2017: Year in Review

Highlights from the year and what’s in store for the next one

I’ve heard that as you get old­er, time goes by faster. I def­i­nite­ly felt that this year. As with most years there were good times and bad, here are some of the highlights.

Almost Canadians

In Jan­u­ary, Kel­ly and I were invit­ed to Toron­to by Shopi­fy. I was inter­view­ing for a job there—that I even­tu­al­ly did­n’t get. You can read all about my heart being bro­ken, but aside from the inter­view it was an excel­lent trip. I enjoyed get­ting to know Toronto.

My friend Cayce took me to Kin­ton Ramen which blew my mind. I’d nev­er had ramen before, so I was a lit­tle skep­ti­cal, but after this I could­n’t get enough. Kel­ly and I end­ed up eat­ing there two more times before we left. If I had all the mon­ey in the world, I’d have my pri­vate jet fly me there just for lunch.

While we were there, we went apart­ment hunt­ing. Prices for apart­ments in Toron­to are pret­ty crazy. We were look­ing at places for $1900 CAD at the time, which did­n’t get you much.

I think mov­ing would’ve been a great expe­ri­ence for the both of us, but oh well.

Speaking Again

This year was a great one for speak­ing events. I had the hon­or of speak­ing at four events this year. Out of the four events, I’d nev­er been to two of the cities.

I was invit­ed to give my talk on CSS Grid. Giv­ing this talk was insane­ly excit­ing because we went from only hav­ing sup­port in Fire­fox and Chrome, to hav­ing sup­port in almost all browsers except IE11. As some­one who’s work­flow has been com­plete­ly changed with CSS Grid, I was excit­ed by the brows­er sup­port and the reac­tion of peo­ple to the topic.

I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Min­nebar, BeerCi­ty Code, Con­verge, and EE Conf for let­ting me speak at their event. Shar­ing new things you’re learn­ing is always very rewarding.


@keaton_taylor hooked me up with the awe­some peo­ple at Mealthy. At the time, Mealthy had­n’t launched their site yet. They had a site in devel­op­ment already with great bones, but need­ed some polish.

I start­ed work­ing with them in August and over the next few months we deployed the site, launched the com­pa­ny’s first phys­i­cal prod­uct, then launched the sec­ond. I also had the plea­sure and priv­i­lege of work­ing with a fun and trust­ing team. Work­ing with Mealthy is hands down one of the best pro­fes­sion­al expe­ri­ences I’ve had.

Even though I was laid off in Decem­ber, I wish the remain­ing team the very best.

Brightly Colored

After four years of this site being called The Bold Report, I decid­ed it was time for a new name. I detailed some of the rea­sons back in Octo­ber, but to make a long sto­ry short, it’d been a long time coming.

2017 was a great year for this blog. It saw growth in read­er­ship, I wrote a lot, and it’s cur­rent design is the best one I’ve made. I’d love to see read­er­ship grow a lot more in 2018, but I feel like I’ve been say­ing that since the site’s inception.

Times with Loved Ones

2017 was a great year with friends and fam­i­ly. My sis­ter-in-law from Mon­tana vis­it­ed us with her kids, my broth­er-in-law from Cal­i­for­nia paid us a vis­it with his fam­i­ly, my sis­ter-in-law from Wis­con­sin came to vis­it a few times, my uncle and cousin moved from Cal­i­for­nia to Min­neso­ta, and we took (our now tra­di­tion­al) cab­in trip up north in the fall. We also made a trip out to Cal­i­for­nia to cel­e­brate my aunt and uncle’s twen­ty-fifth anniversary.

YouTube Channel

2017 was the year I final­ly bought a cam­era. Short­ly after, I start­ed a YouTube chan­nel. In just a few months, I’d cre­at­ed some prod­uct reviews, unbox­ings, and movie reviews. They’re not too bad (if I do say so myself).

The set­up has changed a bit since this pho­to, but the mess is the same.

