Twenty Nineteen

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First time doing a year in review post thingy. The statistics below are just for fun as there’s nothing to compare them against yet. Should be interesting to see how they deviate next year as I would have never guessed some would be as high as they were.

2019 by the numbers

  • 1 blog post
  • 4 side projects
  • 365 days spent growing a beard
  • 33 video games played
  • 64 movies watched
  • 56 days closing all rings on Apple Watch
  • 6,522 steps/day average

Web development

Starting way back in 2017 I experimented with migrating my Jekyll built personal site over to Gatsby… things didn’t work out so well. It took until 2019 for Gatsby and its ecosystem to mature enough for me to take it seriously.

Up until then it couldn’t handle building my site of ~1,000 posts, paginated category/tag archives, and 13,000 images. Plagued with FATAL ERROR: CALL_AND_RETRY_LAST Allocation failed - JavaScript heap out of memory messages I waited as Gatsby received performance optimizations that fixed my build woes.

With the right cocktail of plugins I finally launched a Gatsby powered site on the last day of 2019, December 31st. Expect a post mortem in a future article as there was a lot I struggled with:

  • Adapting Liquid templates to vanilla JavaScript and React.
  • Finding Markdown parity with Kramdown features.
  • Deploying my own instance of Staticman and getting comments working with Gatsby.
  • Replacing custom Jekyll plugin tags.
  • Working through Lighthouse scores that were often worse than the pre-Gatsby site.
  • Build timeouts on Netlify.

Open source contributions

2019 GitHub contributions

In 2019 I pushed 1,056 commits to GitHub, most of which were to my three most popular Jekyll themes: Minimal Mistakes, So Simple, and Basically Basic.

It boggles my mind that a repository that started out as a stripped down theme of my personal site has been: downloaded 96,901 times, forked 10,100 times, and starred 5,993 times. Thanks to everyone who has supported its continued development with kind words and donations!

A yeard and a half

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with beard growing for as long as I can remember. For whatever stupid reason I decided I wanted to grow a yeard in 2018… during the middle of the summer.

Michael Rose beard portrait at 3 months Michael Rose beard portrait at 6 months Michael Rose beard portrait at 1 year

Beard progression at 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months.

At the close of 2019 I’ve gone eighteen months without shaving and plan on trying for whatever you call a 2x yeard. We’ll see though as eating soup, snagging hairs in zippers, and daily beard maintenance does get old on occassion.

Video games played

If it wasn’t for the Nintendo Switch and being a portable console, I would have never played this many games. Being able to quickly resume a game before dinner or when the twins are in bed makes a difference.

I’m slowly making it through my backlog of Playstation must plays, but sneaking those in has been difficult. As most have mature ratings, they’re not something I can play with my kids. And the fact that it’s not a portable console means I need to wrestle the television from my wife, who sure as shit doesn’t want to watch me game for an hour.

