2015 was a year of preservation, of family history and otherwise. It was a year with its fair share of loss. It was a year where life moved forward, progress was made on some things but not on others, and the kids continued to grow. I turned 40. I saw lots of family and friends. I read more books, watched fewer movies, scanned lots of photos and slides, digitized hours of videos, and made absolutely no new music.

And now, the year past, with cold lists and numbers with a few photos and colorful graphs thrown in.

(Previous years-in-review collected here.)

The Year, By Month


  • First tweet of the year: “Ramsey informed me in a ten minute period that I: have a big nose, am hairy (I just had a dog hair on me), am “very, very, very creepy””
  • Ramsey decides to start dropping the F bomb, as in “These f’ing shoes…”
  • Acted as a mentor in a Loudoun Veg Vegan Pledge Program
  • Launched private family tree web site


  • Living Colour at the Tally Ho
  • Visit with vegan pledges to Burleigh Manor Animal Sanctuary
  • Cheered on 4th cousin Andrew on Masterchef Junior (he took runner-up)


  • Closed up shop on One Sentence


  • Adopted Ann

2015-04-29 17.37.31


  • Duckpin bowling!
  • Ran a race PR at the Poplar Spring 5k (7:33/mi) by a full 21 sec/mile, the 12th time I’ve run the race. I placed 28th out of 354 runners.
  • Twisted and sprained my ankle on a late-evening run, resulting in being out of (running) commission for three weeks



  • Ann went in for dental surgery and came out seven teeth lighter
  • Caught up with high school friend Amy for the first time in over ten years
  • Two (!) visits with my cousin Eileen, the first time we’d seen in each other in many, many years
  • Solved the Mystery of the Bricks with help from my mom



  • A preservation question of mine popped up on the Extreme Genes podcast
  • Brief camping excursion in Maryland
  • Found my long lost copy of a Hall & Oates bio from the 1980s. Realized it’s going for $90+ on Amazon!
  • Started the archiving process of ripping on VHS tapes
  • Huyen’s mom in town for her annual month-long visit
  • Watched BIL and SIL do their first triathlon in Wildwood, NJ. Met up with childhood friend Lisa, who I hadn’t seen in 28 years (!) and her parents Alex and Mary (who I’d seen a little more recently). Also caught up again with Randy Senna (from the Daily Ping Fascination post and Hoarders).

2015-08-29 16.25.06


  • Dad turns 70!
  • Hit with a bogus $160 at Verizon Wireless in NY and an attempted $3200 charge for xray equipment. Result: yet another replacement credit card.


  • A question about one of my genealogical brick walls pops up on the Genealogy Guys podcast (and later)
  • Mom solved the long-standing mystery of my grandfather’s middle (possibly first?) name
  • Ran a personal best 5k time on a training run on my birthday morning (7:07/mile pace).
  • I turned 40.
  • Pepper the Hamster passed at nearly 4 years old.


  • Introduced Rasine to the Odyssey^2
  • Drove right by Gordon Ramsay filming an episode of “Hotel Hell” in Harper’s Ferry, WV after going on a short hike with the family
  • Visited the building from the Mystery of the Bricks



  • Cable on White’s Ferry snaps a few hours after my morning commute.
  • Bought a $1 12″ at a used record shop in town that sells on ebay for $75-$90.
  • Big ol’ car accident in front of our house only a couple of weeks after we lobbied the town (again) to install a stop sign there.


Based solely on the folks I RIP’ed on Twitter (or FB). People (and “people”) I knew personally in bold. Dates are when I tweeted, not the actual death date.

  • 2/19: Seacobeck Dining Hall
  • 3/9: Sam Simon
  • 4/14: Percy Sledge
  • 5/1: Ben E. King
  • 6/11: Pumpkinhead, Ornette Coleman, Christopher Lee, and Dusty Rhodes
  • 6/17: Miss Kitty
  • 7/8: The Dissolve
  • 7/31: Rowdy Roddy Piper
  • 10/9: Laura Horvath
  • 10/19: Greg Reiter
  • 10/21: Pepper the Hamster
  • 11/8: Gunnar Hansen
  • 11/20: Jim Perry
  • 12/26: My parents’ last Camp Snoopy glass from the 80s

How I Did On My Goals

More detail on these here.

