Top Ten List 2017

Greetings Everyone:

Happy 2018 and here is a look back on 2017 - thank you for encouraging me to write these.  


10.  Trip to Asia:  I (re)learned some important lessons during our Annual Family Trip to Taiwan this year.  First, it gets super hot and humid in that part of the world in late July/early August.  I should have recalled my prior trip to Japan and India (where I picked up malaria in the monsoon season).  From now on the trips will be planned around seasons and not necessarily the school calendar.  Yufen and I made it to Thailand, where I learned the Second lesson, getting a Thai Massage can be very painful.  As it turned out my right knee which was clicking more than it should have prior to the massage - didn’t react well when it was bent back.  I ended up having a torn meniscus and partially torn ACL from it.  Third, medical tourism makes sense.  The MRI in Taiwan along with diagnosis only cost $261, about ten times lesss than in the US.  Fourth, I only need one leg to snorkel.  Fifth, eating/drinking from street carts / beach restaurants while tasty and cheap is not worth the ensuing prayers to the Porcelain god.  I’ll have to go back and re-visit Thailand cause this trip needs a re-do…  The pics show why its worth going back…





9.  Family Moves.  My parents ended up spending the summer/fall back in New York  They had a great time going back - mostly because even though they were hardly gone - the trip back made the visit an event for their friends.  Also, my parents helped my brother move back to Long Island.  Unfortunately my brother’s marriage ended late in 2016 and for a variety of reasons having a large 5 Bedroom house up in the Burbs isn’t ideal.  He has many friends in the City and around Long Island so this is a good solution for him as he gets back on track and with the passage of time that is certainly taking place!  


8.  Ski Trips and the Epic snow of 2016/17.   I made the most of my Vail Resorts ski pass last year.  I got in over 20 days on the mountains.  Mostly in the CA mountains of Northstar, Kirkwood and Heavenly.  And also once again a ski trip with Jaleel with the wives to CO - where I skied Vail for the first time.  Thanks to Jaleel’s friend Trevor who guided us though the vast open mountain.  Jaleel and Nasira bailed on our Annual Christmas ski trips (bastards) however we were joined by my parents, my brother, Yufen’s sister and her boyfriend Patrick and Florian and his boys.  A great relaxing way to end the year as usual - full of food, wine and festivity.  





7. Playoffs - I would be remiss if I didn’t include the helluva good time I had with both the Golden State Warriors championship run and also the NY Yankees run this year.  The Warriors for delivering as expected and the Yankees for playing the underdog (so much for that with the Stanton pickup).  The World Series was also one of the more exciting ones with those dramatic games - and that the Dodgers lost!  Late in the year, I went to my first Warriors game with my brother - it was Curry’s first game back and it is scary fun how many points they can put up effortlessly - looking forward to 2018!





6.  Business - Another record year on the rental side as rents continue to rise.  We re-invested into houses as tenants turnover.  In an East Oakland house we dramatically improved one house by giving it a complete makeover.  Many thanks to Jamie Cabrera (and his team) who has that rare and much needed ability and willingness to get things done right and without hesitation.


In Las Vegas, we finalized taking over the management of the properties.   We successfully handled three turns and in the process made significant improvements to those.  Many thanks to Jimmy Guess (and his team) for helping us out there.  


We incorporated the Ski Condo into the business this past year.  With the epic snow we had a great first year.  I personally enjoy interacting with guests and virtually meeting people from all over the globe - something that we used to do from our house.  It is a great way to recognize shared interests and see the goodness in people - big believer in AirBnB and short term renting.  


Making our job easy everywhere is having good tenants / guests so we are grateful for those relationships.


5.  Friends New and Old.  They say its hard to make new friends as you get older and its true.  Over the past few years I’ve been blessed to make some new ones.  Some thru Kailee (Grant & Michelle, Jeff & Maggie), some thru business - Jamie and his family and our exceptional road trip to Las Vegas with Mimi, some thru working out (Guy and Karen) and some from the neighborhood (Jan and Gary). My longer serving friends know who you are - you guys have put up with me for an exceptionally long time - thank you.  One special night this year was the 50th party Anne-Renee threw for Michael (pictured below with sister Paula).  So many friends from my life were in attendance and it really was like a reunion from that special part of our lives (being single and freshly arrived in Northern CA).  Oh and congrats to my friend’s kids who are getting into colleges - Stanford, Cornell and even Yale to name a few…  




4.  Personal Well-Being.  Unfortunately, I didn’t make my goal of running one mile a day (average).  About one-quarter of the year in, I developed joint pain - many thanks to friend and Dr. Kamini for her help thru that.  While that slowed me down, I was still on pace until the torn meniscus/ACL got in the way of that - ended with 197.1 on the Nike app.  I substituted 30 min on the bike at the gym - and I’m debating whether or not to get back to running - or continue the bike.  I did get 3 days of skiing in - thanks to my friend Dan’s physical therapy startup - Physera - and the knee held up.  I’ll likely get back to running and then schedule the knee replacement in ten years…



3.  Kids.  Kailee and Kaiden are both in school.  Kailee is in 1st grade and is learning how to read and play the piano.  They intentionally split up Kailee and Zoe (her best friend from KG) so she is becoming more diverse with her play dates.  Kaiden started pre-school where his best friend is named Thomas.  His favorite TV show/toy/book is Thomas & Friends - the correlation suggests causation.  




2.   My wife Yufen for being my partner thru all this.  The Greek notion of a Wheel of Fortune - highs and lows of life - we all have them - I wax and wane way more than I should - Yufen is calm and steady.   Put another way, the amplitude of my crests and troughs is way too high and she reminds me that as Shakespeare wrote in King Lear, “Fortune, good night, smile once more; turn thy wheel!”  … thank you for your smiles and reminding me of that every day.



1.  Thanks everyone for great year - here's to 2018 and more of everyone's smiles and good nature!