Regarding Meg, on 31st December 2006:
We are married. 10% likely
We engaged and living together. 60% likely
We are engaged, but not living together. 20% likely
Oh dear, it's all gone pear-shaped. 10% likely
The plan is definitely for us to move in together, with Meg on a fiancée visa, by the end of the year. However, we might not be granted the visa, which would be devastating, but not terminal. An early marriage is a possibility, but there's good reason for our plans specifying "early 2007" for marriage, so bringing it forward would represent quite a change. Not at all sure whether the estimate of a 10% chance of pear-shapedness is sound, but people moving countries definitely adds stress that wouldn't be there otherwise.
I remain in my current shift work position all year. 70% likely
I move to an office-hours position within the same company this year. 10% likely
I moved to another company this year and work full-time. 10% likely
By the end of 2006, I am not working full-time. 10% likely
For me to move to an office-hours position in the company, either (a) I move without choice or (b) a position becomes available that is more attractive than shift work and I am successful in open competition at obtaining it. Shift work may lead to lots of tiredness, but the long holidays are extremely convenient and office-hour work would have to incorporate a salary bump in order for it to be more attractive. If anything, I would expect a salary drop upon moving to office hours as part of my remuneration is an allowance for the shift disturbance.
Regarding my living arrangements, during the last week of 2006:
I live in my current apartment in Middlesbrough. 50% likely
I have moved back in to what I think of as Dad's house. 10% likely
I live elsewhere, within 6 miles of my current apartment. 20% likely
I live elsewhere, further afield. 20% likely
There's perhaps an 80% chance that I'll like this apartment and want to stay there, but the issue of whether they'll take kittens or not is unresolved. If they cannot be persuaded to accept kittens through the waving of wonga then my tenancy here looks set to be short, for I would not want to make Meg move somewhere without kittens. I'll only move back in with Dad if things have somehow seriously diverted from the plan, though serious job problems, serious Meg problems or serious paternal health problems could all inspire such a move. Moving further afield: moving very far away is possible if that's where life takes me, and it's also possible that I could move to the other side of the power station, which would be a move of over six miles. Not much over, but over all the same.
Regarding health, during 2006:
I suffer minor colds and flu with no more than a week lost due to illness. 40% likely
I suffer more serious transient illnesses. 50% likely
Meg or Dad suffers a breakage, needs inpatient hospital treatment or has some other serious problem. 8% likely
I suffer a breakage, need inpatient hospital treatment or has some other serious problem. 2% likely
This isn't really a very fun question; just a case of cracking open the standard actuarial tables that I'm sure we all own. (What? Me neither.) Dad is 68 years old and really slowing down, so that's my worry there.
By the end of the year I get to play 4-player (or more) games in person frequently. 20% likely
By the end of the year I get to play 2-player games in person frequently. 49% likely
At least seven full-ish days (either calendar or 24-hour) of games or puzzles, but that's about it. 25% likely
Not even seven full-ish days of games or puzzles. 6% likely
Some of these answers go together; for instance, I reckon there's a 70% chance that Meg and I will be living together, from question 1, so a 69% chance that there will be at least regular two-player games... I'd like to find more people to play games against, but only ones that Meg enjoyed playing games against too. Sadly I fear this is rather easier said than done. Potential applicants would be most welcome.
Regarding adventures and misadventures: (Any correct answer scores a point.)
I drink six or more units of alcohol in 24 hours at least once in 2006. 15% likely
I become aware of getting at least a spoken name check on TV seen by at least 25,000 viewers. 15% likely
I go to Bulgaria and blog live from the World Puzzle Championship. 10% likely
I have more than 300 Friends-of throughout December. 15% likely
I fail my driving test three more times. 20% likely
I weigh over 203 pounds, weighhing myself as close to 1/1/07 as is convenient. 20% likely
I spend nights in two countries I have not yet spent nights in. 15% likely
I spend at least an hour on each of at least 20 days in November exercising or practicing a language, a musical instrument or another skill. 10% likely
I take up playing poker for money and end up at least £10 up over the year. 15% likely
I am involved in a car accident which costs me at least £150. 15% likely
I visit a police station at least once in 2006. 20% likely
All eleven possibilities above prove false. 10% likely
Of course, this is the one you are best placed to affect. All eleven possible (mis)adventures might yet simultaneously prove true! That's why the percentages don't add up to anything near 100%.
The choice of eleven events was so that "all the above prove false" is about as likely as any of the others, but perhaps I slightly overdid it. The WPC is unlikely: not only does it have to fit into my schedule and my budget, which will be tight as there's a wedding to plan for, leaving Meg alone in the UK is unappetising and we're unsure of the full immigration concerns raised by the fiancée visa. Likewise, foreign travel without a Meggity-connection probably isn't in the budget. The pass rate for the UK driving test is 42% nationally, though 51% with my current instructor; passing is now down to confidence and fortune. The "police station" option is plausible, but I note that I've only been to a cop shop three times in the last 15-20 years: once for lost property, once to ask for a locksmith and once to deliver some documents when I worked for the council for a month years back. I think you can do most of your police-related activity without visiting a station, anyway, these days.
So, for the record, my six choices would be:
We engaged and living together. (Grief, there really ought to be an "are" in there, oughtn't there?)
I remain in my current shift work position all year.
I live in my current apartment in Middlesbrough.
I suffer more serious transient illnesses.
By the end of the year I get to play 2-player games in person frequently.
For #6, let's buck the odds and go with a sneaky, off-the-wall "all eleven possibilities above prove false".
More interestingly, I'll be coming to Oxford from Friday 20th January to Sunday 22nd January for OxCon, a weekend of board games which was rather good in 2003 and in 2004. Well, I say a weekend of board games, but as I don't play Diplomacy and I have to leave early rather than play in the Settlers tournament because I work the day shift on Monday, it's really a weekend of seeing my friends and possibly playing a few board games as well. Are any of you Oxford folk available and willing to be seen on Friday evening after my coach gets in at 5:10pm but before it all kicks off, please?