2019 looks like it’s gonna be a garbage year on a global scale, right up until the bitter end. I won’t pretend that it was a difficult year for me in the way it was for so many other people, but there were large swaths of 2019 that I definitely did not enjoy.

One unequivocally good thing I did was revive this “Dubious Ventures” blog, and repopulate it with stuff I’d only posted to social media. I probably spent too much time deleting all my old Facebook posts, 90% of my tweets, and about 50% of my Instagram photos, but I refuse to believe that’s ultimately anything but healthy.

It was the first year that my business was truly stressful in both the too-much-work and too-little-work ways, and indeed most of my favorite accomplishments this year were tangential or unrelated to Tight Ship’s client work.

In other words, I did my best/most fun stuff for free and/or at a loss. That may not be a great way to look at it overall, but I’m in the middle of a week where nothing much is happening, so how about I just list what I did this year and we can go to the zoo together:







  • I biked a lot in June, but I’ll have more on this (and cycling in general) later, because I’m on track for yet another personal-best “Keir By Bike” year.



  • Saw Sharon Van Etten for the first time, in L.A. at the Grammy Museum. Earlier concerts in 2019 also included Nathaniel Rateliff (SB Bowl), The Psychedelic Furs & James (Greek LA) and The National (Greek LA). Not as packed as previous years, but we’ve already got two booked for 2020!
  • Had a big week in September thanks to maps, work, cycling, an AIGA Central Coast event in SB, a VC Star Storytelling event in Simi, and that National show in LA.


  • Made the annual fall pilgrimage to Orange County and biked in San Juan, as well as the annual baseball-playoff-pub trip to San Luis Obispo, where I also biked. Earlier in 2019 I reprised the Tour DuBois, taking bike trips to Oxnard, Carpinteria, Santa Paula, Santa Maria, Westlake, Santa Ynez, Point Mugu, and at home in Ventura.


  • Belatedly returned to New Orleans, the third time in three years, for the annual Tight Ship Summit—a weeklong hang with Julia & pals (plus occasional strategizing for the company’s future and a small speaking gig at Tulane).
  • Drove up to Santa Barbara for three days to ostensibly attend Festforums, but I actually spent more time on lunch dates with old bandmates and AIGA SB pals.


  • Most of this month has been a drawn-out process of prepping my map stuff and my speaking stuff for 2020, plus the usual recapping spasms like this one and other related year-end (or decade-end) craziness. Hopefully Em and I will be able to start up the baseball tour again, tick off one or two more states, and I can do the design-music-maps-bikes stuff to keep the stupid presidential election at bay.

I’ll have a wrap on the biking numbers soon! I don’t have much else other than to say that I ended 2016 with this phrase, and I think it still applies:

“I have no idea what else might happen next year, but given what we’re all up against I think I’ll have to make some hard choices and take real risks. Stay tuned.”