My 2020 in review December 29, 2020 on obsolete29.com

As the year wraps up, I wanted to take a little time to reflect on my year. As I wrote this, I attempted to think of it as a year-end newsletter/journal.

Working Remotely

March 9th was the last day I went into the office in 2020. I know that because when I heard there was a case of Covid-19 reported by an employee at the Batman building, I got up from my desk, walked to the window and snapped a photo.

The Batman building from the vantage of the Bridgestone building in downtown Nashville. Overcast.
March 9th, 2020. First reported case in Nashville was a person who worked at the Batman building.

Because of the type of work I do, it was relatively easy to work remotely, and I've enjoyed building out my desk. This is version 1.0.0 but I already want to upgrade it. I want to build my own desk!

Two photo collage of before and after desk setup.
The evolution of my remote desk setup.

The plants tho

Rachelle and I both enjoy indoor plants. I enjoy big, NASA approve air purifying plants while she enjoys cool, interesting looking plants. Our collection has exploded this year. I partly blame the pandemic because what else are we supposed to do?! Buy and take care of plants is what.

Two photo collage of the plants in our apartment. Front window with lots of plants and Rachelle posing with our first donuts and lots of plants around.
First photo is our front window. Second photo is Rachelle posing with the very first batch of donuts she made with the dutch oven. Plants everywhere!

Hiking and biking

This year wasn't a big outdoor year for me. I did a few hikes and had a socially distanced FBC ride. You can read more about FBC Nashville by clicking the link.

Here are some photos from the few hikes I did.

Savage Gulf / Stone door

Wooded valley, shrouded in clouds and sun shining brightly from above. Morning. Stone steps going between the mountain. The Stone Door. Mountain laurel.
March 9th, 2020. Stone Door.

Fiery Gizzard

Small waterfall rapid. Stream in the foreground with a small waterfall and pool in the distance. A well worn hiking trail with a large mossy rock to the right. Pink mountain laurel flowers. A pool and water fall.
March 15th, 2020. Fiery Gizzard.

Virgin Falls

Small purple flower. A large, full waterfall. Virgin falls. Small white flowers. Mountain laurels. Small waterfall draining into a pool.
May 29th, 2020. Virgin Falls.

Remote school

Because of Covid, Carter has been doing remote school. During the week, he comes to my house so his mom can work. Overall, I think it's been going pretty well. I think the experience for remote learners could be a lot better. Mostly, I think the hybrid model, where a teacher is teaching to a class of in person kids while there's a laptop propped up on the desk isn't a great experience for the remote learners.

Rachelle moved in

Rachelle and I have been dating since July of 2019, and at the end of the summer of 2020, we decided to take the step of moving in together!

Mike and Rachelle self with smirks on their faces

Unemployeed

My job was one of many that were outsourced to Accenture as part of a reorganization of the Bridgestone IT department. My last day was December 7th. Bridgestone took care of us by offering a very generous severance package, so I don't have any complaints there because they were more generous than they had to be. This is the third time I've gone through a layoff, as I was laid off from Crossville Rubber and from Cricket. I wrote about my lessons learned from my time at Bridgestone. I've also been teaching myself web development.

I appreciate the opportunities that Bridgestone gave me; I learned a lot and made some great friends. Plus, I learned to play foosball during my time there, and that's become a passion for me.

New tattoos

Ian tattooed some ravens on my hands. They're inspired by the Norse legend of Huginn and Muninn. To me they represent the search for knowledge and wisdom. Plus, I think they look really cool.

A sketch of a raven head tattoo with photo of Mike's hands with newly tattooed raven heads on them. Collage.
In my extremely biased opinion, I think they turned out really well, and they look cool.

Gulf Shores trip

Rachelle and I took a socially distanced trip to Gulf Shores, AL in September. We stayed in a condo a block from the beach. We ate too much, drank too much, and got too much sun. We saw dolphins and mostly avoided jelly fish stings.

Two photo collage. First, Mike by himself wearing a flopping sun hat. Second, a self with Rachelle who's wearing a flopping hat and holding a bear. On a beach. Morning sun shining on the beach. Rachelle walking into the shallow surf wearing a dress and holding her shoes.
Here are a few photos from our trip.

New kitty

You can read more about Oliver in please meet my cats. He's been a big addition to the house and he's integrating really well.

Two photo collage of Oliver the cat laying awkwardly on furniture.
Say hello to Oliver! This is his normal activity--lounging gracefully on any surface. Not pictured: waiting near his food bowl anytime we walk toward the kitchen.

Learning web development

When Bridgestone announced the layoffs, I started studying web development, as I think being a web developer would be pretty fun and interesting. I built this website with my bare hands. You can read about how I'm building my personal site with 11ty if that's your jam.

Reflecting and Merriment

I'm pretty privileged in that I able to work from home. My family and I have been relatively healthy, and I hope that we're all going to come out of this Covid thing relatively unscathed. I wish you guys a Merry Christmas, and I hope you and your families stay safe.

Two photo collage of Mike holding his world's okest viking mug and a viking ugly christmas sweater. Photo two is the Christmast tree. Mike and Rachelle selfie. Mike wears a santa hat and ugly sweater. Rachelle wearing black sparkle top. Mike and rachelle in the snow. Rachelle wearing a vivid red coat on a snowy, overcast evening.
Merry Christmas!

Ok, thats it for today! Thanks for reading.