Year in Review: 2017

Highlights from the year and what’s in store for the next one

I’ve heard that as you get older, time goes by faster. I definitely felt that this year. As with most years there were good times and bad, here are some of the highlights.

Table of Contents Chevron Icon

  1. Becoming Canadians… Not!
  2. Speaking Again
  3. Mealthy
  4. This Site Gets a New Name
  5. Great Times With Friends and Family
  6. My YouTube Channel
  7. My Two-Wheeled Adventure
  8. New Kitten
  9. Timberwolves Season Tickets
  10. Winter Basketball
  11. What’s in Store for 2018

Becoming Canadians… Not!

Getting a great picture of the CN Tower with an iPhone is difficult.

In January, Kelly and I were invited to Toronto by Shopify. I was interviewing for a job there—that I eventually didn’t get. You can read all about my heart being broken, but aside from the interview it was an excellent trip. I enjoyed getting to know Toronto.

My friend Zak took me to Kinton Ramen which blew my mind. I’d never had ramen before, so I was a little skeptical, but after this I couldn’t get enough. Kelly and I ended up eating there two more times before we left. If I had all the money in the world, I’d have my private jet fly me there just for lunch.

While we were there, we went apartment hunting. Prices for apartments in Toronto are pretty crazy. We were looking at places for $1900 CAD at the time, which didn’t get you much.

I think moving would’ve been a great experience for the both of us, but oh well.

Speaking Again

This year was a great one for speaking events. I had the honor of speaking at four events this year. Out of the four events, I’d never been to two of the cities.

I was invited to give my talk on CSS Grid. Giving this talk was insanely exciting because we went from only having support in Firefox and Chrome, to having support in almost all browsers except IE11. As someone who’s workflow has been completely changed with CSS Grid, I was excited by the browser support and the reaction of people to the topic.

I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Minnebar, BeerCity Code, Converge, and EE Conf for letting me speak at their event. Sharing new things you’re learning is always very rewarding.

Mealthy

Keaton Taylor, whom you might’ve seen write on this site, hooked me up with the awesome people at Mealthy. At the time, Mealthy hadn’t launched their site yet. They had a site in development already with great bones, but needed some polish.

I started working with them in August and over the next few months we deployed the site, launched the company’s first physical product, then launched the second. I also had the pleasure and privilege of working with a fun and trusting team. Working with Mealthy is hands down one of the best professional experiences I’ve had.

Even though I was laid off in December, I wish the remaining team the very best.

This Site Gets a New Name

After four years of this site being called The Bold Report, I decided it was time for a new name. I detailed some of the reasons back in October, but to make a long story short, it’d been a long time coming.

2017 was a great year for this blog. It saw growth in readership, I wrote a total of 116 posts, and it’s current design is the best one I’ve made. I’d love to see readership grow a lot more in 2018, but I feel like I’ve been saying that since the site’s inception.

Great Times With Friends and Family

2017 was a great year with friends and family. My sister-in-law from Montana visited us with her kids, my brother-in-law from California paid us a visit with his family, my sister-in-law from Wisconsin came to visit a few times, my uncle and cousin moved from California to Minnesota, and we took (our now traditional) cabin trip up north in the fall. We also made a trip out to California to celebrate my aunt and uncle’s twenty-fifth anniversary.

Family at the Fair Dawson Friends at the Cabin

My YouTube Channel

2017 was the year I finally bought a camera. Shortly after, I started a YouTube channel. In just a few months, I’d created some product reviews, unboxings, and movie reviews. They’re not too bad (if I do say so myself).

The setup has changed a bit since this photo, but the mess is the same.

Then, the summer came and things just… stopped. And I haven’t had a chance to get back at it. I have plans to fix this in 2018, with a sizable list of ideas. But my biggest goal concerning the channel is to find my own voice in video. It’s been a difficult adjustment to be in front of the camera since I wouldn’t consider myself photogenic. Not only that, but I don’t sound like myself just yet—my scripts still feel very robotic and my delivery too stiff.

My Two-Wheeled Adventure

In May, Kelly and I went to get our motorcycle permits. A few days later, we bought a Honda PCX150. A sleek little scooter that I could use to run errands while she’s at work. Since we only have one car, being able to go out, get some sun, meet people for lunch, and more was amazing during the summer. I got a taste of being on two wheels and was hooked.

In October I took a motorcycle training class and finalized getting my motorcycle endorsement. It was two intense days that stressed how to be safe on a motorcycle. There’s a lot that’s common sense, but there’s also so much you don’t think about in a car that could save your life on two wheels. I’m very tempted to upgrade to a motorcycle next year.

Izzy doesn’t fit in a box on my desk anymore, but she’s just as cute.

New Kitten

We added a new member to the Smith family this year. We adopted a tiny grey kitten from the Humane Society and named her Izzy. Four months later, she’s significantly bigger but still insanely playful. This cat has the most energy I’ve seen in a kitten. She’ll run around and play, take a five minute power nap, and get back at it. Her and our other cat get along well so we’re happy about that too.

Timberwolves Season Tickets

After many years of anguish, being a Timberwolves fan is exciting again with the additions they made in the recent off-season. We decided to get season tickets in the nosebleeds, which turned out to be great seats.

Before the season started, we were invited to an open house and had the chance to tour the whole arena. The renovated Target Center is beautiful. We even had a chance to sit courtside while the Wolves practiced. There we were just inches from these incredibly tall basketball players, and I could not get the smile off my face. That night, I was a kid all over again. I was on the jumbotron too!

Kelly and I with Crunch at the Target Center open house.

Winter Basketball

I needed exercise to be part of my regular routine so this winter I signed up for winter basketball. It’s been so much fun to play every Monday night. The season started in November, and I feel like every game I get into a little bit better shape.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not even a shadow of my nineteen-year-old self, but the cardio makes me feel exhausted and amazing at the same time. I’m so excited to be playing the game I love on a regular basis again. Oh and I finally have a jersey with my number on it.

What’s in Store for 2018

All in all, I’m really happy with 2017. I feel like I used my time the way I wanted to, improved my physical and mental health, and enjoyed experiences that widened my horizons.

Here’s our motto for 2018:

Our Motto: Be Proactive, Not Reactive.

Now for my goals:

  1. Produce at Least One Video a Month
    At least. I’m hoping I can make more than that, but one per month feels achievable. I’d like to get 1k subscribers by the end of the year too.

  2. Read One Book Every Two Months
    I’ve got a list of seventeen books. I’m almost positive I won’t be able to read all of them this upcoming year, but I think six is a reasonable goal.

  3. Buy a House
    After living almost three years in a basement apartment, 2018 will be the year we move out. I need more sunlight, and I’d like for us to have a place of our own.

It’s going to be a great year.