Last night, as a holder of a few hundred shares in Sun Microsystems (JAVA is their stock symbol), I finally received voting instructions and an explanation of the proposed merger with Oracle. This is actually the second time I've had the opportunity to vote on a company's proposal to end itself through merger - the first was just last fall, when SpaceDev (SPDV stock symbol) was acquired by Sierra Nevada Corporation. In both cases it's been a somewhat mixed experience emotionally. The acquisition price has been a significant improvement on the recent market price for their shares (for Sun, the $9.50 price is significantly above the roughly $5 it was trading at a few months ago), so that's nice on the money side. On the other hand the reason I was holding the shares in the first place was because I believed the company had great potential for the future.
When I was young I naturally had plenty of exercise. It helped that my parents didn't bother to drive me most of the time and there were no buses to my junior high or high school, so I did a lot of walking (high school was well over a mile each way). That included walking through the blinding snow-storms we regularly got in Newfoundland. Even in college and grad school I was mostly car-less; I'd get occasional rides from strangers when they saw me walking home with bags of groceries (in the rain I looked particularly pathetic, I guess), but mostly it was walk, walk walk. Or sometimes take a city bus. I'd occasionally take my bike out for long rides in the hills around Ithaca.
In late summer of 1991, Shelly and I were moving from a beloved little apartment in Bloomington, Indiana, after our first year of wedded bliss, and preparing to relocate to the big city of Chicago. All our belongings were packed up (Argonne paid for the move, even for lowly postdocs such as we were) and we just had to clear out our refrigerator, put our last personal items in our car, and head out. We had participated in a shared community garden, the apartment not really having room for all the plants we wanted to grow. On moving day we had some last peppers and tomatoes from the garden to consume, and also various odds and ends in the fridge: onion, eggs, milk, butter, probably some nuts, together with some spices and other dry goods on the counter.