518 Channing Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
December 17, 2006
Though, like the star that shone,
  Shepherds and kings are gone
Long past recall, he who by faith is known,
  Savior and Son alone,
Reigns from his Father's throne,
  Christ over all, Christ over all!

Dear Friends and Family,

Christmas greetings! The verse above is from one of the choir pieces we sang today at my church's annual children's Christmas service. For the last couple of years we've been having the service on the last Sunday morning in Advent and having both the children and the adult choir sing. It works well for us here in California where so many travel at Christmas.

Speaking of travel, I will be in Milwaukee visiting my sister Mary this year, from December 21-31. I hope to see many old friends there. If you'd like to reach me there, Mary's phone number is 414-466-3082.

It hasn't been an eventful year for me, but I'll recount a few things that have happened.

In February I bought new furniture for my living room, replacing the sparse and very worn furniture I'd moved from my old apartment. The new furnishings got a workout early in the year, as my sister Mary came to visit me at the end of March, and my niece Amy and her two boys Sasha and Misha came to visit at the beginning of April. We had a nice time seeing some of the sights in the extended Bay Area, from Muir Woods in the north to Monterey Bay Aquarium in the south. My brother and sister-in-law Bill and Nancy visited in October. You can see some pictures from all their visits on my web site, http://tim-mann.org/.

In March, a book that I co-authored with some of my former colleagues from Digital/Compaq Systems Research Center was published by Springer. It's quite technical and specialized, but if you're curious what it's about, see the Springer web site at http://springer.com/ and search for "Software Configuration Management Using Vesta." My work on this project started 15 years ago, and its history goes back much farther, so it was very satisfying to have the book published at last.

Once again I spent a week at Bible Camp in the summer, helping organize the camp as treasurer, and serving as song leader and assistant director during the week. I also took lots of pictures this year -- see the camp's web site at http://TreeOfLifeBibleCamp.org/.

Other than that, the only traveling I did this year was a brief trip to Los Angeles to attend VMworld, an annual conference held by the company I work for, VMware. I was also celebrating five years with VMare at that time. The conference was huge, with about 7000 people attending altogether. The technical sessions were interesting, and for fun, we rented out the Universal Studios theme park for a party one evening.

I'm still enjoying my cats a lot. They've both learned to sit on my lap; in fact, Kevin (the black one) is sitting on my right knee now, as I write this with my laptop sitting on my other knee. Tessa (the tortoiseshell) likes to be picked up and held, but Kevin is still not fond of that. They both love to play and to be petted, though Tessa is flexible, while Kevin only wants to do what he's in the mood for. They love to chase, play, and wrestle with each other, while at other times they'll groom each other or sleep quite companionably close together.

Love to all in Christ,

Tim Mann