2023: The Only Constant in Life is Change

Another year fades into memory. This year has been a bit of a whirlwind.

Sue and I spent most of the year taking Spanish classes through our local community college, so the majority of our weekends for the year were spent studying.

The big news for the year is that I changed jobs, leaving the company I’d worked at for almost 13 years to go work for a startup. Part of me thinks I’m crazy to go work for a startup at this stage of my career. It’s risky, but it’s also something that’s exciting and if I didn’t take a shot at it I’d kick myself for the rest of my life, so here I am. We’re still operating in stealth mode so I’m still unable to say who I’m working for or what I’m doing, but It’s been nothing but positive so far.

Our big vacation for this year was to Arizona. Sue had never seen the Grand Canyon, and my one trip to the area was comical due to the fact that I was continually changing my itinerary due to snowstorms. This trip was in June, not December, so there was no risk of snow. The trip was fantastic, I got to see the Milky Way clearly for the first time since my childhood, and we had one of the best dining experiences of our lives with a couple of friends at Kai Restaurant outside of Phoenix.
Milky Way

We spent almost three weeks traveling through the desert and we still had to skip things because we just didn’t have enough time.
Spider Rock

Besides the vacation. this year has involved more travel than usual. At one point in the year I traveled out of town three times in four weeks. It felt really good to get back home after the last trip and finally put the suitcase away. Speaking of which, it was nice to re-connect with a few people who I’d not seen in far too long.

As for other interests, we didn’t see many movies this year (see the bit about most weekends being taken up by homework). TV that we enjoyed included The Last of Us, Slow Horses, and The Peripheral. I’ve been getting more into board games recently but with so many busy weekends it’s been tough to get any to the table.

It’s been an incredibly slow year for concerts and events. Many bands are not touring as widely, those that are touring are skipping Florida more often, and the shows that do stop here sometimes have prohibitive prices. The lowlight was Run the Jewels getting rained out at the Gasparilla Music Fest. Highlights for the year were Shemekia Copeland, Alicia Keys, and The Interrupters.

Books that stood out for me are Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi and Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin. I’ve read all three books of the Three-Body trilogy (there’s a fourth book but it’s really just a fan-fiction) and it’s one of the best things I’ve read in the last decade. I believe it will become SF canon before too long. I’m looking forward to the TV adaptation, but I really wish I could catch the Chinese series as well.

2023’s been a good year. May we all reach the end of 2024 in good health and fortune, despite the way it’s shaping up.

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