2014 in Review

  With all of these different year in review things popping up (FB, G+, Timehop, etc…), it made me think about my year. And with some down time for the Holidays, I decided to a little recap of my year based on themes that I’ve written about. 2013 was a huge year between Bleu turning 1, graduating from Santa Clara, getting married and going on our honeymoon, we had a spectacular year! The year ended with a fun-filled trip to Death Valley National Park and lots of driving/nature time.

Last day of 2013 was in Las Vegas

  In 2014, we got pup #2, Taro Taiyaki and I started a new job at Google/Nest after 5 years at Inflection. We did a little international travel earlier this year and some domestic trips to new places. I think we got out to nature more this year with several local hikes as well as Sequoia National Park and Yosemite (twice). All in all, it was a great year and I feel that I accomplished a ton on multiple fronts.

Bleu and Taro meeting for the first time.

Travel – This year, spent a lot of time in the good ‘ol US of A – with trips to Tahoe, Sequoia National Park, Vail, CO for a wedding, Yosemite Twice, and socal. We did a whirlwind tour of Taiwan, HK and Macau to visit relatives from both sides, including my grandparents who couldn’t make it to our wedding last year.

Ultimately, it was a good mix of new and old, but I think the focus in 2015 will be new and different. Below are some highlights from our trips!

Sunset Jump! @ Beetle Rock, Sequoia National Park

The mild winter made for great snowy hikes without freezing our butts off.

Me and Betty @ Domaine Carneros, Napa Valley
Me and Betty @ Domaine Carneros, Napa Valley

Napa is always a great day trip destination with good eats and a variety of places to taste wine from. We especially enjoyed Morimoto Napa.

Paradise Falls in Thousand Oaks, CA

This little gem was a mini-excursion I had while down in the LA area for a friends wedding.

Vernal Falls, Yosemite

Even with the lack of rain, Vernal Falls was running and the view from John Muir Trail is spectacular.

Sequoia National Park sunset

We caught the sunset from the road on our drive to Wuksachi Lodge

Sunset Over Half Dome from Glacier Point, Yosemite

My favorite view at Yosemite.

Hong Kong Skyline

Iconic skyline in HK, beautiful as always.

Gondola up to the top of Vail Mountain

Lots of sweet switchbacks for mountain bikers, but we didn’t have time to do that.

At the top of Vail Resort
Releasing a Lantern in Taiwan

Work – My employment was split nearly in 1/2 this year with my transition from Inflection to Google. It was a pretty crazy transition going from a ~200 person company to 50.000+! Moreover, it was confusing enough for me to figure out what my role was between Google and Nest, but even more so to people on the outside. Ultimately, I’ve found my place within the company and am working towards making things happy. Overall, it’s been a great learning experience and I am still surrounded by bright, driven and accomplished people who make me want to do good.

First Day at Nest

Exploration – this is a funny theme. I think this one went a number of different ways this year… meaning we’ve started to explore different places, a new job/company and even more with my personal life and hobbies. In regards to the job, every time there’s a new start, it gives me the chance to reflect on what I’ve done well and not so well, the things I’ve learned that were positive and negative and most importantly, how to adapt and better understand how I fit and contribute to my company in my given role. With that said, there’s no shortage of ways to continue learning and getting better. It also gives me a chance to explore different styles of the new co-workers and managers and another testing bed to see what works and doesn’t work. The goal is to constantly improve, optimize and seek new and exciting endeavors.


  Personally, I have always been one who sticks to what’s tried and true… the kind of person who enjoys the comforts of what’s mine and things within my control. Betty, quite frankly is the complete opposite. Perhaps this is why we are attracted to each other? The big thing I’m working on is being more of a “yes man” and doing things that I may not think are fun and exciting, but giving it a shot with an open mind. We’ve gone skiing for the first time in many many years, eaten different types of foods, gone to different concerts and hung out in different places. Yes, that’s the tip of the iceberg and no, I still haven’t conquered my fear of swimming, but baby steps…

Heavenly, Lake Tahoe

Photography – This year, I decided to upgrade my camera from the Nikon D700 to the Sony Alpha A99. Nothing about the kit really changed, but the itch to try the Zeiss glass as well as upgrading to have a camera that can shoot video and weighs significantly less were huge factors. Part of traveling allows me to practice taking pictures of other things such as spaces, objects and people. Traditionally, I’ve loved sunsets, beaches and nature. I started the year with a few hikes with just a single prime lens, with the intention of forcing myself to see things from a different perspective.

Muir Woods Branch Up-close
Wishing Bamboo’s in Taiwan
Golden Gate Bridge Sunset @ Marshall Beach, SF
Betty @ Tilden Regional Park
Sun Rays at Half Moon Bay Reserve
Sunset at Beetle Rock, Sequoia National Park
Yosemite Valley Floor at Night

Cycling – This year was a great year for cycling as well. Didn’t hit my goal of 3,500 miles (3,140), but had some great accomplishments. The new gig now allows me to spend some commute time on the bike vs in traffic. This year has been more consistent in terms of training, but I feel like I’ve lost a bit of the #intensity like 2012. Time to get in gear for 2015 and reach new PR’s and explore new roads!

Ride Selfie
AM commutes = great sunrises

Met a few more buds on the bicycle and explored a few new routes north of SF.

At the top of Hawk Hill after riding from San Mateo.
At the start of Levi’s Gran Fondo

Did Levi’s Gran Fondo again this year, but only the 100k route due to a lingering injury from the month prior. Last year, I did the 100mi route with flu-like symptoms and ended up being sick for a whole month after… I wasn’t trying to do that again this year.

Coleman Valley climb @ Levi’s Gran Fondo

Life – Being 31 years of age, I think the biggest realization for me is that aging is a beautiful thing. Once I came to terms with the fact that my body isn’t healing as fast as it used to and that I don’t “feel” 21 anymore, there are many upsides to being older… and wiser lol? I think these are the best years of our lives. I can afford to live a comfortable life and have the things I want on top of the things that I need. Betty and I can afford to plan vacations and enjoy things that we couldn’t right out of school. Being stable with a home and job makes everything else easier. But that’s not to say that I cannot still be ambitious about my career and personal life.

  With 2015 just around the corner, I’m focusing on keeping things simple and clear. One thing about life is that it never slows down, we can only make the best of our time, so let’s go get at it! And finally, two quotes:

“When you can predict your trajectory, it’s time to change it”

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson


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