2015 - The Year of the Desert

I'm not sure if I'm excited or not for 2015. Noah will be hitting two, we'll be having a new baby in a few days (oh golly), and working for Shutterstock just keeps getting better. On the other hand, I'm 2000 miles from my beloved Upper Peninsula and living in a desert. Everytime I think of the next few months, let alone the next year, that fact hangs over me like a cartoon rain cloud.

2014 was a cool ride. It started with a new shiny job, a remote position for a large New York tech company. And that's been going great. Thanks to the extra flexibility the job has given us Katie now stays at home all day with Noah. I get to eat lunch with the whole family every day and give the little guy high fives during water cooler runs. We didn't have him in day care for long, maybe six months in all from 2013-14, but it feels so much different having him with Katie all day. So much better.

Noah and me down by the lake

Noah and me down by the lake

I got some good UP hikes last year as well. The two that stand out are Chapel Loop of Pictured Rocks and a circumnavigation of Bulldog Lake in the McCormick. There were a lot of other ones too, like the spring visit to Turner Point on Mountain Lake and an icy trip to the Freda Cliffs. It was a good run. Code has been steadily improving too. I'm getting more into modern PHP development, using PSR conventions and composer, and even started picking up some R from an online data science class.

Then we moved to Arizona for Katie's family. And it's been tough. We live on the outskirts of Phoenix, far to the south of the main hustle and high crime rates. There's still a ton of traffic near us, houses clustered close to each other, and whenever I hike the mountains around the valley I can easily make out the layer of smog over the whole thing. We're going to give it another year before making a decision on staying or trying something new. In the meantime I have a few adventures planned for the Superstition Wilderness, nothing I'm that excited about, though Katie's brother Chris has made a fun and ambitious hiking partner.

Outside of surviving the desert, welcoming a new member of the family, and hanging out with an ever-awesome son, I do have some loose ideas for 2015. I want to start running again. Back in 2013 I got close to running a half-marathon and would like to give that another shot. I also want to start overhauling my sites. I like the frontend design, it's just the custom framework that needs some polish. That code is almost five years old now. Ick.

So nothing new for the next year, just dealing with the consequences of 2014 for the most part. Maybe I'll get used to the desert over the year. Or maybe we'll change things up and move to Marquette by the end of the year. That, that would be something.