Reviewing Nikky v2015

Some people post year-end summaries on Facebook. Others type up a letter to be included in a Christmas card. I write belated blog posts. Let’s talk about 2015. Specifically, my 2015.

This whole “being an adult” thing continues to largely elude me. Perhaps the thinly cohesive theme to this post is how I’m mostly pretending on this front.

Edit: It appears WordPress has built-in gallery support. It also appears that this support is absolutely terrible and it just kind of randomly stretches images as it sees fit. Hopefully you can forgive me one day.

Livin’ Efficiently

2015 found Tracey and I settling into a new (smaller) apartment. Our previous few residences were fairly large 2-bedroom units that made us pay dearly for space that we were largely underutilizing. After a few rounds of donations, and close scrutinizing of our possessions, we found that maybe being an adult isn’t about owning lots of things, but instead owning a small amount of really useful things that are reliable, used frequently, and utilitarian in nature. To that end, we packed up and went a few blocks north to a brand new 1-bedroom apartment that featured around 560sq. ft. of well-designed space to work with. It’s a new look, but we saved ourselves quite a bit of time spent cleaning and acquiring possessions while staying in our favorite neighborhood. Maybe people were right about location being the most important attribute to housing after all.

Cat Wranglin’

People are having kids and buying houses while I largely stumble through co-owning a single cat. We’ve managed to keep Minerva largely healthy and 100% alive through her second year of being with us, and that seems largely to be the major goal of owning a cat. She keeps the apartment rodent free, although I think that’s largely due to the wonders of modern sanitation rather than her constant vigilance. Making due without live prey, Minerva instead practices on our legs and arms when we’re not paying her enough attention.2015-12-12 23.20.52


I don’t really like talking about work that much, and often when asked I just say that I “work on computers” because I’m not very good at explaining. Still, the fact that people ask this question fairly often means they probably want to hear about it. Work is going well. I’m doing all sorts of website- and data-related things at work while exploring new technologies and brushing up on older skills.

Not Bein’ a Dick all the Time

One of my major goals this year was to try and figure out how to not come off as what other people have accused me of “being a dick.” Perhaps I even tried to not use argument as a primary driver of conversation. Sometimes I even went to social things  even when I felt like being an introvert instead.

I’d like to think I made progress on this front, but it’s something hard to judge.


According to my good friends at, 2015 saw me listening to a lot of Long Winters, Purity Ring, Talk Talk, and ole’ standby Boards of Canada. Outrun and Neo-80s music were a very prevalent theme, and a very welcome change compared to the rather anemic electronic offerings that we had for the first half of the decade.

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The most played song of the year? “Magna” by DivideFourth? “I’m a G” by Rick Ross. Hunh.


Another year, another rewatch of The Wire. When not looking for something so serious, Bob’s Burgers and Brooklyn Nine-Nine were well-watched. Tracey has partially converted me over to Doctor Who, but that may be mostly be a side effect of my running out of good Science Fiction to watch.


After acquiring a set of the beautiful History of US Naval Operations in WWII by Samuel Eliot Morison, I powered through the first seven books before taking a break to learn more about Chernobyl through first-party sources, read up on some football strategy, and all sorts of other odd topics.

Something like 40 books were read, and the best of the year was probably “Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanisan War” by Svetlana Alexievich.


Talos Principle was my favorite game of 2015: it’s a beautiful and delightful puzzler that offers rewards to those who seek out the mysteries of the game. FTL: Faster than LightSupreme CommanderMini Metro, Homeworld RemasteredHotline Miami 2, and Starcraft: Legacy of the Void were all also well-played.


Another year of being a Husky football season ticket holder, and another year of “rebuilding.” The first half of the season was rocky while our offense struggled to find its identity: our outstanding defense held the line and enabled the second half of the season to go quite well after our freshman players found out how to score points and string together drives. The traditional Cougar stomp at the end of the regular season certainly didn’t hurt.


2015 was a year that brought a slightly different to my travels. We started off the year by going to New Orleans for a wedding. As the wedding was on a cruise ship and the bride/groom invited wedding members to go on the cruise with them, we decided to take the opportunity to try out the whole relaxation thing. The 7-day cruise was certainly interesting, we’re glad we tried it, and we probably won’t do it again. Before and after the cruise, we spent some time exploring NOLA and inhaling vast quantities of food. I also wrote about how cool entering the Mississippi river delta was.

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Canada was a big theme this year, and Tracey and I visited Vancouver BC in April, and we did the things people do when they visit our northerly Neighbor.

In May, Brian, Andy and I went on a 9-day trip through Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto. We sampled the local foods, failed at speaking French, and mostly tried to understand how Hockey was played.

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In August Tracey and I went on two week adventure in the Alps. We saw the mountains, we hiked the trails, we rode the terrifying gondolas, swung on the chairlifts, and even survived a sudden thundershower while exposed on a trail in the Dolomites.

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There is no conclusion. I didn’t even re-read this post to make sure words were spelled correctly, sentences made sense, or that I didn’t just type swear words for the past five paragraphs.

Ignore that.

The Actual Conclusion

We’re only on our fairly small spinning ball of rock for a short period of time. Do what makes you happy, work at what you like doing, read what you enjoy, go to places you want to explore, and spend time with the people you love.



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