Looking back on 2022

It's that time of the year for me to reflect on the past year and judge how it went. See previous editions forΒ  2021 and 2020.

tl;dr 2022 was a good year for me, generally speaking.Β 

Side Projects

I expanded my side projects from one (Tanzawa) to two (Tanzawa and SunBottle).

Ask me 2 weeks ago if I was going to finish everything I hoped I would in Tanzawa this year and I would've said "probably not". But with a burst of inspiration, I completed the Strava integration, which rounded out my main goals:
  • 1-click-ish deployment (close enough for me with the fly.io deployment instructions)
  • Theme supportΒ 
  • Strava plugin
  • Bonus, as to support the longevity of the project, a proper refactor.

There's a lot yet I'd like to do in Tanzawa next year:
  • More robust Strava plugin. More stats. More maps. More bells and whistles.
  • Migrate the remaining bits of Turbo (and maybe Stimulus, if possible?) to HTMX.
  • More plugins and settings. I generally like Trix, the WYSIWYG editor I use in Tanzawa. But sometimes I want to write certain posts in Markdown.
  • Better syndication UI – so I'm not always manually syndicating things to Mastodon
  • Photo/Gallery/Video(?) post support. I've got a blog post in my drafts outlining this from August. I should finish it.

I wasn't expecting to start this project. But after I got solar installed on my roof and I hadΒ  to use Sharp's slow/ad-filled(!) "app", I had no choice.Β  I don't have any real big/long-term plans for Sunbottle. I do plan to integrate it with Octopus Energy's API, so I can make a page to to breakdown my costs/savings with my small array.

I am thankful this project came up though, because it gave me reason to stick to figuring out how to deploy simple Django apps on Fly.io, which unblocked me with getting Tanzawa onto a managed service.


Each year people say they're going to start taking more care of themselves this year and then they do good for a month or so before falling back into their old patterns and habits. I am no different.

Last year I set myself a goal to run 100 times. I missed it by quite a bit – only 57 runs. If I include proper rides, I get up to 69 events. BUT! This is the most I've ever run in a year! Here's my totals:

  • 2022: 57
  • 2021: 25
  • 2020: 12
  • 2019: 4
  • 2018: 51
  • 2017: 16
  • 2016: 0
  • 2015: 9
  • 2014: 19
  • 2013: 0
  • 2012: 1

If current trends continue, I reckon I should get to 114 - 116 runs next year. ButΒ  I'm going to keep the same short-term goal: 100 runs. I think I'm also going to set a proper long-term goal with running to help me focus more on long-term health.

Which is to say, I'd like to try running around the earth. That's 40,075km. In an effort to support this goal, I'll be adding a tracker to my running page. I'm 37 now...better start making those runs regular...


This year I tried to focus more on family. We made a lot of memories. We went to Disneyland, went camping, went with cousins to a big pool, and stayed the night in Yokohama. And with the flexibility of my job, I was able to take time off and tend to Leo whenever required, no questions asked. It's a huge help.

On the other hand, I wasn't as good about contacting family back in the US. I chatted on the phone with my dad a number of times and my step-dad a handful and my mom twice? Despite the connectivity provided by modern technology, we don't talk often. Part of it is timezones. Part of it is texting feels like connection, but it's not. Part of it is conversations only seem to happen because I made the call. Each call always involves some calculus of me trying to remember who did I talked to last / when...and weekends are full....and this is how we got here. It's not good though, as you never know when you'll lose somebody.

Next year though, we bought some tickets to visit Texas, so at a minimum, I will have seen and chatted with everyone at least once.


Work went really well. I started properly managing people this year, which has been a challenge as there's so much for me to learn. There's currently 4 people on my team (including myself) and we will be expanding it more next year.

I made a trip to London for work, which was really great. Not just because I'd never been there before, but because I got visit headquarters and see / meet the rest of the team I work with day-in-day-out. I also got to really give Tanzawa Trips a proper test.

Back in Japan we had a company BBQ, which I took Leo to, so he could meet my work friends, which was a lot of fun as well.

My hope / goal for the next year is that the team and culture inside the Japan team stay like it has been, no matter how much we may (or may not) grow in the coming year. As difficult as the tech can be, software is a social endeavor and scaling people takes more time and effort than just spinning up some more boxes in a data center.


I'm not sure how to end this post. To reiterate that 2022's been a good year and I've learned heaps. I have some rough and some concrete goals for the next year. Like last year, this year, I will make a note of the major ones in my now page, so I don't forget them and can track them overtime.

If you've made it to the bottom, thank you. I don't have any analytics on site, but if you do read this (or any post) and have a comment, I'd love to hear from you by email at james@jamesvandyne.com.