The New Year is fast approaching, and with it all of the cultural baggage associated with transitions, ringing out the old, bringing in the new, and all those other tired memes.  Usually, the New Year is a non-event for me…an opportunity to freeze in the open air, an evening of quality family time perhaps but rarely anything exceedingly memorable.

This year though, the event is more salient as it marks a significant professional transition of my own.  As I look forward to next year, I am reminded of an experience I had a while back, in a previous life, when I was teaching English in a small rural middle school located in the rolling white khangai, smack dab in the middle of Mongolia, which in turn is sandwiched between China and Siberia.

We were celebrating New Year’s Eve in a school gymnasium (i.e. the biggest enclosed space in town), and I guess it was sometime before midnight when my buddy comes up to me, and tells me (in Mongol), “You think this is fun now?  Wait till the clones come!”  …or at least it sounded like the English word for “clones.”  Needless to say, I was mildly confused. 

So there I sat, for about a half hour or so, sipping vodka and wondering with a mix of trepidation and anticipation what would imminently walk through the gym door.  As I plan my professional activities in 2011 and beyond, that’s kind of how I feel right now, like I am sitting in that cold gym, listening to the Siberian wind outside and waiting for the “clones”…(which eventually turned out to be harmless and mildly entertaining “clowns.”). 

It’s been a little over a year and half since I started actively contributing to this blog, and it’s definitely been a positive experience all around.  This little ol’ blog has driven me to explore the world of EPM tools and related deployment issues in all sorts of ways that I might not have otherwise done.  Posting here has prompted some great conversations both on and offline, and has resulted in a mountain of content that I am sure will provide much value in the future.  This corner of the Internet will always have a special place in my heart.

To those of you who read this blog regularly, I extend my appreciation, and invite you to continue the discussion.  I will not be monitoring the comments any longer, but me being me, I don’t think I’ll stay away from the blogosphere too long.  Stay tuned via LinkedIn, Twitter, or the Project newsgroups to see where I may pop up next.

To those of you who’ve worked with and supported me over the last couple of years, I thank you very kindly.  As I tell my family each day, I still don’t know how you managed to put up with me for so long.