2018 Year in Review

What a year! My life changed quite a bit during this trip around the sun. Here are some of the highlights of 2018.

A New Family Member

On January 28, 2018, Mallory and I welcomed Daniel Keith MacEachern into the world and into our hearts. He arrived 16 days ahead of schedule but both Mama and baby were strong and healthy during and after labour. Daniel tipped the scales at 6 pounds, 14 ounces.

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A peaceful nap at the hospital.

Taking care of a tiny human was a challenging (and tiring) adjustment but we were fortunate to have lots of help from family, especially Mallory’s sister and both our moms who flew in from Winnipeg to help us get settled in. There were long nights and some early issues with Daniel not gaining enough weight but we were able to make some adjustments and find our rhythm. Pretty soon we were having a lot of fun together.

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Babies were on sale at the supermarket.

I might be biased but I think he’s pretty darn cute.

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Pure joy.

Traveling Trio

We covered a lot of ground in 2018. To start, we took a trip to Whistler where Daniel went tobogganing for the first time.

He also drove the bobsled for us.

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Thunderstruck.

Our inaugural trip to Winnipeg was for Easter. Daniel met his extended family for the first time.

Snoozing with Great Grandpa.

Later that summer we had another trip to Whistler and then a longer visit to Winnipeg. It was great to find some time to relax at the cabin.

He didn’t jump off the dock, but I did.

In the fall we took a trip to beautiful Maui, Hawaii. We were so fortunate to have sea turtles on the beach near the resort basically every day.

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He’s faster than I am in the mornings.

Mallory and I tried surfing too. We loved it, even though our arms were sore for days afterwards.

The waves weren’t very big but it still counts!

For the last trip of the year, we were back to Winnipeg for Christmas. Daniel got his first taste of a Winnipeg winter and we spent Christmas with friends and family.

More tobogganing!

The Rest

The World Junior Hockey Championship were in Vancouver this winter and I was able to make it to a couple of games, including Canada’s crushing 2-1 overtime loss in the quarterfinals. Daniel made it on the big screen during pregame skate of the bronze medal game.

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Daniel was mesmerized by the players.

After a dominating 13-1 regular season, I finished third in our fantasy football pool. Mallory limped in to the playoffs with a 8-6 record and proceeded to knock me out on her way to the championship. My poor brother ended the season with a miserable 0-14 record (come to the draft party next year, Riley!).

According Strava, I logged 273 rides and 2,564.4 km on my bike in 2018. That’s about the distance from Vancouver to Kenora, Ontario. 🚴🏼‍♀️

I also finished level 1 of Duolingo French. My active streak is nearly 300 days. Je m’appelle Claude.

Books

Finally, here are some of the books I read in 2018.

Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand. Rand’s vision of a world in which unrestrained socialism/communism drive industrialists and other productive workers to go on strike. Warning: it’s an incredibly long book. I put it down for extended periods a handful of times and finally finished it this year.

Principles, Ray Dalio. Dalio is the founder of one of the largest hedge funds in the world and in Principles he describes his approach to life and management. The book has some interesting insights but it’s probably sufficient to read the companion summary and dive into the sections that are most applicable to you.

Flash Boys, Michael Lewis. Flash Boys provides a glimpse into the world of high frequency traders (HFT) and how some of the insidious incentives of financial institutions were being exploited. Lewis is able to plainly explain some of the various approaches used by HFTs to essentially game the system, including flash trading (accessing and acting on order information before other market participants), rebate arbitrage (exploiting offsetting kickbacks from various exchanges), and slow market arbitrage (reacting to cross-exchange price differences). I believe some of the tactics mentioned in the book have since been outlawed but I have no doubt the greed, cluelessness, and lack of ethics at many Wall Street firms remains.

Catch 22, Joseph Heller. I can’t remember how I first heard of Catch 22 but I found it stashed it on my Kindle and decided to give it a chance. The story is told in a non-chronological style from the perspective of many different characters which makes it difficult to follow at first, but don’t give up! It is a strange and funny book with a sad, dark ending.

Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited, Steve Krug. Don’t Make Me Think is about how software developers and designers can (and must!) remove friction and obstacles that stand between their users and the problems their users have. It is primarily geared towards the web but many of the concepts are applicable to mobile and other types of software as well. I particularly enjoyed reading about how Krug recommends performing usability testing.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting and What to Expect the First Year, Heidi Murkoff. Disclaimer: I didn’t actually read either of these books cover-to-cover but they were incredibly valuable as reference materials during and after Mallory’s pregnancy. The internet can be a bit of a wasteland when it comes to questions about babies, so it was nice to have these on hand.

Wrapping up

2018 was quite a year and it will always have a special place in my heart but I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings. Thanks for reading.

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