Personal Interests

A few personal interests and tidbits

    • Wine - we make a couple of tons of zinfandel a year (from grapes we source from some amazing growers in Paso Robles and Contra Costa County). No, we don't sell it - but it's really good
    • Solar - I have about 8 kW of solar on my roof which is enough to eliminate my electricity bill completely. I would highly recommend it (as well as my installers, if you are in the area), if for no other reason than that the math makes sense
    • Music - yeah I've been to hundreds of shows and festivals. I also still consume voraciously. See a few playlists here. It's an acquired taste.
    • Baseball - where do I started? I coached for many years, served on the board of a youth league (Los Altos - Mountain View PONY), developed a training program for coaches, and still love going to Giants games (I shared in season tickets for a number of years)
    • Stanford - I am very grateful for the chance Stanford took on me when I was a teenager (with no obvious pedigree to justify their selection of me). It brought me to my beloved adopted home, California, which is one of the few places where a non-native is truly treated like a native. I received my BS, MS, and PhD here, was a researcher, and am currently a staff member. Through a combination of academic opportunity and a fair amount of serendipity, it developed my interest in healthcare, probability and decision theory, and research, put me on my career path, and gave me the credentials to pursue it successfully. It stimulated my passion for sports, and most importantly, led me to many great friends and colleagues who are part of my life to this day.
    • Charities - A number of charities, non-profits, and philanthropic organizations have greatly enriched my life and helped people I care about. I realize the choices people make in terms of the organizations they support are intensely personal, but if you want to hear about the ones I support and why, feel free to contact me.
    • Here are some of the most amazing things I have ever seen (so far, so t"once in a lifetime", unfortunately)
    • I have a strangely well developed sense of direction and geospatial memory. And a reasonably strong interest in maps. They combine into a number of hard-to-explain anecdotes of me finding my way around/back when by all reasonable accounts I should have been hopelessly lost. Call me tom-tom (thanks Mark, btw). This knack is less useful/valuable now that everyone has waze and google maps available to them all the time, and there is a whole generation who don't even know why tom-tom is a good nickname. But still.
    • While pretty much anyone who has ever been to a dating site knows that the statement "I like to travel" is as universal as it is vacuous, I do like to travel (even more so in business class, but alas, that does not happen so much anymore now that I'm in academia). Discovering new places is amazing, and I don't do enough of it. I have a long list of places I would like to visit some day, the proverbial bucket list.
    • So here is the counterpoint to that travel bug:

Tbh, if I kicked that bucket today, I'm quite happy with what I've seen, done, and had the privilege to experience, and all the amazing times and opportunities I've had.

And most of my personal travel miles these days are to spend more time with far-away family members and friends -- where the where matters a lot less than the who.

And I really, really like my back yard and home state. Almost any time I go anywhere else, it is always so nice to come home -- what friends long ago dubbed a California appreciation trip. I like my hummingbirds and citrus trees, and the people and climate (in every sense) and everything else that is bountiful here.

I also don't travel for work nearly as much as I used to -- my last work trip was to Indianapolis via Minneapolis, which are both lovely cities but you know... I do sometimes miss my quarterly Israel trips and occasional ones to the UK, India, Russia, Australia, or Korea. But I definitely don't envy my friends/colleagues who pepper their social media accounts with their almost weekly work trips to far-away places to go give a talk or serve on an advisory board (despite their enviable stays in various polaris lounges and the front of the plane).

So yeah, I like to travel. But I also like being at home.

    • And finally, a few pet peeves (this can be a long list, so here's a start)