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2017 – The Year Everything Changed

December 31st, 2017

No one knows what a new year is going to bring, but there is something very exciting about getting a virtual clean slate to change some of the things that we may not be happy with in our lives. It’s extremely powerful to realize that you are the master of your own destiny and that you do have the ability to change the things you’re not happy with to improve your lives. The smallest positive changes, whether it be eating better, exercising, or not wasting money can lead to personal revolution.

I knew 2017 was going to be a year of gigantic changes because at the end of 2016 my wife and I found out that she was pregnant with our first child. So at the end of 2017, our new little son is 4 months old and has changed our lives in ways I could never have imagined. Besides getting way less sleep, my perspective on how I view the world and what I put into it has dramtically changed. It’s not just about what I want, but it also about what sort of message it sends my new little son and in what light he will see his father. Do all fathers think this much about this? I don’t think so, but to me, this is very important.

What are my resolutions for 2018? I just want to do less, especially when it comes to work. I’ve stretched myself too thin, not allowing myself to focus and I think my work has suffered because of it. In 2018, that will have to change. The only question is what will the focus be on?

High Falutin Ski Bum Podcast, mentioned in Boston Globe

Eight podcast recommendations for your Thanksgiving roadtrip – Boston Globe

BOOM!

We’ve been hustling the past two years to figure out what to do with this podcast and to be recognized by some folks at the Globe is a huge honor. In 2018, I want to focus more on the podcast, put more energy in and find a way to make this a real job, a day-to-day focus, actually produce revenue. That’s a priority for 2018.

Bitcoin of the year – Bitcoin

Looking back at my former Year in Reviews, I’ve noticed that every year I’ve made some mention of bitcoin. Whether it was “Obsession of the Year” in 2014 or “Comeback of the Year” in both 2015 and 2016. Bitcoin’s rise to just below $1,000 at the end of 2016 seemed like an amazing accension. That is, until 2017.

Wow, what a ride this year has been. I’ve believed in Bitcoin since I made my first investment in 2014 and I always had 2020 circled as the year that bitcoin would change our lives, but 2017 has far exceeded what I thought could’ve been possible. One of the best quotes of the year was from @desantis (tweet as been deleted) who stated that bitcoin is a wrecking ball and a bootstrap. This is only now starting to making sense to me. Towards the end of this year, with the price acting as wrecking ball to Wall Street and banks, it felt like it was a small taste as to what is going to happen going forward.

Here’s some fo the highlights from the past year.

  • UASF
  • Segwit Activated
  • Segwit2X Hard fork, thwarted
  • Lightning network activated
  • Jamie Dimon (whose firm has paid over $30 billion in fines for fraud) called Bitcoin a fraud
  • CME and CBOE bitcoin futures

Awards

2017 had a ton of great music from LCD Soundsystem and Grizzly Bear to collaborations like Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett.

One thing that we’ve started to realize the past few years is that the musical stars that folks my age grew up with who lived and partied in the 70s and 80s are starting to get older. Every year there’s always a death that hits harder than the others. If you look at my age, the death of Chris Cornell should’ve been the hardest. I was in my teens when grunge was at it’s height and Soundgarden was one of my favorites. As terrible and surprising as Chris Cornell’s death was, the one that really hit me the hardest was the death of Tom Petty.

I saw Tom Petty in concert in 1995 on the “Wildflowers” tour. To be honest, I wasn’t really a fan going into the concert. I went to the show with my girlfriend-at-the-time and a group of friends. Hip-hop was more my thing and I didn’t feel anything either way going into the concert. Of course, I knew a few of his big hits and loved the video for “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” but other than that, didn’t know too much. By the time the concert was over, his energy, songwriting ability and musicianship had transformed me into a fan for life.

Several years (and another girlfriend) later, back before streaming and just before Napster, I stole said girlfriend’s Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Greatest Hits album and listened to it over and over again. It was also around the time the “Echo” album came out which featured the song “Room at the Top,” which really resonated with me at the time. Life was going quite well and that song worked as a theme song for that part of my life.

For the longest time, I took Tom Petty and his music for granted and just assumed he’d always be around and always be making music. Now he’s gone. I’ve spent a good deal of time driving around this December and spend a good deal of that time listening to the Tom Petty Channel on Sirius and just appreciating the music he created. RIP Tom Petty and thank you for all the amazing music you’ve created.

Mix of the Year

Maya Jane Coles – BBC Essential Mix

This is Maya’s 4th essential mix and somehow she always find a way to out-do herself.

Song of the Year

(Tie) Courtney Barnett/Kurt Vile – “Over Everything” and Real Estate – “Darling”

The first time I heard the collaboration between Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, “Over Everything,” I knew that I was hearing a song that was going to be in the running for song of the year. The song title just personified everything I was feeling about life (aside from my family).

Speaking of that new family, the co-song-of-the-year came out at just the right time as our new family member was introduced to the world. If you’re not familiar with the song, it was written by the lead singer when him and his wife were expecting the birth of their child. As crazy as it may seem, this was actually the song that was playing when I started the car to take my wife to the hospital to give birth to our son. Now whenever we hear the song, we get pretty emotional as it reminds us of that day.

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