Facebook has “my year” automatic services. This is the same 2014 retrospective, the hard (manual) way.
This year saw many new babies and firmly established my “grand uncle” status. I tried to train every grand nephews/nieces to call me “Xiao Ming Shu Gong” — a continuation of the tradition of their parents calling me “Xiao Ming Shu Shu.” Of course, these babies must acquire vocal control first, that could take several years.
Kids settled into their routine, knowing quite well that stability is not for their changing ages and generation.
2014 entered our 5th year in Seattle, elevating Emerald City to our third longest staying locale, followed by Silicon Valley and Taiwan, surpassing China. Our feeling of being a local is getting stronger every year. I like the cooler climate, the slower pace, and the more spatial feeling. Of course, coffee, beer, and wine are critical factors too. I continued to explore the greater Seattle area, albeit quite slowly.
I travelled nearly 20 times! Many were day-trips or over-nights. Four times I went to Asia, mostly greater China and there were several east coast trips. Those, mostly business, trips were exhausting, but have the nice side effects of providing times to read, catching up with movies, and keeping long-distant personal connections.
I have long fully converted to eBooks. After losing my, beloved, Kindle Paperwhite, I switched to an Android tablet. For the year, I read 34 books, 9 of them non-fictions. Among the fictions, fantasy, SciFi, and thrillers are my main genres. Orson Scott Card’s “Mither Mages”, Deborah Harkness’ “All Souls Trilogy“, Haruki Marakami’s “1Q84“, Asimov’s “Foundation Trilogy“ are my recommendations. The non-fiction favorites were Taylor Clark’s “Starbucked“, Mike Brown’s “How I Kill Pluto“, and Michael Ruhlman’s “The Soul of a Chef“.
I worked out more regularly and frequently: on average 5.1 times per week, up from 4.5 last year. My routine is mostly at night, alternating among elliptical, treadmill, stationary bike, and lap swimming. On weekends, when the weather is nice, I jogged outdoors. To battle those muscular atrophia, I do weights probably once in 4 to 6 weeks. I continued to lose ground on the war against cholesterol and blood glucose, only slowly. That was probably related to genes, aging, and my failed attempt to get my BMI down to 25 (from the current 26). Guess I should really have fought harder by indulging less on foods and drinks. Sigh…
Job-wise, like last, this has been a tumultuous year. As a crew on this big boat, I am in for the wild ride. The hope is a reasonable success within a couple of years and that means, yes, I will be in this Emerald city for a while still.