It takes a special type of person to be surprised by the exact same thing year after year. Yet here I am looking back, once again caught off guard by how the blade of experience never seems to get dull. Contrary to what I had once anticipated about getting older, change is the only constant.

Some of the paths I’ll remember tracing this time around:

  • Paula and I moved from Zurich to San Francisco. We found an old Victorian in a nice neighbourhood, and have been diligently exploring the many wonders of the Bay Area.
  • We’re here mainly because I had the opportunity to work on something interesting. More on that in due course. I’m doing something on the Android Design team and enjoying it mightily.
  • Road trips! We drove from Essaouira, Morocco over the Atlas Mountains and down into the Toubkal Valley. We zoomed around the incredible island of Kaua’i in a jeep. We traced the coast from Seattle to SF in a rental car. With more time available I’d have preferred a more deliberate means, but all things considered just getting in a car and stopping when you see something interesting is a fairly good strategy for travel. I also found out that California is a country unto itself, visiting Los Angeles, Tahoe, and tons of sleepy coastal towns and redwood forests.
  • I got to indulge my inner nerd as one only can in this part of the world. Highlights included meeting some of the inventors of the first PCs at a reunion of the original Homebrew Computer Club, mingling with creative technologists at the XOXO conference in Portland, and a series of talks hosted by the Long Now Foundation.
  • I learned how to do some new things, mostly tinkering with technology: built a videogame computer, some electronics, made a simple drum machine. It somehow feels like hardware is at the same place that software was twenty years ago, which in retrospect turned out to be quite interesting.

Most exciting of all, with a new arrival due to enter our lives very soon I know that an entirely unknown territory lies ahead this next year. The world keeps getting bigger.

When it’s over, I want to say all my life I was a bride married to amazement.
– Mary Oliver

— 05 Jan 2014