2016 will be over in just a few short hours and for some parts of the world it’s over already…how is 2017 so far my Australian friends? When I was younger I would write up a long email recapping the year and writing up a top ten list of the movies I had seen. Simpler times, but I thought, as a closeout of the month and posting every single day in December as originally decreed a month ago, that it would be a nice way to close things out.
These are things I experienced this year and may have been around long before.
My favorite apps:
Google Maps/Waze – I don’t know how people used to find their way around before GPS, but I’m glad I live in a world where I don’t have to think about it.
Spotify – It’s $9.99/mo. I don’t mind spending because I use it all the time, on my phone, my computer, my iPad and my PS4.
Podcast App – I listen to a lot of podcasts. It doesn’t have great UX, but it gets the job done.
Pocket – This is probably the app I use the most to catch up on stories I’ve saved for later while I’m…how you say…indisposed.
Instagram – I’m not a social media guru, but I do use Instagram, and I am a big fan of the improvements Instagram has made over the past year, including Stories (ala Snapchat), live Stories (ala Periscope) and the UI overhaul which tied everything nicely together.
Starbucks – I added this to the list because I feel they’ve made great improvements this year to the app. I use it every time I visit and it’s good to see they’re making it more user friendly and pushing the stars.
My favorite podcasts:
Joe Rogan Experience – Joe Rogan has been a positive influence in my life over the past year. I don’t agree with everything he says or enjoy every guest he has on, but my favorite ones focus on spirituality, health and doing the best with this life you can. Favorites from this year: Donald Cerrone, Russell Brand, Dan Bilzerian. Favorite regulars: Tom Segura, Joey Diaz and Duncan Trussell.
Radiolab – I was introduced to Radiolab before I knew what a podcast was. 7 years later and it’s still one of the podcasts I listen to as soon as they release it. I love the way they break things down and tell the story. Favorites from this year: The Buried Bodies Case and One Vote.
This American Life – It’s one of the most popular podcasts and radio shows out there, and for a very good reason. Ira Glass and team know how to spin a yarn, even when that yarn is made of real life stuff. Favorites from this year: Anatomy of Doubt, Who Do We Think We Are?, Mind Games 2016.
Runner’s Up: Serial, Nerdist, WTF, The Tim Ferris Show, The Fighter and The Kid, Duncan Trussell Family Hour, Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast,
My favorite books:
Hooked (Nir Eyal) – A book about how to create habit forming looks (or Hooked loops) in products today. It was a fast read and well thought out, shining light on why people endlessly scroll through Facebook and Instagram or get pulled out of their seat when they hear their phone buzz across the room.
Influence (Robert B. Claidini) – A great book on the power of influence and how to use it to your advantage. He walks through the six principles of ethical persuasion: reciprocity, scarcity, liking, authority, social proof, and commitment/consistency and how they have been (and are being) applied.
A Man Called Ove – A grumpy old man that is fed up with how fast the world is moving meets a lot of people and changes his ways…is what the book is about, but how it’s written and how much you can connect with Ove makes this book special. I had no idea what it was about when I started, only that it was highly praiseed and I quickly became engrossed.
Born Standing Up – Steve Martin’s autobiography tale. It was funny and heartfelt and relatable. I wanted to read it again when I was done with it. This one I recommend listening to the audiobook as it’s read by Martin himself.
// Short story addition
The Jaunt (Stephen King) – A quick read at only 10 pages, but it was extremely well written and had me thinking about it for days afterwards.
Not necessarily my favorite, but what I listened to according to Spotify.
Intro – Jay Z, American Gangster
It’s Only Life – The Shins, Port of Morrow
Hold On – Angus & Julia Stone, Down The Way – one of my favorite albums of the year and bonus points having music in Life is Strange
Thank God for Girls – Weezer, White Album
Airbag – Radiohead, OK Computer – rediscovered this album this year and I listened to it for most of July. One of my favorite albums of all time.
The Wolf – Mumford and Sons, Wilder Mind – Inspired listening because of my mild obsession with Rock Band 4 // also could be included because of this = Fever, Black Keys and
One Chance – Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News – I referenced this in one of my earlier posts, one of my favorite albums of all time. Good shit from start to finish.
What Do You Mean? – Justin Bieber, Purpose – Good memories from Kinglet office morning vibe starter.
Feathers – Coheed and Cambria, No World for Tomorrow
Stressed Out – Twenty One Pilots, Blurryface – both of their albums are played around my house a lot, wife loves them, kids love them, I love them.
Lie, Cheat, Steal – Run the Jewels, Run the Jewels 2 – great album
Till It’s Gone – Yelawolf, Love Story – great song, reminds me of Sons of Anarchy
Intro – alt-J, This is All Yours
Started and ended the list with a song called intro…impressive. Want to listen to the whole list on Spotify?
The only one I really keep up with anymore is The Walking Dead and it has been consistently good all year long with a really shocking twist earlier that if brought to the show will rival the Season 7 premiere…in terms of heartache.
I also reread I Kill Giants this year and I still love it as much as I always have. If you know someone who loves good stories, whether they’re a fan of comics or not, click that link and buy them a copy.
My favorite memories:
Meeting my kids at the airport – My kids went on a two week trip down to their grandparents in Florida. It’s the longest we’ve been apart. During that time I became very grateful for the technology we currently have and my ability to still connect through Facetime and photo updates throughout the days. I also enjoyed some time alone, but seeing them across the crowded airport and pulling them in for a big hug once we were reconnected tops any other memories from this very memorable year.
Cincinnati trip for Kinglet – We opened Cincinnati as our second major city for Kinglet this year and as a team we went out there and threw a launch party. I couldn’t have been more proud of the team or more proud of how hard we partied. It was a great trip that energized us in an amazing push for Cincinnati.
Time alone with my wife – While the kids were gone I got a week alone with my wife (before she went down to have a weeks vacation before bringing them back home). It’s very rare to get so much time alone with each other and it was incredible. We spent time doing things we haven’t done in years, like watch a movie before 7 at night, go out to dinner and then a movie without worrying about the time and going out on an all day hiking adventure. Great stuff.
My birthday – My kids were so excited for my birthday this year and so it made it exciting like it used to be in a way. I spent the day cooking a brisket, relaxing, watching House of Cards, and having fancy beers. It was a great down day surrounded by my family and spiked with excitement from my little ones.
Starting this blog – Only a month old, but there’s been so much growth in stepping up to this challenge and I know it’s going to translate in the momentum I talked about going into the new year. I’m excited about beginning to polish it and tack on a podcast of my own or splitting it into the pieces to keep focus on the topics I think are most important. January will tell.
Runners Up: Warrior Dash, Atlantic City trip with the MM boys, Mancation with my boys, camping with the Denhams, UFC 200 meat extravaganza, all the kids soccer games, our big ass pool party, 4th of july, and all the great new people I’ve met.
Happy New Year everyone! Here’s to the great things we’ll do together in 2017!