For decades, we have been delinquent in sending out Christmas cards with our newsletter. This is a second attempt at catching up. If you want to elevate your odds of hearing from us, be sure I have an email address for you! See my personal website for more details than you care about. But here's a summary to date. This is the 2016 newsletter with updates December 2017.
The photo on the right is the view from the new home of our daughter and SIL in Montana.
Our grand-daughters now sing in a very excellent choir. They do very well on their own, and have done joint concerts with some top local choirs. I'm very impressed with the quality of the music and how well they perform.
Laurie's commercial property in Flagstaff is finally beginning to sell, in bits and pieces. That means we're out from under a huge burden of debt to pay our share of major intersection improvements. Those improvements raised the perceived value of the property, so more people were interested. That also meant we could tackle a backlog of deferred maintenance at our home. The house and barn are re-roofed. The house now sports a brand new photovoltaic installation by Cinnamon Solar. Barry is an industry pioneer, and also an MIT grad. Once it's inspected, we can start using it.
Besides frequent short trips, our big trip this year was a Panama Canal cruise on Holland America from SF to Fort Lauderdale FL. It was a great experience but ...
the joy was significantly reduced by Laurie's lack of mobility. Her right hip joint has deteriorated significantly. There's practically no cartilage left in the joint, so it's bone against bone. She is taking steps with the hope that hip replacement will become a possibility. Meanwhile, it's a walker and transport chair.
Frank took another fun trip with son Philip and his family, Eclipspedition 2017 to eastern Oregon. Despite the smoke from the fires, the weather was perfect and the viewing spectacular. The ranger stayed with us at our site because he agreed that I had picked the perfect site. My son took the totality photo.
Planning for my MIT 50th reunion in June 2018 is intensifying. I'm on the planning committee, so it's monthly conference calls plus work in between. Our legendary class expects a legendary event. After all, we're the only MIT class with two Nobel laureates. Humbling.
I don't normally pass on Christmas cards from others. This one touched us. It's a documentary about Ginny Nickerson, one of Laurie's Cape Cod relatives, Chatham Orpheum Theatre's Artist of the Month. I'm glad enjoyment of her art is spreading far beyond her family.
Now to the more ancient history. In 2004, I retired from my 36-year software engineering career at IBM, mostly in Electronic Design Automation. Laurie later retired from driving for Avis part-time, real estate development, technical writing, and computer programming. Our daughter lives in Montana with her husband. The photo shows a view from their new home in December 2016. Our son lives in San Jose with his wife and three children, including Our first grandson! This photo shows what our son has been working on. The top photo from our 2016 Thanksgiving shows all of us but me (with the camera). San Jose is close enough that we spend time together nearly every week; Montana, not so much. As a bonus, his wife is a very good and health-conscious cook. The grand-daughters are willing to use their intelligence in challenging games like Ticket to Ride, requiring strategy and evaluation of complex alternatives. I also have become a good cook, though apparently I'm the only one who thinks so.
We still live in our hilltop retreat above Silicon Valley, California. We still do some traveling, mostly to timeshares within driving distance. I also do tent camping, and will soon camp with my new (to me) 2010 Toyota Tacoma with a SnugTop topper. It handles the offroad duties nearly as well as my 1999 4Runner did.
See the Writing and Web Development headings for how I have been spending much of my remaining time. I sing bass or baritone in our church choir, and help lead it. I help organize Cupertino Chorus Magnus and also sing nearly all parts at this Messiah Sing, mostly from memory.
! That's how I communicate best, as well as on Facebook.
Below, family Mexico trip, November 2015. As usual, I'm operating the camera.
Below, Lake Mead Marina, January 2016, very low water level. That was the bottom of the extended boat launch ramp.
Below, Death Valley wildflowers, February 2016.