Top Ten List 2015

Hi Everyone:  

Once again I present my Top Ten list. It's a great way for me to express gratitude to the many people who help shape and create my life. No one tops that list more than my mom. This past year she was diagnosed with breast cancer and with great support from the gods at Sloan Kettering and tremendous support from my dad (and her many friends including especially Lena Auntie) she is in the final stages of recovery with an incredibly great outlook! Many blessings and good fortune this year on that alone.

10.  Family Ski Trip - In anticipation of a strong El Nino, I purchased a season pass for the Vail Property Resorts for the 2015/16 season. So far have skiied Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar. The highlight though was the resumption after a one year Kaiden break of our annual ski trip with Jaleel, Nasira and their family at Northstar staying at Old Greenwood with privileges at the Pavillion, Alpine Club and as a first for me - Schaffer's Camp. Membership definitely has its perks. We were also joined for several days by Yufen's sister's family. They managed to get back just in time for the Warriors/Cavs game despite only having a 2 wheel drive. The snow was great as we got two good snowfalls during the stay. The best part as always was the good company around meals and wine.

       

 

9.  Mom's Surgery - October NY trip - With no regard to priority this was the highlight of the year. Mom's surgery went extremely well as the cancer was removed from her body. Incredibly, it was only an overnight stay and she recovered quite well. Grateful for our extended family and friends in the NY/NJ area as we appreciated the love and support. We were especially happy that the trip included my mom celebrating Kaiden's 1st Birthday, days after surgery. She went all out to decorate and make it a festive affair! Totally separately thanks to Todd for a fabulous meal at 11 Madison Park - it was a memorable evening. Also great to see the Ed and Cheryl's remodel of their Connecticut home - looking forward to visiting in the summer and using the pool!

    

   

 

8.  25th Reunion - Like all my classmates, I was supposed to have cured cancer, be the 1%, been President (or his leading Economist), run a Major League baseball team, solved poverty, landed a rocket upright on Earth and ended climate change. While some of my classmates are doing those things and more, its really good to see so many of us just being happy with the way life turned out for each of us. A short list of friends, include of course Ed, Peter and David - my roommates at Yale and of course Brian my roommate post school. I'd be remiss without mentioning Rachel - who I always end up talking to the most at each Reunion. Mostly though, seeing the fabulous cross section of careers, geographies, and lives we've all taken - oh the places we are going! Also good to see is the expansion of campus with the new Colleges. I'm hopeful that the recent issues around race will lead to more positive changes as Yale has a responsibility to lead. On the way back we took the scenic route and saw my brother and Bethany's new house!

    

 

7.  Utah Ski Trip - As a birthday present from Yufen, I was able to get away for a few days of skiing with Jaleel. Utah was a great destination as it had the most critical component of a ski trip - snow. I skied Brighton, Snowbird and Alta over three days and put on a typical weeks worth of vertical feet! Hope to get away for more out of state ski trips this year as Breckenridge (CO), and Park City (UT) are also part of the Vail empire.

    

        

6.  Business - The real estate business continued to post solid results as Bay Area real estate has reached all time highs and Vegas properties are now seasoned. Metal-tex, thanks to the help of Fred, has a new website (www.metal-tex.com) and we continue exceeding our goal of one order per year. We made investments in two other businesses/people: an equity investment in newly formed AIS trucking and our great family friend Michael and a debt investment for Jamie my lead contractor in the Bay Area for his numerous real estate activities, including flipping a house in Daly City - much success to them in their endeavors. Thanks to Andrew Tucker of Guaranteed Rate who helped us refinance into a 30 year loan for our personal home(s) as an important point of personal business.

5. Travel / Product of the Year - Even though I didn't get a chance to travel overseas (Yufen took the kids to Taiwan to continue their tradition and assimilation), I met people from all over the world through our AirBnB hosting experience. I got the idea to post this map about half way through and have our guests place pins on their home town - as you can see I met people from all over the world. I can't help but think that with all the bad feelings around the planet - that people who travel and who meet other people from around the planet are going to be more tolerant and open to others. I am optimistic that successive generations will open doors and enter into each others homes and hearts thru venues like AirBnB! May the wanderlust of my friends Michael/Karen and Arturo enter into us all!

 

4.  Running -  Last year my Nike running app logged 330.1 miles in 109 runs. If health is one of the themes of this year, then this item is my number one way of keeping myself on track. While I don't really like running while I am just doing it, the feeling afterwards of accomplishment, lightness and overall positivity is one that I have yet to find from anything else. I'll join Mark Zuckerberg and set a goal for 366 miles this year (1 for each day including leap year).  I also need to sleep more and get less stressed - suffer fools gladly.

  
  

 

3.  Kailee & Kaiden - Kailee continues to amaze and delight us daily with her infectious laugh and crazy antics. She moved up to pre-K at Lakeshore Children's Center and was joined soon after by her very best friend in the whole wide world Cici. Kaiden turned 1 and is a champ when it comes to eating and sleeping. His parents are very relieved! His favorite activity is to wake up his sister who is a night owl and likes to sleep late. Kaiden will have to set her straight! Here's their favorite holiday (candy!!!).

    

 

2.  Yufen -  I have to give my wife the highly vaunted 2nd position. She ended the year quitting Interior Architects a place she has worked for 12 years (with some gaps). While it was a difficult decision as the relationships formed and prefessional ties are strong, it's an important family event and Kailee, Kaidan and I are very appreciative that we will have more of her time.  

    

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