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Ken Davidson

The Gongshow that was 2020

Review, Health, Family, Work8 min read

So let's be serious, 2020 was a completes S@#% show! (I think we can all agree that throwning down a little profanity is justified)

I won't spend much time on the negative, we've all experiened it and we've all chosen how much (or how little) we would "respect" the decisions made by our government. The last thing I'm going to say is... regardless of your option, if you couldn't follow some simple rules of staying in while people lost their lives and their jobs because of your rights then you should probably just click away now.

Health & Fitness

Putting this first isn't meant to take away from how much Carson has accomplished in school; nor how much Sue has accomplished at work; it's just that 2020 has been a pretty solid year for me committing to my goals of getting in shape, and I'm pretty damned proud. In late 2019 I made a decision (after running out or breath carrying Carson upstairs) that I would commit to:

  • Losing some weight
  • Getting better cardio
  • Getting healthier all around

which on December 31st seemed like a pretty sweet idea. On January 1st that plan got thrown out the window! And I'll be honest, the biggest problem was setting this goal to start on the day I was going to be the most hungover of all days of the year.

Learn from my experience, if your resolution is to get in shape, diet, etc; set it up to start on Monday after new years day. Give yourself some time to roll into the change, get un-hungover and eat / drink all of crap you still have in your house.

Choosing a Diet

This was probably the hardest decision to make. The reason being is that it's one of the hardest things to follow. You only ever hear about how people dieting absolutely love the diet and have lost so much weight on ____; well that's bullshit. I guess based on your goals it might not be, or if you have better self control than I do it might not be, but for me it was not fun. You've read about the diets (so I won't go into it here) but essentially I followed a pretty strict:

  • No alcohol. I kept this up from Jan to May (birthday) with no exceptions. I love beer. It tastes glorious. So this was pretty hard (see below).
  • Limited carbs. I didn't commit to Keto, it didn't seem like it was something I could maintain. But after googling around you'll see the mediterranean diet which was definitely something I could commit to. I took it a littler further in terms of bread and pasta as "allowed" but it was definitely easy to follow

Actually Dieting

So dieting sucks. It just sucks. Well, maybe it just sucks when you're the only person in the house doing it; regardless, it sucks! If you're dead set on getting this done then the biggest key is fully understanding just how much it will suck. Some of the biggest obsticles to overcome while dieting were:

Dieting Alone

If you, like me, were the only one dieting in your house you're going to run into this issue. The good thing was that I cooked the majority of the meals in the house, the negative was that every so often there was a pizza, or muffins, or pasta that popped up. The biggest key here is that if you know it's coming then setup for making your most favorite dish ever. Unless you've got a stronger will than I, and can just not eat it.

Friends and Family Suck

Although in the later parts of 2020 this wasn't an issue, the first part of 2020 still had me going out and seeing friends and family. The biggest issue here is that you're meeting up with friends and family at bars, pubs, houses, etc. and in each case you'll hear things like:

  • You don't need to be on a diet.
  • Don't be a @#%@% just have one drink.
  • Etc.

No matter what it is, you need to ignore it. Sometimes you need to take it a littler further and be rude. It's not fun, but if this is something you're committed to, you're going to have to deal with people that aren't committed to it, or think that you shouldn't be committed to it. This is hands down the hardest part

Documenting Results

Another one of the biggest issues I had was that I hate posting about myself. I feel like no one really cares, no one wants to see it, people will judge! But honestly, it's easier with support. You'll have way more people supporting you - and the ones not supporting you are just dilholes and should be ignored. So be proud of the work you put in, no matter how little or how much.

Results Are Worth It

Once you've suffered, and failed, and suffered, and failed... you'll get to the point where it becomes easier. You've gotten used to eating the same thing. You've gotten used to forcing yourself to workout when you'd rather just watch tv. Your friends have event stopped pressuring you to have just one drink when you're hanging out. This might take a week, or a month, however long it takes just keep on pushing through cause it will happen.

From December to June I dropped from 205 to 169 which was 10lbs lower than my goal of 180.

Expected Regression

Once my birthday hit, I started to loosen up the diet a little (while maintaining the workout schedule) and as expected I gained some weight back, although I maintained my size. I slowly started adding in:

  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Some of my preferred carbs (chicken pot pie, some breaded chicken, etc.)

Although I continued to refrain from:

  • Pasta
  • Breads
  • Most other sugar

I'm currently sitting around 180, and I'm thrilled about it! (Don't mind the unfinished shower). I'm going to try to get a couple posts regarding the different exercise programs I've given a shot, their pros and cons, etc.


In the grand scheme of 2020 I think we've been pretty lucky with how things have gone. When covid first went down in March we were concerned about how things would turn out. We ended up picking corners of the house; Sue was in the kitchen while while I was in the dining room, it worked well but it definitely wasn't opimal.

