Dear Family and Friends:
We decided to send this out electronically to save some trees. I know some people make fun of Christmas letters, but I wanted to give you a status report of our family. It’s short and sweet: four pictures and four paragraphs.
The big news for 2017 is that Stephanie and Blake got married. We had a meaningful service followed by a joyous reception. I survived the father-of-the bride toast and only stepped on Stephanie’s toe once during the father-daughter dance. Mid-dance, I told her, "This was like the Olympics — all that practice to do this once, and I suffered the agony of 'de-feet.'" Actually, no one even noticed. Stephanie and Blake continue to live and work in Chicago where Stephanie still works in PR for Hyatt, and Blake still manages logistics for Constellation Brands who distributes alcoholic beverages.
Steven is attending Sam Houston State University (SHSU) where he's majoring in marketing. Sheryl and I are happy that Huntsville is not far from Houston where he can visit family. Though he could have passed as an extra on Duck Dynasty, at his mother’s request, Steven was gracious enough to shave off his beard for his sister's wedding. When not attending class, Steven works with Autodesk Fusion 360 to make holsters using a pressure-based fabrication process. Applying his Marine Corps know-how, he and a friend (with a boat) rescued people trapped in their homes by the Hurricane Harvey flooding of the Houston area. Everyone was saved — including a family's cats that were handed to Steven in pillow cases.
Sheryl has returned to substitute teaching. She doesn't miss the lesson planning on weekends, grading papers at night, and parent-teacher conferences one bit. As an experienced and beloved teacher, she is sought after as a substitute and works most days. When she does get a day off, she enjoys going to the gym or paddle-boarding and even has the two of us doing Yoga on Fridays. Though the exercise is indeed a good thing, it’s also a social event as we attend with friends and go out to dinner afterwards. I guess you could say that we combine our downward dog with our Turbo dog.
Autodesk is increasing its marketing of our emerging cloud solutions while de-emphasizing developing new features for the desktop applications that we’ve had for years. I continue in my role of connecting the Office of the CTO to cloud technologies related to our application program interfaces — a job that lies between somewhere marketing puffery and coding that creates actual value. For my birthday, I was to meet Sheryl in our office lobby after work, but I walked right past her as she was in costume. She surprised me where we and our closest friends attended The Speakeasy — an immersive theater experience. We gambled and drank, prohibition style, as the cast acted out the story among us. It was a night that I’ll always remember. I love her.
“Unlike the telescope and the microscope that let us see the world as it is, the cloud lets us see the worlds that could be. It's up to us to make the choices." — Brian Mathews, Autodesk VP of Platform Engineering