While visiting Kate, she was lamenting that while she was having this fabulous time in Egypt, she had come to realize that her world in America had continued to progress without her. There were newcomers on the GWU Ballroom Dancing team, Linda had taken over Kate’s current solo in the Boogie Knights’ song list and her various friends had loved and lost and she wasn’t around for the details.Being away a mere two weeks gave me the merest glimpse of what she’s experiencing so I am sympathetic.For long-time followers, here’s an update on the various things I’m involved in and where we are:The Freelance LifeMildly rewriting from my pal Keith DeCandido’s blog: “I got my contributor’s copies of Webslinger: Unauthorized Essays on Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, the latest in BenBella Books’s “Smart Pop” series of essay collections about various pop-culture phenomena.“My essay — which, to my shock, gets billing on the back cover copy — is called “Spider-Man; Ultimate Loner, Ultimate Partner” and basically explains why Spidey works so well as a team-up partner while the character is essentially a loner.“There are also essays by Darren Hudson Hick, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Robert B. Taylor, Lou Anders, Richard Hanley, Matthew Pustz, Michael A. Burstein, Joseph McCabe, Keith DeCandido, Brett Chandler Patterson, J.R. Fettinger, Adam-Troy Castro, Paul Lytle, David Hopkins, Robert Burke Richardson, and Michael Marano. It’s edited by ex-Spider-writer Gerry Conway, and you should go buy a copy right now.”Beyond that, I returned home to see the latest issue of Fairfield magazine is out, complete with my article on the best places to go sledding in town. Of course, it’s February and there hasn’t been even an inch of snow in town this season so the article seems out-of-place, but I remain happy with it.I’m back at work on the unnamed project and have begun pestering editors about future work so we’ll see what develops over the next few weeks. I did get a note from Keith asking me to modify the ending to my Star Trek: The Next Generation: Slings and Arrows Book 5 eBook outline so that is on the weekend’s agenda.Also, I have been added to the programming list for May’s Balticon so that’ll be nice.The Political LifeWell, it seems the RTM met and survived without me in January which is swell. On the other hand I remain astounded that they have yet to vote on the Eminent Domain Ordinance which has been pretty much debated to death by now. Maybe in February.Meantime, my zoning sub-committee has met a few more times, each presumably the final time, but we keep working away. On Monday, we were visited by our town Tree Warden, the chairman of the Historic District Committee and members from the citizen groups FairfieldersFirst and the Fairfield Forestry Committee, which resulted in our reopening the previously approved final draft of the Tree Ordinance and held further debate on the Demolition Delay Ordinance. While I want to bring things to a close, I have to admit, having all the extra time and input will make for stronger ordinances. We take the final votes next Monday and then all three go to the RTM for consideration. I’ll be real curious to see what the reaction will be.The Cable Advisory CouncilDespite my telling Tom Castelot and his Sound View cronies not to speak with the individual towns without members of the CAC being involved, he did just that. He met with the six towns to outline the process for him doling out a paltry $60,000 to aid in developing town-generated programming. So now the CAC is all in a tizzy trying to figure out exactly how to rein him in, whether or not we have any authority any more and what the next step should be.Frankly, there’s so much hand-wringing going on, it feels like the CAC has been paralyzed after being de-powered by the state DPUC decision, which granted Sound View a renewed franchise despite the Attorney General, Cablevision, and the CAC begging them not to. How this plays out will be interesting.The OfficeWeekly World News continues to come out with more outrageous coverage of the unexpected. A few licensing deals are moving forward, after long delays, and the website’s content is getting updated on a more consistent basis. I had a fun meeting with the Sci Fi Channel about doing some work together and we’ll see if that goes anywhere. The good news is that we’re finally on the AMI schedule for upgrading from Quark to InDesign, something I look forward to learning.And how have you all been?