Saki's mon, 2005

 

Saki 

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Last updated September 13, 2017

 

 

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Salutations | Christmas | Life in Sacramento | Life in the Marines | Return to Sacramento | Life in Maryland | Things I Like/Dislike | Contact Me


 
Salutations
 
Greetings to friends, family, curious onlookers, and all others who view this page.  The purpose of my home page is to communicate who I am, what I believe, my hobbies, likes, and dislikes.  In the process of doing so, I also hope to inform and entertain. If it makes you laugh, all the better!

Here is my lovely wife, Norma, with our cat, Asha, and our chickens in November 2016 (top) and November 2015 (bottom). Click to enlarge.

Norma, me, and pets


Norma, me, and pets


This is me on August 3, 2015 at a place called Lava Butte just outside of Bend, Oregon. Click to enlarge.

Saki at the top of Lava Butte in Bend, Oregon


This is me on September 24, 2014 in my backyard chillin' with the girls. Click to enlarge.

Saki chillin' with the girls


I've never thought of myself as a cat person but I've become sort of a step-dad to Norma's cat, Asha, who she's had since before we met. Here, she rests in the laundry basket on January 31, 2017.

Asha in laundry basket


My name means many things and if you were searching for a "Saki" pertaining to any of the below, then you came to the wrong place.

Saki: In Urdu, someone who is your host for alcohol, a cup bearer.
Saki: A city in Azerbaijan, a nation of Turkic Muslims. Azerbaijan is near Georgia...no, not that Georgia

Sake: Japanese rice wine. That's not me. I don't even drink alcohol.
Sakki: A ninja term meaning "the force of the killer." I'm no ninja although I have been told I resemble a mutant turtle.
Saki: the pen name of Hector H. Munro (1870-1916). That's not me either.
Saki: a Japanese Kanji character meaning "ahead." Yes, I have a head and so does most everyone else I know.
Saki: any of several monkeys of the genus Pithecia, of tropical South America, having a shaggy golden brown to black coat and a long nonprehensile tail (from "Random House Webster's College Dictionary, 1992). This isn't me either but we're getting close.
Bearded Saki
: I never had a beard but I suppose I'd look like one of these critters if I did.
House of Saki: Fashionable European clothing. I am neither fashionable nor European.
S.A.K.I.: Self-Organizing Automatic Keyboard Instructor. Too nerdy...even for me.

If, however, you were searching for a long haired, Japanese-American, surf ski paddling, big hair band listening dude who lives in the Baltimore, Maryland area, then you've come to the right place.

Saki (the person) with Saki (the monkey)


Saki monkey sign


Saki (the person) with Saki (the monkey)
Saki (the person) with Saki (the monkey) at the National Zoo, Washington D.C., September 11, 2005. The monkey shown here is called a Pale-headed Saki (pithecia pithecia). It is a male and typically lives in the tropical rainforests of northern South America. Its diet consists of fruit, leaves, flowers, honey, and small animals. It is often found in groups of up to 12 animals and is active during the day. The human in the foreground is a male and typically lives in the suburbs outside of Baltimore. Its diet consists of meat, nuts, yogurt, bagels, and more meat. It is often found in cubicles and small office spaces and is active from late morning to after dusk.
Click thumbnails to enlarge.

Saki carved on a tree by someone else


Who signed my name?
You are unique...just like everyone else. But perhaps I am not. There is at least one other Saki in the Davidsonville, Anne Arundel County area. On May 2, 2006, a photo was taken of the name "Saki" carved in a tree. I did not do this. So if you see my name somewhere, carved in a tree, written on a rock, or scratched into a park bench, don't assume I was there.
Click thumbnail to enlarge.

a video showing my life to 1996


My early years
Most of this website documents my activities as an adult...particularly from 1996 and on. If you want to see a slideshow of photos from my earliest years through 1996, click on the thumbnail at the left then wait for this ~6 minute video to load. Be sure to turn your sound on.
Click thumbnail to play video.


