Table of Contents

0.1 2016

1 Albums

2016 was a very emotional year for me, and this is clear from the music I blasted over the year, a mix of post-black metal and nostalgic '80s-influenced electronics.

Alcest — Kodama
Fantastic japanese-influenced blackgaze album. Hopefully I will see this being performed live next year.
ColdWorld — Autumn
Very good end-of-the-year surprise. After a long time waiting for a new release from this one man band, Autumn got me to a warmer place than I ever imagined ColdWorld could get me.
FM-84 — Atlas
Default 'being driven by wife' soundtrack for 2016. Listened to this so many times in the car that my wife can now sing it (way better than me).
Ghost Bath — Moonlover
Moonlover was 2016's Deatheaven's New Bermuda. I played it on vinyl a lot over the year, usually when unwinding with a nice glass of wine.
Mare Cogitum — Luminiferous Aether
Powerful, complex. The kind of music you need to sit down and give your undisputed attention to appreciate it fully. It's a brain massage, and I love it.
After last year's BABYMETAL overload, NECRONOMIDOL touched me in all the right spots. Very good, albeit weird, running / exercising music. The album cover by Suehiro Maruo is the icing on the cake.
Night Tempo — Pure Baby Maker
Doing-chores-around-the-house soundtrack. Catchy and upbeat.
Zeal and Ardor — Devil is Fine (My 2016's Album of the Year)
This album was on repeat over the entire year — a severe case of earworm. It took me by surprise and never let me go. The crazy mix of styles and influences worked and got me singing day after day.

1.1 Non 2016 release that I was obsessed with:

LowCityRain — Self-titled
This side project by Lantlôs' lead artist has been on my record player more than I want to admit. It's my go-to morning coffee-making ritual soundtrack.

2 Games

I started playing a lot of different games in 2016, but just a couple of them really sticked in some way.

American Truck Simulator
I have not played it a lot, but it deserves to be here. I was never crazy about simulation games, and I'm STILL not crazy about them. I play ATS in the easiest way possible — keyboard and mouse, automatic gear shifting, following the gps most of the time. And if I have the game open, that's exactly what I need — no frills, brainless time-out. Eyes (and mind) on the road, not anywhere else.
Dark Souls 3
Another year, another FROM SOFTWARE masterpiece. After last year's Bloodborne, I wasn't sure they would be able to deliver something really different, so I wasn't expecting much from Dark Souls 3. Happy to be wrong — the game is a masterpiece.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (My 2016 Game of the Year)
I got a Wii U just to play this game, after seeing it played in Akihabara. Its silly virtual Shibuya zone made me miss Tokyo terribly many times — they even included a Hachiko statue in the right place. Close enough to Persona, but with a Fire Emblem flair. So good.

2.1 Non 2016 release that I was obsessed with:

Shin Megami Tensei 4
Due to some crazy astral aligning, 2016 was the year I played 2013's amazing SMT4. The game comforted me thru dozens of hours of flights, and the multitude of demons never failed to entretain me.

3 Wines

Bear with me; I'm still learning how to appreciate wine, so most of my picks were not expensive. Anyhow, the following is a selection of the best bottles I tasted over the year.

Delas Côtes-du-Rhône Saint-Esprit Rouge 2013
Loved it. Good drinkability, a bit sweet.
Domaine Lafage Tessellae Old Vines Grenache - Syrah - Mourvedre 2013
Really good. Deep red, nice nose.
Ghost Pines Red Blend 2013 (My 2016 Wine of the Year)
Cheap but decent. Perfect for day-to-day appreciation.
Goulart Grand Vin Malbec 2010
Lovely. Nice vanilla aroma, one of the best wines I had this year.
Passatempo Douro DOC 2013
Very good for a cheap wine. Would drink bottles and bottles.

4 Books

I have not read a lot of freshly released books in 2016 — most books I've read this year have been released before it. Here are the highlights of the ones released in 2016:

Programming Elixir 1.3
Current favorite programming language and my current favorite programming book.
Stories of Your Life and Others
Amazingly written scifi. Worth if only for the 'Stories of your life' short story.
The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living
I've been trying to use stoicism to deal with some personal issues for most of the year. This book helps a lot.
My first Murakami book. So good. (Again, Japan.)

4.1 Non 2016 release that I was obsessed with:

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
My introduction to stoicism. So simple, yet so hard for me to follow. I've been re-reading it over and over all year.

5 Best Comics

Sadly not much of 2016's comics releases I consumed were worth the list. In fact, just one was. Sadly, not much of 2016's comics releases I consumed were worth the list. In fact, just one was.

I had some good laughs with Gwen and always smiled when a new issue popped up in comixology. Simple, uncomplicated fun.

6 Best Assorted Stuff

Miscellaneous stuff that was remarkable in some way.

Bellroy Leather Note Sleeve Wallet
After spending a long time trying to use ultra minimal wallets with no space for cash, I gave up and started looking for an alternative. This one is the best I could find. Mine is the orange one.
L-Trac Glow trackball
Best pointing device I ever had.
My cheap dev machine
I've not used my cheap x220 thinkpad as much as I wanted, but I still think it will be part of my workflow soon. It was a good way to get back to linux for a bit anyway, and it's excellent to help me focus on work.
Spacemacs and orgmode
I started using emacs in the last days of 2015, but I consider 2016 the year I stopped looking for alternatives. Having emacs properly configured and an organization system (based in orgmode) helps me immensely. This website is, in fact, made in orgmode.
Trip to Japan
If you follow me online you are probably tired of hearing it, but this year's trip to Japan was something very special to me. I can only hope I can go back there again in the future.
Triplicate T3C
I have used my beloved Pragmata Pro as my code editing font for more than XX years. 2016 was the year my heart was taken by other typeface. The elegant monospaced serifs of Triplicate were impossible to resist.

7 Conclusion

That's about it. 2016 was very special in many ways, and I'm grateful of everything that got into my way. Good or bad, whenever it comes — here I am.

Author: Rodrigo Franco

Created: 2019-06-03 Mon 12:21