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2019 In Review

One of the nice things about blogging is that it creates a journal of your life. I know when I got my dog. I know when I visited Japan. I know when I met Hillary Clinton. To a degree, if I didn’t blog it, I am not sure if it happened or not.

On that note, I thought it would be good to recap my year with a little reflection. I would say 2019 has been a good year for me, but a terrible year for mankind. Let’s focus on me though. 🙂

2019 Predictions

First, let’s see how my 2019 predictions from January did.

1. Trump will not be impeached. WRONG – one more month I would have been right, barely.

2. Bitcoin will recover. RIGHT – but not all the way.

3. Microsoft will be biggest company in the world. WRONG – but so close. Wow, that’s alot of money.

Top Ten companies in the world.

4. Spiderman – Into the Spiderverse wins Oscar for best animated movie. RIGHT

5. Warriors win the 2019 NBA Finals. WRONG. They made it to the finals, but lost to the Raptors.

6. Tennis will have new generation of winners. WRONG. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal each won 2. This is ridiculous.

7. Beto O’Rourke wins the democratic nomination. VERY WRONG. Ouch.

8. Racism is strong. RIGHT. Sadly.

9. Ruth Bader Ginsberg stays healthy. MIXED. She has had some scares. Please stay alive.

10. Congress does nothing about Climate Change. RIGHT. Sadly.

11. Figma keeps doing well. RIGHT

12. Loki theory in Infinity Wars. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

13. Game of Thrones predictions. Wrong on almost everything.

So 5 out of 13 correct – 38%. Not very good.

International Trips

I had several major trips in 2019. The most important of which was to Tokyo, Japan. It was delightful. Terrific food, great people, excellent public transportation. I took a million pictures.

Other trips were to Seattle and Vancouver. I generally don’t like traveling, but these were very successful trips for work. Most of these trips, I went to coworkers. Corina was a delightful PM to have with me and Yuyan did a spectacular job of translating Japanese.

I have visited London, but my international travels have been very limited. These trips were hard on my body, but worth the effort.

Men’s 40+ 4.0 National Tennis Team

A tennis team I was on had a miraculous run this year. It was a once-in-a-lifetime (hopefully not, but you never know) experience. We won the playoffs by a hair. We barely won the sectionals, mostly in tie-breaks. We barely won the districts. We made it all the way to the Nationals in Surprise, Arizona with 15 other teams.

We came in 11th, but can honestly say that we were the best 40 year old and over men’s 4.0 tennis team west of the rockies in 2019 – not including the rockies. That’s still something!

Unfortunately, they bumped up my rating, so now I have to find all new teams and elevate my game.

Recruiting

This has been most of my year. Phone screen, interview, design exercise, rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat. Earlier in the year, I visited Indiana University. It was a successful trip and I think I just hired my first IU designer.

I railed against shitty portfolio sites that look identical to each other and have a bad experience for hiring managers. I gave lots of advice to lots and lots of designers. I hired several designers whom I am enjoying working with. I lost a few designers, but I wasn’t that fond of them in the first place.

Apparently, I am “famous” on a little sliver of WeChat that caters to young Chinese female designers. I asked to see it, but it’s all in Mandarin. I hope they are saying nice things.

Bathroom Remodel

We decided to remodel our bathrooms. With the generous help of my mother, we tore down walls, picked out tiles and paid contractors a bazillion dollars to build us some state of the art bathrooms.

It’s still not done, but we are hopeful by the end of the year it will be all set. I don’t think we did an A+ job, but it’s a solid B+.

GOODBAD
Nice Tiles Vent in Kids room is in awkward spot
Nice FloorsBathtub is too small
Nice VanitiesDoor bumps into tub
Gorgeous SkylightNo dimmer switch for lights
Decent lighting over sinkPaid too much
Size of bathrooms is betterTook too long
Mirrors look nicePainted walls a little too white
Good storageStressful process

There are things in both columns, but on the whole it is a major improvement over our original 1960s bathrooms. The kids like our bathroom better than theirs, but they will have to get used to it. We can repaint the walls, but the smaller bathtub is a bummer.

This remodel was at least 50% of our yearly stress.

Told You So App

I have been working with a contractor in India to build my Told You So application. It has been slow going and the results have been mixed. I am not sure they will be able to launch the thing. The primary guy is sick with Dengu fever. There is a small possibility he is faking to avoid me, but I hope not.

It’s actually pretty close, but it’s still not fully usable. In hindsight, I should have made the use cases more specific for every single scenario. You can’t use a contractor the way that you would work with a local engineer.

Game of Thrones Ended Badly

We are not going to talk about the atrocity that was the final season. Instead watch this video. It captures my angst perfectly. It’s also hilarious. I love that guy.

Summary

2019 was a decent year filled with lots of exciting things. I just looked back over my blog posts for the year and there are some that I really enjoyed writing. The project roles and responsibilities one really makes me happy.

On the other hand, the world is pretty messed up. Hong Kong is fighting for their freedom, The Uyghurs are being brutally repressed and possibility exterminated. Climate change is accelerating at an alarming pace. Donald Trump is not only an idiot, but actively advancing the priorities of a Russian dictator. Education is terrible AND expensive. Worst of all worlds. I have never been this worried about the viability of society. I seriously think about a post apocalyptic future.

I’ll save my predictions for 2020 for another post, but I think it will be a pivotal year. I hope that the better angels of our nature prevail.

That’s my year in review. What did you do this year?

Whatya think?