2011: My year in review
Posted on January 01, 2012
This might not be of interest to many, but thought I'd write down some highlights of my year 2011. Maybe for posterity, maybe because I feel a lot of stuff happened this year.
- Decided to spend Christmas and New Year's in Japan, which is the second time I have ever done so (for Christmas). Went to Senso-ji in Inage, Chiba, and had a much better New Years than last time I was there for the occasion. Lots more people, too: hundreds of people waiting to pray at the shrine once 2011 came in.
- Finally, really decided that 2011 was the year I would return to Canada, for real. Date: end of March. A very tough decision to make, but promised to keep ties with Japan, which I am still doing now.
- February 14th, in a small, quiet park under beautiful snowfall (very rare in the Tokyo area), I proposed.
- 3/11. Anyone who was in Japan at the time will remember this date. On a cool, sunny day returning from a store launch event, the Great Tohoku Earthquake struck while I was on the Sobu line at Ochanomizu station.
- What followed was a different world, full of worries, uncertainty, a hightened sensitivity to ground movement (which lasted for months), and odd calm and order. In contrast, I felt a hard-to-describe sense of crisis I have rarely, if ever, felt, which led to my return to Canada (while somewhat forcibly dragging my fiancée with me) in late March. Although planned in any case, it was a heartbreaking goodbye to a country I love so much.
- AC Japan commercials collectively burned in everyone's minds. I still get a chill down my back when seeing these.
- Can't remember the details as I write this, but those months were all about adjusting back to life in Canada, and work on sites/Zenbu and compatibility with other add-ons.
- Father has and successfully recovers from open-heart surgery after months waiting in cardiac insufficiency.
- I was hired by Solspace on the Technical Support Team, a position I am still holding now and is good fun! The Solspace team is great.
- Bought an Android phone. Realized cell phone plans are a bit more expensive than Japan and you get much less for your money, including no Caller ID, a no brainer to have anywhere else in the world.
- Looking for a house/condo, then realized I'm moving too fast and should settle for an appartment instead for now.
- Found an appartment, which is like 3x the size and cheaper (!) then my already "fairly large" appartment in Japan. Now that's a perk to living in Canada! ^^
- Painting my appartment, and realized I don't like painting appartments.
- Return to Japan with fiancée, for about a month for work and visiting friends and family. Tokyo slowly returning to normal, but with markedly less lights.
- Japanese government still trying to promote nuclear power. Please, get a clue.
- Trip to Hokkaido. Lots of fun and good food!
- Appeared on the EE Podcast, second part on talking about building Multilingual sites in EE. Thanks @lealea and @emilylewis!
- CICON 2011 in New York! CodeIgniter conference with good food and Wi-Fi. About 90 people attended. Traveled by bus, which I hope I'll never do again.
- EECI Conference 2011 in New Tork! Expressionengine/CodeIgniter conference with food (Dev Day only? I forget), no Wi-Fi. Great and useful talks. About 300 people attended. Traveled by air, which is much more (read: too) expensive but almost worth it not to travel by bus.
- Made many friends and met online friends in the flesh in both conferences, which is awesome!
- Zenbu is really shaping up!
- Bought my first vehicle (in Canada) - Toyota Matrix! Much bigger than my Subaru Vivio in Japan ^^;
- Zenbu is nominated for Module of the Year on Devot:ee (on a smaller note, I was nominated for Dev of the Year). Zenbu was second-runner up for Module of the Year! Yay! ...and congratualtions to the winners!
(Zenbu is compatible with Module of the Year, Assets, and first runner-up, Better Workflow, by the way ^-)
- Registered a few domains and a few other things. More to come in 2012! ^_-
- Decided on wedding date (paperwork version). Great start to 2012!
- Writing this review. ^o^
- My first sister's ups and downs with her ulcerous colitis. Hope she gets much better in 2012
- My thrid sister's one-day operation. (3/6 family members... man, lots of hospital time this year!)
- Nadeshiko Japan Women's Soccer Team wins World Championship.
- Steve Jobs... Thank you, for so much!