But January is traditionally a month where I do things like schedule the upcoming year's vacations, because after months of very little free time, I suddenly have a few hours here and there to actually think about what I'd like to be doing. And since quite a lot of the vacation planning got done even earlier this year (once I've done something, it's a lot faster to do it again the next time ...), that probably means diving back into the genealogical research.
I owe a second (third?) cousin an email (if you read this, hi! I haven't forgotten, and Happy Holidays!) saying the source I have for a certain ancestor's middle initials is a book, but I can't remember which one so I haven't replied because I need to track it down. Other than that, it's probably going to be a few days on genlias, monkey work designed to give me the information to track down third cousins on a future trip to the Netherlands (go up as far as possible and then go down through _all_ the descendants and when I run out in genlias, google around for stambooms where people include more recent information than is otherwise available).
I joined the local genealogical society a month or so ago. I knew I wouldn't make it to any meetings before the beginning of 2012 and indeed, I only finally received our "cards" in email today. I took the time to watch the vimeo of December's meeting, which was a talk by Dick Eastman about genealogy ten years from now. Futurist stuff invariably results in me rolling my eyes, because I feel predictions usually make two errors which ought to cancel out yet somehow never do: they predict more of the same (things that are already happening) and big jumps that current trends tantalizingly suggest. They underestimate how more of the same will go and they overestimate the progress on the jet packs. But that's just me. It was an interesting talk and I would have enjoyed sitting through it in person, which is a good sign.
I tried to listen to FGS' "My Society", but the most recent episode was a call-in show and it's got a slow start. But it did point me at this:
There will probably be an ETA once I've digested it. It's quite weird at first look through, reminding me all too strongly of certain outdoors/hiking societies I encountered in the late 1990s/early 2000s. We want young people! We need to be rejuvenated! Wait, you're doing it wrong! Wait, where are you going? Why don't you want to join us? Hey, this is _important stuff we're doing_!
I'm betting that this comes down to case-by-case, like everything else. I'm feeling optimistic about the local society I just joined (based on the talk and the q-and-a session after), but also somewhat concerned about the field as a whole.
In mildly related news, Elizabeth Shown Mills has a website that includes several (many?) of her published articles. This is _super super_ cool.