 
Christmas 2015



For a few years now, I've been saying that I wanted to make Christmas presents instead of buy them. Finally, after being fed up with all the materialism, capitalism, unpersonal gift buying, and supporting non-domestic markets, I decided to take the plunge. It helped that last year I got a sliding compound miter saw.

I looked at a few books and lots of stuff on the internet for ideas. I decided to make photo albums, bird houses, and bat boxes. I'm pretty good at making photo albums but bird houses and bat boxes are a different story.

My carpentry skills are reasonably good but not great. I built my own chicken coop and I'd probably be fine making a ground-level deck. I can make things functional but not "furniture grade." This is as close to furniture grade that I would ever get.



For the bird houses, I wanted something special. I wanted a house that looked like it would be used by a Cadillac driving, Park Avenue bird. I wanted elegant but functional. I found what I wanted at Home & Garden Plans - Bird Houses. Frank Vanh Nguyen is the mastermind behind bird houses BH100, BH101, and BH102. He clearly put a lot of thought into them and made very concise blueprints that the average, amateur, once-a-year, woodworking hobbyist could understand. However, there were a few sections that I felt could use some clarity, revision, or just a big brother to render helpful advice. Having completed building nine bird houses, I feel I am now fit to offer such advice. Here are my notes.

Here are some bird house links you might find useful.
  • Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries - Habitat for Wildlife
  • Wild Birds Unlimited - Educational Resources: Regarding doors, The side is easily opened at the end of the nest season for cleaning. It important to clean out old nesting material that may harbor parasites.
  • Nestbox Builder - Mounting a Nest Box
  • Nextbox Builder: Plans for bird houses. Easier to build than the ones I made but not as stylish (in my opinion).
  • Birding About - Mounting a Bird House
  • House Hanger Bracket #4107 from Audubon Workshop: This will make it easy to remove your birdhouse for cleaning.
  • National Wildlife Federation - Choose the Right Birdhouse
  • Stovepipe predator guard (baffle): This will protect your birds from predators.
  • How to Squirrel Proof A Birdhouse



  • My other project was making bat houses.

    My back yard has a spring so it is always wet. Mosqitoes love it! Two great natural ways to help combat mosquitoes is to attract more dragonflies or attract more bats. Until I learn how to get more dragonflies, I'm building bat boxes. The design I used is available free at Pennsylvania Game Commission - Woodcrafting for Wildlife Plans. It isn't nearly as detailed as Frank's blueprints but what do you expect? It's free. The blueprint says, "Maximum capacity: 80 bats" which I find very hard to believe. If I get more than a dozen, I'll be ecstatic. I already have a much smaller bat box that Norma bought for me but so far that has only attracted wasps.

    Why build bat boxes?
  • Our area has a lot of mosquitoes and one of the best ways to help reduce the mosquito population is to attract bats. A little brown bat can consume between 600 to 1000 mosquitoes in a single hour.
  • Bats are an important part of the ecosystem. But their population has been significantly reduced as a result of white-nose syndrome (WNS). This is an emergent disease of hibernating bats that has spread from the northeastern to the central United States at an alarming rate. Since the winter of 2007-2008, millions of insect-eating bats in 29 states and five Canadian provinces have died from this devastating disease. For more information, see White-Nose Syndrome.
  • I enjoy seeing wildlife and so does Norma. That doesn't just include the cute, furry mammals or colorful birds. During the summer, we see several bats flying above our driveway around dusk. We would like to see more.

  • As with the bird houses, I have some notes if you want to try your hand at making bat boxes. For mounting, check out
  • Wooden Post or Steel Post Installation
  • Installing on a Building
  • Habitats for Bats
  • Stovepipe predator guard (baffle): This will protect your bats from predators.
  • Bats Birds Yard - Bat House Mounting Brackets
  • Atlantic Fence Supply: Bat houses are heavy and can catch a lot of wind so you need a strong pole for mounting. 4x6 inch pressure treated lumber or a schedule 40 steel pole (16 feet or longer) with inside diameter of 2 inches and outside diameter of 2 3/8 inches is recommended. I bought a steel pole at this store in Hanover, Maryland. They cut it to the length I wanted.

