Hello Friends and Family,

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HP Retirement Anniversary

Saturday was the one-year anniversary of my (and many other HP alumni's) retirement from a career at Hewlett-Packard Company, Inc. Is it really possible that the Earth has made a complete circuit of the sun since then? Is it also possible that the highly respected HP has been engulfed in a wiretapping scandal? Bill and Dave would be so ashamed of what has been done in their name. I know I am — and I'm not a founder whose name is on the company.

Is it also possible that in that time I have managed to play only 33 rounds of golf? I thought I would have more golf time but the boss has kept me busy with 249 auction items for which I have taken and processed 1,617 photos (I took perhaps three times that number to select the best). Yes, it sounds like work but it is something that I enjoy — how priceless to do what you enjoy and make money doing it.

And I've managed to publish 54 of these "Life After HP" messages — a task that has been pure pleasure for me — both for the fun of story-telling but also for the positive feedback I've received from so many of you. The side benefit (that I have only recently recognized) is that my collection of messages is kind of diary of what I've been doing for the last year. On that note, I thought it might be fun to revisit some of the highlights of this past year.

Of course, LAHP Year 1 began with that wonderful trip to Hawaii. A week on Oahu and three weeks on Maui. It doesn't get any better than that. A time to relax and recharge my batteries — even though I was not returning to work upon my eventual return.

And a time to visit with old friends on Oahu, Maui and Lanai. The side trip to Lanai was especially memorable — because life there seems so simple and laid-back. As I mentioned, it is like going back in time — perhaps to what Hawaii was like in the early 1900's.

Back on Maui I learned about (they call it progress but I don't know if I agree) the demolition of the Kapalua Bay Hotel to be replaced with multi-million dollar condos. Just a few days ago, I was going through our files (during the office remodeling), I came across an old, old travel brochure from 1978 for the then new Kapalua Bay Hotel (a Rockresort, as in "Rockefeller", for the rich and famous). One of the photos shows Kapalua Bay with no hotel, no condos, no golf course — only ocean, beach and pineapple fields. And I suspect at the time the locals lamented that loss with the construction of the hotel, condos and golf courses.

Last December, my friend John (from Austin, TX) came to visit for his annual golfing extended weekend. So it is altogether fitting that he is here now enjoying this year's golf outing. This year, we went all out playing at Troon North, Ventana Canyon (in Tucson) and (later today) Whirlwind — all top-tier courses.

In addition, John and his daughter, Jennifer (who lives in the Phoenix area) were able to join Mizuki and me at Roy's Restaurant (Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine, as they call it) for a retirement anniversary celebration.

This was a wonderful weekend.

Year's end also brought great delight at the Desert Botanical Gardens with their holiday event, Las Noches de las Luminarias.

But New Year's beginning brought great sadness, remembering the anniversary of the death of my late wife Kona.

In April, we had a visit from a friend from Japan. We did the normal tour for first-time out-of-town guests — Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.

The trip was a real delight for Pi-chan to see the sights and lights of Las Vegas and the awesome views at the Grand Canyon — but also for Mizuki since she could speak Japanese for two weeks and had someone to party with. As many of you will recall they did seem to party a bit much as these photos suggest.

June took me to the Eastern Shore of Maryland to celebrate my parents' 65th wedding anniversary. All the relatives showed up, including some I had never met. Of course, we ate tons of seafood (especially, the Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs), visited memorable (to the family, at least) sites, enjoyed the Boardwalk at Ocean City and took in a couple Shorebirds games.

July was for photography — specifically, two week-long workshops in Santa Fe, NM taught by absolutely awesome photographers. The two weeks were physically draining (for this old guy) but artistically and intellectually stimulating. Now, if the boss will just let me have some time to work on my photographs...

Which brings us to the recent office remodeling — out with the old desk and in with the Ikea office. Lots of work but a wonderful result.

And thus concludes my reminiscing about LAHP Year 1. It has been a great one. Let's hope that next year and the years that follow are equally satisfying. And further, I hope that all of you can join me in retirement — if not this year, as soon as practical. It's a great time in your life and I recommend it highly.


Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com