2018 Review: it was okay

What a year! Numerous memories! Below are some highlights from 2018.

-Watched the first sunrise from Jouyama then jumped in the ocean
-Did kakizome (海が生きがい)
-Surfed way too many times to count
-Learned to "turn" while surfing
-Went to Okinawa (Aka, Zamami, Geruma, Fukaji and Mokaraku* islands)
-Hung out with Dean and Gabs
-Swam with sea turtles and a venomous sea snake
-Camped, swam and survived a week of crazy wind storms in Niijima
-Saw my two good friends get engaged ocean-side on the pumice sand 
-Snorkeled in Shikinejima (Amazing Nakanoura)
-Relaxed in natural ocean-side Shikinejima baths (multiple)
-Took up yoga and continue to enjoy it
-Took close-up photos of the moon at an event I helped host
-Ran the first "Minami Izu Trail Marathon" 20 km ends with onsen and ise-ebi soup
-Acquired some basic archery skills
-Studied quite seriously for hunting and gun licensing
-Hiked an epic two-day trail (built an impromptu shelter to sleep in, made a fire in extreme humidity)
-Escaped on a mountain-leech-infested (yamabiru) 6 hour downhill hike
-Went to Australia twice
-Re-interior-designed my main living space with a heated kotatsu, Thai cushions and a Moroccan pouf
-Bought the ultimate dream tool kit (astrotools); replaced all my tools
-Put alloy rims and new tires on the Airwave
-Taught Ana how to change tires and oil
-Bought my 4th motorcycle (nc700x)
-Customized it (heated grips, center stand, usb, tool kit, navi, levers and engine guards)
-Made some professional progress steps
-Slept on the sand ocean-side under the stars with nothing at all
-Pulled a giant fishing net out of the ocean with the local community and bbq'ed
-Went to tons of summer festivals
-Continued the Izu English Running Club (Dec. 2018 - 92nd time)
-Met a Belgian-mix beer-making, castle-building, goat-keeping, amazing family
-Did my own and others' taxes after much research
-Started (kinda) a podcast that I hope to launch in 2019
-Made rings from scratch with friends
-Did 108 sun salutations in a row
-Didn't spear a fish... maybe next year
-Undoubtedly a few more things

It was an awesome year. My goals for next year are similar to Woody Guthrie's.



2017 Review: it was okay

I mean, who knows? It doesn't really matter, and I don't care. 2017 seemed to be interesting. What did I do? I...
-Watched the first sunrise from Jouyama (as usual)
-Started Surfing (Surfed at least 50 days)
-Drove a real rally car up a rocky twisty off-road course
-Enjoyed January Plum blossoms in Atami
-Learned basic Java
-Did a speech in Japanese in front of a small crowd
-Drove a Model S a bunch of times
-Camped (sleeping in tent or car) a bunch of times
-Got laser eye surgery in Korea
-Made my very own beer from scratch several times
-Hosted a Cherry Blossom Viewing Party
-Hit the gym hard for about 4 months, haha
-Bought a "sous-vide" machine, evolving my entire cooking game
-Did a solo motorcycle-camping spirit journey 600μg
-Went fishing a half dozen times
-Continued the Izu English Running Club (80th Run, Dec. 2018)
-Rented a house and hosted a Beach Party
-Cracked a molar in half during a beach holiday
-Had emergency dental surgery and returned surfing within the hour
-Went to too many summer festivals to count
-Went to the beach too many times to count
-Cooked banana pancakes and avocado pancakes
-Made my own Line Stickers
-Wrote and Illustrated a picture book
-Picked Chestnuts
-Stopped drinking Caffeine
-Experimented with 2 months alcohol-free 
-Went to Canada (Got rid of 4 bicycles, a motorcycle, and all my stuff)
-Caught up with people after a 5 year gap in Canada
-Bowled with Ana's sisters
-Studied a lot of Japanese, read/wrote/spoke a lot, wrote a test (results pending).
-Took-up skateboarding, finally
-Probably more..

It was an awesome year. My goals for next year are similar to Woody Guthrie's.



2016 Review: it was okay

Ok, ok. Cool cool cool.
In 2016 I...
-Watched the 1st sunrise from a mountain top
-Ate raw wild boar and and deer on the coast, then jumped in the ocean (Jan. 1st)
-Saw numerous izu shika
-Went to Okinawa 2 times (Ishigaki and Miyakojima...8 islands)
-Bought a wonderful Honda Airwave
-Said goodbye to our beloved Suzuki Kei car
-Camped too many times to count
-Went to Noto Hanto for the morning market
-Drove on a beach in Chirihama
-Bathed in Kusatsu (again), Shirahone (awanoyu), and many more
-Visited "old Japan" town Shirakawa
-Snorkeled all around Izu peninsula
-Made bacon, smoke boxes, sausages, bone broth, and more
-Stayed in some cool AirBnB: muromachi, shimoda, and more
-Took up homebrewing
-Took a Japanese test and began formal study
-Went to so many Japanese festivals and craft beer festivals
-Went to Shimada Obi Masturi
-Had a good time.