  • I didn't track how much time or money I spent for each item. I reckon they were close to equal.

    The total cost of supplies was $180 while the total number of hours labor was 120. That comes out to $15 and 10 hours per piece. You are probably wondering, "How did you find the time to do all that?" Well we all have 24 hours in a day. Just how we prioritize those hours determines if you have the time. Since most of these are gifts for loved ones, I put the priority at a pretty high level.

    There are 12 pieces and each is different. Not just because of imperfections but because of the colors I chose. I intend to keep one of each design and give away the rest.

    This project was rewarding but also exhausting. Will I do it again next year? Probably not the same things but maybe something similar. That's hard to say now. It is like when I used to race. Immediately after the race, I'd be thinking, "No more, I'm done. That's too much work." But after a year, I'd do it all again.

    I'm not a religious person but I do recognize Christmas. I realize it is to mark the birth of Jesus, who just so happened to be a carpenter. I know we're supposed to receive gifts on our birthday but if Jesus were to give instead, then I'm willing to bet he would use his carpentry skills to make special presents for his loved ones. Bird houses and bat boxes? Sure, why not?



    Christmas 2016




    Last year I told myself and Norma that all the stuff I made for Christmas took too long and I wouldn't do it again. Well I did. I figured that since I did it once before, I would streamline the process this time around. So again I made nine birdhouses and three bat boxes using the same blueprints as last year. I also made two cornhole sets based on instructions at DIY Network - How to Build a Regulation Cornhole Set. Did I save time this time around? No. In fact, when you average out how much time I spent on each project, it came out to 11 hours (160 hours total)! That means I actually spent an hour longer per project. I think I also spent more money but that wasn't as big of a deal to me as the time. The birdhouses did come out much nicer, especially the doors. Here are my notes.

    What will I do with all this stuff? Most of it will be given to friends, family, and neighbors as Christmas gifts. I donated the birdhouse I'm holding in the picture to the SSgt Karl G. Taylor, Sr. Marine Corps League, Detachment 1084. It was auctioned off for $100 with half the money going to the detachment and the other half going to their scholarship fund. One of the cornhole sets will be donated to the Savage Community Association for their Savage Fest raffle.

    Will I make this stuff again next year? We'll see.


     
    Life in Sacramento  California Flag
     
    I was born in Sacramento, California and lived in the same middle class house in the suburbs for the first 20 years of my life.  Sacramento

    is the capital of California
    is known for the gold rush and the Pony Express
    has hot dry summers (with temperatures in the 100's)
    is the home town of the rock band Tesla.

    I was a studious, quiet, and unathletic child with a fond interest in paleontology and martial arts (Kenpo Karate).  In high school, I was active on the Chess Team and Mathalete.  I was even President of the Math Honor Society.

    During my last two years in high school, my interests turned to hairdressing.  I enrolled in vocational training and graduated from beauty school exactly one week after graduating high school.  I then worked for two years as a hairdresser.

    Being fond of animals, I served as a volunteer animal care assistant at the Sacramento Science Center. Much of that time was spent working with the raptors (e.g. hawks, owls, vulture). These were animals that, for some reason (such as injury), could not be released into the wild.

    Family photo, April 1987

    Father's side of family, April 1987
    From left to right and back to front:
         Half brother Eric, father Kay, Eric's wife Susie, half nephew Jeremy, and me.
    Later that year, I would get my head shaved after enlisting in the Marines.
    Sadly, Eric passed away on October 4, 2013.
    Click thumbnail to enlarge.


     
    Life in the Marines  Eagle, Globe, and Anchor
     
    At the end of 1987 I enlisted in the Marines.  I attend School of Infantry (SOI), Security Forces School (aka "John Wayne Academy"), and Non-Commissioned Officers School.  I served two years on Sea Duty aboard the USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67), at the time, the world's largest conventional aircraft carrier.

