the Webb blog

Year in Review

5 minute read

In my last "Year in Review" post I stated that Socii would have photo functionality. It just isn't reliable, haha. I haven't cracked that bit quite yet and I've also been spending time on getting other projects up to speed. Anyhoo, let's dig into what has happened this year!

Visited Disney World

My wife and I never had the opportunity to visit when we were kids so we decided to treat our own kids to a family trip there. My son threw my phone into a shallow pool and I heard it hit the bottom...that's when I knew enough water had gotten in. Sure enough, my phone was out of commission for almost the entire trip. Luckily there are Apple Stores everywhere so I got a replacement during some downtime.

The lockscreen background on my phone is still an amazing shot I got of the EPCOT ball at night.

In addition, the entire family got sunburnt. I had it the worst since I wasn't wearing a shirt at the beach. It was an interesting experience, one that I'd rather not repeat. Melanin-enriched or not, sunscreen is good for you.

Yummy Disney snacks
The EPCOT ball in daytime

Went bald 😱

I grow facial hair quite easily but on top of my head? Umm, let's just say it doesn't fill out like it used to. I blame the stresses of my 20s. And possibly wearing hats a lot. Anyhoo, I was always scared to do so because I wasn't sure how my head would look. Turned out great!

Also, my son had his first (barbershop) haircut! He took it a lot better than we expected.

My boy was a trooper!
He kept rubbing his head, not used to the buzz

Attended Comic-Con

I've been to PAX East a couple times so I was excited to finally check out Comic-Con's not my thing. I like comic books but not as much as I like video games. Still, it was a good experience. Also, since my trip to Japan in 2017 I have been craving a wonderful drink called Mitsuya Cider. One of my best buddies and I trekked to at least three different Japanese shops in New York City before stopping for ramen. While in the restaurant I asked the owner if he knew where we could find some and he gave us directions to a strange market with an elevator. Sure enough, the drink was there!

I don't do checked baggage when I'm on short trips so I had to guzzle all three bottles I purchased in the remaining amount of time I had in the city.

Warmed up to an abandoned kitten

My daughter came home from her bus stop one day cradling a kitten we later learned was roughly a week or two old. It was also wet and cold outside so she and a classmate each took a kitten home. My wife did most of the work of nursing "Chi Chi" back to health and then put her up for adoption after a few weeks. Sadly, we just don't have the space for a pet at the moment and our daughter wasn't pulling her weight in taking care of the kitten she brought home. Fortunately, Chi Chi grew into a gorgeous lil' cat and was promptly adopted. Turns out, she was quite popular amongst families visiting the animal shelter so I'm glad she'll have the space and care she needs to explore and grow.

When we move into a bigger place I definitely want to get a similar-looking cat. After I get my Dalmatian.

Yung Chi Chi

Made it "big" on Hacker News

I love checking out Hacker News (HN) as I find all sorts of neat projects and learn of interesting articles through it. I've been checking out Lobsters lately too (and got an invite as I drafted what you're reading).

I shared my recent post about a "personal API" there and to my pleasant surprise it was well-received (with 156 points)! The post inspired some people to check out my other online webpages and projects and even encouraged some signups for Socii, to my horror (it's not ready for prime-time). I've also received requests for collaboration so that should be interesting.

The other feedback I got from HN was intense negativity about the horizontal scrolling so I quickly created a toggle to disable it. Apparently, Windows users have a horrible experience with it. Coming from a macOS background and with huge trackpads, horizontal scrolling is actually quite pleasant for me so I never did further testing when I initially implemented it. 😬

As I proofread the post you're reading, reception on Lobsters is quite good too. I spend more time coding than I do writing but when I do write I get more ideas and knowledge due to feedback. Note to future Paul: keep doing this writing thing!

Started learning TypeScript

TypeScript is a layer on top of JavaScript that basically helps prevent you from making mistakes in your code, which helps create more robust applications. Initially I decided to learn Flow so I could incrementally add static types to a small API project but after an interview I decided to jump right into TypeScript. Man, I wish I did so earlier instead of mucking around in Flow. I'm still no expert but I'm having fun with it and I found egregious code patterns in existing projects thanks to TypeScript.

Released a couple projects

  • A date-based versioning specification that makes more sense to me these days than SemVer.
  • A fun site for left-handed people. I intend to do more with this in 2020.
  • My new homepage and probably the best domain I own.


As is customary, here are some of my favorite pics I snapped this year. 🕸

Some of my favorite photos from this year