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2018 – Time to Pay the Piper

December 31st, 2018

We’ve all heard the phrase, “it’s time to pay the piper,” but do we really understand what it means? According to the first entry I saw when doing a Google search,

“[it] means to face the inevitable consequences of one’s actions.”

Ahhhh, then 2018 was the year where I felt the Piper coming at me from every direction, so here’s a little recap.


Work

I have worked at the same company for a long time and over the past year (since the birth of my son) I haven’t been hustling the way I had in the past. My managing director was sympathetic to my situation so she allowed me to proceed in such a manner. I was still doing a good job, but I wasn’t attacking with the gusto I had in the past.

But then, we had a massive reorganization and said Managing Director was unceremoniously removed. I knew, she would always have my back, but now my flank was completely exposed and I while I still had a job, my new position was certainly not a dream scenario.


Dentistry

This one is a little gross, but I think is quite important. It had been a gross and significant amount of time since my last dental visit. Having a new little person that needs me and will be looking at me for advice and guidance, I knew I had to stop being a child, face my fears and go to the dentist. One root canal and 3 cavities later, I learned a valuable lesson – don’t wait for things to be bad to go to the dentist, because by then, it will be way worse than you think.


Freelance

Over the past decade, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with freelance work. It has provided me some great experiences to work with great people and learn new skills. It also seems like the timing of a lot of those projects was never ideal and now with said son that I have alluded to multiple times above, time is at a premium which I’d rather spend either focusing on my “real” job or with my family. Well, after a 2017 that included a deluge of work, 2018 was bone dry. 

Nothing, zero, not-ah. 

Oh, don’t worry I still dedicated plenty of time to learning new skills and working on my podcast brand (which I had intended to focus on this year), but it showed me how much I counted on having a little extra money to buy some toys and to use for skiing. I always wondered what it would be like if I didn’t have any extra revenue from freelance, since I’ve had a steady stream of work since 2012, now I know and it sucks.


Bitcoin

It was 2014 when I first started including Bitcoin in my year-end reflections. That was when I jumped down the rabbit hole and I’ve included it every year since, because every year there has been something monumental that has happened in the space. 2017 and the massive bull run was one of the most amazing, unbelievable and scary things I’ve ever been a part of. It was truly euphoric and as someone a bit naive to financial bubbles felt like it was never going to end.

Welcome to the end of the 2018 and the bears are in full control of the bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets. We’ve gone from $16k at the beginning of the year to around $3000 at its lowest and are hovering around $3600 as I write this. I have no idea what’s going to happen in the future, but I started and survived the 2014-2015 bear market and didn’t expect bitcoin to explode until 2020, so I’m hanging tight.


Wow, Brian, it sure sounds like 2018 was a bit of a disaster for you, huh?

Let’s not be dramatic, we all have challenges in this world. To some, mine might seem pretty rough, but in the grand scheme of things, it would be extremely presumptuous and self-centered to think that I really have it bad. Relatively speaking, compared to last year, this year was not awesome, but it did smack me back to reality, something I probably needed. So here we are on the cusp of 2019, which means it’s put up or shut up time.

Enough of the bummers, let’s talk about something that was great in 2018:

skibumpodcast.com Redesign

When we started the podcast back in early 2015, I knew the design and logo were going to be temporary. Delusionally, I thought it was going to be far more temporary, but so is life. The cornerstone of the redesign is the new logo, which started it’s life back in early 2018, finally coming to light with a sneak preview at ski.com party in NYC right after Labor Day, followed by it’s debut with the new site in November. We even added a store where we sell some sweet shwag. I’m really proud of it, but also know it’s a work in progress.

AWARDS

Book of the Year

The Bitcoin Standard

Yes, we all know about the tumultuous year that Bitcoin and all cryptocurrencies suffered. The price of Bitcoin dropped from around $15k at the beginning of the year to around $3600 at the end. Most people’s only measure of success is price. If you were to look at Bitcoin in that regard, then yes 2018 was definitely a failure.

But if you were to take into account network strength, functionality increase, competition and growth of usage, it would be a looked at as a resounding success

That’s why I love “The Bitcoin Standard.” It doesn’t focus on Bitcoin’s price at all. It looks at the history of what human’s have used at currency and what are the characteristics of sound money. When looking at the low time horizon, fixed supply and censorship-resistance of Bitcoin you start to see how it’s the strongest form of money that’s available on earth today.

Mix of the Year

Lone – BBC Essential Mix

This mix had me hooked from the the very first song. It’s super moody, deep house tracks sound best when listened to in great headphones, which is the only way I’ve ever consumed it.

Album of Year

Daniel Avery – Song for Alpha

New parents always use a baby as an excuse as to why they can’t do a lot of things they did in the past. I can tell you that my discovery of new music has suffered significantly. As much as I want to blame the baby, it’s not entirely his fault. The music landscape has changed in ways that make it far easier to consume music at a song level vs. an album level. When I finally live in my ideal world, I’ll have the time to sit back and listen to music instead of always being on the go and needing a cerebral soundtrack that doesn’t contain a lot of distracting lyrics.

That being said, the music I’ve been listening to has been more ambient, which is apparent if you listen my mix of the year by Lone. The same can be said for my album of the year – Daniel Avery – Song for Alpha. It’s deep, moody and provided the perfect soundtrack for this year. I love the album start to finish, but the highlights are “Projector,” “Slow Fade” and “Days From Now.”


Song of the Year

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Talking Straight

While my album listening has gone done, my new music consumption has continued thanks to great streaming services like KEXP.org and Amazon Unlimited music. There were several good choices this year, but I’m going from one of the tracks that really caught my ear early in the year.

If asked exactly why I chose it as my favorite song for the year, I honestly couldn’t tell you. It’s got a fun indie-pop beat, but done in a melancholy key, which really stuck in my head.

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