NORDEN, Calif. – Two days before Christmas, the biggest storm of the winter season so far dumped six feet of snow on the Sierras. Luckily, the next day when I drove up to spend my holiday there, the roads were clear under sunny skies.
I reserved two nights at an old Sierra Club lodge
where I had taken with my kids when they were teenagers. This year, the trip was a gift to me.
A young man from Vermont gave me a lesson in skating-style cross country skiing on a brilliantly sunny Christmas Eve afternoon. I enjoyed watching his graceful moves then struggled as my own rebellious muscles tried to hurl me along the trails.
Fifty-six souls spent their Christmas at the lodge that year, most from California and many from the San Francisco Bay Area. Many brought a bottle of wine to share over the family-style dinners.
After tales from our days on the trails, conversation often turned to work. I discovered several people like me were from Silicon Valley.
Tony was taking time off after a varied career, the last several years of which were at Hewlett-Packard. Like many HP-ers I have known, Tony said it is a great company and he found it hard to leave. But it has suffered from too many outsiders tinkering with its soul and badly needs an insider CEO, he said.
Interestingly, Tony said he has discovered a set of traits common to resistance of any new technology whether it is Windows 8 or smoke-free cookers in Africa. The Irishman who speaks fluent German is now taking time off to decide where to apply his talents to have the best impact on society.Related stories:
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