Do people like, still blog?

Tag Archives: 2013

The theme of 2013 was living with and without Apollo. Apollo was a constant presence in our lives (as you can tell in our photos) and we have adapted our life to taking care of our little one; but it is also about learning to live our lives as if Apollo was not here – so that he wouldn’t prevent us from doing things that we enjoy or have to do.

Apollo has grown from being three months old in January (where he was finally aware of his surroundings) to being a year and three months (where he is full blown toddler with his own little wants, fears, and personality). His life and how we interact with him is ever changing but in the last third of this year, I think he has grown up to the age where you want a baby to always be – he’s not completely helpness and can play with you, but he is still small and young enough to need you to hold and cuddle him. Apollo will continue growing and we will share new memories, but I think this is the time where his cuteness factor will be at its peak.

My hobbies remained relatively the same, in the sense that they are mostly in maintenance mode. I took more photos in the beginning of the year as Apollo was younger, but now I only bring out the camera for special events. My guitar sits in the corner. I could make time for it, but I still don’t know how to practice effectively. Music in general still exists for me (but in maintenance mode). I will buy music (online) if it’s on sale or if I have no other means to legally acquire it (i.e., KPop). I don’t seek it out Western music, and to be honest, it is just not that appealing. It’s not that I’m becoming old and can’t enjoy the New Music, it’s just that western music isn’t catchy to me anymore (except for a couple of tracks)!

I’m still blogging, and it seems like I’ll continue doing that for the next little while. But I’m no longer working on my website or other web work. I didn’t really read this year. I don’t have the appetite for long books, and couldn’t quite find the right way to read articles (although Pocket and Kobo integration could change this in the new year).

I spent most of my year playing Happy Street, and other crafting games. I’m about tired of the wait-for-premium currency business model though; to the point that I would rather pay for a good quality game & experience. My gaming is primarily on cellphone, with a little bit of web and tablet thrown in.

The cellphone is still the centerpoint of my computing, although I find it is more polarizing now. When I’m working, I obviously use my computer for everything (I mean catching up on news, email, social networks etc). However, once I’m done work, the cellphone is where I do the same things. One of the reasons this happened is because with Apollo around, I don’t sit in front of the computer that often anymore, but the cellphone is always with me. For life organization, I started using Google Keep a lot.

We went cross border shopping a few times this year, but I am at a stage where I have nothing to buy. Sure, there are tech gadgets that I might want, but I don’t really need to buy them (and if I do, I have probably bought them). So shopping and the associated activities around it (going to malls, checking RFD, waiting for deals) has kind of dwindled. Unfortunately, nothing has really sprung up to take its place – maybe when Apollo is older, we can go outdoors and half fun instead of going to malls.

I switched jobs in March and am in a place where I’m happy with what I do (not that I was too unhappy before). I’m still in the technology field which I enjoy, but now I am 100% working on Android development. I still enjoy building things and learned a lot about the Android field this year. I like the fact that I am now remote, with regular (but not too regular) trips down to the office in New York city; and I like the fact that I have a lot of mobile devices and other interesting tech as a by product of my job. I’m still doing personal Android projects in my spare time, although that has slowed down a bit – however I am integrating much of what I’ve learned from my day job so my personal projects are evolving as well.

I think this year, I can clearly say that the tech products that I use (laptop, cellphones, tablets, cloud etc) are complimentary to my life. I still want up to date gadgets, but I don’t have a crazy techlust for them because the ones I have are pretty good. The tech is now just improving my life. I think the new ultrabook I bought this year greatly influenced this feeling. Also I have an embarrassing amount of tech gadgets now.

I felt like I moved more and more things onto the cloud this year. This might have something to do with work where since I am remote, I deal with everything virtually anyways. But more of my non-media data is in Dropbox and the ilk. I had to setup 2 new computers this year, and it was pretty straightforward to get my data onto those devices.

Although we did travel this year, it didn’t feel like we did a lot. I think that’s because our lives no longer revolved around planning for the next trip. While it might not seem like much, it is a big change – as planning for a vacation creates a dream to look forwards to. This year, there were a lot of changes like that but on the most part, I think they were neutral or positive changes. I don’t think I will look back on 2013 and feel that my life changed for the worse.

In fact, I am kind of fearful that I have used up my good luck and in the coming years there will be changes for the worse. Like 2011, I wish that I could live in 2013 forever. It wasn’t a bad year.

Every year I expect to travel less, but it seems like I still do get a chance to travel. Here’s where I stayed overnight in 2013.

