Hello Card  -  Volume 25  -  John Card Number 0  -  Wed, Sep 9, 1992 1:46 AM

Well! It's been quite a summer. Since my last hello card I got married, had a perfect honeymoon in Hawaii, landed a dream job, had my head examined (with a CAT scan), learned a WHOLE lot about the best and worst of Silicon Valley, and quit my dream job. For romantic recollections of my Indiana wedding, see VC 25 John 4. To hear all about my career misadventures, see VC 25 John 13.

The high point of our week-long honeymoon on the island of Kauai was a helicopter ride. It was my first time in a helicopter and, by luck of the draw, I got to sit next to the pilot. I won't even try to describe the experience; suffice it to say I was in a state of open-mouthed awe for seventy-five straight minutes. It was better than a magic carpet ride, better even than a flying dream.

In fact, when I finally stumbled out of that floating glass bubble I felt unworthy. The ancient Hawaiians had a well-defined sense of "holiness." The more beautiful the spot, the more holy it was, the more hallowed. And there are some spots on the island so holy that even kings could only look upon them from a distance, and then perhaps only once in a lifetime. But we flew effortlessly over those spots, and hovered like a dragonfly in the spray of the Fantasy Island waterfalls, and even penetrated the sacred crater itself, the wettest spot on earth, emerald green, veined with impossible diamond water falls, crowned in the mist of rainfall that never ends. Somehow it didn't seem right. I don't deserve that much beauty.

Betsy and I went snorkeling a few days later and somehow that was even better. We held hands and floated silently through schools of phosphorescent fish, over reefs that suddenly opened into fifty foot depths with chasms and underwater caverns, and six-foot sea monsters close enough to touch. Our evenings were spent on a cliff a few hundred feet from our condo watching the sun sink into the sea or sipping guava juice from the verandah of the Bali Hai. I can think of no better place to start a life together.

The rest of my summer was, to say the least, less serene. In fact, my two months at the Lab was the most potent and challenging learning experience I've had in ten years. I have already written about it at GREAT length in my final voice card. Now that it's over I can chalk it up as an overwhelmingly positive (if somewhat painful) adventure. I came away not only with a vastly improved technical knowledge and insight into the heights and depths of human interaction, but with a half dozen remarkable new friends as well. On the whole, not a bad summer.

I am now paused before a rather interesting fork in my road. As I write this I am not sure which path I will take, but all the paths before me look interesting and full of promise. Stay tuned for further adventures!