Here & There - 01.11.22
Another year gone by. Same same, but different. Hope y’all have been well — more updates and more writing to come on my end!
A little experiment with geotagging.
The subject of geotagging/location-sharing has been an ongoing conversation in the outdoor/travel industry. What if we could design UI-based interventions (without *removing* locations from everything) that might increase intentionality and potentially help drive psychological ownership of places? A little design experiment popped into my head around this topic, and I wrote a bit about it here.
And, a few 2021 recap things:
A Memory Called Empire - Arkady Markine
An impressive debut novel that weaves together political intrigue, complex character development, and world-building. You might notice shades of Asimov (particularly the Foundation series), and influences from our own history (Rome/Byzantium/Aztecs). The follow up, ‘A Desolation Called Peace’, was also excellent.
Long Way to a Small and Angry Planet - Becky Chambers
A welcome reprieve from sad, dystopian, civilization scale, catastrophe/war-focused science fiction. This is a character-driven story, mostly focusing on the interpersonal conflicts of the crew (but not without galactic world-building), and the story is better for it. The characters are compelling, the intersection of varied and sometimes clashing alien cultures is well developed, and overall it just feels different than traditional sci fi. In the best way.
The Priory of the Orange Tree - Samantha Shannon
Self-contained high-fantasy in 800 pages. I didn't LOVE it, but it was thoroughly enjoyable. Great world-building and development for a stand-alone...but left me feeling like more books would have been more satisfying.
Honorable mentions: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, Project Hail Mary, The Interdependency Series, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Look to Windward.
The Grand Canyon
A private trip down the Grand is almost impossible to describe. The feeling of being so utterly disconnected and yet so tremendously present. It takes a few days to really find your groove and settle in, but once you have, you'll never want to leave. Sixteen days with some of our closest friends — bliss. I’m still behind on sharing photos, but I did a short write up.
I’ll be honest, I liked NYC far more than I thought I would. Public transit is great, I got to sync up with some great folks (both new friends and old), and there is a certain unique enjoyment derived from the vibrancy and diversity of the city. I found a fun group of people to meet up and run with on Fridays, did all the museums, and ate all the good food. I don’t think I could ever live there long-term, but I’m glad to have spent a while.
I ran more than I have in a long time. After a fun 50k in November of 2020, I signed up for 2 more ultras in 2021, and even raced a little 5k. I had a rough race at Dirty 30, and a top 10 finish at the Silverton Alpine Marathon — still blew up my legs on the downhill, whoops. Originally I wanted to hit 1000 miles for the year, but I kinda burned out over the summer and topped out around 850. Annoyingly close.
It might be the best animated show I've ever seen. Gorgeous animation, incredible music, A+ voice acting, fantastic action, and I was an emotional wreck three episodes in. Maybe you’re biased because don’t like animation, or because it’s based on a video game (I know nothing about League of Legends) — doesn’t matter, give it a chance, it’s amazing.
Climbing a few 8,000m peaks in a lifetime is a tremendous achievement. Doing them *all* in 7 months is absolutely insane. What a film. “Giving up is not in the blood, sir”.
Something about quirky British TV has been resonating with me recently. Taskmaster and the Great British Bake Off have been my go-to “feel-good”, enjoyable watches lately. Each season, 5 comedians compete against each other in a series of task that are sometimes ridiculous, sometimes hard, and often have creative solutions. Just good fun.
Lotta things for Product Hunt
I worked to a ton of projects at PH this year. Perhaps of the most note, I completely redesigned the ‘add a product’ experience, which is pretty integral to the overall site. Feedback has been great, so 🤘.
A new mobile app for the Outbound
Updated map experience, GPX tracks (finally), we dropped tours (no one was interested), offline downloads (🙌) and a few more refreshes. The whole app was rebuilt in React Native, so it can hopefully more efficiently updated with the small team.
My annual gear guide. Back for another year. Always a fun little thing to tinker with.