    Marine of the Quarter, PFC Saki

    Marine of the Quarter 1988
    While serving on Sea Duty, I was selected Marine of the Quarter during the last quarter of 1988.  I was later meritoriously promoted to Corporal.
    Click thumbnail to enlarge.


    In 1990, was sent to 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Regiment, 2nd Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  I call us the ballet battalion (two two -> tutu).  After a few months, my unit was deployed to fight in the Persian Gulf War, both Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Click here for a verbose description of my experience.

    Eighth Squad, January 1991

    Eighth Squad at the Rock Quarry, Saudi Arabia, January 1991
    Left to right and back to front:
    Lcpl Kevin Beyea, Lcpl George Garrett, Lcpl Chris Stevenson, Doc Donald Mett, Pfc Carl Wood, Cpl Saki (me), Lcpl Webber, and Sgt. Mike Belford.
    Click thumbnail to enlarge.

    Eighth Squad, February 1991


    Eighth Squad by Humvee, Saudi Arabia, February 1991
    When we weren't digging gun pits and trenches, we often found time to socialize, have friendly brawls, and play Hackysack.
    Click thumbnail to enlarge.

    Oil wells burning


    Oil wells burning, February 1991
    Saddam's troops set fire to the Kuwaiti oil wells.  This produced a significant amount of smoke that blackened the sky, dropped temperatures, and wreaked havoc on the environment.
    Click thumbnail to enlarge.

    Day before ground attack


    Day before the ground attack, February 23, 1991
    While the Iraqi army expected the 4th MEB to launch an amphibious assault, the 1st MEF attacked from Saudi Arabia through the minefields of Kuwait.  2/2 was the front and center battalion of this attack.  The sky is black to our rear from the oil well smoke, while to our front, the sky is bright...hence, it looks like night but one can see all the way to the horizon.  I am on the far left.  For more information, see Gulf War Articles.
    Click thumbnail to enlarge.

    For more information about my time in the Marines, see Saki's USMC page.


     
    Return to Sacramento  Seal of California
     
    After leaving the Marines near the end of 1991, I returned to Sacramento, California.  I used the GI Bill to earn a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics and statistics at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS) in 3.5 years while working part time at the campus veteran's office.  I graduated Summa Cum Laude with membership in the Pi Mu Epsilon, Phi Kappa Phi, and Golden Key Honor Societies.  In my spare time, what little I had, I enjoyed running, swimming, hiking, and martial arts (Modern Arnis).  While graduate school was certainly an option, having started college years after most people had finished, I was eager to step into the civilian workforce, and since job opportunities presented themselves, I took them.

    Snow in Summertime

    Hiking in Desolation Wilderness near Twin Bridges, California, July 1993
    From Sacramento, drive east on Highway 50 (or west on hwy 50 from Maryland for a few thousand miles) and you'll come to the town of Strawberry/Twin Bridges.  Hike up the mountain that Horsetail Falls originates and you might find a good deal of snow, even in the middle of summer.
    Click thumbnail to enlarge.


     
    Life in Maryland  Maryland Flag
     
    In 1995, I moved to Maryland and worked as a mathematician, then as an application support engineer, and now as a consultant.  My hobbies include weight lifting, running, hiking, and kayaking.  I've competed in several running races (never did that good), a few kayak races (did pretty good), and some local bodybuilding competitions (won those).

    I miss the predictably sunny days of California and hiking the mountains in the Sierra Nevada, but I've grown to love the Chesapeake Bay.  I dread Maryland winters but find the summers quite enjoyable.  I still don't see what the big deal is with humidity.

    Saki on surf ski

    Paddling near Deale, Maryland, July 17, 2004
    There's nothing I enjoy more than getting out on my kayak on a warm summer day.  Pictured is me with my favorite boat, a C4 surf ski, a very fast sit-on-top.
    Click thumbnail to enlarge.

