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Okay, what are you doing..?? Where are you doing it.?

Do you think the whole thing is a big yawn..?

Is everything horribly overpriced in your neck of the woods too..?

What about the Y2K bug - taking any precautions there? Do you have a bunker to go into? Have you been frantically hoarding tuna and extra water? Hidden all your money under the bed in a shoebox..?

I need to know.

-- Immy (immy@rocketmail.com), December 22, 1999


I'm going to be giving into apathy. I've not been enthusiastic at any step of the way about the whole new years deal, ever. Well, except when I was little and my parents would let me stay up late. Now that I go to anywhere from 3:30 - 6am, the thrill has worn off a little.

I'm going to rent some videos and sit at home, oh, and be online of course. Substituting nicely for the long-gone 'staying up late' thrill, my parents will be in Adelaide, so I'll actually have some peace and quiet! Will the excitement never end...?!

No extra tuna, no extra water (yet - I may rethink that), no money in a shoebox. And if the bank loses all of my money because of crazed idiots with no control over their panic gland, I'm going to be really pissed!

-- sammy (ahtalvik@alphalink.com.au), December 22, 1999.

Well, regarding the money issue - you know, I heard on the radio the other day that the banks are telling people not to worry because they are going to have more money printed to keep up with the demand

Now, I didn't think you could just print more money whenever the hell you felt like it, as this adds to inflation or something (although I don't fully understand the money market, I must confess)

Perhaps someone could explain..

-- Immy (jealousyw@yahoo.com), December 22, 1999.

I expect to be staying home (as usual)... Once upon a time, there used to be a New Year's Eve party among my circle of friends, usually at Ed and Fran's house but some years it would be elsewhere (one year I hosted it)... but Nancy and I stopped going when we had little ones ...and those little ones are now both in high school so you can tell this was a while ago... [and Ed & Fran have been divorced for years... and we now live move than 300 miles away from that area...]

When our kids were little, we would go out to dinner at a family style restaurant that every New Year's featured a magician entertainer, party hats & noise makers, and every half an hour did a special count-down for "Children's New Year"... and then we'd go home, build a fire in the fireplace... I'd set out some munchies... read to the kids... put them to bed... then Nancy & I would sip a glass or two of wine in front of the fireplace until midnight...

The kinds of "free" celebrations you mentioned are something like the "First Night" celebrations that are popular here in the New England Area of the U.S. I think they started in Boston, but have spread to many other towns. Here in Rhode Island they are held in Providence (our "big" city) and in Westerly (a village-sized place). First Night is New Year's Eve, lots of bands playing (of all types, folk, country, jazz, rock, classical) and many other types of entertainment (plays, jugglers, magicians, dancers, etc., etc.), lots of different kinds of food, etc. -- all non-alcohol activities -- and "free" admission to these venues is by wearing a First Night button which are sold for relatively small amounts of money -- ten or twenty bucks. In the larger cities (like Providence or Boston) the button also gets you free transportation from venue to venue, etc. Usually there's a fireworks display, etc. A couple years ago we decided to try First Night in Westerly. We really enjoyed the indoor activities, but this was a very cold night -- it was in the teens when we got there (about minus 7 or 8 to you) -- so the outdoor activities were sparsely populated and the indoor areas were overcrowded -- and by eleven pm the temperature had dropped to ten (minus twelve or so) and was still dropping as the wind picked up and we all decided to skip the midnight fireworks display and go home.

For the past year and a half I've been running a screen-saver on my laptop that is a Y2K countdown clock... so I think I will set my laptop next to the television so I can watch a rental movie and also be able to see what the screen-saver will do a midnight. [Doesn't that sound like a thrilling evening?]

Regarding your cell phone number: one thing that has the various phone companies here concerned is what would happen to their networks if a significant percentage of their customers all decided to pick up the phone just after midnight to see if it still works... the network would be overwhelmed and you would not get a dial tone so they are asking people not to do that... and they are installing extra equipment to handle cellular calls in areas where large groups of people are expected (such as Times Square in N.Y.)...

-- Jim (jimlawrence@hotmail.com), December 22, 1999.

Regarding the printing of money... When governments deliberately pump up the money supply it is called "printing money" for historical reasons, but today only a small part of the money supply is in actual physical cash money, it is mostly electronic, etc. and includes savings & checking accounts, etc., and a government manipulates that via monetary policy (such as the Federal Reserve here in the U.S. raising and/or lowering interest rates, etc.)... But the news item regarding the U.S. (and some other countries) printing more money because of Y2K is not a question of monetary policy or inflation, etc... it is just that they are making more physical paper (or that plastic-like stuff used in Oz) available to banks in anticipation of people making extra cash withdrawals in the days leading up to Y2K... They don't want the banks or ATM machines running short and causing people to panic [picture the run on the Bailey Building & Loan Society in "It's a Wonderful Life" -- it wasn't a question of them not having assets -- i.e., the value of the loans and the houses those loans financed -- but just having enough cash on hand to be able to handle those panic withdrawals] even though physical money represents just a tiny fraction of the money supply.

-- Jim (jimlawrence@hotmail.com), December 22, 1999.

I have been invited to a cozy play card games and drink lots of beer party at a friends house. Even the kids are invited to this overnight shin-dig.

I didn't want to drive anywhere on "amature night" or worry about a terrorist sitter. If I hadn't been invited to this I would have simply stayed home with movies and nookie under the Christmas tree.

My mother and I have done some storing of dry/canned goods and batteries for the y2k scare. I figure that my family will use those things if nothing happens, but a little worry never hurt anyone. Our neighbor has a large swimming pool so water won't be a problem and my mother has a fireplace so heat won't be a concern either.

I just have to remember to fill the tank up with gas and have a few cartons of cigarettes in stock.

Am I silly or what?

-- brittly (brittly@yours.dreamhost.com), December 22, 1999.

Like an arss at the begining of the year I promised to see in the spectical of "the dead raising,in conjunction with the saviour,whilst he did a little soft shoe work and add libbing somthing for the press",with my perants and kin...Little then was I aware sat in my snug gaff in central London,with the phone in hand,thinking "not a hope in hells chance",that my brother would announce his emergration to oz,to see in the new year with chain gang disendants, but my father would shuffle up his mortle coil and peg it!!!

I now write to you from a small northan town in England,with a view of bleak hills and a train track...Here will be my celabration,not London,here with my mother "god bless her flock wallpaper" who has to work that night(she now informs me) in an old age pensioners home.here ALONE with the wet cold murky hills and vailes........Enjoy your celabrations ....and to end the matter,all i can say is this "there better be some karma pay back comming my way next year for this!!!"

-- Tom Watson (ALIANALLOY@aol.com), December 23, 1999.

Hey, Tom..

you know, I haven't thought about flock wallpaper for years, YEARS I tell you, and now I'm having flashbacks to drunken evenings spent in South East London tandoori restaurants. They always had flock.

Anyway.. be assured, if a thousand angels do descend from the heavens, I'm sure they will be dropping in on you first. Anyone who has to sit in the company of flock wallpaper is in need of saving

I hope you have plenty of alcohol

-- Immy (jealousyw@yahoo.com), December 24, 1999.

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