  • Release one (two?) albums of old material, including some stuff I’ve never put out into the world. Did not do. And questioning if I will.
  • Bowl a few games of Canadian 5-pin. Didn’t do this (because the trip to Canada didn’t happen), but I did squeeze in some Duckpin, so that’s a half-success on this goal.
  • Finish archiving SJAUG Candy Apple newsletters from 1990. Sigh. Did not finish these either.
  • Launch the Raw Deal Radio archive. Done!
  • Learn more about the nuts and bolts of digital preservation (and digital preservation of analog content). I’m going to say done, but this is something ongoing so I’ll be continuing to do so.
  • Play and finish “A Mind Forever Voyaging.” Finally grabbed the game and an emulator to run it on (that will let me save my game) at the end of the year.
  • Read up on the story behind (and impact of) the Attica prison riots of 1970. Read A Time to Die and really enjoyed it. Learned a lot and much of it absolutely still applies.
  • Finally launch my protected family history site for my family (with audio, stories, etc.) Done, and ended up redoing it partway through the year and adding a ton of functionality beyond what I’d initially planned.
  • Figure out the mystery behind my great-grandparents’ life and trip to the US. Did not finish, but not for a lack of trying! I learned quite a bit through my research, but have yet to confirm the details surrounding my great-grandmother’s death (no death certificate to be found!) or much more about their life in Lithuania. This will likely end up taking a few more years.
  • Run 1000 miles in 2015 So frustratingly close… if I had an extra week I could have done it (I hit 970). I blame the three weeks I was out of commission due to a sprained ankle, but truly, if I’d just been a little less lazy in April and May, I could have easily knocked this out.

Books I Finished Reading

Listed in order finished.

  • Ballistics: Poems by Billy Collins
  • The Wolf’s Hour by Robert R. McCammon
  • Kakurenbo: Or the Whereabouts of Zen Priest Ryokan by Eido Frances Carney
  • Kangaroo Notebook by Kobo Abe
  • The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
  • Early Recollections and Life of Dr. James Still by James Still
  • “Don’t tell white folks” : or light out of darkness by James T. Still (pamphlet)
  • Will Travel for Vegan Food: A Young Woman’s Solo Van-Dwelling Mission to Break Free, Find Food, and Make Love by Kristin Lajeunesse
  • Myself When I Am Real: The Life and Music of Charles Mingus by Gene Santoro
  • The Seventh Day by Yua Hu
  • Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio by Jessica Abel
  • A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator’s Rise to Power by Paul Fischer
  • A Time to Die: The Attica Prison Revolt by Tom Wicker
  • The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality and Gender by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel
  • The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman
  • Photo Organizing Practices: Daguerreotypes to Digital by Maureen A. Taylor
  • Pursuing Preservation by Kevin Driedger
  • The Zen Poems of Ryokan by Nobuyuki Yuasa
  • Hear the Wind Sing by Haruki Murakami
  • Pinball, 1973 by Haruki Murakami
  • Bream Gives Me Hiccups & other stories by Jesse Eisenberg
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (audiobook version)
  • Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws who Hacked Ma Bell by Phil Lapsley
  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries by Maureen A. Taylor
  • The Last Imaginary Place: A Human History of the Arctic World by Robert McGhee

Total number of books finished: 25 (four more than 2014)

Books re-read: 0

Books written by someone I know or have at least spoken more than a sentence to: 1

Physical / Ebooks (incl. Kindle Singles) / Audiobooks finished:
Fiction / Nonfiction / Poetry:
Buddhism / Music / Preservation / Race:

Books in progress at the end of the year: 1

Movies I Watched and Re-watched

I started off the year on pace to hit 90 or 100 movies by the year’s end, but slowed down significantly in the second half of the year, as sometimes happens.

Listed in order watched.

Number of movies: 68

Number of those movies I’d already seen: 14

Movies from this year: 8

Average year: 1994.64

Average rating: 3.647


… more fun stuff at Letterboxd

The Year in Numbers

Trying a little something new this year…

2015 Year in Numbers