Aaron Martina is an Florida based programmer and an international man of mystery. Well, he's not all that mysterious but he does travel the world now and then taking photos, eating interesting foods and diving the depths.

2017: A Year in Review

This past year was packed full of adventures and other life events for me. I can’t say that it was the best year of my life but there are many pieces of the year that I’ll remember and I want to share those with my readership.

Running through life

I ran a few 5k races this year but as I didn’t train well or consistently I didn’t come anywhere close to a personal best but I finished all of them.

  • Feb. 3rd - Space Race 4 Miler - 56:52
  • Feb. 25th - Real Florida 5k - 45:15
  • April 2nd - Riverside Dash 5k - 44:37
  • Oct. 28th - The Rising Run 5k - 44:08 

Butting my head against a wall

As with most residents of the United States, and probably many abroad, the political climate in the USA has been fraught with turmoil and incredulity. I have dove headfirst in attempting to keep abreast of the firehose of information that impacts me and those I care for in this great country. I have even considered becoming more active instead of the passive role I have played thus far. I have no ambitions for office nor do I have the drive needed to throw my hat into the ring but who knows what the future may bring.

Reaching the finish line

I probably wouldn’t say that I’m very goal oriented but now and then I do say to myself that I would like to do this or that and I guess that would be setting an implicit yet loosely defined goal. With that said I conquered some of these goals.

  • I visited Bok Tower Gardens which I have been telling myself for many years that I needed to visit this Florida landmark. The gardens themselves were beautiful and the singing tower was a marvel. The heat that day was stifling otherwise I would have probably ventured on one of the longer hiking trails.
  • I summited Shuckstack Fire Tower which I have been wanting to do for well over a decade. I had previously attempted during the winter of 2016 but decided to turn back due to the failing light. I attempted again this summer and was successful even though I made a couple of miscalculations as well as it being very hot.
  • I finally entered the Central Florida Zoo in Sanford. I had done the ropes course/zip lines that occupy the area near the entrance of the zoo many years ago but I had never entered. I did this on my 41st birthday and I enjoyed my time there. I especially enjoyed the reptile house.
  • I broke out my camping gear and went camping at the Alexander Springs Park which is located inside of the Ocala National Forest. I had wanted to get back into camping and this was an easy way to do that. It was actually really rough as I forgot to bring my sleeping pad and the ground was as unforgiving as concrete with  the wonderful joy of pointy rocks now and then. Also it was a bit chilly.
  • On the technical side I changed the hosting of the blog that you are reading now. I was using Dreamhost and over the years I found it to be less of a match for what I was doing. I transferred my domain over to Hover and I transferred the hosting to Squarespace. It’ll probably cost about the same but I’ll have less maintenance on my part and I’ll be utilizing the tools that are provided more.

Stopping to smell the roses

I am extremely privileged to have a decent job with a decent amount of vacation time that I am able to explore this planet and to take in various experiences. And so I traveled a bit this year:

  • As with many of the past years I drove down to Boynton Beach to meet up with my fellow Orlando Reef Divers for our annual Derby Dive weekend. A weekend of fabulous diving bookending the watching of the Kentucky Derby and having a pot luck picnic.
  • I followed this up by flying out to the Big Island in Hawaii with a week of exploring the island followed by a wonderful week of diving aboard the Kona Aggressor. I’ve got a whole series of blog entries related to this trip.
  • During the summer I spent some time with my parents in the mountains of North Carolina and we all experienced the Solar Eclipse totality. An amazing event!
  • I ventured to Nashville, TN in order to attend the 13MAGNUS Reawakens Ingress event. It was a good time even though my faction lost. I’ll set an unofficial goal to write a blog post about Ingress this year.

Rocking my socks off

I attended a few events last year that truly stand out.

  • Fort Rock, a rock music festival in Ft. Myers, was an amazing event. I attended this with my fellow rock aficionado Jen and her nephew. It was a blast and hopefully it can be repeated.
  • I attended the AAC Championship with my friend Chris where we cheered on the Knights to a victory over the Memphis Tigers. It was a heart-attack inducing game but it was fun.
  • I joined a rather larger group of my Ingress friends to eat at Cowfish and then watch the Blue Man Group at Universal City Walk. The Blue Man Group are pretty amazing even if over the half the show I had seen that last time I saw the Blue Man Group in Vegas.

Odds and Ends

  • Although it affected many people throughout Florida and multitudes more throughout the Caribbean, I survived Hurricane Irma rather unscathed. I lost power for a day and a bit. I was fortunate as half the houses in my neighborhood were without power for over a week.
  • I purchased a second home but I’m not making a big deal out of it.
  • I gained almost 10 lbs since the beginning of the year so 2018 will be about taking those and more off.
  • I only got sick once but the cough persisted for about five weeks.
  • I had a streak of more than 52 weeks of seeing a movie in the movie theater at least once a week. The streak would still be going except for the week that I was sick I didn’t go to the theater. I’ll be writing up a blog post about my entertainment consumption over the past year.

Entertainment Spending for 2017

Hawaii 2017 - Part 4

Hawaii 2017 - Part 4