Gunnerson Winter Letter 2023-2024


Gunnerson Winter Enterprises, LLC, is happy to present the Gunnerson Winter Letter for the 2023-2024 season.

To enhance your experience, we have provided two different musical accompaniments for this letter, a sort of “amuse l’orielle” if you tend towards the snootier side of the street[1].

The first one is Vince Guaraldi’s classic soundtrack for “A Charlie Brown Christmas

The second is a re-imagining of that soundtrack by Cyrus Chestnut

Once you have one of those playing, feel free to continue reading. Please note that Gunnerson Winter Enterprises, LLC, has performed no verification of the enjoyability of this letter when accompanied with unapproved music and therefore makes no warranty, express or implied.

We recommend spending the time reading the footnotes and other references as they are an essential part of the winter letter experience[2].

Gunnerson Winter Letter 2023-2024

Be not alarmed, on receiving this letter, by the apprehension that it contains any repetitions of the uncredited appropriation of other’s work that has been so disgusting to some who have read previous letters[3].

It bears noting[4] that as I put fingers to keyboard we have not technically reached the Winter Solstice and therefore I am in the unfamiliar position of actually being ahead of the curve in writing this letter. It is, I admit, an unfamiliar situation, one that is surely to pass before you are reading these words.  

Last year’s letter was quite notable, notable in its absence, so I thankfully have two years of news to cover and frankly, a very low bar to beat.

Before we get to new business we must take care of old business, in particular one matter of considerable import. The 1994 Holiday letter[5] referenced a theory predicting the probable height of our offspring[6] and made an assertion that based on her current growth rate, Samantha would reach a thoroughly impressive height of 8’5”.


A recent reanalysis of the original data has since revealed an error in that prediction method, with a corrected method yielding a predicted height of 5’8”[7]. We deeply regret the error.


For many years, the missus and I have speculated, in our wonderfully supportive but not intrusive way,[8] that our daughter seemed to have an aptitude toward managing people[9] [10] [11], and said daughter has yielded to Fate, Destiny, and Providence[12] and is now working as a project manager for Bellevue School District, managering a variety of projects that are in dire need of managering.[13]

During the Seattle Summer, she enjoys competing in mixed doubles multispecies paddleboarding with her partner, Cavall[14]. Cavall displays a natural aptitude for paddling but is still working on pulling his weight during competition.

In the Spring, she coaches a Girls Varsity High School team that pulls from three Bellevue schools.


In the fall of 2022, Samantha moved to a funky two story 1970s condo[15] a few miles away that appears to be an acceptable distance from both her parents and work. Eric’s list of projects that he should be getting to now spans three residences, with her condo, the house, and the cabin all prominently featured.


As you may already know, Kim retired from full-time teaching a couple of years ago and then things got quite confusing as apparently my understanding of the meaning of the word “retired” is lacking in nuance. I have created this chart as a public service [16].



Teaching Full Time

Teaching classes in three of the four quarters[17].


Retired with enough distinction that you can keep your title[18].

Emeritus, teaching

Teaching up to two classes per year[19].

Emeritus, non-teaching

Not teaching for the Emeritus institution.


Upon her initial retirement, Kim was granted Emeritus status and that allowed her to partially unretire and keep teaching a couple of classes a year.

As of the end of 2023, she completed teaching her penultimate[20] class at UW Bothel, and plans to teach her last class in the spring. The isolation of the pandemic convinced her that sharing a house with her husband for more hours was workable as long as she could get as far away as physically possible[21].

That means by summer of 2024 she will be officially be retired[22]. Note that the table does not contain a line that is labelled “fully retired” or “not teaching”, as there is apparently some tutoring already underway and talk of some short-term teaching during the coming summer.

Kim has been volunteering at Cougar Mountain Zoo[23]

 as a docent and has made many new friends – mammalian, avian, and human.


Eric is still leading bicycle rides for Cascade Bicycle Club, and his Space YouTube channel is humming along[24], slowly adding subscribers.

His holiday light decorating has slowly expanded, but in the fall of 2022 he closed on a major new acquisition and has added the Bellevue Botanical Garden “Garden D’Lights” show to his portfolio.

