Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Non-Religious Specific Seasonal Greeting to You !

I used to send out e-Christmas Cards. But then I got lazy. Or lazier.

So now, you have my blog, and my first annual "A Prisoner in the Tundra" non-religious specific seasonal greetings blog.

So without further adieu, here is my first ever "Winter Solstice Letter."

Dear Friend/Neighbor/Former Neighbor/Classmate I haven't spoken to in over 20 years/Acquaintance/Colleague/Dude I pass on the street each day:

2010 has been such a GREAT YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We started with a short jaunt in the French Riviera. January isn't the best time to be there, but it beats Minnesota in the winter. I try to exercise my options at my many international properties to avoid the Minnesota winter as much as I can.

Nile, who is in 7th grade, had a pretty decent year. He ended up having to turn down chairing a program in Tel Aviv to help end international violence because it conflicted with a Future Leaders of America camp. I'm so proud of how often he decides that his country comes before other nations!

He balanced his civic responsibilities nicely with a respect for a sound body. He has only received 12 division I football scholarship offers, and 21 division I basketball scholarship offers. He knows this is an area requiring improvement, but he is committed to working on it.

Grady, who entered 4th grade this year, has some catching up to do. He has only received 8 full academic scholarship offers to college thus far, compared to the 11 from his older brother. We are working closely with him to understand the ramifications of not applying himself fully for his future academic endeavors.

He is cute with his many hobbies, though. The best is his small scale research project in molecular biology, where he is trying to regrow organic tissue using stem cells. It makes putting up with his temper that much easier!

Myself, I would say I've had a great 2010. Upon turning down the U.S. Ambassadorship to the country of Zimbabwe, I did decide to remain as a special envoy to Japan. I mean, I love Sapporo (Japanese Beer) much more than I like Zebra's Head Stout (Zimbabwe beer), so the choice was a no brainer.

I was very wise and frugal in my stock portfolio this year, and it turns out that we will be able to add about 10 more property purchases to our assets in the coming year. It might require jettisoning a few of my slum rental units throughout lower-income neighborhoods in the U.S., but that is a smart move with the current state of the economy anyway.

I hope that this letter finds you all as healthy, wealthy and wise as my sons and I this non-religious specific seasonal celebration period. May you have an even better 2011!

With much love,

Steve, Nile and Grady

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