    Maryland map drawn by Saki


    Maryland in My Eyes
    On January 22, 2004, I was snowed in and decided to draw a picture of what Maryland means to me. No, this wasn't clip art, I drew it all by hand.
    Click thumbnail to enlarge.

    Juvenile black rat snake


    Yvonne at Mallows Bay


    Juvenile black rat snake
    One of my hobbies is taking photos of wildlife, natural landscapes, and other interesting outdoor settings. Sometimes wildlife is in the wild. Other times it is not. See first photo at left. This foot long snake made it up to the fourth floor of the building where I work. It was later released behind the parking lot. Most people think it is a juvenile black rat snake though some argue that it is an eastern hognose snake.

    I've entered several of my favorite photos in contests but as of June 2010, I have not yet won anything. However, one of my entries to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources 2010 photo contest did appear on the cover of their Volume 13, Number 2, Spring 2010 Maryland Natural Resource Magazine. See second photo. To read about the trip where I took this photo, see September 23, 2007.
    Click thumbnail to enlarge.

    Hanover


    Hanover


    Hanover


    Hanover


    Hanover
    As of January 22, 2007, I call the town of Hanover, Maryland my home.  Hanover is a little south of Baltimore. Not much history there. But I did manage to find a little something. Check out a report I wrote called History of Hanover, Maryland. Also check out The Many Hanovers.

    Hanover is far from rural, but there are definitely undeveloped sections just a quarter of a mile from where I live. On July 21, 2007, I took a little stroll to Piney Run Creek. See first photo at left. I saw numerous damselflies (see second photo at left) and wild blackberries, just ripe for the pickin' (see third photo at left).

    I never thought of myself as having a green thumb but I have been successful at growing a few things such as these Asian Day Lilies (fourth photo).

    Prior to moving to Hanover, I lived in Odenton, Piney Orchard, Gambrills, Arbutus, and Elkridge, This had me residing in the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, and Howard. Now I'm back in Anne Arundel County.
    Click thumbnails to enlarge.

    Marine Corps League Adopt-a-Highway Road Cleanup


    Marine Corps League
    In additon to work and my various physical activities, I have become quite active in the Marine Corps League, SSgt Karl G. Taylor, Sr. Detachment 1084.  I've served multiple terms as an elected officer, led their Adopt-a-Highway Cleanup Program (see photo at left), maintained their website, served on various committees, and got elected the detachment Marine-of-the-Year for 2003.
    Click thumbnail to enlarge.















    Savage
    As of December 18, 2009, I call the town of Savage, Maryland my home.  Savage is north of Laurel and south of Columbia in Howard County, Maryland. Unlike Hanover, Savage is rich in history that dates back to 1822.
  • Historic Savage - Bollman Iron Truss Bridge (1869): See first photo at left.
  • Savage Mill - History
  • Wikipedia - Commodore Joshua Barney House
  • Wikipedia - Savage
  • Savage - Facts, Discussion Forum, and Encyclopedia Article
  • Savage History: Created by me
  • Historic Walking Tour of Savage: I led this walking tour for the June 1, 2013 Savage Fest.

  • Shortly after closing on the house, I set out to explore the area on foot. There are several miles of trails in Savage.
  • Gorman Stream Valley Natural Resources Area
  • High Ridge Park
  • Patuxent Branch Trail
  • Savage Mill Trail
  • Savage Park
  • Wincopin Trail

  • Many of the trails are near the Little Patuxent River (second photo) and the larger Middle Patuxent River. In Savage, the two merge and remain the Little Patuxent until it merges with the Patuxent River.

    In addition to the Rams Head Tavern, one landmark in the town is a quaint little restaurant called Ma's Kettle. Their hours are very limited but it is worth making time for a visit. See Norma next to the restaurant in the third photo.