May be an image of lighting and text

To best illustrate the degree of expansion requires a chart, and in situations like this I’m guided by Edward Tufte, who said, “I’ve never met a chart I didn’t like and the tastiest charts are pie charts”[25]

In the interest of accuracy, most of his contribution to the show has been in logistics and electrical design, troubleshooting, and repair, though at least 750 of Garden D’Lights lights can be traced directly to his work.


In 2022, Eric lured Kim back to the ski instructor world to teach at Stevens Pass, this time working for Vail[26], and she’s thoroughly enjoying working with new adult skiers (“never evers” or “skius novus”). Eric is teaching multi-week programs and is enjoys the opportunity to be silly and take young skiers on “adventures” off trail, some of which become adventures as snow conditions can be a bit unpredictable at times.

Dozer (aka “Dozer the dog”, Mr. Dozerman, “the doze-man”) has been joined by Jordan and George, a bonded pair[27] of male cats.


Seattle Kraken - Wikipedia

The Gunnersons three have become devoted to watching Kraken Hockey, including a ¼ share in two season tickets[28]. They will be - or, more certainly, already have gone to the Winter Classic hockey game at T-Mobile park on New Year's Day. And I understand there is/was some sort of college football contest that evening.


That is all the Gunnerson news for now. Forgive me for having taken up so much of your time, and accept our best wishes for your health and happiness in the new year.

Kim, Eric, Samantha, dogs Dozer & Cavall, cats George, Jordan, & Copper

[1] Does Port Out Starboard Home apply here?

[2] Except for this one…

[3] FD, Rosings Park, 1796

[4] Ten lords a-leaping, 9 bears a-noting, 8 maids a-milking…

[5] The Collected Gunnerson Holiday Letters, Randomer House, 2012.

[6] Nature, “Age of Super Babies”, August 1994.

[7] “Where are the Giant Babies?”,

[8] Samantha: Hah!

[9] In preschool her teachers noted that she was quite successful at organizing a group to do specific things without hurting anybody’s feelings.

[10] Samantha: Are you talking about me like I’m not here again?

[11] Well, technically you aren’t here. And it’s not like you shouldn’t be used to it by now.

[12] Coming this March to Climate Pledge Arena for two shows.

[13] I have a former coworker whose parents were both Microsoft software developers, and who hated the idea of following in his parent’s footsteps so much that he joined the Marines and did two tours in the middle east, and then decided that maybe this software thing might be worth exploring.

[14] Variously known as Caval the Corgi, Snicks, Mr. Snicks, Mr. Snickerson, Mr. Pupperson. Truly a dog of many names.

[15] Funky in the good way. Mostly.

[16] I – and I am not making this up – briefly considered making a short powerpoint talk on this topic.

[17] I suspect, but have not verified, that there is a “fuller time” variant for those who wish to teach summer quarter as well.

[18] I am so going to start referring to myself as a “Software Developer Emeritus”

[19] Retired and teaching seem to be at odds. You understand my confusion.

[20] A far cooler word than ultimate. I was happy to find that the series continues with antepenultimate but I am not willing to continue the series with preantepenulatimate and propreantepenultimate as it has gotten far too silly (JC, MPFC, 197?)

[21] An understandable concern.

[22] From UW Bothell.

[23] As a zoo located on Cougar Mountain that has three cougars, I would argue for “Cougar Mountain Cougars Zoo”, or perhaps “Cougar Mountain Zoo (contains cougars, and not just one)”, but perhaps that is a bit wordy.

[24] Because, obviously, it doesn’t know the words…

[25] “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, 2nd edition”, Edward Tufte, Chapter 6, “Drown them with Data”, page 273, Graphics Press, 2001

[26] I had tried the year before, but to no avail.

    I’m not going to apologize, and you can’t make me.  

[27] Not bonded in the conjoined sense, though they do have some Siamese in them…

[28] Problem 35:
Q: Samantha loves hockey. If season tickets are for 44 games and she buys a ¼ share in two season tickets, how many commemorative bobbleheads will she have by the end of the season?
A: All of them.