2) Matt Ruff has written a couple books I'm quite fond of, although they fall into a similar crazy pacing as Hitchiker's Guide and don't cohere quite as well. They get at some interesting ideas along the way, though. I'll particularly recommend "Sewer, Gas and Electric" and "Bad Monkey". The reason he comes to mind at the moment, though, is that I ran across an essay by him on his family influences, morality and argumentation styles that I found very interesting and worth foisting on others. (note: at the moment, the ending isn't displaying right - you can view source to see the rest)
3) I have quasi-goals for the year that have been informing my decisions, but aren't quite written out enough to post yet.
4) Although the general political momentum is mostly gone, I'd still like to finish the interview/questions I have for the TSA and find someone with authority to answer them. On the other hand, the project riles me up quite a bit, which makes for an unpleasant mindset.