    There is a good bit of wildlife on our property. Sometimes that is good but it is bad when the deer come out of the woods and damage our trees. But some of the more interesting animals/bugs we've seen include the following:
  • A turtle
  • Frogs
  • Leopard slugs mating
  • A praying mantis that snuck in the house (fourth photo)
  • A swallowtail butterfly caterpillar (aka parsley worm) in the fifth photo
  • Common buckeye caterpillars/pupa/butterflies (see the last photos of October 2, 2010)
  • A caterpillar that I thought was undergoing transformation into a 1.5 inch long pupa (see sixth photo). Later, I concluded that the caterpillar was faking it. I took the pupa inside because it was attached to our recycling bin and the day after I took the photo was a recycling collection day. Obviously the caterpillar is not the best at selecting real estate. So there it sat next to a window on the south side of my house for the next several days. After a few days, it looked like some fuzz appeared at the opening of the pupa (or what I thought was a pupa). Then after 9 days, it came out. See seventh photo. But it wasn't a butterfly or a moth, it was the caterpillar, looking just like it did before. So then I thought that this wasn't a pupa and it wasn't undergoing any sort of metamorphosis. Maybe the thing in which it hid was just shelter. I was later told that this insect is a bagworm.
  • Groundhogs that decimate the vegetables in Norma's garden. We caught one in 2011 that we released (unharmed) in a wooded area away from homes in Annapolis Junction. Then in 2012, we caught another (eighth photo) that was released in the same place.
  • I came out of the house one day to find the neighbor's dog sniffing a possum in our front yard. See ninth photo. It wasn't moving much so I put a cage in front of it, pushed the possum into it with a shovel (tenth photo), then released it into the woods behind our house. Norma's cat, Asha, found it intriguing.

  • Of course we also see the typical critters that many people see in their yards (eleventh photo) along with some that might only be seen if one lives near woods (twelfth photo). There are also insects that are globally rare but found in high concentrations in Savage. See Conservation and Preservation of the Appalachian Snaketail Dragonfly and 2013 County Council Presentation - Appalachian Snaketail Dragonfly. Both documents are written by me.

    Norma and I love our 1952 house. But like most older homes, it needs some work. Within one year of moving in, we've fixed shower tile, gotten a new roof put on the garage, got structural repairs done on the garage, installed a rain barrel, removed trees, planted new trees, gotten a new pipe connected to the oil furnace, installed a timer light, put in four raised garden beds, laid out truckloads of mulch, and fixed cracks in the concrete and asphalt. But the most ambitious project during this first year was dealing with an unwanted spring. In our second year, we added insulation to the attic.

    What is our area like? Well, like I mentioned, Savage is very old. I think it is mostly conservative blue collar working class folk in a town that is at the edge of a distinguished county. I always knew Howard County was an affluent area but it wasn't until I moved in that I found out just how prestigious it is. In the July 15, 2010 issue of the Columbia Flier, it was reported that Money Magazine placed Columbia and Ellicott City second on its annual inventory of desireable locales. I live about 1.25 miles from Columbia. This rating is amongst towns with up to 300,000 people. Columbia and Ellicott City's combined population is 155,000. According to County Executive Kenneth Ulman, Columbia/Ellicott City has
    Great education, public safety and the lowest unemployment rate in the state.

    Money Magazine wasn't the only one that praised Howard County. According to January 22, 2010 report, Forbes.com claims
    ...the nation's wealthiest live in the D.C. suburbs. Fairfax County, Virginia, Loudoun County, Virginia, and Howard County, Maryland top the list of America's richest counties, which we based on median household income data from the 2006 census. In Fairfax, that number reaches $100,318 a year; Loudoun households pull down a livable $99,371 a year; Howard residents follow at $92,260.

    Some might describe Savage as quaint. It does have a certain "community feel" although much of that is a result of the churches which are rather active. The secular side is based more on the Savage Community Association and Carroll Baldwin Hall. On December 3, 2011, Norma and I attended a community Christmas tree lighting (thirteenth photo) and caroling event followed by a charity auction for a painting of the Hall by a local artist. It sold for $1000!

