Year of the Ox. The first photo was taken at the end of an all-day kyudo practice last February. Yoshiko Sensei likes to end these practices with a ‘fun’ competition. Since it was around the time of Chinese New Year, she made a special target in the shape of a bull’s head (it being the Year of the Ox). Everyone took turns shooting at the target – the winner being the first to hit the target from 28 meters. As luck (!) would have it my third arrow hit the target. Even more amazing - my arrow pierced the right eye of the ‘Bull’ target! Yoshiko had actually made a special prize just in case someone hit the ‘Bull’s Eye’, a kyudo kimono that she will custom fit and sew. Comet Hale-Bopp! We were lucky enough to spend some time last Spring down at Esalen, Big Sur and had some wonderful views of the comet. It was quite a pretty sight, with the dark skies and unobstructed horizon to the West. The best view of course was from the hot spring baths on the cliffs above the ocean! Or, perhaps it was the view from the back deck of our room at the Ventana Inn, where we spent the night in celebration of my 45th birthday. Photo 2: Dinner at the Post Ranch, Big Sur on my birthday. Moving. We moved in to our new home in May, after less than 4 months total construction time (less than half the time it took just to get the permits!). Photo 3 shows the view from the second-floor deck on a clear day. Work has become 'interesting'. In July, DeltaPoint sold its primary product, DeltaGraph, to another company and layed off a number of people. For a while, it looked like I might be out of work. Since then the company has re-located to Scotts Valley (about 50 miles north of Monterey); has changed its name to Site Technologies, and is focusing its efforts on a family of Internet-related products. For the time being, I'm commuting... Aikido. Another year of practice, workshops, and seminars: Mt. Baldy retreat in May (Danielle was a guest instructor); San Rafael Summer camp, Big Sur Weapons retreat, Doran Sensei workshops. But the highlight event of the year was the PAWMA (Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists) demo, for which Danielle was one of the principal organizers. The demonstration brought together female martial artists from more than 20 martial art schools from the Monterey Bay area as well as several out-standing individual women martial artists. One woman, who recently came to California from China, has been practicing Tai Chi for more than 70 years and was the National champion several times. It was a very successful event, both artistically and financially. Golden! In August Danielle celebrated her 50th birthday with several days of fun and ritual, surrounded by many of her longtime friends and her mom (who flew in from Cleveland). "Lord of the Dance" We first saw the video a few months ago and were totally ‘blown away’! So… Danielle, Colin, and I, along with Rita and Jordan, drove down together on Easter weekend to Los Angeles to catch the live show. It was great! Thanksgiving. Danielle and Colin and I drove up to Sonora for a nice get-together with the Smith clan. It was the first time all of us kids had been together in 20 years! El Nino. We're currently riding out the winter storms, trying to keep the hill shored up around our steep lot and looking forward to some serious skiing over the holidays!