Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Year 2007 in Review!


Hello everyone, I wish you a Merry Bear-free Christmas! And, a happy holiday season and new year!

Since I seem to be the only one without a holiday letter, I thought I'd do something like that, using highlights from my collections of photos on Flickr.com.

Dating back to last summer, here are a few pictures of my new condo that I bought in July. I live across the street from the Carter Center, which has very nice grounds and picnic areas.



Last October, I traveled to Seoul, Korea to attend one of my best friend's weddings. Sang married M.K. in a Christian service, and then a traditional Korean service with just the family members. I was honored when Sang asked me to speak after the ceremony. His family kindly hosted me for dinner and his brother and friend showed me around Seoul, a city of 11.5 million people, and the second most expensive city in the world to live in, behind Moscow. Try Korean BBQ and Soju!

100_2820100_2773100_2835100_2836Soju!Me and Sean An at the 63 building100_2809With the leader of the Traditional Parade processionDrinking with Sang, Maeyoung, and Sean AnRelaxing With the Lee FamilyNothing in This World


Michael and I went for a GeoCache last November, but we could not find it! My mom is much better at GeoCaching than me.



I started to pick up salsa, LA Style, and a bit of New York Style, in March. They say white men can't dance (or is that jump?) and these ladies would likely agree.  I'm still just a beginner. Laugh at me on YouTube with the Salsa for Klutzes series at: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=2263E8F6D72EF5F7



I went to White Plans, NY to visit Kelly in March and visited with her and her friend Grace. Kevin met us for dinner at a nice Indian restaurant.

100_3004100_2973100_2984100_2992100_2997Kevin, Kelly, Grace, Josh at an Indian Restaurant in New York City


In April, many of Gene and Carola Gough's descendants gathered in Alameda, CA to celebrate Carola's 96th birthday! It was a great trip. Linda brought tons of old family photos and letters to return to the original sender for safe-keeping. We had a good time traveling around San Francisco. Danny and I stayed with Matt and Christine in Point Richmond. And, thanks to Matt's mad google skillz, we made the ferry Just-in-Time to take the tour. I took a tour of the Red Oak Victory ship nearby and took many photos of the "Rosie the Riveter" exhibit honoring the women during WWII that kept the country running while we were at war.

Fwd:Fwd:Family at Carola's 96th Birthday PartyFwd:Fwd:Danny, Sheila, Kelly, JoshFwd:Fwd:100_3130100_3144100_3147100_3157100_3169100_3194100_3204100_3207100_3229Jerry, volunteer on the Red Oak Victory who gave me a great tour!The Red Oak Victory


In July, Carola had a stroke and many people traveled back to Alameda to visit her. She passed away on the 25th and left to all of us a tremendous legacy of love, commitment, and inspiring artwork. We've started to form the Carola L. Gough foundation to continue her legacy, starting by helping finish the autobiography she had started that she asked us to finish. See http://www.CarolaGough.com for details.

grandmagrandpa100_2967100_3362.JPG100_3364.JPG100_3366.JPG56 Flowers11_jpgCarola Gough - Indian ChiefAfrican Family - LargerGuitaristDSCN0101100_2967100_2964


While in California, I took some time to visit the Lawrence Hall of Science, http://www.lawrencehallofscience.org/, which pays tribute to the foundations of nuclear technology and the pervasive impact of science upon all aspects of our modern lives. As the exhibits say, "Math Rules"! Too may interesting books for sale there. I wish I could read them all.



Many gathered in Salida, Colorado for Carola's memorial service in August. You can watch the memorial service on YouTube at which her pastor, her friend Sandy, her daughter Linda, and I spoke in remembrance of her life and influence. The link is http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=A37D026CE022E426. We spread her ashes in the same area her husband Gene was spread in 1998.

Carola's Memorial in Salida, CO, August 2007


After coming back from Carola's memorial in Salida, CO, my friend Appollo and I helped organize a "Video Game Create and Play Party" with our friends Michael, Karlin, Anthony, Mario, and Vincent to congratulate them on their academic success and encourage them to continue. Anthony, Mario, and Vincent recently started their own eBay-based business! We wish them tons of success!

Appollo, Anthony, Michael, Karlin, Vincent


One of my best friends from college, Kevin, got married in October in Savannah, GA, his hometown. He and his wife Katie reside in the Atlanta area now. It was a lot of fun being part of the event.



I started running regularly over the last few months of the year and have lost a lot of weight. On Saturday the 22nd, I ran 10 miles (twice around Stone Mountain) with my friends Appollo and Ben. I never thought I'd be able to run 1 mile!

