Year 2019 in Review

My somewhat random top 3 of 2019

  1. Great Sports year

This year was in personal terms the best sports year ever. Not only did Finland win two Ice Hockey World Championships (U20 men, men), Finnish women pretty much won it as well even if they ended up getting silver medals on official books.

Even better than that my home town team - the colours I have myself worn as a kid - won the Finnish ice hockey championship with the all time great goal. It is probably just me but I can’t watch this video without at least a single tear in the corner of my eye

And in the completely ridiculous science fiction turn of events Finnish men qualified to their first major Football tournament ever Suomi - Liechtenstein Yle Urheiluruutu 15.11.2019 - YouTube. Again I can’t watch this without completely tearing up. Decades of disappointments washed away: Big Day Today in Finland // Timo Koola

  1. Blogging restart

One of my new year’s resolutions was to get rid of Twitter that was becoming a toll on my mood. Basically I had decided to drop it already maybe two years ago at some point but didn’t really know how. At some point in 2018 I sat down to list things that I thought were really useful about Twitter and I found two unequivocally good reasons:

  • Following some SW engineering people that didn’t have an RSS feed
  • Following accounts that shared material about learning Chinese language

Every other part of Twitter that I enjoyed came with some major downside, mostly unnecessary noise and snark.

First I just made two Twitter lists I followed on Tweetdeck, but I found out it was too easy to just fall back to noise and clamour of my own timeline. Realising that I have not achieved what I was looking for I crafted a plan for 2019:

  • Move over the lists to another account with no followers
  • Find a new place to write at
  • Find a reason and motivation to create content
  • Quit Twitter on my main account

In September I did all this and have not looked back. I am happier, or rather my mood doesn’t just swing from good to “WTH is wrong with humanity” several times a day. I read more and most importantly I wrote more. My eventual goal of finding a specific topic I can offer value to and to build an audience around is much closer to being achieved.

  1. Chinese learning

For 2017 (I actually started already in November 2016) I made a new year’s resolution to spend 30 minutes a day learning Chinese words. I later revised it down to 20 minutes but still more than three years later I spend on average 40 minutes a day learning Chinese characters and words. I have probably missed my goal on less than 10 days during this period. My initial goal was just to learn to read “newspaper level texts, maybe roughly 3000 characters” and eventually I have raised my goal to achieve some kind of fluidity also in spoken language. I have published my Skritter status page on Twitter every few months but here is the status as of January first 2020

Skritter status board. 3148 characters learned, 5983 words learned