2016 07 Family Letter – Private Jets and No Pancakes

Family! Oliver here–

Summers in Palo Alto are fairly mild, we’ve enjoyed relative cool conditions and are fortunate to get an amazing breeze through our apartment on the 6th floor that keeps things cool (despite having no AC). This is perhaps one of the few 4ths of July where we did not actually sit under the fireworks. We watched them from our balcony, and were able to see several different displays going on in different parts of silicon valley. The 4th held two other highlights: a pancake breakfast, and a BBQ with Stanford friends. During high school 4th of July pancake breakfasts where our scout troop’s main fundraiser. So you can imagine our excitement for the promise of 4th of July pancakes! I even persuaded a Navy fighter pilot classmate of mine to come and speak at the event about his service and the meaning of patriotism. After a lovely program with lots of patriotic songs vigorously sung, we walked to the tables to find no pancakes whatsoever, only donut holes with red-white-and-blue sprinkles. I suppose its all sugar and flour at the end of the day. The BBQ was unique as well — a friend shared his family’s annual tradition of standing on the table and reading the FULL Declaration of Independence in a loud voice like a town crier. I seem to have forgotten all the wrongs done by King George.

I began work at Embraer the day after. Embraer is a Brazil-origin aerospace manufacturer that makes commercial and business jets. You’ve likely flown on them without noticing. I’ve been helping Embraer set up a corporate venture capital presence in Silicon Valley and Boston. They have large manufacturing facilities in Florida, but are eager to find innovative ideas outside of the company and traditional suppliers. My job is to start the operation from scratch (we don’t even have a formal office, yet) and find new ideas, startups, and research that could help Embraer re-think their business. I spent a few days in Florida and a week in Brazil having meetings and seeing Embraer’s manufacturing and engineering operations.

Rebecca was happy that my Brazil trip was abbreviated from two to one week. With the original plan I would have overlapped with the Olympics! It would have been fun to see them, but Rio also will be a madhouse and likely ISIS target during that time. Hopefully the games go smoothly! Rebecca has been a good sport with all of my travel. She sends me lots of (“COME HOME NOW!!!”) messages and love notes to let me know I’m missed. Fortunately Mozzi is there to keep her company and help her with projects. I came home to a completely re-landscaped balcony, and I understand Mozzi was quite helpful in furiously showing off his digging skills with the old planter boxes. Vacuums come in handy.

I came home from Brazil with some sort of bug, so we be-lined to Kaiser to check it out and see if I had Zika. The doctor suspected no, but we ran tests anyways. It will take some time to hear back, but I feel 100% again so we’ll see. Rebecca also caught a cold while I was away and needed to stay home a few days to recuperate.

The most exciting part of the month has been watching Rebecca talents to effortlessly pick up new hobbies. She has begun to crochet and dazzled me with an array of sweaters, socks, caps, etc. If you haven’t seen the pictures of her end products, ask her! My appreciation for her skill and dexterity has grown as I’ve tried to learn it myself. She diligently taught me some stitches, explained the process, and demonstrated it herself. Then she let me loose while she quickly produced a whole garment. I’m embarrassed to say that two hours later I was still fumbling with one short, deformed set of stitches.

Until next month!

Oliver (and Rebecca)


unnamed (1)


Related Posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Oliver, it is good to hear from you (and Rebecca). You guys amaze me with all the stuff/the things you do. I am with you re the crocheting. My grandmother did beautiful crocheted handiwork. She tried to teach me. I have had lessons in two different relief society activities. I cannot do it. My long chain stitch looks like something a child would do. lol

    We are excited to be finalizing our plans for our trip to Switzerland/Hungary and points unknown. Leave here on the 16th and return 9/8. As it turns out, Scott leaves for China the day we get there, so Brenda & Sarah are our tour guides for the day and a half we are there before we leave for Hungary. The week we will be in Hungary, Scott will be in China. He will return at about the same time we do. Then we have two weeks to go wherever our built in tour guides take us.

    Good luck during your final year. You are an amazing young man (married to an amazing young woman)

    Grandma Donna & Grandpa Louie