DSCN0067Barron and me 10/31/2007


In November, I visited Portland, Oregon to see Kathi, Rick, and Danny in their new place. I lived in the Portland area with them when I was 16, before they moved to Colorado and then back to Portland with Intel. We visited the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), where we learned about the OMSI Science Pub! See http://www.omsi.edu/education/adults/sciencepub/index.cfm for details. This is part of an effort called "Science Cafes", sponsored by PBS and NOVA Science Now, http://www.sciencecafes.org. My friend Carol, a biology teacher here in Atlanta, and I are going to try to start one here. Looking at the map on the Science Cafes web site, the Southeast is without much representation. We're going to try to partner with The Thinking Man Tavern, http://www.thinkingmantavern.com/, and The Fernbank Museum of Natural History, http://www.fernbank.edu, which is right around the corner from where I live. 

My mom drove me along the Oregon coast. Wow....talk about beautiful. You can stand on the beach and stare at the ocean, and look over your shoulder at the mountains less than a mile behind you!



Danny and I created this collage from pictures of Carola's paintings and historical photos with the intent of making it a "Traveling Memorial" using GeoCaching to honor the adventurous spirit of Gene and Carola. More pictures below.

Gene & Carola Gough Traveling Memorial Images


I flew from Oregon to New York to see Kevin, Kelly, Barbara, Kara, Lew, and Aiden. Here is a cell-phone pic from a nice new Thai restaurant in Beacon, Sukhothai, http://www.sukhothainy.net/.

"The word Sukhothai in Pali language means 'Dawn of Happiness'. In 1238, King Intradit created a federation of neighboring kingdoms under one banner and founded the brilliant culture named after the city-state."



Here is the completed Gene & Carola Gough Traveling Memorial along with its first destination, a cache named Scotland the Brave, a cache dedicated to the Scotish Bagpipes. I thought this was a great first stop since Scott played Scottish bagpipes at Gene's memorial. You can track the items travels at http://www.geocaching.com/track/details.aspx?guid=96a7a571-10a3-4aa0-89ad-432ccf082650.

Gene & Carola Gough Traveling Memorial Side 1Gene & Carola Gough Traveling Memorial Side 2Holding up the log book for the "Scotland the Brave" cacheWriting a note in the log book about Gene & CarolaThe Gene & Carola Gough Traveling Memorial is on its way around the globe!


In October, Appollo and I launched The Atlanta Mentors Leadership Group through Meetup.com. I told Carola we were planning to do this and to dedicate it to her legacy. It's a casual association of professional friends with the following purpose: "To create a network of friends from various professions in the Atlanta area who actively mentor and lead other professionals and students."  You can learn more about the group at http://altantamentorsleadership.blogspot.com. We have presentations and MP3 recordings of our group discussions there.

The Atlanta Mentors Leadership GroupThe Atlanta Mentors Leadership Group November 2007


Cheers to margaritas and good friends united again! News of the day was that Appollo accepted a position with my company GB Holdings!

Gene, Peggy, and Josh after dinner and drinks


The Atlanta Mentors Leadership Group participated in The Children's Restoration Network's 12 Days of Caring Campaign, http://www.childrn.org/. Michael, Karlin, their mothers, myself, and Felix attended for a couple of hours to help wrap and bag gifts donated from UPS and individual donors. It was a lot of fun and extremely well-organized. Children's Restoration Network serves 2,000 homeless children in the Atlanta area.

You gotta wrap with purpose! Get your wrists into it!Karlin, Michael, Pat, TashaMichael, Josh, Karlin


Appollo owns a timeshare in the north Georgia mountains, near Helen. We went there to do some hiking and brainstorming about upcoming work and business challenges before Christmas. This part of Georgia is home to Tallulah Gorge State Park, http://ngeorgia.com/ang/Tallulah_Gorge_State_Park. Deeper than 1,000 feet, Tallulah Gorge is the deepest canyon east of the Mississippi! So much for Georgia being flat!



Bye bye CDC! You served us well and we'll miss you, but it's on to larger technical and business challenges with GB Holdings and beyond! I worked at CDC for 4 years. Appollo worked there for 6.

Bye bye, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at Century Center!


Christmas day, 2007 in Marietta. Peggy and I holing up a proof of the Gene & Carola Memorial Poster. I ordered a custom frame from Michael's to frame the final version for them. A tired Gene and Barron catch up on some snooze-time while everyone else plays board games!

Peggy and Josh with Gene and Carola Gough Memorial PosterDSCN0333


Take care everyone and have a great 2008!

Best regards,