger scale, the country still hasn't decided on a direction. The spenders think we're not taxed enough and the (nominally) thrifty think we're spending too much. This creates an unholy compromise in which we continue to increase spending while continuing to avoid increasing taxes, something that is the most irresponsible outcome of all. Still, one tries to be an optimist and not obsess over these problems unduly.
Back in the Steamlands, different problems arose, but the core of the Steamlands seems strong. People continue to live their lives and have adventures, many of which even end well. I look forward to the upcoming Tales of New Babbage, Vol. 2, in which some of these adventures are committed to print. Perhaps some tales will find their way onto these pages as well.
Is that the sound of a cork popping? Perhaps it is. If so, I raise my glass and wish everyone a healthy and wonderful new year.