New Year’s Reflections and Aspirations 2023/2024

Since I don’t post very often, I decided to do a quick year-end update of my fondest memories of 2023 and what I’m looking forward to in 2024.

Top 5 Highlights of 2023:

  1. Family: Spending a week on the beach with my family and friends relaxing and enjoying just being together. Also, spending a week with my daughter and her class touring eastern Europe. Getting to spend time with my dad doing his favorite activity in the world (hunting.)
  2. Friends: Spending a week with my friends motorcycle camping and riding the Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route (COBDR)
  3. Self: Spending my birthday weekend in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany solo camping and hiking
  4. Projects Accomplishment: Finishing off a bunch of smaller projects around the house that had accumulated, including vent hood exhaust system for the Big Green Egg and an outdoor TV (with in-ceiling sound) on the lanai.
  5. Work Accomplishment: My work highlight of the year was getting broader industry adoption of the Open Telematics Framework that I formulated and have been working on since 2019 and being selected to present the details for the Software-Defined Vehicle group at EclipseCon 2023.

Top 5 Aspirations for 2024:

  1. Spending as much time as possible with my family, especially my daughter during her senior year of high school
  2. Going on a ski trip – I haven’t been skiing since February 2020
  3. Finishing the manual transmission swap on my Audi
  4. Getting started on the home theater room in my basement
  5. Coming up with a 5th item to put on this list…some new fun adventure

Top Purchases of 2023:

  • A pair of Transitions photochromic glasses so I can see better in all conditions. I’ve always had poor vision, so having “one pair of glasses to rule them all” has been an improvement I appreciate every day.
  • The Garmin Epix 2 Pro Sapphire is by far the best fitness-focused watch I’ve ever had. I’m so much happier switching back to a Garmin watch after the failed experiment trying an Apple Watch. I’ve owned Garmin watches since about 2007. I thought I’d like the app flexibility of the Apple Watch, but really missed the deep fitness focus and battery life of the Garmin.
  • The BedJet individual cooling/heating system to help improve my sleep. The quick review is that I’m sleeping much better in the summer due to being cooler, and somewhat better in the winter due to being at a more consistent temperature. Unlike the SleepEight water circulation pad I was considering, the BedJet is a fan, so I don’t have to worry about it leaking water and I don’t have to pay a ridiculous subscription fee.


  1. Re looking for additional items on your To Do list: How about an in-depth analyses of e-Bikes
    Re smart watches: I went the ‘Ticwatch Ultra by Mobvoi’ route. Highly sophisticated, but I will shortly be on my 3rd one in 3 years because ones I had got bricked within warranty or shortly after initial warranty.
    Question: What’s your thoughts on Sleep Monitoring & on Gym tracking functions (in that order) on Garmin? Thanks
    btw: DI II doing well on my Specialized. Just a new battery after 4.5 years. Refrained from tinkering w/software,

    1. Author

      Hi Basil,

      I actually have been looking into e-bikes. Or perhaps I should say “e-bikes”, meaning more of a lightweight electric motorcycle with pedals that meets the technical requirements of a Class 2 e-bike (but can also be switched into an offroad mode for more power and speed. So something like a Talaria Sting MX3, or maybe the Eride Pro SR. I’m also thinking about selling my Cervelo P2 time-trial/triathlon bike (upgraded to Shimano Di2 shifting!) since I haven’t done a triathlon since 2019 and I’m not sure how likely I am to do one again. But it’s hard for me to put a phase of my life behind me… I’ve read about the Specialized Creo Gravel e-Bike and that looks awesome as well, but it’s in a different category from the full suspension off-road “e-bikes” and may not meet my “light dirt bike” use case.

      I think the 2023 versions of Garmin watches do a very good job tracking sleep. I didn’t think sleep tracking was at all useful with my 2016 vintage Garmin Fenix Chronos, but the 2023 watches changed that. It’s by no means perfect, but it’s useful and helpful. I’m getting 12 days of battery life with the screen in always-on mode during the day. For Gym workouts, Garmin added a huge number of activities in 2023, covering almost every activity imaginable, but I don’t have experience with how accurate all of them are. The Garmin I got was overly expensive, but ultimately worth it.

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