Category Archives: year in review

Best of 2020

I watched 68 movies in 2020. The best ones were:
Jojo Rabbit
The Last Dance
Feels Good Man

I read 39 books in 2020. Here are my favorites:
Civilized to Death – Christopher Ryan
State of Affairs – Ester Perel
Being Wrong – Kathryn Schultz
Denial of Death – Ernest Becker
Children of Ruin – Adrian Tchaikovsky

Best Purchases
Above-ground pool

Best Personal Accomplishment
Published Book – ExMormon’s Search For Meaning: On Life After Faith Crisis

Best New Habit
Stretching every morning (Now I can almost put my hands flat on the ground without bending my knees) – my chronic sore back is almost alleviated
Runner up: Playing guitar
2nd Runner up: Walking daily

Dumbest Moment
Putting the shopping cart away in the parking lot while forgetting the 12 pack stored on the bottom rack

Lowest Point
When smoke from the forest fires made it unhealthy to leave the house it made the already suffocating quarantine/political news/civil unrest nearly intolerable

Most Pleasurable
Riding motorcycle on warm summer night below harvest moon

New Skill
Crash course in keeping above-ground pool water clear

Best Trip
Park City skiing in February

Best DIY
Fixed gate on fence

Most Stressful
Being uninsured/under-insured during a pandemic

Most Painful
Swollen face from what I think was a spider attack while I slept

Most Prescient:
Remodeled Garage into living space/home office a month before being forced to work at home for nine months

Best Of 2019

I watched 51 movies in 2019. Here are my favorites:
Clovehitch Killer
A Star Is Born
Apollo 11
Marriage Story

My favorite TV show of 2019:
I Think You Should Leave

I read 48 books, 30 of which were audiobooks. The best were:
Road Not Taken by David Orr
Bullshit Jobs by David Graber
Feeling Good by David Burns
The Big Picture by Sean Carroll
Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker

Funnest Dad moment: Watching kids drive around in toy electric cars in Parque de las Palapas, Cancún, México
Runner up: Hikes with three year old at Saddle Mountain and Cape Lookout

Best choice: Quitting job to be stay-at-home-dad for 8 months
Runner up: Deciding not to go back to school after attending a Portland State University open house

First time: Sailing on Columbia River

Would have never guessed: Got a second tattoo

Most time consuming: Getting a puppy

Most anticipated: Started Nail Paint for Boys

Most disappointing: Two offers on houses not accepted
Runner up: Off With Their Heads concert canceled

Surprisingly Enjoyable: Going to a nude spa in Amsterdam
Runner up: Silent disco

Saddest moment: Death of my kid’s friend’s Mom

Best ending: Dog lost while daughter was pet sitting, after hours and hours of hopeless searching, the dog came back on its own

Most handy moment: Replaced heating element in clothes dryer

Least handy moment: Failed to find and fix leak in clothes washer

Best Trip: Amsterdam
Runner up: Skiing in Colorado with big sister, camping in Rocky Mountain National Park with big brothers

Zach’s Best of 2018

I watched 71 movies. My favorites were:

  1. I don’t feel at home in this world anymore
  2. Dunkirk
  3. Goodtime
  4. Ken Burns The Vietnam War
  5. Game Night
  6. Wild Wild Country
  7. Tully
  8. American Animals
  9. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

I watched 132 episodes of  TV. There wasn’t anything that was that memorable except for the episode USS Callister in Black Mirror.

I read 45 books. 25 were audiobooks – the most I’ve ever listened to in a year. My favorite books were:

  1. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan Peterson
  2. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt
  3. How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan
  4. What Is Ancient Philosophy? By Pierre Hadot
  5. Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Favorite Purchase Jabra wireless headphonesRunner up: Prana Brion Pants

Most painful:  In the dark mistaking a bottle of essential oil for eye drops

Saddest: Seeing my kids cry as we take back the pet dog we got for a month because she started biting people

I’m too old for this moment: Pulled some hip muscle I never knew I had while at the skatepark

Runner up: Sprained my ankle pretty badly at an Andrew WK concert

Most Adventurous: Bought a Triumph Scrambler and took it camping at Little Crater Lake

Runner up: Backpacking Canyonlands National Park – Needles District

Most New: Started a new job

Most Frustrating: Unclogging toilet after 2 year old flushed contents of entire waste basket

Dumbest: Accidentally burning a hole in the deck of beach rental property while trying to cook pizza with this thing

Most miles driven: Two road trips amounting to a total of 4,236 miles of driving

Best Dad moment: Taking all kids camping at Timothy Lake by myself

Zach’s Best Of 2017

I watched 87 movies in 2017, the lowest number since 2012. Overall, not a memorable year for movies. These were my favorite:
Baby Driver
Trainspotting 2
Logan Lucky
OJ Simpson Made In America


I watched 196 episodes of TV. The second highest since records began. I enjoyed these shows more than my favorite movies. Here were the best ones:
Search Party S1
Little Big Lies
Silicon Valley S4
Master of None S2
Rick & Morty S3
The Handmaid’s Tale


I read 30 books. A continuous downward trend since 2014. Although according to Goodreads, the number of pages I read in 2017 exceeded 2016. These were my favorite:
The Trespasser by Tana French
Attention Merchants by Tim Wu
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams
The Force by Don Winslow
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
The Humans by Matt Haig


More 2017 best of’s:


Most Painful: Pulled muscle in my back working out and was incapacitated for two weeks
Runner up: Woke up to at least 30 spider bites across my body
2nd runner up: Bruised tailbone from glasaiding on Mt Saint Helens


Coolest (by far): Total solar eclipse


Best Vacation: Tie between Kauai and Italy


Best Surprise: Birthday trip to Yosemite California


Best Family Trip: Camping at Lost Lake Oregon


Best Concert: Andrew WK
2nd: Sylvan Esso


Most Embarrassing: Fell while test driving Vespa from guy on Craigslist


Most Entertaining: Shooting fireworks on beach 4th of July Long Beach Washington


Firsts of 2017: First time I played 9 holes of golf – (got two bogies!)
First time I did an Escape Room
First time going to a sensory deprivation float tank
Finished first video game in over a decade – Inside on PS4


Most Proud of Myself: Killing it performing magic show for nieces and nephews during family reunion


Biggest Disappointment: Star Wars: The Last Jedi


Worst Idea: Enrolling three kids in soccer at the same time – three soccer games every Saturday for month and a half


Best idea: Getting Lasik eye surgery
Runner up: First bike tune up in 7 years – bike rides like new!


Favorite purchase: Bidet toilet seat attachment
Runner up: Sold 04 Toyota Sienna, bought 2011 Toyota Sienna