It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, 1859

I know a fair number of people who see the coming year as a portent of doom. I know others who think it means there is new hope. I know others who are looking about at other signs and portents and think something is coming, but they don’t know what.

Simply put, I suspect this near-random marking of a new rotation around the sun will be what each and everyone of us will make of it.

Work wise, I have skills I need to learn, others I have let get rusty I need to clean, polish and oil. There are some things I need to think deeply on and consider further. I feel the need to become better at what I do. Not because of any external pressure, but to make myself better.

I am teaching drums again. I am playing in a pipe band again – two of them, truth be told, but one is mostly to help train the newer members until they are up and functioning enough where they don’t need me.  I am looking at a handful of music performance opportunities with both of these bands.

I will be speaking at at least one conference, Agile Testing Days USA in Boston, in June. I’ll be doing a workshop on “growing into Exploratory Testing” – an expanded version of the talk I gave at Agile Testing Days 2014.

I am considering submitting to proposals to a couple of other conferences. I haven’t made up my mind and still have time.

Life goes on.

The daughters are each doing well. The grandchildren are growing. The cats are being cats. Clover the Garden Kitty, our oldest, went to “cat heaven” this last December. The other two indoor cats still sometimes look for her in her favorite places.

Do I have a sense of dread? Do I fear the future?


Each of us are tasked with working to make the world a better place, every day. We may not be able to reach out and shake the towers of the mighty, but we can certainly improve our small corner of the world. Do that with all the strength and good will you can muster.

Go forth boldly.

Do not fear the night. Be a light bright enough so the night fears you.