Web Page Updates
January 23, 2014
All is well, Seattle is having a very mild winter again - no snow as yet. Biggest news is that the Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl. Yippee!! I went to every game this year and Audrey only missed a couple of them. And of course we were at the NFC playoffs the last couple of weeks. What an electric experience the championship game was with the 49ers. Actually we have four seats on the 50 yard line, of which I sold two for every game raising enough money to pay for 90% of the entire season for all four seats! This town is really excited about this team. If you haven't experienced the 12th man, you have really missed something.
Update February 8, 2014:
For those of you that have been out of touch (on the Amazon or the Moon, maybe), the Seahawks destroyed the Broncos 43-8 in the Super Bowl! We had a victory parade that had an estimated crowd of 700,000 (Seattle population is only 650,000, but the Metro area is maybe 4 million plus the rest of the great northwest to draw on). I was at the parade and include some pictures here. Also, here is a URL to a video taken by my friend Tony Marshall. Click Here for => Parade Video That is Marshawn Lynch in the video throwing the skittles from the Seagal vehicle, by the way.
I have finally been cashed out of what was left of my Boole and Babbage stock (actually acquirer BMC). In August there was a leveraged buyout led by , of all organizations, Mitt Romney's Bain Corporation! I have built a portfolio of solid dividend paying equities using the cash. The process has allowed me to develop Value investing skills and a reasonably sophisticated spreadsheet to enable the evaluation of candidates. My Portfolio holds 21 stocks paying a nice dividend of almost 4.3% at this time. Also, just one more excuse to play on my computer; which, as you all know is my main source of intellectual activity. The spreadsheet automatically updates over 150 stocks of which I own 21. See below for the 21.
Latest toy is a Lumia 1520 Windows smart phone. It has a six inch screen, a 20 megapixel camera, and still fits in my pocket. If you have not tried a Windows smart phone, you should. It is far more responsive than any Android smart phone I ever owned. No lags, no unexplained delays, etc. Just as smooth as can be. Between my desktop Windows 8.1 systems, a Windows 8.1 Surface PRO, and the Lumia 1520 Windows phone, I have a consistent ecosystem that spans all my mobile and desktop needs. The result is an integrated environment that keeps everything in sync automatically without the need for 3rd party apps or umbilical cords. The interface consistency across all these devices reduces the vagaries experienced with components and apps from multiple vendors experienced in the rest of the mobile world.
The tunnel under the city that will eliminate the Viaduct down here on the waterfront has started drilling. Although it has been stuck for several weeks for some reason. Here is a model of this enormous device" and a picture I took of Champagne bottles breaking at its dedication.
Jon still works right here in downtown Seattle. But the biggest news is a change in Susan's career. Susan has recently tendered her resignation from her current senior management position and will start her own company, SvK Consulting. She will be consulting to the Dental Laboratory industry, authoring articles and lecturing at the National association and other state meetings. Given her resume she should have great success in her new venture.
A friend of mine from Poughkeepsie days at IBM in the mid 1960s, Harry Reinstein, recently passed away. Although I have not seen him since we moved to Seattle I spoke with him regularly on the telephone. I will miss him. At my age I expect that this will become a more common occurrence.
We are running out of rivers in Western Europe to cruise. The latest was a trip up the lower Danube from Bucharest, Romania to Budapest, Hungary in late September. We visited - Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, and Hungary. It was fun to get back to Budapest after 25 years. As to the general area, I would not say it is "3rd world", but by European standards it is definitely "3rd class". The area has never been a world beating competitor but after the fall of the Iron Curtain it cratered. The industry that had created jobs, health care, etc could not compete in a free market shut down completely and the area is yet to recover. Interesting to see this part of Europe, but we enjoy the more Western portions more. We are doing a Munich to Vienna cruise next October with an friend from Boole and Babbage days, Tony Marshall and his wife Pat.
We are now in the 17th year of our "vacation" here in the Emerald city - Seattle, and the 23rd year of my retirement.
Note the new Ferris Wheel which has become quite an icon on the waterfront.
We had our first birth in a very long time here at Waterfront landings. Here is friend Erin Howsher and Zack.
The annual tugboat races on Elliott bay, and yes, the tug in picture four is racing backwards.
In case you forgot what we look like!
Pictures from the Lower Danube Cruise
A warning from one and curiosity from the other.
Gypsies and Vlad the Impaler's castle in Romania.
Ceausescu's monument to himself in Bucharest. He displaced (with little notice to the displaced residents) 25% of Central Bucharest for this and a massive setting for it as well. The Pentagon is the only bigger building in the world. Romania's parliament uses a small portion, the rest is empty as you can see. When the uprising finally occurred, he and his wife were executed in a matter of hours. I wonder why? Not!
Other views along the lower Danube.
This is a building in Belgrade, Serbia that has been left unrepaired so that tour guides can point out how much damage they took from the USA! Looks like a very precision strike to me. The other is an example of what the Serbs did to Croatia. In this instance they obliterated the town of Vukovar which many years later is still rebuilding.
And now the beautiful city of Budapest.