Annual recap — 2022

Family

  • Parents visited
  • Bunch of paperwork
    • Some IRS interaction
    • Citizenship (!)
  • Joint 39th birthday party

Hiking

  • Panorama trail (discovered the “open space preserves”)
  • Arastradero Preserve

Small visits

  • Children’s Discovery Museum (x2)
  • Palo Alto Zoo (via a birthday party)
  • Taj Mahal (Agra trip)
  • Camera Museo, Aravali Biodiversity Park (Gurgaon)
  • Kinokuniya

Longer trips

  • Kauai
  • Big Island
  • San Diego: Legoland, Disneyland, California Adventure (!)
  • Los Cabos
  • Carmel

Activities

  • Playing with magnets and iron filings
  • Found an old board of Go
  • Bit of Tennis playing
  • Board games (Dixit, Ticket to ride), card games (Go Fish)

Notable Eating

  • Hawaii: Kuleana Rum Shack, Merriman’s
  • Vive Sol (many times)
  • New places: HiroNori, Kusan, Tilak, Little Blue Door
  • India: Kitchens of Awadh(Gurgaon), Sana-Dige (Chanakyapuri), Peshawari(ITC Mughal)

Me

  • Went for a 10K race after a long time
  • Mixed year at work
  • Discovered a new Barnes & Noble location (Redwood City) and a new used books store (Menlo Park)
  • Catching up & meeting with various people

Exploring/making

  • Tweaks to personal website/blog
  • Tinkering with Urbit, Darklang, Mathematica
  • Made a small puzzle RPG

Home

  • Living-room refactor, painting, curtains
  • Lots of car trouble with the Subaru; trade-in for an X3
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Minor changes: Nest cams, wifi routers

Tara

  • Birthday at Little Gym
    • Weekly gymnastics here
  • Apps: Minecraft, codeSpark
  • Swimming
  • Things that didn’t work out: Skateboard, T-Ball
  • Things that did work out: Chess
  • Fun little habit: playing Hangman with characters from Disney/Harry Potter
  • Peninsula Youth Theater (summer camp)
  • Some unintended gluten intolerance
  • Some school tours for next year
  • Various playdates

Reading/listening

  • Audiobooks (me):
    • Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures
    • Plato’s Republic
    • The Dawn of Everything
    • The Return of Holy Russia
    • The Red Book
    • Something Deeply Hidden by Sean Carrol
  • Audiobooks (Tara):
    • Harry Potter (Goblet of Fire)
    • Wings of Fire (books 1-3)
  • Reading (with Tara):
    • Fantastic Mr. Fox
    • Mysterious Benedict Society
  • Reading (me):
    • Nemo (Alan Moore)
    • The Untethered Soul
    • Against the Day (finally completed!)

Watching

  • Animated:
    • Big City Greens
  • Re-watched
    • All of Harry Potter 1-5
    • Edge of Tomorrow (on the plane)
    • Nightmare before Christmas (“family viewing”)
    • Midnight in Paris
  • In the hall
    • Marcel the Shell
    • Top Gun: Maverick
  • Misc streaming
    • Glass Onion
    • Shaun the sheep
    • Troll, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Bullet Train (weekend binge)
    • Where the Crawdads sing
    • The greatest Showman
    • “The woman in the house across the street from the girl in the window” (very forgettable, but it led to us purchasing the same wine opener)
    • Drive My Car
    • Death on the Nile (nowhere close to the original)
    • Dropout, Inventing Anna
    • Moonfall (went too far)
    • My Little Pony: New generation (disappointing)
    • Stranger Things (latest season)
    • Abbot Elementary (loved it)
  • With Tara
    • Rings of Power (colossal letdown)
    • Harry Potter and the half-blood prince
    • Junior baking show
    • National Geographic wildlife documentaries

Resolutions

  • Better sleep (long elusive)
  • Minimal “good habits” around physical/mental health

Monthly Summary (December 2022)

Visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra

Major updates

  • India trip to meet family
  • Decided to start at a new place post-Sigma

(will follow-up with a post with details on each)

Minor updates

  • Traded in my troublesome Subaru Outback for something new
  • Side trip to Agra, saw the Taj Mahal (!)
  • Some Urbit adventures
  • Ate a bunch of good food at a bunch of interesting places

Watched/read/made

  • Glass Onion (sequel to Knives Out)
  • Nope (watched this in the flight)
  • The Greatest Showman
  • Netflix: Troll, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Bullet Train
  • Disney+: Mysterious Benedict Society (season 2)
  • Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix (finished listening to audiobook with Tara)
  • Nightmare before Christmas (family re-watch)
  • Enola Holmes (part 2)

