Year in Review 1998


The original 1998 review has been repackaged for easier reading as shown in the table of contents below.

Snow scene

Here is the table of contents for my Year in Review:
Lucent Financial Seminars
Anderson Scholarship IOS Conference
Family Tree Work Some 98 Headlines
Hang Gliding in Hawaii Precursors
Ayn Rand Auction Final Notes
Original 1998 review


This year the card was chosen for its end-of-an-era feeling. The painting was done in 1913, the year the income tax was passed. The year before was the tragedy of the Titanic and the following year saw the opening of the Panama Canal and the shock of the Great War. Both of my parents were born in 1914. My father is still doing well and I hope you are too.

Lucent Technologies

Lucent Technologies won its 11th Nobel Prize. I worked another year at Lucent and was in Saudi Arabia three times and in Europe four times. Our Switching business has advanced very well in Saudi and now we are completely displacing L. M. Ericsson. This was a sweet victory since they beat us out in 1977 for the first Saudi contract just as we started International Switching.

Anderson Scholarship

The Scholarship established in my mother's memory for her high school's class salutatorian was awarded for the first time in 1998. Mr. J. K. Mosbo was a worthy first recipient. His name was engraved on the commemorative plaque for the Anderson Scholarship in the lobby of the school. J.K. was also all state in both basketball and baseball. He is now a math major at Luther College. As it turns out, J.K. was the only student in the class that my Uncle Warren Anderson knows. In an even more amazing coincidence, J.K.'s grandfather knows my father. Just a wonderful beginning!!

Family Tree Work

My article on my great grandparents, Otto and Clara Peterson who came to America in 1869 was published last December in Sweden by "Otto's" family association. It was the only one in English. My 6th cousin, Gunnel Kvarnström, translated my article into Swedish and it was published by "Clara's" family association too. Gunnel alerted me to Butter in the Well, an emotionally packed book about Swedish pioneers who settled Kansas written by Linda Hubalek. Otto and Clara were mentioned several times.

Hang Gliding in Hawaii

In May with Jan Eilers, I made my second visit to Maui, my first to the Big Island and my 20th to Oahu. Sunrise from the Haleakala Crater, a 7 hour hike across the crater, Volcanoes National Park, the world's largest telescope at the Keck Observatory, the grave of Charles Lindbergh, the Road to Hana, etc. Wonderful, inspiring and relaxing! Main adventure was my first hang glide. It was a tandem flight. The instructor and I ran down the side of the rim of the Haleakala Crater at 10,000 feet and launched far above the clouds. I did most of the flying for the spectacular 35-minute flight and he landed us. Best parts were the 360 degree turns, which were about 540 degrees until I got the hang of it. I got some terrific on-ground and on-board photos. By the way, the instructor is a recently married German guy who mentioned in the Lonely Planet Guide to Hawaii.

Ayn Rand Auction

My first auction was the auction of Ayn Rand memorabilia held in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago simultaneously. Bidding was facilitated by assigning each person a card and using standard bidding steps. To bid, you held up your card, which increased the bid about 10%. Bidding was friendly, but focused. Most of the 81 items took about a minute to sell. Lot prices varied from $400 to $400,000. 29 pages of the Atlas Shrugged manuscript, which I got to examine before the bid, sold for $210,000 far above the expected range. I bought photos of Rand at age 2 taken in Saint Petersburg. Also I bought the contract to publish her non-fiction work Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal that contains essays by her, Nathaniel Branden and Alan Greenspan. A telegram which I sent her from Austin after the blackout in New York City in 1965 is quoted in full at the end of Chapter 15. In April 1999, the US Post Office will issue a stunning 33¢ stamp of Ayn Rand.

Financial Seminars

In Las Vegas, I attended Louis Rukeyser's Investment Conference. I attended Jim Blanchard's Financial Conference in New Orleans. Main speakers were Milton Friedman and Margaret Thatcher. Dr. Friedman is a real gentlemen who I had the privilege of meeting several times in the 1970s. I was able to shake Margaret Thatcher's hand and appear in a group photo with her. During Q & A after her speech on the themes of the rule of law and foreign relations, she was asked: "Will historians record that Ronald Reagan and you won the Cold War?" Answer: "I don't know what historians will record, but if they want to be accurate that is exactly what they should say!"

IOS Conference

I attended the week-long Institute of Objectivist Studies conference held this year at the University of Colorado in Boulder. This intellectually stimulating event is always memorable. One of the highlights after the conference was my first hike up a 14,300 foot mountain. Believe me your body can tell the difference between 13,000 and 14,000 feet because the air is getting very thin above 14,000 feet.

Some 98 Headlines

Microsoft Anti-trust trial. Viagra. The McGuire/Sosa sportsmanship and 70 home runs. Jesse Ventura wins Minnesota Governorship. Libertarians elected a member of the House in Vermont, the 3rd state Legislature with an elected Libertarian. In Illinois, the party was thrown off the ballot in a naked power play by the GOP to prevent a well-known tax cutter from running. India and Pakistan exchanged nuclear tests. Russia defaulted and may collapse into over 10 countries by 2000. Market Volatility!! If you are interested in a proper punishment for Clinton, please read my essay "Speak Truth to Power".


We programmed to save costly memory in the 1960s. Most of us did not think those programs would still be in use in 2000. So I see the Y2K situation, not as a bug, but a "feature" which may destroy companies and government agencies in a Darwinian fashion, which failed to plan ahead. Key dates "designed" to separate planners and slackers are: 8/22/99 (GPS systems re-set), 9/9/99 (end of file look alike) and 2/29/2000 (a leap day).

Final Notes

My brother and I had a reunion with our father in Dallas. Saw Barbara Bush speak at a local college. Time flies: I have now worn hard contact lens for 40 years. This has been a special year. Merry Christmas and a Happy 99!