Top Ten 2014

Hi Everyone:  

Here's my annual Top 10 list, I saw Bono did his version which was from A to Z.  I'll spare everyone 26 items and stick to my usual Top 10.  Seems like I made a few more movies this year so if a picture is worth a 1000 words at 30 frames per second...  I may approach his in length.  Always appreciate getting updates on your year!  Special shout out to Keitha who moved to New York for work.   

10.  Taiwan - This years trip ended up being longer than expected for Yu Fen as she ended up staying longer than expected. She spent the time with her father whose health has been an issue. Kailee attracted mosquitos and a fair amount of attention with her eyes. Her Chinese skills improved. We were graciosly hosted by Yufen's family and third sisters boyfriend Patrick who showed us his large scale construction project. Very entrepreneurial.

  

 

9.  Cambodia - Our side trip this year was to Cambodia sans Kailee (although Yufen with Kaiden). We landed in Phenom Phenn where we spend one night sightseeing in the capital. The following day we travelled to Siem Reap by bus which gave us a good glimpse of life in the country along its not fully developed highway system. We spent four days in Siem Reap which allowed us to see Angkor Wat - one of my bucket list items, as well as a host of other temples. My favorite was pretending I was Indiana Jones at Ta Prohm - which has been overtaken by the forest. While in Siem Reap we also took a boat ride on Tonle Sap lake, where I imagined Heart of Darkness as it connects to Mekong River and Vietnam. The final day was back in Phenom Phenn where I met one of the few survivors of the S21 prison now memorialized as the Tuol Sleng Genocide museum. Harsh reminder of the tragic history of Cambodia - French colony, US bombing ground, Pol Pot genocide, ousted by Vietnam, sex trade...


 

8.  Weddings - The primary reason for our New York trip was the wedding of my cousin Kesha. Yufen's expanding belly resulted in me going solo with Kailee. In addition to the wedding festivities we celebrated July 4th by watching fireworks from our backyard - so fun when people are allowed to fire their own.  

 

 

We celebrated the wedding of Nick and Ruth in Temecula for which we road-tripped down to Southern CA.

 

Later in the Year I flew solo to Cliff Lo's LA wedding where Ed Washecka (congrats on the flying success of Waypoint Leasing!) and I biked down The Strand.  Thanks to Dave and Andrea for being such gracious hosts!  

        

 

7.  Family Visits - Our family came and supported us immensely during the time of Kaiden's birth and thereafter. YuFen's mom enforced the confinement period for the first four weeks. My parents stayed for Kaiden's first two weeks and cooked the rest of us Indian food. After Yufen's mom left we had Third sister come for about 8 weeks. We loved her cooking. Finally we were blessed to have Patrick stay with us. We enjoyed showing them around with one of the highlights playing in the snow in Tahoe!

    

        

6.  Business - The real estate business held serve this past year. No new properties added. The growth area was an experiment with AirBnB. Very happy with the results and huge believer in the power of the sharing economy. Thanks as always to everyone who contributes to the success of the business in Bay Area, Las Vegas and New York. We secured several orders for Yufen's Metal-Tex business including a large order for the San Antonio Planetarium. We hope to have this one finalized in 2015 and are planning a visit!

                 

 
5.  Running -  Last year my Nike running app logged 349.7 miles in 107 runs. Although very similar to last year, my pace slowed up as the year progressed as I didn't maintain the consistency and reps needed to improve. Still an achievement worthy of the list!  

  
  

4.  Product of the Year -  I'm going to break down and finally say Facebook is the winner. Much too much time spent on it with my Stephen Colbert inspired character on it - I have made some new friends, probably lost a few, and have kept in touch with many in a meaningful way when not in character.  So tempted to put my first place finish in my Yahoo Fantasy Baseball League with an amazing final two weeks. The SF Giants behind MadBum produced another Championship. Lots of diversions this year...

    

 

3.  Kailee - Kailee continues to amaze and delight us daily with her infectious laugh and crazy antics. We certainly put my parents Lawrence Hall of Science Museum pass to good use. She switched to a new Pre-School and is working her shyness out.


and this a silly little video that I kinda like...  


 

3.  Chez Panisse - My brother Sameer and Bethany visited us this summer and the highlight was his arranging a dinner at Chez Panisse where we got to meet and talk to Alice Waters for about an hour. She gave us a tour of the complex and we were so grateful to spend the time with her. You get a sense that she loves what she does and is passionate about the revolution she has been spearheading. Way to go Alice!

                

 

2.  Kaiden -  I have to give Kaiden top billing this year. He was born on October 19th at 8AM at 7lbs 3 oz. Yufen had an even faster delivery - about 10 minutes active labor and he was out. Once again I am amazed at how much effort and devotion put forth by Yufen to raise our son - if Kaiden (and Kailee) read this in the future be sure to treat your mom well and pay it forward.  

        

1.  Thanks everyone for great year - here's to 2015 and more of everyone's smiles and good nature!