Nicholas A. Danes, PhD

First post for 2022: A 2021 recap and thoughts for this year

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Hello! It’s already 2022 and I’m not sure what happened to 2021. In this post, I just wanted to reflect on 2021 and what I hope to accomplish in 2022.

2021: Another rough year, but moments of joy

2021 was another rough year. One of the most obvious reasons was the continued effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, vaccines were distributed this year to the general public, at least in the United States, which helped curb the rates of infection for the greater part of the year. Even with the emergence of the Delta variant, things were starting to feel at least a little more normal. However, come December 2021, the Omicron variant has emerged, causing us to return to our homes regularly once again.

Despite all the issues with the pandemic, I’ve been extremely fortunate. I have a low stress, decent paying job and I have a social circle that I am able to connect with despite the pandemic constraints. I was able to play some live music in the pockets of lower COVID numbers. I also recorded my second full-length album with one of my bands, Faim back in November. In the Fediverse, I moved from Fosstodon to Smallcamp, a much smaller instance, which has made me feel like I have a true internet home (thanks Ru and Ty for bringing me back to the old web).

Some other parts of 2021 were mixed. As seen in this blog, I struggled with my relationship with technology. With hardware and operating systems, I jumped from Android to iOS on mobile and switched between Linux, macOS and Windows on desktop throughout the year, before finally setlling on macOS at the end of the year with my purchase of a M1 iMac. As I’ve gotten older, I noticed my joy with tinkering with technology has dwindled. Now, I just want things to work and want to focus my energy on any things. Because of this, settling on Apple products for daily tech is a sobering compromise. There are definitely things I don’t like about the Apple ecosystem, both from a privacy and usage standpoint, but I forsee myself staying here for now.

In conclusion, 2021 was a mixed bag, but I am still thankful for where I am now. It definitely has framed what I hope to accomplish in 2022, which I’ll list below.

Thoughts for 2022

Here are some thoughts, goals and intentional stagnations for 2022 I’d like to discuss.

Continue blogging as I did in 2021

I don’t really have new goals for blogging in 2021, other than to continue what I’m doing. Having no pressure to produce content is a really nice to be at. I know this means posts are a bit sporadic, but for my mental health I think this is the best approach.

Add analytics back to the site

Despite removing them in 2021, I’ve decided to bring back GoatCounter to the site. I sometimes get random emails about posts and I’m just geniunely curious on how people are finding the site. I think my mental health is in a better place, so I hope I won’t be chronically checking them like I did when I had analytics last time. Of course, anyone is free to view them at

Get my health in order

As I’ve been in my 30’s, I’ve really noticed that I can’t eat the same way I used to and the weight shows. A focus in 2022 is really getting my health back in order. This includes removing processed foods from my daily life, cutting out snacks and sweets, and exercising regularly.

Decouple my daily headspace from technology [more]

Last year consisted of constantly thinking about technology, whether it be private services, hardware and software choices. I understand that these things can come up as needs arise, but I found this to be incredibly draining for how much I thought about it. One constant thing I’d like to work on this year is to realize that no technology is perfect and there will always be compromises on what we choose to use. At the end of the day, technology should be assist us, not hurt us, but we also can’t have the ideal technology.

Learn some new math

Despite finishing my PhD in 2019 in Applied Mathematics, I haven’t really thought about math in over a year. I’d like to pick up a hobby project at some point this year that couples my interest in applied/computational mathematics and my more interest in web technologies. In particular, I’d like to learn the mathematics behind machine learning. If you have any books or other resources to recommend, feel free to reach out to me!


Thanks for coming along for the ride if you read this far. I have no plans for blogging this year, but I hope to do this again soon.

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