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Looking back at 2012

Several quite significant things have happened to me over the past year:

  • Attended my first college reunion. It's fun to see where everyone has gone in the last five years, and it was great to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.

  • I wrote and published my first first-author paper.

  • I looked for and found gainful employment for after I graduate. More on that later!

  • Most importantly, I celebrated my first year anniversary with my wife. Thanks to the generosity of a good friend, we managed a dinner at Daniel, where 50% of the courses were dessert, appropriate for the occasion!

Other things I did include:

  • Relearning JavaScript (last I used it was in 2003, I think...) and learning Coffeescript and Ruby.

  • Switching over my lab data analysis from mostly R to more Python with Numpy/Scipy/Matplotlib/Pandas. Alas, I can't get away from any and all R usage, but I'm trying!

  • Redesigning this blog and this website, including switching over to using the Hakyll static site generator on the backend instead of Tumblr. This was a nice exercise for learning Haskell, too.

  • Learning a bit on how to do mouse work in the lab. Definitely something that comes with practice.

  • Working in earnest on Benchside. In the process, I learned a lot about UNIX system administration, and I dabbled with inter-process communication, Puppet, and Vagrant.

  • Seeing The Hobbit, Les Misérables, The Avengers, Wreck-It Ralph, Hugo, Skyfall, Drive, True Grit, Cabin in the Woods, and a host of other amazing movies.

  • Finally getting around to starting some TV shows and miniseries that I've had on my list for a long time, including The West Wing, Freaks and Geeks, Futurama, Mad Men, The Blue Planet, and Cowboy Bebop.

  • Learning that pork shoulder sells for really cheap in New Jersey supermarkets ($1.20 per pound!), and that slow-roasted pork shoulder dinner parties are amazing. Pork shoulder goes perfectly with these Chinese steamed rolls.