Yes, it's that time of year again! Well, actually I'm a couple of weeks late, but I've been ill and this is my blog, so ner!
Highlight of the year - Like last year, it's the birth of a child - my daughter to be precise! The birth itself was a lot quicker and easier than last time (for both my wife and myself!) and we were home by lunchtime the same day. Sleep has been more of a problem this time, though a lot of people have said that girls tend to be worse sleepers than boys - though this is anecdotal rather than proper data. My son's been learning his first words - proper words rather than random babbling. He seems to say "Oh dear" rather a lot though... As for next year, we're certainly not planning on having any more children so I'll have to think of something else for the 2010 review post.
Film of the year - Again, due to the responsibilities of parenthood, I haven't seen that many new films this year. Up is the best I have seen though, and also served as my first proper 3D film viewing, though that felt more like a gimmick than something I'd want to do all the time
Game of the year - Mass Effect. I'm probably cheating by including it here, but I did play the game in 2009 even though it was out the year before. This game has a ton of technical flaws, an irritating inventory system, awkward vehicle combat and other problems that would normally put me off, but the story, character and atmosphere just draw you in completely. I'm very much looking forward to the sequel that's out in a couple of weeks. Assassin's Creed was fun for a while, but ultimately annoyed me to the point where I didn't finish it. Trials HD was also fun, but required too much patience and skill for me.
TV of the year - This year I've really been getting into House, watching all five seasons on DVD, more or less back-to-back! I'm not normally a fan of medical dramas, but the quality of writing in House is exceptional, as is Hugh Laurie's performance. My favourite episodes are the stranger ones, usually the last couple in each season such as the bus crash at the end of season four (though the Amber clue was blatantly obvious to me) and where House becomes delusional at the end of season five, but we don't even know it until the last few minutes - one of the most powerful examples of TV for years.
As for other series', Lost is still really good and I can't wait for the final season. Dr Who/Torchwood took a different approach this year - rather than a full season of each, Torchwood did a rather good five part mini-series and Dr Who did four one-off episodes shown throughout the year - the first two of which were pretty rubbish I did think the return of the Timelords in the final two parter was a bit of an anticlimax, but the final poignant half hour was the best bit of writing Russell T Davies has ever done - shame it took him so long to get there. David Tennant's Doctor was often irritating (and utterly bipolar in character), but I'll miss him.
Book of the year - Ben Goldacre's Bad Science is a great eye opener - not just in terms of how science is misrepresented in the press, but in terms of the danger caused by pseudoscience and bad reporting of medical (or medicalised) stories. The chapter on AIDS denialism in South Africa is completely shocking. One of those books everyone should read.
Technology of the year - Android. I was so happy when I learned that Google were setting up against Apple's over-expensive, DRM ridden, walled in phone system with an open source, open to any application developers, open to any phone manufacturer, free (as in beer and freedom) operating system. My G1 phone is still going strong and whilst not quite up there with the latest models, having a Qwerty keyboard and an unlimited data plan has changed the way I use my phone forever.
Windows 7 is good contender, but doesn't win the award simply because it's what Vista should have been in the first place.
Conclusion - I was wondering whether to do a review of the noughties (or whatever people call em), but the mathematician inside me won't let me consider the decade over until 2011 - there was no year zero in our calendar. Also, I can't remember that far back.
Predictions for next year. Here I can say whatever I like and if it comes true I make lots of noise about it when it happens - if not, I pretend I never wrote it! I reckon Android will become more popular, certainly after the launch of the Nexus One phone, though the iPhone is so ubiquitous that I doubt it'll be buried for a long time (if ever).
I predict I'll still have two children at the end of the year. I have nothing but admiration for parents who have three or more children.
I also predict I'll like Mass Effect 2 a lot! There are a few interesting games that ought to come out in the next year - Alan Wake, Starcraft 2 (at least the first part of it) and Fable 3 of course (pre-order now!!!).
I want to try to lose weight (though being ill for the last couple of weeks has given me a nice headstart) and I also need to figure out an easy way to pay off the mortgage in one go...