offset \ˈȯf-ˌset\ noun

a force or influence that makes an opposing force ineffective or less effective

2023 Recap

The year started like usual. Recap writing and checking out the New Year's resolutions. We quickly tried to get back into the routine that we sorely missed for a month, but as it turned out, 2023 was great in the first half, however, very bad in the second one. My writing halved due to the general lethargy since I got laid off and some other things got to occupy our life at the same time. Considering those, this year should see us wrap up some things we set in motion and propel us into new directions. Aside from being laid off, getting the cats and the citizenship are the most important events. Here's the recap:


  • Luxembourg (Luxembourg proper, a weekend getaway to see the city, we were pleasantly surprised because it was really beautiful)
  • Croatia (Zagreb and Slavonija as usual, to see our families)
  • Spain (Madrid layover and sleepover)
  • Panama (Panama City and the Canal itself, monkey islands in the Canal)
  • Mexico (Cancún, Tulum, Yucatán riviera, Chichén Itzá)
  • USA (Florida, Orlando, Universal Studios amusement park - a jumping off point to the next set of countries below)
  • US Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, basically this is a USA territory, not a standalone country)
  • Antigua and Barbuda (St. John's)
  • Sint Maarten (Philipsburg, this is a part of the Netherlands)
  • Collectivity of Saint Martin (Marigot, this is a part of France, the previous one and this one are both on the same island: Saint Martin)
  • Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (San Juan, another USA overseas territory and they're not sure how to resolve the political situation, I think there was a referendum on them wishing to become a new state)
  • Dominican Republic (San Felipe de Puerto Plata)
  • USA (Orlando, Florida, again, since it was a round trip across the Caribbean, but this time we saw the Kennedy Space Center)
  • USA (New York for work)
  • UK (London for a day trip)
  • Spain (Málaga, a day long layover, Spain is really wonderful)
  • Croatia (Slavonija and Zagreb to see families and friends)


Domestic travel:

  • Great Sugar Loaf (again, climbing this 501m mountain)
  • Portadown (pizza and pottery course)
  • Killarney (citizenship ceremony)
  • Leixlip (kayak course)
  • Belfast (for a trip with friends)
  • Kircubbin (family expansion)
  • Celbridge (friends got a place there so we visit frequently)
  • Enniskerry (a friend has a place there so we visited)
  • Glendalough (again, with another set of family members)



Things we bought:

  • LEGO sets (we were gifted Bonsai Tree and quickly complemented it with Flower Bouquet and Horizon Forbidden West: Tallneck)
  • A charging gadget for USB devices (we're getting low on sockets in the apartment so having a charging hub was a life saver)
  • More climbing equipment (shoes and harnesses)
  • SteamDeck
  • SteamDeck dock
  • Insect net for the balcony
  • Some fitness equipment for training the fingers for climbing
  • Some cable organizing solutions and boxes
  • FireAngel smoke alarm to replace the old broken one (also thinking about the automation of it)
  • NFC tags for improving the automation at home (annoying notifications and NFC scans to silence them, calling vacuum to the kitchen, WiFi credentials, activating scenes, delaying notification for stupid devices like washing machine)
  • Paper shredder (because we got sick and tired of figuring out how to anonymize the incoming mail for recycling)
  • Netatmo weather station (that has since shown us that the air quality can get bad in the apartment)
  • Bathroom cupboard
  • Tons of pet related equipment including smart fountain and feeders by Petkit
  • A set of Ikea KALLAX frames (to replace what we sold)
  • Additional KALLAX inserts
  • A small handheld vacuum cleaner
  • Aqara FP2 presence sensor (for zone automation, but it's currently underutilized)
  • Another dehumidifier model to complement the existing one in another room (they run for a couple of hours each day with smart outlets controlling them)
  • Graphics card (the old one is giving up on us, and it was the last component to buy since the whole PC died last winter. That said, not sure the new one works as expected)
  • Picture frames (we attended a fluorescent painting course)
  • More cocktail equipment
  • Fake elven ears for a Halloween costume :)
  • Raspberry PI 5 (but it is not established yet)
  • A bluetooth mouse for the SteamDeck
  • A set of wireless headphones (because Kida keeps eating the wired ones)

Things we sold:

  • Ikea MALM small chest
  • Ikea MALM big chest
  • Fit Bounce trampoline (we're sad this is gone, but we needed some space, considering)

Other important events:

  • Sequenced our DNA
  • Got laid off
  • Became an Irish citizen, did the ceremony, got the cert, got the passport
  • Had a massive amount of vaccines due to travel, then Covid vaccine again
  • Saw a lot of places and touched a Moon rock
  • Finished a kayaking course so we can kayak with confidence
  • Threw away all the boxes of the devices whose warranty expired
  • Expanded our small family to include Tenzin and Kida and bought a whole lot of cat stuff
  • Did all the necessary things at the vet for Tenzin and Kida but we kinda need to get checked ourselves this year
  • Automated cat drinking and feeding solutions
  • Overhauled Home Assistant instance
  • Went to a drink&paint course
  • Finished Subnautica again
  • Sold things we were not using
  • Taught cats some tricks
  • Assembled cat trees
  • Sister and her family finally visited
  • Changed wheels on my office chair
  • Upped my cocktail game with a book on D&D cocktails gifted by a friend
  • Joined IndieWeb community and slowly reworking the web with HTMX and webmentions
  • Cats had to be spayed and neutered so it was a number of sleepless nights
  • Halloween costume party
  • Little birthday party in an old arcade machines pub
  • Added Homer into the Raspberry to have a visible list of all our Docker containers
  • Planted flowers around the neighborhood, waiting for Spring to see the results