Things That Happened in 2021

This post is part of a collection on Life.

With the pandemic continuing, 2021 was a subdued year, though there were some big changes and surprises. Here's some things that happened in 2021.

  • released Kanji Club
  • wrote but didn't release a very fast Japanese tokenizer
  • started working for Explosion
  • raised ginger on my porch
  • opened a US bank account
  • visited Nakagin Capsule Tower
  • participated in Famicase
  • kept up my weekly board game night
  • started work on a book, Introduction to Japanese NLP
  • dealt with a variety of medical issues
  • got shoes that fit for the first time in years
  • visited Aburatsubo Marine Park before it closed
  • printed a custom tshirt
  • got a Switch
  • played through older Kirby games I had missed, and Star Allies
  • got to the final boss in Sarara's Little Shop
  • went to Okutama
  • visited the New Ginger Museum
  • went on a trip to Kyoto and Osaka
  • broke my arm
  • added 5 posts on DK

Besides working on spaCy, I also maintained my various software packages:

I don't have anything clever to say about the pandemic. 2020 felt like it was waiting for things to come to an end, and 2021 drifted by with ups and downs but no overall change in that uncertainty.

I went inside the Nakagin Capsule Tower this year.

That said, it was a good year for my work. In the spring I started work on a book on Japanese NLP and joined the spaCy dev team. These both let me supplement the open source development I've been doing for years and work on making NLP technology in general, and Japanese NLP in particular, more accessible.

2020 was somehow the healthiest year I'd had in a long time, but 2021 did not continue that trend. While I managed to avoid hospitalization or contracting Covid (or noticing it anyway), I had various minor problems throughout the year and finally broke my arm in December.

The last night of my trip in Kyoto I came home on a bus and got off at an unfamiliar intersection. After wandering around trying to find the right direction I figured it out, saw I had a green light to cross, took a big step, and fell flat on my face. I caught myself on my outstretched arm, and after getting up and bandaging my palms I realized I couldn't put weight on my right arm. Thanks to the help of the hotel staff I was able to mail my luggage home, and I rode the Shinkansen back the next day before going to the hospital and figuring out it was indeed broken. (This is the second time I've taken the Shinkansen home in poor health; the last time I was in Kyoto, in 2015, I came back with horrible food poisoning. I also had to cancel a trip to Kyoto in 2019 due to a sudden and still unexplained case of pneumonia.)

While I did break my writing arm, I was fortunate that it was about as mild a break as it could be, and is unlikely to affect daily life in the long run. At this point I am out of a cast and can move mostly normally but need to keep weight off the arm for a while yet.

If you want to see where I fell, it was at Oomiya Gojou intersection, crossing from the bank to the Family Mart. There's a freestanding curb and apparently no streetlight. With a mask and glasses and cold weather my vision was limited, which had been bothering me the whole trip.

Taken going home after getting vaccinated.

On the Internet, I added just five posts to DK this year. I wish I'd added more, and I have plenty of drafts, so we'll see if I can make more time for that this year. I still use deltos every day, and the Nim version has been polished slightly more. I might get around to releasing it this year.

This year I should wrap up the book and release some good stuff with spaCy. It's hard to predict more than that with the way the world's going, but at the very least I hope to avoid needing more hospital visits this year. Ψ