RuLabinsky Ranch 2010 New Year's Letter

January 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

Another year, another newsletter! And fashionably late, as always. Let's begin with the kids.

Max graduates High School...
The big news of the year is that Max graduated from high school, went off to college, and Amy & Steve entered the next phase of their lives together as empty-nesters. We all went gaga when Max got into his first choice school - University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. He is in the Animation and Digital Arts program and is having a total blast. The film school really emphasizes networking and working with the other students, because USC students inevitably become the future movers and shakers in the film industry. Max is diving right in by getting involved with several projects outside of class, including two campus TV shows -- doing camera work, art, and animation. We are also thrilled to report that he won the Silver Medal in the freshman film school competition (the Alphies) for his animation Moon Boy. The assignment was to come up with a two minute film (without using any external resources) that depicts his feelings about the first six weeks at USC. Not only was Max's film the only animation, but it was also the only solo effort. He wrote it, did the voices, wrote the music, and of course, did all the animation. Max hopes to find a job or internship in animation this summer.
...and starts at USC

It's hard to believe, but Izaak is already a senior at Stanford! He is staffing this year as an RCC (resident computer consultant) and will be graduating in June. However, he will stay on for one more year at Stanford to complete his Masters in computer science. In 2009, Izaak spent the summer working at Stanford with Prof. John Ousterhout. For summer 2010, he is applying for several computer jobs overseas to satisfy his growing "travel bug". Right now, Izaak is particularly excited about an upcoming trip to Japan with several of his friends over spring break in March.
Izaak in Muskoka

Amy on the Moon River
As far as our own travels in 2009, they were pretty much as you'd expect. Amy made several trips to Buffalo to see her mom Jeanette, who is still kicking at age 94, despite having a rough year with nine hospitalizations. We are all extremely grateful to Ma's aides who take such good care of her.

Of course, we also went to Canada - twice! First, Amy, Steve, and Max spent three weeks in Bala in July, with Izaak joining us for the final two weeks. Then, Amy and Steve returned to Bala in October as part of a three-week driving trip on the East Coast. This began with a weekend in Washington DC at the 4th International Public Conference on Vaccination, where Amy spoke and Steve moderated a session. Then they visited with Steve's brother's family in DC, drove up to visit Steve's mom in New Jersey, had dinner in NYC with his other brother's family, made a brief stop in the Finger Lakes, a few days in Buffalo, and finally 10 days at the cottage in Muskoka. For the first time they got to experience the gorgeous autumn colors and crisp cool temperatures of Muskoka in autumn, as well as Bala's annual Cranberry Festival.
Muskoka Boating in October

In Santa Barbara
Because Max is in Los Angeles now, Amy and Steve are also getting a bit more used to Southern California. They drove Max down in August and picked him up for Christmas vacation (along with Izaak), turning the trip back into a mini vacation that included Craig Ferguson's TV show, the Getty Center, Santa Barbara, and Morro Bay. During their visits to LA, Amy and Steve have also been staying with their old friends Polly Estabrook and Mark D'Antonio who have become like a "nearby family" for Max.

Anyway, after a month or so of adjustment, Amy and Steve are now doing just fine in the new world order. It means less food to cook, less dishes to wash, less laundry to do, and less Reality TV being watched! In May, Amy completed writing her new book on consciousness and meditation and is now in the intensive editing phase. The title is yet to be revealed - but she promises to tell you next year. The book is currently in its second round of readers and she plans to send it off to publishers by summer 2010. In the meantime, Amy is still very active in the world of homeopathy. She continues serving on the board of the National Center for Homeopathy, and attended the April 2009 conference in Seattle. Amy's book Impossible Cure continues to do well, with a major publicity bump in December 2009 thanks to an article she wrote that was the lead feature of the Mercola Newsletter on December 22 - a quarter million views! Amy also revamped her sales model for Impossible Cure, which, as of December, is now a POD (Print On Demand) book. No more print-runs and no more boxes of books to carry and ship! Yay! Impossible Cure has now sold over 15,000 copies, with translations into German, Greek, Arabic, and soon Czech. Amy plans to do a lot more marketing for Impossible Cure in 2010, with an upcoming article in Mothering Magazine, a new monthly e-Newsletter, and free advertising in Mothering in exchange for Steve's reports on the VAERS database (see below).
Max wins Palo Alto art prize for his self portrait: Jeellyyffiisshh

Steve on the Moon River
The big news on the job front for Steve is the long-delayed takeover of Sun by Oracle. We shortened our summer in Bala because this seemed imminent, but it didn't happen until just recently. Our plans vis-a-vis a two-year sabbatical to Canada depend on whether Oracle will be cool with it. Depending on what 2010 brings, the current estimate is that the adventure will begin a year from now. In the meantime, Steve continues his work supporting and expanding Electric. He also continues his weekly volunteering at Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic. Another volunteer activity is his work maintaining the online version of the CDC's VAERS vaccine injury database (at This year he also wrote monthly analyses of the incoming data and substantially upgraded the look and feel of the site to compete with the CDC's search engine. Because of this, he got a lot of recognition at the NVIC conference in October, which was truly rewarding. And thanks to Steve's reports, which will soon be a regular feature in Mothering Magazine, Amy gets some free advertising for Impossible Cure! The RuLabinsky's are working it.

So that's about it! Keep in touch, and don't forget to check the web sites:;;

Love, Amy, Steve, Izaak, Max, and Shadow too
lansky at, strubin at, izaak at, max at