  • Toronto, ON, Canada
  • New York, NY, USA
  • Montreal, QC, Canada
  • Newark, NJ, USA
  • Calgary, AB, Canada
  • Erie, PA, USA
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Busan, South Korea
  • Narita, Japan
  • Hong Kong, China

Ok, in 2014 I really do expect to do less travelling!

Since I listened to KPop most of the year, this list is quite sparse. I don’t think I even bought a CD this entire year! Anyways, here goes:

  1. Armin van Buuren ft Trevor Guthrie – This Is What It Feels Like
    In a way, having this song at the top of my list is not that odd, because Armin is a trance DJ that is (has?) crossed over into Pop. This song still retains some of the Trance spirit though. Also, I heard on the radio (what? well it happens sometimes) that Trevor Guthrie was in soulDecision! That’s kinda pop too.
  2. Taylor Swift – I Knew You Were Trouble
    Although this was released late in 2012, it was new to me this year. Taylor Swift’s songs are getting better and better, probably because she’s moving straight into pop now.
  3. Bonnie McKee – American Girl
    I had another catchy song by Bonnie McKee a few years ago, and this one is even better. Too bad it didn’t get more popular. At least I was able to get the MP3 free as a Fourth of July promo.
  4. Tegan & Sara – Fool Again
    Nice piano riff on this track, which I used as an alarm for awhile. Tegan & Sara have finally graduated from the indie scene? Maybe only in Canada.
  5. Daft Punk ft Pharrell Williams – Get Lucky
    There was a new Daft Punk album this year, but I didn’t get it on CD as I just bought it digitally. I wouldn’t say the album was as great as everyone made it out to be. It was decent. This single is decent too, but I still enjoy their Discovery-era stuff more.
  6. CHVRCHES – The Mother We Share
    I found out about CHVRCHES from a sampler I downloaded and liked their brand of electronic. This was the second track I received from them, downloaded for free from iTunes. It’s the better of the two!
  7. Anna Kendricks – Cups
    I don’t actually like this song, but am amazed that they were able to shoot the majority of the video in a single take (or is there CG here?)

Most of my music listening this year was around my existing music collection and KPop. Here are the best KPop songs this year

  1. 소녀시대 (Girls’ Generation)- Express 999
    I don’t like most Girls’ Generation songs, but this one is very good. I like it because it’s a dance track, but not just because of that – they release a lot of high tempo tracks in Japanese which I don’t enjoy. The structure of this song is different and I like the variety in the different sections. There’s no clear hook, but all the motifs are good.
  2. 투개월 (Togeworl) – Number 1
    This is a duo which gained popularity through some American Idol-like show, and this song is really catchy. I also started listening to the Lim Kim (the female in this group) due to how good this song was.
  3. 태연 (Taeyeon) – 그리고 하나 (And One)
    One of two Taeyeon OST songs this year. The other sucked, but this one is good!
  4. 예성 (Yesung) – 먹지 (Gray Paper)
    I had this song as my morning alarm for a long time. I think its as good as any ballad by Bruno Mars.
  5. 브라운 아이드 소울 (Brown Eyed Soul) – Always Be There
    A lot of Western songs use 80s beats/synths in their song, but this song uses 90s synths. In fact when I heard it I thought it was a throwback to classic Boyz II Men. It’s awesome!
  6. 알리 (Ali) – 지우개 (Eraser)
    Not sure why I liked this song, it seems to be by an older artist but is sung well.
  7. 산이 (San E) -아는 사람 얘기 (Story Of Someone I Know)
    I saw the name San E on a lot of tracks this year, it’s like he is trying to be Nicki Minaj or someone? Well he’s a rapper for one, but he’s not scary. This is a catchy single he had.
  8. 소녀시대 (Girls’ Generation) – 유리아이 (Lost In Love)
    I didn’t like this song at first, but as a I listened to it more, it grew on me. It’s not actually by all of Girls’ Generation, just Taeyeon and Tiffany.
  9. 박지윤 (Park Ji Yoon) ft San E – 미스터리 (Mr. Lee)
    I don’t think they could make this song in the Western music industry – there just aren’t that many people with the same last name! Great contrast in the rap by San E as well on this one.
  10. 김예림 (Lim Kim) ft Swings – Voice
    There’s nothing that stands out about this song, but Lim Kim has a great timbre in her voice, and this is a relaxing track. I think the rap in this one detracts from the song though.
  11. 스텔라 (Stellar) – 공부하세요 (Study)
    Nice disco-style pop music
  12. 나인뮤지스 (9MUSES) – 건 (GUN)
    This is a catchy single with a nice hook that reminds me of the 80s (Hawaii Five-0?)
  13. 파이브돌스 (F-ve Dolls) – 짝 1호 (Soulmate)
    Yet another catchy disco single…but these do not have a long shelf life.