2018 in Review

Before anything, happy New Year!

It's an interesting feeling when the time span of one year gradually becomes shorter relative to the time that has already passed in one's life. If only the actual length of one year also scales with one's age, perhaps we would feel more of the excitement instead of anxiety during the New Year count down. That being said, 2018 was a lot of fun for me, even without ray-tracing graphic cards.

The Amazing 2018

To quote my 2017 self:

If I've learned anything from my past failed plans, it would be to always underestimate my own capabilities when planning...

Yeah, it's totally just that my estimates about the amount of free time I would have was off, as can be seen from the status of my 2018 goals.

Knowing that I can always change the 'publish date' of blog entries (thanks to hugo), I grew into the bad habit of starting an article and just then shelving it for months to come. When I finally remember that one unfinished article, I frequently dismiss the idea as not really worth elaborating. Now that I think about it, maybe this is exactly what blogs are for, providing a snapshot of myself that I can look back later, whether my future self find it silly or 'not really worth elaborating'.

The number of movie theater visits I had in 2018 probably accounts for 50% of my lifetime total, and with double doses of disappointment from Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Incredibles 2. By the way, 2018 also saw 90% of my lifetime popcorn consumption. I've never realized those can be such addicting.

Although not a marathon, I did ran my first trail half marathon in May. It was the first time I've ever hit the wall while running, due to bad pacing and unpreparedness for the weather. The race started mid afternoon on a scorchingly hot day. After witnessing quite a few people stopped to walk in the first 2 miles, I started off quite a bit faster than my intended pace fueled by a stupid sense of superiority, and hit the wall right at the mark of 4 miles. Fortunately the feeling faded away as I walked the next half of the race, gulping ice-cold Gatorade at every hydration point. However, the ice-cold Gatorade was another trap—temperature dropped rapidly as sun started to set and my stomach started to complain about all the chilly liquid. As the finish line appeared within 400 meters of my sight, my legs were hit by the strongest cramps I've ever had. After barely making it through while being surpassed by 3 people right before finish line, I could only be happy to learn that I was still not the last one: actually, I'm even the first one in my age group (whose size is one). The somewhat illegitimate feeling of compliment, mixed with a bit of salt and guilt made the race a wondrous experience.

The Spectacular 2019

Since Google is deprecating Inbox in the coming March, I've lost my last excuse for clinging to Gmail. I'll try to gradually fade out my Gmail usage for my own email server.

On the front of searching for best solution for blog comments, quite a few bloggers I follow have started embracing IndieWeb and Webmention. In a lot of ways, Webmention was the exact thing I wanted: federated blog comments, posts, and more. Yet I'm reluctant to move further away from a static site, not to mentioning most easy-to-follow Webmention solutions I have found relies heavily on third-party services. The IndieWeb movement itself though is fairly intriguing. I've never had much use for Keybase aside from it being a hub linking most of my online presences (decryption and encryption does not work without uploading PGP private keys, and I have no one to securely chat with), perhaps I should just replace it with rel=me links.

Diving into C++17 was fairly enjoyable during the past year, so I'm looking into learning other new programming languages. Rust and Julia have been on my radar for a while, especially Rust. Having a full suite of officially supported tools makes writing Rust a smooth and deeply satisfying experience. I'll try to dive deeper into both languages and hopefully put them into some uses.

As for running and blog posts, I'll try to match 2018's numbers. On top of those, I'm thinking about keeping a record of the books, music, and shows I've read/listened/watched on this blog, along with my thoughts. I actually attempted something similar during this blog's Wordpress days: I once setup a MediaWiki instance for similar purposes, but lacked the motivation to continue maintaining the entries. I'll keep it simple this time, and I should come up with a set of rating system.

What should I do with the remaining 2018 goals? A separate wishlist is a pretty good idea—let's go with that. As a stretch goal, I should probably clean my desktop computer, which is stuffed with four-year-old dirt, cat hair, and dead skin cells.

Here's to another spectacular 2.9e+17 radiation periods of Caesium-133!


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