(a good month for viewing …)

Monthly recap (November 2022)

A group of sea-turtles on Poipu beach

Major updates

  • Moving on from Sigma (more on this later)
  • Trip to Kauai
  • Tara’s birthday

Minor updates

  • Meeting various people, some after many years
  • Bunch of birthday parties
    • Discovered the Palo Alto Junior Zoo this way, pretty fun place !!
  • Trip to Children’s Discovery Museum after a long time
    • Realized it’s really for small kids
  • Trip to The Tech museum in San Jose
    • Exceeded expectations (!)
  • Got a massage (note to self: should do this monthly, at least)

Watched/read/made

  • Couple of side projects
  • Discovered a great series we all watched together: The Mysterious Benedict Society
  • Finished Abbott Elementary (Hulu)
  • Finished listening to audiobook of Plato’s Republic
  • Finished listening to Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix with Tara (long, over 27 hours!)

Of Noogler times

Found this while spring-cleaning:

Must have got this on my first day at Google, 12 years ago!

Resolved not to hold on to things out of pure nostalgia (or there would be more of them than ones I use), so it’s off to the “Goodwill pile” now for this T-shirt.

Monthly recap (October 2022)

“Spider army” 🙂

Minor updates

  • Pre-ordered the illustrated version of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”, which arrived a couple of weeks ago
  • Some dental mishaps
  • Diwali
  • Halloween (felt like back to pre-covid in terms of crows and decorations!)
  • Meeting a bunch of new/old people

Watched/read/made

  • A new actually funny series (on Hulu): “Abbott Elementary
  • Caught “Ticket to Paradise” in the hall
  • Watched “Matrix: Resurrections” (and wish I didn’t, it was horrible)
  • Finished watching “Rings of Power” (ditto; though this was so bad it deserves its own post later)
  • A really fun show (on Disney+): “The Mysterious Benedict Society” (we have since started reading the book together, highly recommend!)

Monthly Recap (September 2022)

Just a random weird flower I saw while out on a walk
Just a random weird flower I saw while out on a walk

Major update(s)

Minor updates

  • AC stopped working on the hottest weekend of the summer, had to get a whole new one installed
  • Various meeting-people and catching-up events, various playdates
  • Discovered ready-made cocktails (and Sambuca)
  • Carpet cleaning: something put off for years, but totally worth it
  • Playing chess with Tara
  • Trying out CodeSpark as an iPad learning app

Watched/read/made

  • Audible: finished Sean Carrol’s “Something Deeply Hidden”, began Plato’s “Republic
  • Watched the Uncharted movie (well, had to)
  • Watched some of “Junior Baking Show” and a National Geographic wildlife documentary on Netflix
  • Started watching “Rings of Power” on Amazon Prime (final opinion pending)

Running again

Many ups and downs with running in my life:

I was a couch potato for 25 years, then ran my first 5k, then stopped for about five years.

I ran a half-marathon ten years ago, then repeated this every year for the next five years.

Five years ago I ran my last half-marathon, in San Francisco, which was my personal best time.

I thought I’d run a marathon after this (finally ?!), but I broke my leg in an accident after.

After two years I went for a basic 5k which was okay, and thought I’d ramp up again.

Then COVID happened and I stopped again.

This year I signed up for the first race I came across, a 10k, and then forgot about it.

I got a reminder a week before and realized I hadn’t done any sort of preparation for it.

I went anyway. It was embarrassingly hard, and I was at least 50% slower than five years ago.

I had terrible form, and my feet were aching, but it could’ve been worse, so I’m glad I went.

Now I can use this as an excuse to kickstart running again.

We’ll see where it goes.

P.S. this was the “Trailblazers” run, which happens along Stevens Creek Trail, which is a great spot in general. They have a 5k, 10k, and also walking and kids races, so there’s something for everyone. This time it started at the Microsoft campus and was pretty well organized. I recommend this as an annual event to try out, if you live nearby.

On kids’ activities (as a parent)

Some wisdom from HackerNews:

Kids want to be doing what other kids today are doing. Hearing “I loved this as a kid” from a parent can doom something right from the start. Kids want their own experiences, especially as they get older. The technologies you have fond memories of were contemporary at the time you enjoyed them. Your kids also want contemporary experiences.

But most importantly, kids are unique, and often different from their parents. They might not like the same things we did as kids, even if we could exactly recreate them.

Useful to keep this in mind!