    In early 2011, Norma and I completed a beginning beekeeping class through the Howard County Beekeepers. We don't yet have bees. I'm hoping to get chickens first. This, along with all my energy saving choices is part of our goal to be more self sufficient. This has nothing to do with being a survivalist or preparing for Armageddon. In fact, I view it as quite the opposite. We are making healthy choices that can help conserve our resources for future generations. It is a lifestyle choice called homesteading.

    Continuing on this homesteading path, we got chickens on April 10, 2014. There seems to be a trend in our county and our town towards being in touch with ones environment. On April 2, 2014, the Howard County Government News Release reported the following:

    Howard County Executive Ken Ulman announced today that North Laurel and Savage have received state designation as a Maryland Sustainable Community. The Sustainable Communities designation better positions North Laurel and Savage to take advantage of a variety of state and federal redevelopment programs, grants and loans coordinated by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, as well as tax credits for individual projects.
    "North Laurel and Savage are strong communities with a rich tradition, and we will continue to reinvest in these neighborhoods," said County Executive Ken Ulman.
    Sustainable Communities demonstrate solid commitments through revitalization and reinvestments plans. In order to be listed, communities must demonstrate principles of what it means to be sustainable including:
  • Healthy economic policies
  • Respect for cultural and natural resources
  • Variation of land use
  • Appropriate housing and employment options
  • Environmental, pedestrian and transit - oriented growth practices
  • North Laurel/Savage becomes the second Howard County community to receive this designation. A total of 64 communities have been named since Maryland began this program to revitalize older neighborhoods in 2010.

    - from "North Laurel and Savage Named 'Maryland Sustainable Communities'"
    Click thumbnail to enlarge.





    Ordainment
    On January 17, 2016, I became ordained through the Universal Life Church. Then on September 24, 2016, I put it to good use by serving as officiant over the wedding of Kevin B. and Jacqueline B. at the Carroll Baldwin Hall in Savage. See first and second photos.
    Click thumbnail to enlarge.


     
    Things I Like/Dislike  Happy face, sad face

    Note that these lists and the items they contain appear in no particular order.

    People I admire:
    My parents
    Sir Isaac Newton
    Jack LaLaine
    Randy "The Natural" Couture
    Jackie Chan
    Bruce Lee
    Albert Einstein
    Carl Friedrich Gauss
    Greg Barton
    Oscar Chalupsky
    Tommy Kono

    Favorite foods:
    California navel oranges
    Fudruckers ostrich burgers
    Five Guys bacon double cheeseburgers
    Honey Roasted Peanuts from Ann's House of Nuts
    Kippered Beef Jerky Teriyaki
    Nature's Path Organic Heritage Heirloom Whole Grains Cereal
    Pizza Hut Meatlover's Pan Pizza
    Smoke Flavored Almonds
    Trader Joe's Dried Baby Sweet Pineapple in the foil bag, unsweetened and unsulfured
    Trader Joe's Just the Clusters Maple Pecan Granola
    Venison sausage
    Black bear


    Traits I admire:
    Humility
    A willingness to help others
    A positive attitude
    Self discipline
    Setting the example
    Respecting the environment
    Getting things done
    Being a do-er, not a talker
    Constantly striving for self-improvement.
    Treating people as individuals rather than stereotypes.
    Setting realistic and measurable goals.


