The real reason my posting schedule gets a little bit sparse at this time of year has nothing to do with lack of time and everything to do with lack of ideas. I get so consumed by work that I don't really pay attention to the world, which makes it hard to write about things that aren't the financial industry's decision to spend years and years depersonalizing the home mortgage process and getting personal influence out of the home valuation process by putting barriers between the loan officers and the appraisers so they can't communicate...then start requiring references from a financial institution for all new appraisers. (As you can imagine, this is something I can talk a lot about.)
So at this point, I'm just going to tell you about a dream I had the other day. In it, I was watching a "lost" Eccleston episode of 'Doctor Who', and marveling at the sheer audacity of Russell T. Davies. Because I knew that while the casual viewer wasn't going to notice it, Davies had gone and made the story into a mashup of "Vengeance on Varos" and "Timelash", and was demonstrating that there was really nothing wrong with the ideas, only the execution. In it, the Doctor and Rose and Jack landed on a degenerate former colony where the inhabitants had developed a Roman-esque Imperial Court, and the Doctor was framed by the Emperor as the ringleader of the rebels (who didn't really exist--they were just a convenient excuse to crack down on people) and sentenced to the Mindlash. (As a subplot, there was a faction who planned to use the Doctor to assassinate the Emperor and then execute him for that. Not many good guys in this one.)
The Doctor, in turn, found out that the Mindlash was actually a piece of broken technology from the original colony ship, an artificial intelligence that functioned as the ship's psychiatrist. Unfortunately, this one had become rather severely degraded, and was convinced that the default state for "sanity" was the 17th century explorer Vasco de Gama. The Doctor was deemed incurably insane for not believing himself to be a Spanish sailor from the Age of Exploration, and the machine decided that the best way to "cure" him was to erase his brain patterns entirely.
I woke up before the end, but I'd already guessed it--the Doctor had been talking to the Captain of the Imperial Guard, who was a good man who knew that the Court had become too decadent to survive, and I figured that in traditional Ninth Doctor fashion, he was going to win not through direct action but by inspiring someone else to do good. But it was an awesome episode, full of jokes and twists and courtly intrigue. I wish you could have seen it.