Carson not being in daycare/school was problematic, trying to keep a 4 year old busy during the day (enough to ensure he's tired enough to sleep) is difficult. The most difficult thing was attempting to get some time outside while keeping him off play grounds; even more so trying to explain why some people were still playing on them (when they shouldn't have been). I couldn't imagine going through this type of thing when I was a kid, but he took it well (enough).


Sue and I were able to split most of the days well; but more often than not I spend most of the day playing and most of the evening working. It wasn't the greatest situation - I wouldn't say I'm a workaholic but I'm super anxious about whether I'm completing my work to the standard that is expected of me, regardless of the times.

School Started

This was Carson's first year at school. We decided that even with all the Covid worries around us that his school (we decided on private) was safe enough, and that if we were going to continue to survive mentally, he'd be going in. We decided to enroll Carson in a private school - we figured that we might as well go all in on the one we have - and oh man what a great decision.

The structure and the speed at which he's learning (they're teaching) is shocking. I don't remember what I went through in kindergarten but I definitely don't remember the:

  • math
  • science
  • languages
  • and French (yup, an hour of French a day - not immersion)

The only issue is the 4 year old attention span. It definitely doesn't help that we're around watching (and in his mind just waiting to play) while he's supposed to be doing school work.

Home Schooling

It's terrible. I'm sure it's terrible for everyone, and I can't even imagine how teachers [parents] are doing it. I'm generally pretty hard on teachers, I won't lie about it, but man you're all doing a spectacular job with the resources and rules that you've been given.

MBA Decisions

I won't talk much about Sue, she probably won't even like this much; but, this past year she decided to apply for her MBA at Ivey, got in, and will be starting this year. I'm sure next years review (if this continues) will be more of me possibly complaining about hard it was (for me, cause I'm selfish-ish) but 100% worth it when I get to retire early and golf full time.

That's a thing, right?


Nothing, with regard to employment, changed in 2020. The team at Standardbred Canada continues to roll through our conversion of legacy software. There are some pretty interesting things coming down the pipe for 2021 (but this is a year in review) so they don't mean much here.

At a high level some of the things we've been working through this past year:

  • Continued development of our Gaitway application (migration from legacy)
  • Our new external website (Drupal) which will eventually be our primary customer portal
  • Migration from Ingres to Postgres
  • The discussions on Single Sign-on and migrating a number of our services

Like almost everyone else, we've been (as mentioned) working from home since March. I've never liked working from home, re: the anxiety that I feel around work, but I've started enjoy it more. I've since moved from the dining room table up into the spare bedroom where I have a pseudo office setup.

  • Sue picked me up a stand up desk from Ikea, which has been absolutely fantastic, I suggest that everyone gets one.
  • I'm still sitting on the dining room table though (when I'm not standing - about 50% of the time)

Working from home has also afforded me the luxury of working out during the day. I'll be completely honest, without working from home I just don't see the latter half of my weight loss being as successful. The most important and absolutely worst part of losing weight is being as strict as possible, and (I guess thankfully) due to Covid and the work situation I've been able to keep things extremely consisten.

Here's to a solid 2021! knock on wood

Side projects


I've been attempting to get more experience with Javascript and Typescript under my belt this year. I've always been open about my dislike of Javascript and other typeless languages - just a personal preference I guess - but I fully understand this is the way things work and that I've got to get on board. Typescript has definitely helped with that process, which is a positive.

Besides the projects I've started over the last few years, I have another couple that I'd love to get started (when time permits)...

My Personal Site (this guy)

My personal site is always going to be a work in progress as I'm continually playing around with new libraries, trying out new ways of doing things while reading best practices across React, Javascript and Gatsby.

React Native Bluetooth Classic

While developing my companies mobile application, for tracking horses through microchips, I took an already well known library react-native-blueooth-serial and modified it; resolving a number of issues that had been open for a while, updated the IOS version for External Accessory, as well as refactoring it for a little consistency.

This last year I took the time to convert the library completely to Typescript. The process was pretty solid (in my opinion) and the current version is currently available as a release candiate v1.60.0-rc5. A number of people have been testing and providing feedback, and I think it's starting to get ready for full v1.60.0.

For more information check out React Native Bluetooth Classic.


I've been trying to become a contributor on the wonderful project Smart Watch Golf Gps to no avail. For that reason I've decided that I could probably just start on my own version, allowing me to:

  • Get more experience with React
  • Get some experience playing with Fitbit SDK and creating the watch app in a way that I'd prefer it
  • Look into the Github API as a backing engine for the framework

Since it's free, and has a large user base, I figured that managing shared project files (JSON course definitions) would be a solid choice for developers who are also avid golfers.

Stay tuned...

© 2023 by Ken Davidson. All rights reserved.