The idea of an Impossible List originated with Joel Runyon and I learned about it from my friend Sam, who created a list of his own.

Unlike a bucket list, which catalogs activities to do at an indeterminate time in the future, an Impossible List challenges you to think beyond what is routine or commonplace and start making plans. Essential to me is that the points represent all areas of my life, including Professional, Fitness, and Travel goals. It’s easy to push lofty goals to the next day or next week or next year, so I am sharing my Impossible List here as a constant reminder to achieve my objectives and to hold myself accountable. Bolded items are in progress.

Professional Goals

  • Publish a personal website (April 2016)
  • Write 5 10 15 25 blog posts
  • Develop competency in computer networking (2016 - CompTIA Network+ certification)
  • Develop competency in computer security (2016 - CompTIA Security+ certification)
  • Develop competency with distributed/cloud-based systems (February 2017 - Read about my experience with the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate exam)
  • Develop an expertise in Data Systems Architecture I'm now several years into serving as a data architect for my startup
  • Develop an expertise in deep learning, large language models, and the leading edge AI In Progress - seem my reading list and recent blog posts!
  • Work remotely for an extended period (November 2018 to July 2019, then March 2020 to Present - Read about some of my lessons learned)
  • Contribute to an open source software project
  • Speak at a technical conference (April 2018 - Panel Speaker at Snowflake Computing's Cloud Analytics event)

Lifestyle Goals

  • Adopt a dog Meet Evie & Bennett
  • Fight for digital freedoms and online privacy (January 2017 - Joined EFF)
  • Read 1 million 2 million 5 million 7.5 million words on the Pocket app (In Progress - 2016, 2017 , 2018 , 2019 )
  • Build my own PC / battlestation (Spring 2016 - 16GB RAM, GTX 970, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, dual boot Windows and Ubuntu (and dabbled with Kali Linux), 2 x 24" + 1 x 19" monitors) - humorous photo here
  • Buy or sell something via Bitcoin (February 2017)
  • Curate a hot sauce collection (Summer 2017 - 53 varieties)
  • Commission an original artwork (December 2018 - a portrait of my girlfriend's dog)
  • Own a self-driving car (June 2023 - Tesla Model Y LR)
  • Own a residential solar power system
  • Live abroad

Fitness Goals

  • Shoot under 85 in golf
  • Ski a double black diamond run (January 2013, Copper Mountain, CO)
  • Snowboard a double black diamond run
  • Learn boxing (6 months of classes, 2018)
  • Learn Brazilian jiu-jitsu
  • Achieve 7:00 (1:45 splits) 6:50 (1:42.5 splits) 6:40 (1:40 splits) time for 2km erg
  • Complete 30 40 pull-ups in a row
  • Complete 40 50 60 70 push-ups in a row
  • 360° dunk a basketball (Completed) with two hands
  • Learn to surf (April 2019)
  • Conduct a three-day fast
  • Experiment with intermittent fasting
  • Learn to rock climb and consistently climb 5.11a graded routes and V3 V4 boulder problems (In Progress) - In this pursuit, I've worked part-time at Earth Treks Crystal City since May 2019

Renaissance Man

  • Become an Estonian e-Resident (January 2016 - Read about my experience here)
  • Earn a pilot's license
  • Earn a motorcycle license
  • Perform on the violin in public (In progress - practicing regularly)
  • Be invited to give a lecture at a university (January 2013 - "Earth Systems Technology & Management" course @ UVA)
  • Go one week only consuming food that I have grown, raised, caught, or hunted
  • Curate a personal library (500+ books) (In Progress - 275+ books)
  • Achieve a 1400 ELO rank on
  • Have a prominent role designing my future house
  • Own a share of a winery, brewery, or distillery
  • Enter into a BBQ/chili cook-off competition
  • Participate in a protest (Multiple - perks of living near the White House)
  • Work or volunteer in a war/conflict/humanitarian aid zone
  • Live "off-grid" for a week (no internet, cell phone, electricity)
  • Live on a boat for a week
  • Discuss a policy issue with a member of Congress
  • Go an entire day speaking in a foreign language without using English
  • Go an entire week without using English


  • Attend a UVA basketball game in the NCAA tournament I had the misfortune of attending UVA's historic upset to a 16 seed in the 2018 tournament
  • Visit Mardi Gras (2014, 2015, 2016)
  • Visit Oktoberfest in Munich
  • Watch a mountain stage of the Tour de France
  • Attend the Lunar New Year in a celebrating country
  • Attend Holi in India
  • Visit Mexico during Dia De Los Muertos
  • Attend Carnival in Rio de Janeiro

Travel Goals

  • Visit all 50 states (In Progress - 42/50 - see map below!)
  • Visit Australia / New Zealand
  • Visit Brazil
  • Visit Europe (Summer 2014 (x2), Winter 2015, July 2017, Fall 2018 (x2), Winter 2019)
  • Visit China (November 2016)
  • Visit Japan (November 2016)
  • Visit Africa (January 2017 - South Africa)
  • Visit Nigeria
  • Visit Patagonia
  • Visit the Middle East
  • Visit the Alps (Winter 2019 - read about my experience in Chamonix)
  • Go on a multi-day, unassisted motorcycle ride
  • Go heli-skiing
  • Do a multi-day backcountry ski tour
  • Go on an exotic fishing trip
  • Travel by seaplane in the Pacific Northwest
  • Plan a solo trip abroad (34-day trip in Winter 2019)

Countries I've Visited

States I've Visited (43/50!)