December/January 2015 In Review
This is my first recap in two months as I missed last month.. I’m flying back from Texas to Seattle and have some time to kill, so I may as well spill some thoughts.
Suzi and I were in Houston for the Passion Conference (it was our last year eligible to attend) with our friends Nick, Anthony, and Gloria. We enjoyed worship from guys like Chris Tomlin and David Crowder and teaching from pastors like Francis Chan and Matt Chandler. We were also able to meet up with a handful of old friends, including Daniel and Andrew from EPIC projects and one of my good friends Ron from OU.
My takeaways from the conference:
- how worthy it is to be obedient and to act in faith, because our present struggling does not compare to the glory that will be revealed to us, and
- how distracted we are as a generation, and how we need to be sober-minded and have self-control
We then spent a few days in Austin, watching the Super Bowl with a bunch of EPIC staff, visiting UT/the capitol/the LBJ museum, and eating In-N-Out, Chuy’s, and Freebirds World Burritos.
I read a few books since December started - Love Does by Bob Goff (pretty similar to Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz) and You and Me Forever (on marriage) and Erasing Hell (on what the Bible says about heaven and hell, somewhat in response to Rob Bell’s Love Wins) by Francis Chan.
I got out of 2 Chronicles (I’m in Nehemiah now) and am about 80% complete in memorizing Romans 3.
I also became the outreach leader at church and just started discipling my coworker Yaohua who has been coming to church with me for the past few months. We are meeting at the Top Pot doughnut shop downtown, which may be #3 in terms of where I spend the most time (behind home and work). One week, I actually went to Top Pot 7 different times over the course of 5 days.
For Christmas, we had our traditional CSBC Friday night Christmas party and Frank, Tim, and I played a low-key background jazz set (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Sleigh Ride…). Ivan had a bunch of people over Christmas night for dinner, which was amazing as always. Our church had a New Year’s Eve service, which included watching Let it Go from Frozen in Mandarin and You Raise Me Up being played a handful of times.
Ruth and my mom spent some time in Seattle with us and we spent a weekend in Vancouver and came back with a bunch of Frutips.
I wrote an article that won a ReactConf ticket from ReactJSNews and ended up on the front page of HackerNews (though upvotes were admittedly solicited via Twitter). So Suzi and I went down to San Francisco last week for 3 days so I could go to the 2 day conference at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park. This was actually a pretty great conference, with many big names (the React guys and at least 3 guys from TC39). Only 350 tickets were released, so I was pretty blessed and excited to have won one. There were people coming from Israel, Australia, Taiwan, Spain, etc. - it was a pretty big deal and a handful of big announcements were made during that time.
During that time, we were able to meet up with Fred and Julia in SF and my friend Eric from my last EPIC project. We had a lot of bubble tea, Sushiritto, and Umami Burger. And we stayed in an Airbnb that had a grand piano in the living room.
I ran more than normal overall. I ran the Dish when we were down in Palo Alto, which was basically non-stop hills for 2 3.5 mile loops. Suzi got me a Garmin GPS watch for Christmas, so I was motivated to increase my distance and pace. I did a few 30 mile weeks in a row and ended with a 40 mile week, waking up at 6:30am a few times to do runs before work, and signing up for two half marathons in March. The plan is to get my mileage up to 45 in February, as I’m seeking a Boston qualifier at the Rock n Roll marathon in June.
As for Tune, we most notably raised $27 million for our Series B round (article). We also were ranked #4 on the Geekwire 200 (that’s the top 200 “start-up” companies in the PNW). I put in a talk proposal to the React Europe conference with my team lead Jack and started using Webstorm and Typescript and got some good work done with React and the hot-loader.
On the side, I pushed two apps to Heroku, using MongoLab and S3, and even went back to Angular and did a project with their Yeoman generator. One app was gif-gallery, which allows you to create galleries and then record Gifs for the galleries. Even the home and 404 pages are galleries. Gif data is stored in S3, which took a while to configure correctly. If you wanted to, you could actually use this right now.
As I write all of this up, it sure seems like December and January were good months… I don’t quite remember if they felt good though. I don’t think they actually did. There were, though, two moments that particularly stick out.
The first was one thing Chris told me after a prayer group - I had been stressing out and digging myself in a hole about how I didn’t feel like I was the person I was supposed to be and that I needed to get better at basically everything. Chris told me that he essentially boils down everything to two questions - “Did I trust God?” and “Did I try my hardest?” He says that if he can answer yes to both questions, he doesn’t really worry about things, because there wasn’t much more he could have done. He said that I needed to ultimately trust God to turn me into the person that I need to become. When he said that, it was like fireworks going off in my head.
The second had to do with seeing Andrew in Houston. I hadn’t seen him in five years, and it was pretty amazing to see him again and catch up, though we only had an hour. I think what was awesome about it was seeing how much he had matured and how much more responsible he had gotten, and it made me want to do the same thing, to grow in confidence and maturity and seek for all of those manhood principles we had talked about like 7 years earlier. I’ve never really interacted with someone who was just so genuinely happy to see me or talk to me… being around someone like that really makes me feel like I can be someone great.
Anyways, thanks for reading. These sorts of recaps are encouraging/more spontaneous, so I might start doing them less frequently so I can identify bigger picture trends.