Game Rating Note
Sayonara Wild Hearts (Switch) ★★★★ Not quite as rhythm heavy as I was expecting, but solid.
Untitled Goose Game (Switch) ★★★★★ A game I never knew I wanted till I did.
Beyond Two Souls (PS4) ★★★ About 2 hours in, I’m a sucker for David Cage games.
Blasphemous (Switch) ★★★ Started the demo, will revist later.
River City Girls (Switch) ★★★★ Music, art, brawling is all great. Has me pumped for Streets of Rage 4.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 (Switch) ★★★ Controls take some getting used to. CO-OP is fun once you unlock Gooigi. Challenging boss battles.
Detroit: Become Human (PS4) ★★★★ Would like to replay to see all missed story paths… if I ever have the time.
Super Mario Maker 2 (Switch) ★★★★★ Consumer of Mario levels more so than a creator. Suffered through online lag to hit Rank A in multiplayer.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PS4) ★★★★ Completed the story.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Switch SNES) ★★★★★ Playing through for the first time on an actual console. At the last dungeon, ready to fight Ganon.
Super Mario World (Switch SNES) ★★★★★ Mario Maker 2 got me revisiting the classics.
Ninja Gaiden (Switch NES) ★★★★★ How I ever beat this as a kid is beyond me.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Linke Switch (NES) ★★★★ That last palace is a doozy…
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (PS4) ★★★★★ Completed the story, missed a bunch of collectibles.
Uncharted The Nathan Drake Collection (PS4) ★★★ Rushed my way through 1, 2, and 3 so I could start 4.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (Switch) ★★★★ I’m cool with Nintendo re-releasing Wii U games I never played.
Cuphead (Switch) ★★★★ 20% complete. This game isn’t fooling around.
Sonic Mania (Xbox One) ★★★★ Fits in perfectly with the Sega Genesis era of games. Challenge ramps up at the end.
Super Kirby Clash (Switch) ★★ Micro-transaction hell.
Super Phantom Cat: Remake (Switch) ★★★ Purchased on the cheap, OK platformer.
Yoshi’s Crafted World (Switch) ★★★★ Great art direction. CO-OP’d with the twins.
Super Mario Party (Switch) ★★★ Great amount of mini-games but really wish it would let you use Pro Controllers.
Super Mario Odyssey (Switch) ★★★★★ Completed the story and bought most costumes. Collected 596 moons.
Tetris 99 (Switch) ★★★★ Love me some Tetris. Won 2 of 388 games.
Thumper (Switch) ★★★★ So much dread.
Gris (Switch) ★★★★ Walking simulator with a watercolor aesthetic.
Hollow Knight (Switch) ★★★★ Sank over 20 hours into it and no idea if I’m near the end or not.
What Remains of Edith Finch (PS4) ★★★★ Surprisingly good Playstation Plus free game.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (PS4) ★★★★★ Loved everything about this game. Can’t wait for the sequel.
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition (PS4) ★★★ Picked up for free via Playstation Plus, about 75% the way through. Potty mouth shooter fare.
The Last Guardian ★★ Really wanted to like this one, but the floaty ass controls ruins it for me. Made it about midway through the story… I think.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PS4) ★★★★ Enjoyed the tropical scenery more than the snow in Rise.
The Order: 1886 (PS4) ★★★★ Purchased on sale, not bad.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch) ★★★ Awful at fighting games. Unlocked all the characters, stopped playing shortly after.

Movies watched

According to Letterboxd below are all the flicks I watched last year. And here I thought I binged more television series than movies — guess not.

