Inspired by “Fogus’ yearly list of great things and people that I discovered, learned, read, met, etc.” - this is my version of what were the best things I discovered in 2023.
- Daily Steps (Avg.): 10646 (+2% - a minor uptick, I am getting less "enthusiastic" about walking - probably due to age, and I definitely feel like I should have done more on this side, especially having spent 2 weeks in Japan and 1 in NYC...)
- Aikido (Hrs.) 332 (+4% what I said about age and walking above still applies, but in case of Aikido it is not realistic to expect to be able to do more hours, so staying at +/- 2% would still be great news).
- Shodo (hrs) 31 (+14%) - usual caveats apply: this is based on counting actual practice with a teacher or other students... so the actual hours are a bit higher, but on the other hand this is how I count this from the start, so the general trend is probably accurate enough.
I am still reading less than I would like, and unfortunately most of the books I acquired this year were either "near misses" or I haven't finished them yet as of Dec. 31st, so... just one entry:
Perhaps the Stars by Ada Palmer the final book of the Terra Ignota ponderous tetralogy. Overall my rating is still pretty high: I do not know if it is even possible to write a "completely satisfying" ending for a book with so many ideas, threads, and characters - Palmer does not disappoint, even if she introduces even more baffling elements before concluding her tour de force. The number of pages is really insane, but I managed to get to the end of it without losing interest (even if I really had some problems recognizing "minor" characters that had been introduced in the previous volumes but were not exactly at the forefront of the story). My suggestion is that you give it a try with the first volume and see if it hooks you.
This one is just a short story, but I enjoyed it a lot so I want to include it anyway: The placeholder girlfriend
Technical and Non-Fiction Books/Papers
- N/A (alas) - I have a couple of titles but I have not even started reading them so I hope I'll have something for 2024...
Miscellaneous Web Articles
- Documentation for your home - definitely a smart idea, but I know already I am too lazy to actually act on it. Maybe someone else could do better.
- Reverse Outlines: A Writer’s Technique for Examining Organization Seeing like a Bank - this is the piece which made me discover the "Bits about Money" blog, but I really like all the content there. The sticky history of Baklava - the source is quite authoritative, but I must admit I included this mostly because I really like Baklavas. Atlas of Economical Complexity - Harvard Growth Lab’s research and data visualization tool used to understand the economic dynamics and new growth opportunities for every country worldwide.* *
Favorite non-book media and entertainment
I go to the movies mostly to entertain my mother, these were the best of the year (but this does not mean that, say, Dune was not good enough... I just did not see it):
This is a bit niche, but I want to also list my Ikebana Experience in Tokyo
- My Fantasy campaign using Mini-Six ended in the first quarter of 2023. Actually I put it "on hold" but it looks improbable that I reboot (or even just complete it). Time will tell.
- https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/352238/turncoats has been a very pleasant discovery. I played it on Boardgamearena, but I was tempted to buy a physical copy just for the way it was designed/packaged.
Content (produced by me)
I was asked to prepare and deliver a short webinar on Business Analysis tools and techniques by [ https://www.ecmmanagersrl.com](ECM Manager)
- Mac Mini - I splurged for a fully specced Mac Mini to replace my iMac
- Anker - PowerPort “Atom III” Slim I bought three, so I can testify that it works quite fine at least for my use cases. -Anker - PowerCore III 19k an exceptional bargain in Tokio...
- after at least two years of using the free version I finally decided to pay for the pro version of Deepl, which I use mostly for one-on-one sessions with various models.
- I took part in the 51st International Calligraphy Exhibit in Tokyo.
- Balance - Shodo Seminar in Berlin.
Food & Dining
- This year I finally managed to go to NYC!!! a trip I had already organized in 2020 and had to cancel due to COVID:
- I also spent two full weeks in Tokyo, but this is in ot exactly a new thing, now.
- Last but not least, I visited Arnhem... pretty cool, even if in the end I did not have enough time to visit the Battle Museum.
2023 was so far my worst year, not much in quality, maybe, but in terms of dedication/productivity. Up until 2022 I managed to post almost daily, while in 2023 I sometimes let weeks to pass without producing anything.
It is of course too early to say, but I seem to have picked up the pace again in November/December. Let's see how it turns out.
Best as in "Most voted"
A new record for me: over 1700 likes.
This was mostly thanks to the model, who agreed to post this as a collaboration (and she is much more popular than me).
Also she graciously allowed me to draw you in a fully nude pose, while the original image did not expose any naughty bits.
Best as in "This is what I like more"
Once again this category is based on how much I like the actual model, and on how satisfied I am with the end result (from a technical viewpoint).
It also managed to rake in more than the average number of likes, too, but if you ask me… it deserves much more.