2015 Review: it was okay

2015, oh man. Where do I start? At random, perhaps...
-Came back from Ecuador a week and a half late because my passport and cash were stolen
-Bought new tires and got the AT rebuilt for our Suzuki Kei
-Went to the dentist and hospital (too many times)
-Almost got 300000 yen seized
-Went to Thailand
-Went to Okinawa
-Went to Shikoku
-Went to Nagoya
-Went to Kusatsu Onsen, Gifu
-Went to Shibu Onsen, Nagano
-Went to almost every beach on the Izu Peninsula
-Made tons of sausages, bacon, and wood projects
-Spent a day in Tokyo with George
-Saw plum blossoms in Atami
-Bathed in the sulfur baths of Kusatsu
-Ran a 1/2 marathon
-Drank under Cherry blossoms in Mishima Taisha and Kanogawa
-Rode the Deer Train again
-Snorkeled around Tokashikijima and watched the sunrise from a beach
-Had Misokatsu, Chicken wings and Belgian beer in Nagoya
-Went to a second belgian beer festival in Yokohama and hand-made marche
-Re-covered my motorcycle seat
-Hiked a mountain with Ikeya-san
-Went to so many summer festivals
-Crossed the world's longest wooden walking bridge at midnight during a lighting storm
-Rode a Segway
-Crossed an old samurai-escape bridge made of vines
-Bathed in the riverside baths of Iya Valley
-Bathed in the ancient Dōgo onsen.
-Slept in bamboo huts, traditional wooden Japanese houses, luxurious hotels, funky artsy 100-year old rooms, and more.
-I dunno. It was fun.



2014 Review: it was okay

I'm thinking 2014 was a pretty good year. Let's see if I can remember some of the stuff I did, in no particular order.

-Witnessed the first sunrise of the year from the top of Jō Yama.
-Watched fireworks from beaches in Japan, Ecuador and Canada. This included carefully sequenced underwater fireworks in Shizunami, unregulated chaos, and a private show, respectively. In total, I probably watched fireworks about a dozen times.
-Ate a borderline irresponsible amount of crabs in both Guayaquil and Dương Đông.
-Replaced my passport twice.
-Bought a car and a motorcycle.
-Drove a rickety open-top 4x4 up a mountain in Quito to the Swing at the End of the World.
-Built many many things out of wood. Multiple tables, boxes, etc.
-Acquired a 5L sausage stuffing machine; stuffed sausages.
-Spit-roasted a suckling pig in my backyard with a homemade contraption.
-Celebrated the 3rd anniversary of the Izu Running Club. And I ran another 1/2 marathon.
-Hung a pre-owned sea turtle on my apartment wall.
-Rick and Morty.
-Made ginger beer and yogurt from scratch (separately).
-Didn't ride a bicycle. Not even once. Weird.
-Rode in boats into a cave in Dogashima, down an Amazonian river in a wood canoe, and around Georgian Bay near a town called Tiny.
-Likely more.



2013 Review: it was okay

Because plagiarism is flattery, and consistency is next to godliness, I'm doing the same thing that I did in 2012 and 2011. Here's my list of bullet points generally starting with verbs from this past year:

-Watched the first sunrise from my favorite mountain top
-Moved into a new apartment with a garden
-Relaxed in hammocks
-Embraced all things good about the sun
-Became passionate about my health (more so than ever)
-Kept up with my running club (though completely stopped running other than that)
-Did my fastest half-marathon (with six months of zero running beforehand)
-Visited Kyushu and soaked in sulfur baths before taking a ferry to a volcano and climbing on dinosaurs
-Cut my own hair
-Read some books
-Hosted my brother and his wife as well as my dad and his wife for Japan adventures
-Probably other things...

In terms of actual things done in typical list format, I didn't do too many quote-unquote epic things this year, but it was a truly excellent year. All good times with good people.

I had an awesome year. My goals for next year are similar to Woody Guthrie's.


2012 Review: it was okay

This time last year I made a list of stuff I had done in the previous year. I liked it, so I'm doing it again this year. Anyway 2012, you were pretty awesome. Let's bullet point!

In no particular order, in 2012, I...
-Watched the first sunrise of 2012 hit Mount Fuji from the top of my favorite mountain.
-Wrote my first Japanese test (results pending)
-Ran another half-marathon
-Maintained my running club
-Ran 200km in one month
-Ran 50km in one day
-Hiked too many times to count
-Barbecued too many times to count
-Adventured by train too many times to count
-Jumped into too many rivers, lakes and oceans to count
-Grew a beard
-Bought a motorcycle (and did motorcycle adventures, of course)
-Organized a Comic Jam in Japan
-Created copious art pieces, filling numerous sketchbooks and canvases
-Switched jobs
-Took up rock climbing again
-Did pistols and a bunch of other stuff
-Built a secret wilderness cookout shelter
-Ate fugu (blowfish), whale, and a large variety of other wonderful animals
-Significantly improved my ability to cook eggs (and everything else, too)

I had an awesome year. My goals for next year are similar to Woody Guthrie's.


2011 Review: it was okay

Whaddup 2011? You were pretty awesome. Let's bullet point!

In no particular order, in 2011, I...
-Graduated University (BBM)
-Moved to Japan
-Ran a full marathon
-Started a local running club
-Read about 30 books (not including uni or teacher texts)
-Toured my Mom around my home area in Japan
-Became a self-proclaimed egg-cooking expert
-Got (at the top of a mountain)
-Climbed that mountain 16 more times
-Climbed Mount Fuji from zero to 3667 meters in 21 hours
-Climbed to the top of 4 additional mountains
-Was featured on 3 of my favorite websites*
-Became a teacher
-Made a bunch of things (art, photography, DIY projects)
-Went to the beach too many times to count
-Paid off all debts (and have salubrious savings)
-Learned the word salubrious

I was an awesome year. My goals for next year are similar to Woody Guthrie's.

*Birthdayshoes, mu-43 and diyphotography.