Thursday, August 21, 2008


I was tagged by Jen for 6 things you may not know about me. Hmmmm, here goes.

1) I don't have much of a memory of my childhood.
Not sure what's up with this, but I just don't have a lot of memories from when I was a kid or a teenager. Every once in a while something will pop into my head, but overall, I have a hard time remembering things that most people have an easy time remembering. Friends and family sometimes ask me, "You remember...." and I just have to shake my head and say no.

2) I'm a Historian (by education).
I love history so finally figured out that I just needed to get a degree in something I really love instead of struggling with something that I really couldn't be happy with. I started in college studying Engineering, changed to business, thought about advertising before finally setting my sights on getting my history degree. I didn't really want to teach after graduating and was already in a pretty good job in the tech sector so I work with computers and networks now.

I loved studying history and am very happy that's what I followed through with. I've gained an ability to look at most any concept critically, trying to consider every approach without making assumptions.

The period in history that I'm most interested in has to be the exploration and settlement of the American Southwest. I'm not sure what drives that interest, but if my wildest dreams were realized, I'd probably be in New Mexico teaching, studying and exploring. While visiting Hollister a couple of weeks ago, we had dinner in San Juan Bautista and I was able to wander around the mission for a little while. I loved seeing the mission church, thinking of all the feet that had worn down the floor tiles, all the events that the timbers have seen. It's an amazing site that just awes me.

3) I can fix most anything.
Maybe not a nuclear reactor, but I'd give it a shot! :)
This started pretty early for me, taking stuff apart just to be able to put it back together. I think the only thing I haven't been able to get back together was an old SLR camera that belonged to my father. I've rebuilt several different engines, from Fords to Chryslers. I've fixed lawnmowers, washing machines, computers, most kitchen appliances, and much more. I have done a lot of repair and remodeling work to our house myself. I'd just rather do it myself than have to pay someone else.

4) I am fascinated by tornadoes.
I don't know, they're just kind of cool. Fascinated and terrified all at the same time when they're close. Awesome power.

5) I was a competitive swimmer from the age of 5 until I turned 18.
I had the potential to swim competitively into college, but lacked the maturity and drive that it took to push myself. I got started swimming at a young age because we had a very nice community pool in the neighborhood where I grew up. From a young age until I turned 16 and started working, I spent every summer day at the pool and in the water. I always did well in DASL summer league swimming, excelling in backstroke. When I was in high school, I only got to swim a couple of years since we didn't have a team every year.

If I had the discipline, I would have tried out for Dynamo swimming, a club in N. Atlanta. They were competitive and had great coaches.

6) I like to cook
Call it survival or whatever, but I love to cook. I really don't get into fancy stuff, but I love home cooking and comfort type food. I especially like to grill (well, what man doesn't) and will try anything from steak to seafood, chicken, pork and vegetables. I want to grill a pizza one day.

Now I'll tag Dan and how about Sandra. Have fun.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Just finished watching Phelps get his 7th gold in amazing fashion. It didn't look like he was going to get it, but he out-touched the silver medalist by 1/100th of a second! He's an amazing swimmer.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Saga of the house

Sitting here in the Dallas-Fort Worth airport waiting for my connecting flight to San Jose and I find myself with a little bit of time to finally put together a blog post. Yeah, I have been extremely busy this week helping my group finalize networking for our new dorms. Now it is time for a little R&R in California! My good friend Christie Beetz arranged for me to come out and judge for her clubs this weekend. Last year I was fortunate to come out and judge for the same two clubs, and what an experience that was!!

Anyway, I promised a post with pictures of the house. I'll get to that next time and regale you with another story of the continuing adventures of owning a repo house. This time, I want to tell you about what the idiot former owner did to the trees in the yard.

According to my neighbor (as well as all the IRS notices and industry mailings we still get to our address) the previous owner had a business grading and installing drainage for developments. Naturally he owned heavy equipment that he would use in his job. From what I gather, he also enjoyed himself by bringing a backhoe/loader to the house and driving around aimlessly moving dirt. The neighbor (who has been here for a few years longer than me) passed on the story of how he liked to hop on the equipment supplied with a stock of wine miniatures and red plastic cups. His delight was to push dirt around while drinking himself into a stupor, draining bottle after bottle of wine into the little red cups. This wouldn't be much of a problem if the yard didn't have a bunch of trees! Suffice it to say that in his stupors, he'd have problems avoiding the trees that darted here and there throughout the yard. Many still show the scars of his handiwork to this day. Some are beyond help and have died or are dying as we speak. One has developed a nice little rotten spot near the base and has rotted out almost all the way through. This specimen will have to come down later this year since it has developed a crack on the opposite side of the rot that expands and contracts when the wind blows. As our 11 year old said, it looks like the tree is breathing when the wind blows!

One of the other nice side effects of having a drunk as the previous owner is that the dogs periodically find little wine bottles under layers of leaves or half buried in the yard. They'll dig up the bottles and proudly bring them to us when we're out on the deck. Everett has a special love for these bottles and will run around the back yard with the neck in his mouth looking like quite the lush. Of course, you really need to know Everett to understand how absolutely hilarious this is!

Just another amusing chapter in the story of our home. In case you're not familiar, I bought the house back in 2001 out of foreclosure after the previous owner mortgaged the property to the hilt and built his "dream home". After his "dream home" was complete, he and his family picked up and just abandoned our fine home. It's a shame, really, since the house has such great "bones". It's a fine home in a beautiful style (even if it was built in 1979). We think we'll keep it.

Monday, August 04, 2008


I've got some rolling around in my head, but just haven't gotten the chance to get them in writing. Look for:

1) Still have to get pictures of the house repairs
2) Let me tell you a story about my trees
3) Health/Weight update
4) I have a trip to Hollister, CA this weekend, I know it'll be blog-fodder-ific!

Friday, August 01, 2008


Our University has built the first on campus housing in it's history and we're busy getting the networking all in place for students to start moving in on the 14th. It's going to be a crazy couple of weeks just like this week has. I'll get some content published soon!