2012 Year in Review: Aftermath of a NY Storm



Picture of 5th ave during superstorm Sandy


2012 may have been one of the most difficult years in my life post-college. But, somehow coming out alive at the end, you equally realize how much you’ve grown.

It was my first full year post-MBA, first full year living in NY, first full-year at Audible/Amazon. As from my very few blog posts, most can probably realize, the most I could muster up sharing are my favorite books that I’ve read (and listened) throughout the year. At the same time, despite how busy I was, this may be the most books I’ve finished in a single calendar year…maybe ever (thank you Audible).

A little late, but it’s always good to sit down and reflect. In review of 2012, here are a few notable moments I wanted to share

1.Sandy superstorm

– Wow…what a storm. I was very fortunate (only lost hot water for a week). It was amazing to see how quickly the city and New Yorkers got back on track after the storm. Resilience, a perfect way to describe New Yorkers. I remember stories from 9/11 and from the MTA strike, it was amazing to see it first-hand.

– Kinda crazy. I’ve only lived in NYC for < 20 months, already I’ve been through an earthquake, 2 hurricanes, local tragedies, occupy Wall Street…and the list goes on. I wonder what 2013 will bring?

2. Launching of Whispersync for Voice and Immersion Reading (or here) on the 2nd gen Kindle Fire

– The fruit of my 2012…a lot of work, but glad to see a set of truly innovative features that were first to market.

– Here are some reviews (here and here), and descriptions of how they work (here and here)

3. Qualifying for the 2013 NYC marathon (through the 9+1 program)

– For those that know me, I love playing basketball. It’s hard finding a group of guys my level, a court to play on, and regular time to play…so I took up running. Thank you NYRR. They have a fantastic organization, and running “official” timed runs really helps to push you hard (more than just regular training, at least for me). I’m looking forward to running the marathon in 2013.

4. Trip to Galapagos

– One of the coolest trips I’ve ever taken, period.

– Sad…but Lonesome George passed away in June of 2012…he was THE mascot of the Galapagos Islands. Definitely feel fortunate to been able to see him (ie take a picture of him), and just goes to show…if you want to see something, GO. Time is short.

5. Running of Hood to Coast

– Growing in Portland, I’ve always wanted to run the Hood to Coast race. After multiple years of trying to register, I finally got in.

– Quick details: 200 miles, 12 runners (actually we had 11), 111th out of 1086 completed teams (90ish percentile), 31 out of 203 in our ‘Mens Open’ division, an awesome of 26:17,  7:53 pace, and one epic time running and hanging out with 15 other Phi-Delts I used to live with in college.


Also, 3 books I enjoyed (don’t judge) in 2012, that I haven’t chance to share yet:

  • Darth Bane Trilogy
    • After the Thrawn Trilogy, this is next favorite set of Star Wars books. Very different take on the Force:  What the dark side is, how it’s formed, and how the current Star Wars universe came to be. Interesting to hear the other side of the story.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me

  • Secrets of the FBI
    • Awesome read…learned so much about the FBI. As I read it, the more I can’t stop thinking about Mission Impossible or James Bond.
  • Ghost in the Wires
    • I never knew about Kevin Mitnick…now, I can’t stop talking about him. Super interesting view about his life and what types of “hacking” he did, and how he became so notorious.
    • The more stories I read about “hacking” (examples: here and here)…the more I realize, it’s rarely ever about “hacking” technology, but about “hacking” people.

Other notable reads from 2012:


At the end, no matter how hard 2012 was, I know how fortunate and blessed I’ve been. Looking forward to an awesome 2013.