A few personal interests and tidbits
Wine - we make zinfandel as an out-of-control hobby (from grapes we have sourced from some amazing growers in Paso Robles and Contra Costa County). No, we don't sell it and share it only with fellow coop members and friends - 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
Baseball - Love it. I was better as 1st base coach than as a slow right-handed first baseman and mediocre batter... probably inspired by wanting to correct fundamentals in myself, developed a training program for coaches, and still love going to Giants games (I shared 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 adopted home, California, which is one of the few places in the world where a non-native is truly treated like a native. I received my BS, MS, and PhD here, was a researcher, and briefly a staff member (even teaching for a bit haha, with thoughts of spending the rest of my career there). 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.
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 like to travel. I've been to some very cool places, while I still 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 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.
For complicated reasons, I am currently living the Eagles song: "Welcome to the Hotel California - Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place) ... "Relax," said the night man -- "We are programmed to receive -- You can check-out any time you like -- But you can never leave!"
My last trip outside California was just as COVID was blowing up, over two years ago (it's a long story), to New Zealand. I do sometimes miss my quarterly Israel trips and occasional ones to the UK, India, Russia, Australia, or Korea, or family visits to my native Netherlands or other places in Europe. 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. In the foreseeable future I'll be staying at home, so come visit here instead.
And finally, a few pet peeves (this can be a long list, so here's a start)