2013 was the best year of my life. It’s that simple. There’s not one area of my life that didn’t improve in 2013…
- In February I married the love of my life… twice.
- In mid-2013 I found a web developer gig in Salt Lake City (as opposed to being 40 miles away).
- I completely overhauled our back yard with sprinklers, grass, and a garden.
- I wrote a simple blog post that was favorited by one of my heroes and was visited by about 90,000 people in two days.
- In August I started work on an app and released it in November. It recieved universal critical acclaim (despite some very bad politics)
- Sarah and I took a vacation to Portland in early November. This was my first non-Idaho, Utah, Colorado, or wedding related vacation in many years.
- In early December I started fleshing out my ideas for a new app / service.
- In late December I got a new camera (Nikon D7000).*
- Also in late December I bought a new car.**
- I learned a lot. I taught a lot.
- I loved more than I thought I ever could.
* The Camera
After a questionable quest to get a shot on our Mexico wedcation, my trusty Nikon D70 gave up on being reliable. It would work from time to time during the course of 2013, but after 7 years, it was done. Because my Lumia has such good low-light performance and I could get the D70 to work in some situations, getting a new camera wasn’t a priority. I rented a camera when I needed to take really high quality shots for Tapped, and this seemed like how I was going to shoot for the foreseeable future. That all changed on Christmas Eve when Sarah gave me a new Nikon D7000 body. Did I mention how much I love her?
The D7000 has been the perfect upgrade to my D70. Stellar ISO performance means I can take any shot I want without relying on a flash or my f1.4 50mm. It has the same ergonomics as my D70 which means there’s almost no learning curve. It has the same lens mount (obvi) which means all my old lenses work flawlessly. It’s basically my D70, but with 7 years worth of better technology added to it.
** The Car
When I buy stuff, I do a shit ton of research to make sure things last as long as possible. My last camera lasted 7 years. My stereo? I think I’m on 10+ years. Anyway, you get the idea.
Back in 2001, and after my experiences with a used ’88 Honda Accord, I refused to buy another used car. My thinking was that my parents graciously bought the Accord for my college years, and it had nothing but problems. Chief among them was a lack of A/C while living in 110 degree Arizona. When I insisted on buying a new car, I decided on a VW Jetta. It struck me as an affordable luxury-ish car. In most cases, that was a perfect assessment.
The Jetta lasted me a solid 12 years. Despite a few issues from time to time (some my fault, some not), the Jetta did as well as I expected it to. Over the last 4-5 years I’ve had parents, friends, and even co-workers tell me that it was time to get a new car. The cloth interior wasn’t holding up to being part pickup truck, and the issues were becoming increasingly common. During my time in Boulder I ended up spending around $1800 getting a new transmission and clutch… after this though, the car ran without issue for almost another two years.
When the heater and windshield wipers gave out this winter, I knew the end was getting close. Last week I got an estimate for getting them fixed. The best case scenario was going to be worth a down payment on a new car. I finally had to admit defeat. I’m at a point in my life where my decisions and my troubles no longer affect me, they affect my family. If it was just me, I could stomach the fix fee and bike it to work whenever I need to. My life just doesn’t work like that any more.
Sarah and I sat on our options for a few days. If we went the new car route, I knew I didn’t want brand new, but I didn’t want cheap. I also knew I wanted a VW Tiguan, the car I had researched off and on for the last four years. I have flirted with other cars; A3, Escape, CR-V, but at the end of the day, I still wanted our family to be all VW. So, the day after Christmas we trekked out to Dave Strong VW to see what they had.
We found a 2011 that met all of our criteria and decided to get it. It wasn’t quite on a whim, but buying the Tiguan (Sarah calls her Muriel Glass) was surprisingly one of the easiest decisions I’ve made in recent years. Especially considering that I also wanted Sarah’s approval before agreeing to get it.
So what do I hope for in 2014? I guess I’ll save that for another post…