Matt Hackmann


The thoughts and goings-on of some programmer dude.

The Corona Report Day 292 - Past Me Can Only Be Wrong

Per annual, I recently received a letter from my former and younger self. I've been anticipating this one, because... well, didn't really see 2020 coming (eye pun intended).

Dear FutureMe,

Well, that was one hell of a 2019, with 2020 looking even crazier (but in a good way). From my vantage point, these are the big ticket items:

A lot of things lined up for you and Kayla. The cruise should be fun, hopefully not a repeat of her previous cruise experience. Japan via Hawaii had damn well better have happened; it's been far too long since I've been back. Just hope Kayla enjoys Tokyo even a fraction as much as we do. But speaking of you and Kayla, barring anything cataclysmic happening (god, I hope not), she should be your fiance when you read this. I've got a few ideas about the proposal already (Disneyland or her birthday in August, maybe a beach-side proposal in Hawaii), but I'm curious to know how you'll have approach it. Don't do it half assed, but don't make a spectacle.

Assuming SurveyMonkey doesn't go under, you'll still be there and probably on growth. If you play your cards right, maybe a Staff Eng? Will be curious to see if Salesforce makes a move...

In theory, you'll have run definitely one half-marathon, but potentially two if Dennis comes through on his word. I'm hoping you'll have figured out a good workout routine and have broken the 200lb barrier. Do it for me; I worked damn hard this year to get this close.

You'll have probably put out at least one episode of Hakk's lab, the one about the SNES boombox. The house is still a mess at this point, but I'm ready to pounce on that very soon. If things get into a good cadence, maybe a few episodes? Try breaking the 1000 subs barrier this year. That'd be dope.

Okay, getting wordy. I'm not going to leave a cryptic message at the end of this one, because nothing's gonna happen.

Don't fuck up 2020!

(Trump won't get re-elected, btw. Drinking a bottle of cabsav for me if I'm right)

Before I get into the ranting, I should say I'm thankful for what I did have in 2020; namely my own health, the health of my friends and family, a very stable job, and the greatest lady I could wish for to weather out a pandemic with. Okay, that was important to say and now I've said it.

Good god, right out of the gate. "2020 looking even crazier", but it definitely wasn't in a good way. I mean, there were definitely some very high points that I'll remember for the rest of my life, but ugh... What's the opposite of prophetic? And I accidentally turn phrases like this not once, nor twice, but three times over the course of this letter. Shall we get into it?

It's a strange thing to be in this position I am now, writing this usual letter, because it always starts off with "hur hur, how's Matt's love life?" and now I'm in a committed relationship. In fact, one of the two things I actually got right in my future gazing was that we'd exit the year engaged. Arguably, a lot of that happening was in my court. Indeed, on April 12th in front of a green screen in one of the spare bedrooms, I popped on one knee and asked the question (for posterity, she said "yes"). Before that, we did get our cruise to the Bahamas and, even though I was clearly set on it when I wrote this letter, my actual decision to ask Kayla to marry me was made on that trip. Good thing we snuck that in, because it wasn't a month later and shelter-in-place happened and we've not been able to hit a single other thing mentioned in that list. Love that line about "barring anything cataclysmic happening"... I yearn for Disneyland, now nine months closed. I yearn for Hawaii, a place I've never been to. And, of course, I want to return to Japan. Hawaii was in the cards for our honeymoon (bought and paid for), but the ongoing pandemic forced us to push the whole wedding thing to the end of the year... so we hopefully will be chilling on a beach while everybody else is eating turkey and cranberry sauce. And maybe we can go to Disneyland again. Funny the attachment I've developed for the place considering I first went in 2019 (with Kayla, to be fair).

SurveyMonkey's doing fine and I'm more or less where I was, though I've stumbled onto a different growth focus and somewhat different team while at it. I'm being considered a technical lead there, but haven't cracked the Staff Engineer nut quite yet. And there's absolutely no basis for the Salesforce comment. I don't have material information like that and, obviously, you shouldn't trade on anything I say. It's pure speculation on my part, but an acquisition wouldn't be that surprising. I'd prefer it to be MSFT, though, and get roped back into the fold... (again, speculation).

Nope, no half marathons. Once the RunDisney thing got cancelled, I more or less just stopped running. Work from home also threw a bit of a wrench into my exercise routine. Most of my exercise had been done at the office and was quite routine, but that kind of went away with the routine of going to work. Kayla and I invested in a Peloton bike in early summer and that helped get things into a better situation. In addition to that, I got some resistance bands to try and replace the free weights I no longer had access to and also try to get in long walks a couple times a week. Not quite what I'd been doing in 2019 where I was just boredom'ing away free time with random power excursions, but the last third of the year was pretty good. I was making meaningful weight loss again and feeling pretty good... only to literally gain it all back as cookies and beer weight in December. For real. On December 3rd, I weighed in at 221lb (my lowest number since March) and when I stepped on the scale yesterday was at 237lb. Ooops. That 200lb goal is still in place, then, though I'd like to hit that in time for the wedding. Gonna kickstart that this month by going dry, closing my exercise rings every day, and avoiding sweet treats.

Hakk's Lab is 1.5 years without a new episode at this point. I've got projects in flight, I've got scripts written, just haven't shot anything. Some of that can be attributed to the shift away from personal projects to wedding planning/DIY when we're still operating towards our original wedding date of February 13th. Some of that is good ol' perfectionist procrastination on my part. Some of that is I'd rather just hang out with my fiance. I'd like to make more headway on that this year, the SNES boombox at the very least. Once kids enter the picture, it's going to be much harder to pour any kind of time into these endeavors. Though, with a baby chest holster, editing and coding would still be possible...

"Don't fuck up 2020!"... Three strikes, you're out.

Lastly, I was correct in my election call, though not as cush in margins as I would have liked. And, I couldn't have predicted the nonsense train that happened afterwards. You get a secure feeling in the structure of your government when those acting in it at least try to have an outward appearance of civility. Still, when inauguration day chimes in and the power is officially transferred, I do have a bet to call in...