The 2004 List
By stern on Dec 24, 2004
Best Parenting Moment. My daughter Elana's Bat Mitzvah in November. She showed our entire family what she'd learned, and how she's become a wonderful young adult (when I'm not threatening to turn off her network connection). She spoke, she sang, she danced, and we celebrated in a way that's been a tradition for generations. We're just the top of the stack.
Best Sports Moment. Son Benjamin's hockey team played in a tournament in Lake Placid last March. They played for the bronze medal on a Sunday morning; after going up 2-0 the tying goal was scored with under a minute left. In double overtime, the NJ Devils Youth lost to an all-star team from Minnesota. We had a 5-hour drive home with nothing but pride to show for the weekend. About halfway home, Benjamin saw the bright side; he was looking forward to tryouts for the next season. I offered that he might be able to get his old jersey number 26 (Patrik Elias) back. But he said that he'd rather keep that season's number 8 (Hal Stern).
Best Work Moment. First was Sun's NYC launch in September. It reminded me of a launch in May 1995 that was also in NYC, and focused on how Sun could run key business applications. This launch talked about how we hadn't listened to one of our key constituents -- Wall Street -- but had fixed our strategies. In 1995 we made a side note of a technology called Java that took but six months to galvanize developers in the Big Apple. In 2004 we supported our arguments with Solaris 10. Give it six months.
Best E-Mail. Got one from Jonathan late at night, saying he liked a blog entry of mine. This is one of the (many) reasons I'm still at Sun -- our blogs provide transparency into the company for the public and our own employees.
Best New Toy. Difficult choice, because the AirPort Express I use to drive my home wireless network as well as feed my in-home office stereo system was top-ranked until last week. The Sigma 2x Tele-Extender for the Canon digital camera snuck in as a late December add. Then I got my Koyono Pocket T. I'm just the wrong size to put my iPod and cell phone into jacket pockets, and they're too bulky for pocket T-shirts. Until now. One in each side pocket of the T, cords fed through the zipper, and I don't have to worry about dropping, unplugging, spilling, or losing a thing. And it comes in NJ Devils colors, which is just cool.
Best Reading Accomplishment. Managed to finish all 6 of the "Dune" prequels (the "House" series and the "Butlerian Jihad" series), in order, in one year. Of course, being laid out with a broken leg improved my reading availability.
Best Shopping Experience. I completed all of our holiday shopping online. Didn't set foot in a store because, well, I only had one working foot. Thanks to eBay, amazon.com, Higgins Brothers (source of high-quality juggling equipment, we were stocked for the holidays.
Best Poker Hand. Artichoke Joes, San Bruno, sometime in July. I was dealt ace-king, and played it very slowly. The flop brought a two more aces and a lot of raising, the turn brought the fourth ace, and I went heads-up against a player who was trying to either bluff or use his king as a kicker to win.
To all of my co-workers, family members, gentle readers, and anyone else who stumbles upon this: Happy New Year.