I'm hoping to do a more in-depth reflection on the year, but that plan has failed in the last few years, so here's an easy fill-in-the-blanks substitute.
I hope you all continue to have a wonderful end of the year.
- What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
- Major bicycle crash. Cross the equator. Live in the mountains.
Spend an extra week in the desert.
- Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
- I continue to resolve to not make resolutions.
- Did anyone close to you give birth?
- A bunch of the folks who sit next to me at work are married to people who
gave birth. And some of my friends in khaki produced junior rangers.
But there weren't any exploding vaginæ in my vicinity this year.
- Did anyone close to you die?
- I don't remember attending any funerals this year.
- What countries did you visit?
- Australia. And Puerto Rico, which is technically part of the U.S.
And Washington state. And New York City.
- What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
- Better task focus.
- What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory?
- I think my crash was on January 25th. It'll be hard to forget 12/21/12,
the apocalypse that wasn't.
- What was your biggest achievement of the year?
- My immediate team launched a file viewing service. My larger team launched
Google Drive. I led a project to gather statistics on usage which has proved
invaluable for team decisions. These achievements were recognized and I got
- What was your biggest failure?
- The breaks on my bike.
- Did you suffer illness or injury?
- I sprained my wrist and got a concussion when I crashed into a truck making
an illegal right turn. I spent a couple weeks in a splint and with a mild
headache followed by a couple months of occupational therapy to realign the
median nerve in my left arm. Given the consequences of a few feet difference, I
think I came out pretty well.
I also spent a few months with impacted earwax inducing a ringing in my ears.
- What was the best thing you bought?
- The best thing about crashing my bike is it gave me an excuse to get a new
one. And it's a lot of fun to ride.
- Whose behavior merited celebration?
- Not sure. I'm not very good at accolades.
- Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
- The political and media establishment in the U.S. has gotten pretty
dysfunctional. Narratives and intimations are given much more weight than fact.
- Where did most of your money go?
- My bank account.
- What did you do that gave you a sense of completion?
- I led the off- and on-playa tech team for the Rangers at Burning Man.
- What song will always remind you of 2012?
- I'll probably remember that Gangnam Style was the big hit of 2012. I also
listened to a lot of Grateful Dead and got to know several Brent Mydland songs.
- Compared to this time last year, you are:
- Happier or sadder:
Probably happier. Living with my great girlfriend helps.
Thinner or fatter:
Like last year, I weigh about what I did in high school.
Richer or poorer:
I've got a good paying job which exceeds my expensive, which is my way of
- What do you wish you'd done more of?
- Programming. Dancing.
- What do you wish you'd done less of?
- Being distracted.
- How will you be spending Christmas?
- I spent it eating, playing cards and joking around with my girlfriend's mom
- What was your favorite month of 2012?
- August->September, with almost three weeks of Burning Man adventure, was
- Did you fall in love in 2012?
- That's an unresolved question.
- How many one-night stands?
- My girlfriend and I always stick around.
- What was your favorite TV program?
- Vi Hart's YouTube channel is the closest thing to a TV series as I came this
- Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
- I find hate to be a waste of energy.
- What was the best book you read?
- After nearly a decade of checking the L shelf of the Sci-Fi section of every
bookstore I entered, I finally found a copy of Stanislaw Lem's
The Cyberiad. I'm almost finished, I'll post a review when I do.
I also read Neuromancer for the first time, which was mighty fine.
- What was your greatest musical discovery?
- I figured out where Bart's CD Shack moved. I also got some good finds in
Seattle and Manhattan.
- What did you want and get?
- Lots of snuggle time with my girlfriend.
- What did you want and not get?
- Reasonable political discourse.
- What was your favorite film of this year?
- The night of Oscar-nominated documentary shorts was amazingly intense.
Incident in New Baghdad about civilian deaths in the fog of war
followed by cover-up and PTSD, followed by Saving Face about
women in Pakistan whose husbands and brothers throw acid on their faces,
followed by The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom about the Japanese
tsunami. Whoa, heavy. Fortunately, it ended with the uplifting
The Barber of Birmingham about a barber who'd been at the heart
of the civil rights movement.
- What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
- I went to work, then stopped by my parents house. They were wowed that I'd
soon be thirty three and a third. Time to put me on a record player.
- What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
- I missed out on two great months of bike riding.
- How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
- Due to my hampered arm and some mega road rash, I wore a variety of skirts
to work for a while. Unfortunately, it's a warm, moveable,
pockets–pick at most two kind of garment.
- What kept you sane?
- Having an employer that understands that happy employees in the long term
are worth much more than meeting quarterly analyst expectations.
- Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
- I give props to the folks, including my own House representative, who took
a stand for a free Internet this year.
- What political issue stirred you the most?
- I've done a fair share of arguing in favor of Obama's signature health care
bill. It's not perfect, but it's better than the status quo.
- Who did you miss?
- I haven't seen mollybzz in a couple years. We sent each other
some very clever care packages, though. I was glad to see the inimitable
slyviolet twice during her Colorado visit and hope to see her again.
- Who were the best new people you met?
- I made some good Ranger connections, including Chyral (who I'd met briefly
before), my driving partner across the desert and back.
- Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:
- Make sure your vehicle is capable of coming to a stop as quickly as
- Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
- Dressed myself in green
I went down to the sea
Try to see what's going down
Maybe read between the lines
Had a feeling I was falling, falling, falling
Turned around to see
Heard a voice calling, calling, calling
You was comin after me
Back to me
–Grateful Dead, Bertha