Entropy Always Wins

2019 Wrap-up

Well, it’s been hell of a year, and if there’s just one thing I’ve learned in 2019, it’s this:

What about you?

Around this time of year, a lot of my friends are writing up annual reviews and sharing them around, ether online or in private emails. I usually learn a few things from reading their reflections, so I thought I’d send you some of my personal highlights.

Of course, I’m also incredibly lazy, so maybe don’t expect too much…


  • 🏋️🥋 I’ve been super consistent in training and teaching this year, which I’m super proud of. I even competed in my first Taido tournament in more than ten years and got a shiny medal.

  • 🇯🇵 I’m less proud to report that I’ve done a terrible job of making time to study Japanese. Good thing I already know how to order burgers.

  • 📚 I probably read close to seventy books this year. As usual, most of them were forgettable, and several went unfinished. By far, the best book I read in 2019 was Exhalation by Ted Chiang. It’s a collection of beautiful, philosophical, speculative sci-fi short stories, and you deserve to take your time reading it and rereading your favorites. I know I’ll come back to it more than once in 2020.

  • 🍿 I love stupid movies, and Gintama is a really, really stupid manga/anime adaptation starring an actor I used to see around HNL pretty often. Amazon only lists the first movie, but I watched the sequel a few times on international flights this year, partly to work on my Japanese and partly because I get a bit weepy at the end. Yeah, I cried for a ridiculous slapstick samurai send-up.

  • ✈️ On the subject of flights, I took a lot of them, making trips to Toronto 🇨🇦, some island in Croatia 🇭🇷, Gothenburg 🇸🇪, and Tampere and Helsinki 🇫🇮, as well as a bunch of trips to the States 🇺🇸. This was my first full year living in Tokyo🗼, and I’m really glad we’re here.

  • 💸 Though having money in the bank makes it easy to ignore problems, we ended up with the company over-invested for big parts of this year, which brought some issues painfully to light.

  • 👁️ 2019 was also full of reminders that you simply cannot outsource vision, for any price.

  • 🈴 Despite all that, we brought a major product update out this year and made lots of progress on in learning how to manage this team of weirdos, so I’m calling it a success.

That’s it.

I’d love it if you could tell me a bit about how the end of the year shakes out for you too - whether you’ve got a review up somewhere or just wanna tell me what’s up lately, it’s always great to see what you’re up to.