2016 Year in Review

2017 is a new year with a new blog. I’ve had a blog on and off for well over a decade and I figure what better way to start this new blog than with a review of last year, 2016.

Last year was a huge year for me. On August 13th, 2016, on a hike up Medicine Bow Peak, I proposed to the love of my life, Callie and we’re engaged to be married this August.

Travel

  • 51,507 miles in the air (I don’t want to even think about how many hours this was)
  • 7 countries (not including USA, France, or Helsinki where I was in transit but legally entered)
  • 18 dives logged (including Open Water and Advanced Open Water certifications)

Awesome year for travel. Most of my travel was on a trip at the beginning of the year where I experienced the incredible country of Japan for the first time. As a traveler, I’m always looking to experience places radically differently than what I’m used to. Traditionally these have been very poor places that don’t operate very efficiently. Japan blew me away by being radically different while being a modern, wealthy, efficient country.

Kinkaku-Ji in Kyoto, Japan

This trip also included my first experiences scuba diving on an island off the cost of Borneo at Sipadan. I was assured by choosing a diving site like Sipadan for my first dives, it’d be all downhill from there (Jacques Cousteau considered Sipadan to be one of his favorite places in all the oceans). In addition to logging my first 18 dives, I became Open Water and Advanced Open Water certified. I’m completely hooked to exploring the incredible seascapes underwater.

This trip continued with a whirlwind tour of Southeast Asia including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. I was very happy to get back home to Callie and Willie.

Callie and I at the Taj Mahal

My year ended with an excellent trip to India with Callie. We started in Delhi and made our way to Varanasi. India doesn’t make for a relaxing vacation but it does make for a great experience. For relaxation we spent our Christmas lounging on the beaches of Thailand and snorkeling with sharks.

Christmas on Koh Phi Phi

This trip concluded with a luxurious night at the Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong where we had one of the most incredible views from a hotel I’ve ever seen and our first Michelin dining experience.

Hong Kong cityscape

Music

2016 proved to be a much less eventful year for making music. The Peculiar Patriots only played locally (compared to  12 states, thousands of miles and over 50 gigs in the first half of 2015 alone). I did, however, acquire a new toy, and have been enjoying learning to play the Hammond.

1957 Hammond C3

WHAT Fest was a resounding success where I was super excited to bring some old friends, River Whyless back to Wyoming to experience WHAT Fest.

River Whyless at WHAT Fest 2016

Amateur Radio

Last year I only worked 11 different countries. I did however start learning CW (morse code) from CW Academy. It’s definitely become my new interest in the hobby.

Paddles for sending CW (morse code)

I also ended up building out a mobile station on my new 4Runner.

My HF and VHF/UHF radios in the 4Runner

Outdoors

No major backpacking trips in 2016 for reasons outside my control. I did get hooked on cycling and harvested my first elk (if you don’t want to see a dead animal scroll quickly through the next few photos).

My new bike on its inaugural ride
My first big game harvest, a cow elk in the Snowy Range

Dogs

Meet Maggie! She joins Willie as the second dog in our fur family. Best guesses indicate she’s a Heeler/Schipperke mix.

Code

The vast majority of 2016 was spent working on the Gx Hydration project for Gatorade. I also helped start up TechTalkLaramie which seeks to bring together like minded nerds to discuss various aspects of coding and technology. I’ve really enjoyed the evolution of JavaScript as a first class citizen with my favorite new technologies being React, Relay, and GraphQL.

Looking forward to 2017

Even with the great adventures of 2016 behind me, 2017 still leaves me with much excitement. Getting married is sure to be the highlight of my year but there are several other epic adventures I hope to take on (including periodically updating my blog with random thoughts about coding, adventuring, etc.). Thanks for making it this far!