The 2007 List

Presenting the fourth installment in a continuing series dating back to 2004: the 2007 list.

Best Parenting Moment: Son Benjamin’s Bar Mitzvah, celebrated with lots of friends and family. He made us cry, he made his hockey coaches cry (something I hadn’t seen before) and he played a mean guitar solo with the band.

Best Work Moment: This was a hard one, because it was a remarkably fun year. I’ll break with emergent tradition and declare a tie. Early in the year, it was my interview with Cory Doctorow, on the heels of introducing him as the keynote at Sun’s Worldwide Education and Research Conference. The interview was carried in ACM Queue magazine and turned into an unedited podcast. Later in the year, I had the pleasure of promoting one of my own people to Vice President, a first in 18 years at Sun. SeChang Oh is one of those guys who has boundless energy and is a fountain of creative ideas. And he’ll take your money on the golf course. SeChang’s promotion was a reflection on him, his team, and our organization, and it had me smiling for weeks.

Best T-Shirt: “Sudo make me a sandwich” available from the xkcd store. The best part was wearing this on a diagonal cross-country trip. Originating in Orlando, many people in the airport were trying to figure out which theme part featured stick figure characters; in Houston I got a few chuckles and finally in San Francisco it was old hat (but drawn well, to abuse the pun).

Best Sports Moment: There were a lot of bad ones this year, from the Devils failing to show up for the Ottawa playoff series, to A-Rod using the World Series to stage a contractual publicity stunt, to the Mets choosing golf over baseball playoffs in October. The event that put the jock in jocular for me wasn’t covered by any media (including our town paper) and didn’t involve winning teams. Every year, hockey fans want to see their teams play into June, when the Stanley Cup finals fill the 10th month of the season. This year, my adult ice hockey team made the league championship tournament in Hockey North America, playing hockey in June in Toronto. After a few years of traveling to youth hockey tournaments, I got to experience one personally, complete with t-shirts, getting lost on the way to the rink, missing gear bags and a team dinner. A friend of mine once said that when you play sports as an adult, it’s more about the guys you play with than winning or losing, and he was right — the Toronto trip was a fun weekend with the guys, independent of finishing in the bottom of our round robin pool.

New Toy: Long-time prognosticators would go for the Steinberger style bass guitar, sitting (unplayed) in my office. It was a find, but it’s not the winner. Inside the envelope is a collection of random comic books I picked up at the MOCCA show in New York, on a hot Sunday afternoon when my sister (yes, I have a sister) and I visited every booth in the show, gets top billing. In this case, it’s not so much the utility of the toy as the story surrounding it; we did nothing but laugh for three hours; I got to meet Richard Stevens of DieselSweeties fame; we had $6 coffees and didn’t mind because it was the first true day of summer, marked by the end of the school year, making the stories worth remembering. Throughout the course of 2007, I re-discovered comics including DS and the above-mentioned xkcd, resulting in a comic-inspired t-shirt buying spree.

Best Reading Accomplishment: I ran through a spanning tree of writers, mostly rooted at Cory Doctorow or Marc Donner from Google. During 2007 I exhausted Charles Stross, Rudy Rucker, Jo Walton, Vernor Vinge and a handful of books on the late 1970s World Series. I read way too much science fiction and sports history, but it fed a variety of thought experiments. Plan for 2008: more science, more history, and more fiction (although I did run through all of Michael Chabon’s work this year as well).

Happy 2008 to all, with hopes that it’s filled with good friends, good books, and good cookies (edible or browser-digestible).

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