    Favorite things to do:

    Kayaking or paddleboarding on a warm summer day
    Hiking in California
    Watching "King of the Hill"
    Watching mixed martial arts (MMA)
    Lifting weights
    Swimming
    Roller skating outdoors
    Exploring someplace new with Norma
    Listening to Sirius Satellite Radio


    Favorite television shows

    The Walking Dead
    King of the Hill
    Seinfeld
    That 70s Show
    Parks and Recreation
    Kramer


    Favorite animals

    Horseshoe crabs
    Red pandas
    Manatees
    Red foxes
    Tigers
    Cheetahs
    Snow leopards
    Tasmanian tigers (extinct)


    Most overrated

    Stage play: Cats
    Celebrities
       Paris Hilton
       Nicole Ritchie
       Snoop Dog
       Kim Kardashian
    Things to buy
       Bottled water
       Aroma-therapy products
       Healing magnets
    Concept: Holistic/new age anything
    Movies
       Pulp Fiction
       Lord of the Rings Trilogy
       Star Wars Episode I and II


    Things I hate
    Legislative morality
    Racism
    Cauliflower
    Bullies
    Donald Trump
    Police brutality
    Snobs (especially the intellectual ones)
    People who talk big and don't deliver
    Whiners
    Bleeding heart liberals
    Right wing extremists
    Religious fanatics
    Wimps
    Elitists
    People who bitch about the government but don't vote
    Hypochondriacs
    People who accuse others falsely


    Most beautiful women (all women are beautiful...some are just prettier than others)...a wise saying from Junkyard Jimmy

    Norma
    Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry
    Lauren Cohan of The Walking Dead
    Tina Fey
    Robin Meade, news anchorwoman.
    Beyonce
    Halle Berry
    Jolene Blalock from Enterprise though she looked much better in her guest appearance on Stargate SG-1.
    Claudia Black from Stargate SG-1.
    Maria Brink of In this Moment (because chicks that rock rule)
    Lzzy Hale of Halestorm (another chick that rocks)

    Favorite books
    Sugar Ray Leonard: The Big Fight
    The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star
    The Dirt, Motley Crue by Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, Vince Neil, and Nikki Sixx
    First Seal by Roy Boehm and Charles W. Sasser
    Inside Delta Force: The Story of America's Elite Counterterrorist Unit by Eric L. Haney
    Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills by Charles and Henderson E. J. Land
    The Warrior Elite: The Forging of Seal Class 228 by Dick Couch
    Hardcore Bodybuilding: A Scientific Approach by Frederick C. Hatfield, Ph.D.
    Rogue Warrior by Richard Marcinko and John Weisman
    Inside the Cage: My Life in the World's Deadliest Fight Game by Carl Merritt and Wensley Clarkson
    Inside the Lion's Den by Ken Shamrock, Richard Hanner, and Calixtro Romias


    Favorite quotes
    When you've tasted excess, everything else tastes bland. -Nikki Sixx
    Anything difficult isn't worth doing. -Homer Simpson
    Don't look down on someone unless you are helping them up. -Maryland Science Center
    The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of meeting the schedule has been forgotten. -anonymous
    The things you own end up owning you. -Tyler Durden from "Fight Club"
    That which doesn't kill me only makes me stronger. -Megadeth
    Excuses are like assholes.  Everyone has got one and they all stink. -Sergeant Mennig, USMC
    Death is certain, life is not. -USMC Security Forces
    Life is a bitch, then you marry one. -Lucy G.
    Happiness is having the financial ability to indulge in every kind of excess. . . . [and] the power to crush your enemies. -Calvin (of "Calvin and Hobbes")
    Remember the difference between a boss and a leader. . . a boss says "go". . . a leader says "let's go!"
    The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated. -William James
    Everybody has the will to win but not everybody has the will to prepare.
    All successful people master the temptation to quit.
    When you tell the truth, you never have to worry about your lousy memory.
    With great power comes great responsibility. -Spiderman's Uncle Ben
    If everything's under control, you're going too slow! -Mario Andretti
    We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing. -George Bernard Shaw
    Be the change you wish to see in the world. -Gandhi
    So many rules, so little time to break them all. -Cliff L.
    Anything worth doing is worth overdoing. -Cliff L.
    Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. -Epicurus (341 BC - 270 BC)


    Favorite material possessions
    "Legend Phoenix" Ariat cowboy boots
    14' Yolo Prowler Race Board
    M65 desert camoflauge field jacket
    FujiFilm Finepix F850EXR digital camera


     
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