Then, the sum­mer came and things just… stopped. And I haven’t had a chance to get back at it. I have plans to fix this in 2018, with a siz­able list of ideas. But my biggest goal con­cern­ing the chan­nel is to find my own voice in video. It’s been a dif­fi­cult adjust­ment to be in front of the cam­era since I would­n’t con­sid­er myself pho­to­genic. Not only that, but I don’t sound like myself just yet—my scripts still feel very robot­ic and my deliv­ery too stiff.

A Two-Wheeled Adventure

In May, Kel­ly and I went to get our motor­cy­cle per­mits. A few days lat­er, we bought a Hon­da PCX150. A sleek lit­tle scoot­er that I could use to run errands while she’s at work. Since we only have one car, being able to go out, get some sun, meet peo­ple for lunch, and more was amaz­ing dur­ing the sum­mer. I got a taste of being on two wheels and was hooked.

In Octo­ber I took a motor­cy­cle train­ing class and final­ized get­ting my motor­cy­cle endorse­ment. It was two intense days that stressed how to be safe on a motor­cy­cle. There’s a lot that’s com­mon sense, but there’s also so much you don’t think about in a car that could save your life on two wheels. I’m very tempt­ed to upgrade to a motor­cy­cle next year.

New Kitten

We added a new mem­ber to the Smith fam­i­ly this year. We adopt­ed a tiny grey kit­ten from the Humane Soci­ety and named her Izzy. Four months lat­er, she’s sig­nif­i­cant­ly big­ger but still insane­ly play­ful. This cat has the most ener­gy I’ve seen in a kit­ten. She’ll run around and play, take a five minute pow­er nap, and get back at it. Her and our oth­er cat get along well so we’re hap­py about that too.

Izzy doesn’t fit in a box on my desk any­more, but she’s just as cute.

Timberwolves Season Tickets

After many years of anguish, being a Tim­ber­wolves fan is excit­ing again with the addi­tions they made in the recent off-sea­son. We decid­ed to get sea­son tick­ets in the nose­bleeds, which turned out to be great seats.

Before the sea­son start­ed, we were invit­ed to an open house and had the chance to tour the whole are­na. The ren­o­vat­ed Tar­get Cen­ter is beau­ti­ful. We even had a chance to sit court­side while the Wolves prac­ticed. There we were just inch­es from these incred­i­bly tall bas­ket­ball play­ers, and I could not get the smile off my face. That night, I was a kid all over again. I was on the jum­botron too!

Kel­ly and I with Crunch at the Tar­get Cen­ter open house.

Winter Basketball

I need­ed exer­cise to be part of my reg­u­lar rou­tine so this win­ter I signed up for win­ter bas­ket­ball. It’s been so much fun to play every Mon­day night. The sea­son start­ed in Novem­ber, and I feel like every game I get into a lit­tle bit bet­ter shape.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not even a shad­ow of my nine­teen-year-old self, but the car­dio makes me feel exhaust­ed and amaz­ing at the same time. I’m so excit­ed to be play­ing the game I love on a reg­u­lar basis again. Oh and I final­ly have a jer­sey with my num­ber on it.

Looking Forward to 2018

All in all, I’m real­ly hap­py with 2017. I feel like I used my time the way I want­ed to, improved my phys­i­cal and men­tal health, and enjoyed expe­ri­ences that widened my horizons.

Here’s our mot­to for 2018:

Our Mot­to: Be Proac­tive, Not Reactive.

Now for my goals:

  1. Pro­duce at Least One Video a Month
    At least. I’m hop­ing I can make more than that, but one per month feels achiev­able. I’d like to get 1k sub­scribers by the end of the year too.
  2. Read One Book Every Two Months
    I’ve got a list of sev­en­teen books. I’m almost pos­i­tive I won’t be able to read all of them this upcom­ing year, but I think six is a rea­son­able goal.
  3. Buy a House
    After liv­ing almost three years in a base­ment apart­ment, 2018 will be the year we move out. I need more sun­light, and I’d like for us to have a place of our own.

It’s going to be a great year.