Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My 2007 Christmas Card

Merry Christmas!

Assembly Hall

Pretty much along the same lines as last year, I'm slacking off on the physical Christmas card front, and giving you this cheaper, electronic version.

As I look back at the year that was 2007, I guess what probably stands out is all the traveling I did. I don't really consider myself a big travel nut, but this year I traveled to San Antonio, Palo Alto, Germany/Austria, and Chicago. Four places I'd never been, and in the case of Germany/Austria, a place I'd never really considered visiting. The trip to San Antonio was a family vacation to visit my brother and his family who live there, and the rest were all for school. If you want to read more about my trips, and/or see the pictures I took on my new digital camera, which I love, you can check out some of these links:

San Antonio (Pictures only)

Palo Alto (Pictures only)

Days 1 & 2 - Exploring Munich
Day 3 - Mass Transit Extravaganza
Day 4 - Stop looking at me, schwan
Day 5 - Austria, eh? Throw another shrimp on the barby!
Day 6- The depths of Hall
Day 7 - I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell!
Day 8 - Monday Night Football
Day 9 - In with the Innsbruck Crowd
Days 10 & 11 - The Voyage Home
(Pictures only)

Chicago Travelogue, Pt. 1
Chicago Travelogue, Pt. 2
Chicago Travelogue, Pt. 3
Chicago Travelogue, Pt. 4
(Pictures only)

Here's a small sample of what you might find:

Jake's San Antonio Pics 070


Pool (right)

Neuschwanstein Castle from Marienbrucke

AMIA 07 - Chicago 143

When I wasn't busy gallivanting around America and Europe, I spent most of my daytime hours working on my dissertation research. Getting my research project off the ground end up taking much longer than I had anticipated, but alerts are finally going out to doctors, although not quite as often as I'd like. Additionally, I passed my qualifying exams back in the spring, and its nice to have that step out of the way. I also presented a poster at our annual NLM training conference that was at Stanford University this summer. I also was on a panel at the AMIA Fall Symposium. (Luckily the number of people who attended doesn't have to go in my CV.)

My poster

Its my goal to finish by the end of the coming summer, although given my inability to guess how long things would take me so far, that might or might not happen. At the very least, much of what I'm doing now is entirely up to me, and other than one small fix, hopefully I won't be waiting on other people. I've got a lot of writing to do in the coming months and hopefully that will go well. Certainly I would hope to have graduated by this time next year, which seems doable, but at the same time seems like it would still be quite the achievement.

Aside from school, I was released from being the executive secretary for my student ward in May, and was given what seems like a pretty cushy job as the ward communications co-chair, at least in comparison to the busy jobs I had before. Pretty much, I run the ward website, and make sure that people get their pictures taken, and that we have a sacrament program on Sundays. I've got a small, but efficient committee which makes things pretty nice.

Also this year, I moved to a new apartment in February just a few blocks away from my last one. The guys I live with here are nice and relatively clean, and in the brief moments that we're here at the same time we have good times.
Fall 2007 001
(Picture not taken in February)

And yes, I continue to be single. I've managed to go on 16 dates so far this year, which is a 15% increase over last year, for those of you keeping score at home (mom, dad, I'm looking in your direction). Not as many as I'd like, still, but a lot of times I just don't get excited about dating for dating's sake. If there's someone I'd like to get to know better, or that I'd like to spend time with, then yes, I'm all for that. So, yes, I do look at the numbers, but try not to put too much stock into them.

In the meantime, I still had time for plenty of random fun this past year.

Snowshoeing Jan 2007 023
I went snowshoeing for the first time.

Camp Tracy Activity 066
Back in the spring I won our ward Guitar Hero tournament, and then retired effective immediately so I could go out on top. (Not really, but I haven't played much since then.)

Jon's Birthday Bowling 040
I did a fair amount of bowling.

Swing batta batta swing

I went to a couple Salt Lake Bees baseball games, and tried out the "Fireworks" preset on my camera.

...Touchdown Darrell Mack!
I once again had tickets in the Muss, and only missed one Utah home game. Beating UCLA 44-6 was of course the highlight of the season.

The (Un)usual Suspects
Halloween was fun.

I have to say that looking back it was a pretty great year, and I have no reason to believe that next year won't be just as great. At times I've wondered if I'm on the right path, and then I have to realize that if I weren't where I am now, I would have missed out on a lot of experiences, and especially on meeting so many great people that I'm lucky to know. I hope that this Christmas finds you all doing well.


Scott said...

I for one am glad our paths have crossed. You are a great example in working hard, continuing to succeed, and making friends around every bend. Cheers to you, Jake, and Merry Christmas.

Ju said...

hey, was i included in those 16 dates? i seem to recall dessert at macaroni grill, and you paid. that's a date, right? ;)

merry christmas, jake. you are awesome and amazing and i'm glad to know you.

p.s. you have a serious eye for photography. if all that medical informatics mumbo jumbo doesn't work out, i've got an idea of what you could try next...

j said...

Well I would certainly consider our dessert at macaroni grill a date. However that was way back in March of 2006, so it seems like that would be a bit of a stretch to include in this year. :)

And I'm glad you like the photos. I enjoy taking them.