Movie Rating Note
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) ★★★ Should have been split into two parts.
Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) ★★★ By the Numbers.
Marriage Story (2019) ★★★ Meh.
Frozen 2 (2019) ★★★ Too much singing.
The Grinch (2018) ★★★ Didn’t bore me as much as the Jim Carrey version.
Klaus (2019) ★★★ For the kids… and it’s the Christmas season right?
The Irishman (2019) ★★★ The digital de-aging didn’t bother me.
The Game Changers (2018) ★★★ Tough vegans.
The Lobster (2015) ★★★ I have questions.
Carrie (1976) ★★★ So that’s where all the references came from.
Tell Me Who I Am (2019) ★★★★ I’m a sucker for documentaries of this nature.
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019) ★★★ Unnecessary but good.
Skin (2018) ★★★★ If it has a hint of a true story to it, I’ll bite.
Between Two Ferns: The Movie (2019) ★★★★ Yup, what I expected.
In the Shadow of the Moon (2019) ★★★ Sort of like Looper I guess.
Pulp Fiction (1994) ★★★★★ Rewatched.
Don’t Break Down: A Film About Jawbreaker (2017) ★★★★ Probably need to enjoy their music to get something out of this.
Screwball (2018) ★★★ Roids.
Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) ★★★ A few memes a lot of zzzZzzs.
Jack of all Trades (2018) ★★★ Hard toilet paper.
Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) ★★ I call bullshit.
Bob Lazar: Area 51 and Flying Saucers (2018) ★★ Zzzzzz.
Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story (2018) ★★★ The true story behind that one Michael Fassbender flick.
Toy Story 4 (2019) ★★★ Spoony.
Us (2019) ★★★ I have questions.
Avengers: Endgame (2019) ★★★ Ten years of plot threads tied up in 3 hours… exactly how you’d expect.
The Transformers: The Movie (1986) ★★★★★ Rewatched with commentary. Not much value added from the director who explained exactly what we saw on screen. More insight from the writer would have been better.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019) ★★★ Found the tapes documentary more interesting.
The Billboard Boys (2016) ★★★ …took a shower, ready to go another two years.
Mids 90s (2018) ★★★ Didn’t disappoint with the non-ending.
Zodiac (2007) ★★★ Rewatched.
Glass (2019) ★★★ Of course it was a purple iMac.
Christopher Robin (2018) ★★★ Meh.
This is 40 (2012) ★★★★ Relatable.
The Endless (2017) ★★★ Groundhog day for hipsters.
The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015) ★★★ So many bad fake mustaches.
The Fear of 13 (2015) ★★★ Prison.
Kong: Skull Island (2017) ★★★ Dong.
Aquaman (2018) ★★★★ We could have just peed on it.
Creed II (2018) ★★★ Nostalgic for Rocky IV.
The Hateful Eight (2015) ★★★ Mmm, jelly beans.
Triple Frontier (2019) ★★★ Kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, then Metallica did.
The Matrix Revolutions (2003) ★★★ Rewatched.
The Matrix Reloaded (2003) ★★★ Rewatched.
Eighth Grade (2018) ★★★ Just wait until high school.
The Matrix (1999) ★★★★ Rewatched.
The Lost Arcade (2015) ★★★ Fighting game snobbery.
Free Solo (2018) ★★★★ “So delighted.”
Mandy (2018) ★★★ There’s no arguing this thing oozed style. Not sure what the fuck I just dreamed though.
Lords of Chaos (2018) ★★★ Strangely enough, black metal and Sigur Rós compliment each other well.
Paddleton (2019) ★★★ Slow burn.
Shirkers (2018) ★★ This score really annoyed the piss outta me.
Isle of Dogs (2018) ★★★ Yup, it’s a W.A. film.
Alt-Right: Age of Rage (2018) ★★★
The Edge of Seventeen (2016) ★★★ I feel like I’ve seen this movie before…
Abducted in Plain Sight (2017) ★★★★ Wow
Root Cause (2019) ★★★ No comment.
The Family I Had (2017) ★★★
Toy Story 2 (1999) ★★★ Rewatched.
Toy Story (1995) ★★★ Rewatched.
Fyre (2019) ★★★ Living the dream.
Unbreakable (2000) ★★★★ Rewatched.
A Fat Wreck (2016) ★★★★ Nostalgic for pop punk.
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) ★★★★ Can’t believe all the negative press.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018) ★★★ Would have been fine with this not being interactive at all.

Health and activity

The last couple of years I’ve been wanting to ditch FitBit devices for Apple Watch. My hestitation being battery life and needing to charge it daily. As someone who wore a Fitbit for 5 days straight without charging — this was a deal breaker.

When Apple released a Watch this fall with an always-on screen, I decided to try it out. On paper it does pretty much everything the Fitbits I’ve owned for years do. But some reason it’s motivated me to be active in ways they couldn’t.

Activity iOS app closed rings for December 2019 screenshot Health iOS app activity for 2019 screenshot Attain iOS app January 1 2019 screenshot

iOS health app screenshots for 2019.

I’ve gone from hitting move and workout goals 3 days a week to all 7. Earning gift card rewards via Aetna’s Attain app is a great motivator as well.

I still don’t like that I need to charge it everyday since I use it for sleep tracking. But a well timed charge during my morning shower is usually enough to top it off for the day.

Heading into 2020

I don’t consciously set goals or make resolutions really. If I can do more of the same as 2019 I’ll be happy. Now that I’m more active, I’d like to amp up my consumption of fruits and vegetables this year. I eat a lot of beige processed food that I’m sure is up to no good in my body.

We’ll see I guess…

About the author

Hi I’m Michael Rose. Just another boring, bearded, tattooed, time traveling designer from Buffalo New York. I maintain several open source projects and occassionally blog.

Glitched photo of Michael Rose with a long beard.


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