Guest column: Resolutions for Y2K minus one

Well, it is 1999. Yippee. Only 346 days to the end of the world as we know it.

And that bit of sarcasm reminds me that I just broke one of my New Year's resolutions, to wit, No. 10 on my list: "I will take the whole Y2K thing more seriously."

This one is hard to keep. I mean, the whole family discussed the Y2K thing over Christmas lunch, for God's sake! It was "pass the turkey and do you think the banks are ready?" So I have decided that I am going to get myself a generator in case the power fails, bury krugerrands in the garden, and mount a machine gun on the roof.

Now for the rest of my resolutions:

No. 9: "I will stop saying Microsoft Office is good value and amazing engineering." Boy, just try to say that Microsoft Office is remarkable for its scope and amazingly low cost and geeks start acting like you insulted their mothers. (Honestly, Bill isn't paying me to say that.)No. 8: "I will stop getting really ticked off by vendors who don't make it easy to find their contact information and pricing on their Web sites." This is going to be really hard. With my new DSL connection from Santa (which is awesome and took all of 20 minutes to install -- but I digress . . .) I'll be spending even more time on the Web, and it is ridiculous not to be able to quickly find pricing and contact information.

No. 7: "I will learn to tolerate spamvitations to view hot, lusty, busty coeds for free, as well as pitches that start 'are you serious about getting rich' without hitting the delete key with such force that the keycap is launched into a low earth orbit." The spam thing is getting really silly.

I find it much easier to tolerate advertising messages that begin with "ADV", as I can file them in a folder and review them every few days. (Yes, I really do look at them. I've found some cool products that way.) But it's the deluge of ads for porno Web sites that really irritate me. I keep thinking of how peeved I'd be if my son were a few years older and reading that trash.

No. 6: "I will redesign my Web site." It is about time that I got around to this. I tried the "Gibbs Institute" thing on as a joke, but I keep getting requests from students who want to see the curriculum. If you have any suggestions for the next iteration of my Web site, please let me know.

No. 5: "I will clean up my office." Ha! I say this every year. And every year I try, but the books and magazines just pile up and at least once a week some kind of poltergeist sweeps through from the dark side and hurls papers, disks, CD ROMs and cables around with wild, demonic abandon. Perhaps I should have the office exorcised.

No. 4: "I will stop installing every cool piece of software that comes along." Damn, this is a hard one. I mean, how can you pass up test driving the alpha version of an artificial intelligence-based, neural network-driven, distributed processing-enabled screen saver?

No. 3: "I will actually delete old e-mail." But I will archive it. I'm sure that I might need it sometime.

No. 2: "I will get more sleep." To quote Warren Zevon ". . . when I die."

No. 1: "I will not (even though I might be tempted, which happens a lot because of all of the cool software I've installed and my new DSL connection) digress as much as I did in 1998." Perhaps I shouldn't even attempt this one.

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