My Interests Page

Click A Link From The Table Below To Navigate To Desired Interest Or You Can Use The Scrollbars Located At Left.

Collections

Matchbox Cars DVDs Music CDs Books Fishing Tackle Flashlights Gadgets & Knives Board Games

Hobbies

Painting Video Games Programming Photography Model Railroading Plastic Models Woodworking

Outdoor Activities

Archery Shooting Camping Hiking Bass Fishing Kayaking Bicycling Motorcycling

Passions

Listening To Music Spirituality

Collectibles: Matchbox Cars

Legos, Lincoln Logs, Whizzers, board games, ten-speed bikes, kites, plastic models, train sets, Hot Wheels, and plastic army men were all part of my generation’s toys that were a very intrinsic part of very fond childhood memories spent with these simple but entertaining toys.

Not only did this era of uncomplicated toys define my childhood, these distinctive toys empowered a young person’s imagination and creative mind.  Prior to an era of computer games, on-demand movies, social media, and the Internet; these modest toys provided us with hours of creative play.  These toys of a bygone era are mostly forgotten except for the few who collect them.

Before the violent imagery that today’s young people are immersed with daily, we (Baby Boomers) used our imagination and simple pleasures to invent worlds of safe, fun, and creative play.

Even if our Saturday mornings were filled with sugary breakfast cereals and the Road Runner that was constantly pummeling that wily coyote, we always slipped out of our pajamas in the afternoon and joined neighborhood friends in a baseball game where the playing field was made of a familiar asphalt street and our parent’s mailboxes were used for the bases.

We were always respectful of passing cars that interrupted our impromptu game and often offered respectful greetings to adults we knew and also to strangers who offered us a kind smile.

That is why my Matchbox collection is dear to me, it beckons a simpler life of fun…

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Collectibles: DVDs

My quest for nostalgic, cinematic, and collectible DVDs parallels my enjoyment of modern high-definition features that are currently on streaming venues or at the local neighborhood Redbox.  Even in an age of infinite movie titles (noteworthy or not) streaming from endless banks of servers, I enjoy collecting certain classic movies preserved in DVD format.

Most of the titles I acquire are movies associated with my generation (Baby Boomers); from the 60’s; but also include more modern works.  I enjoy movies that offer more than computer generated graphics, movies that invoke raw emotion, and movies that provide thoughtful contemplation are movies that I like to collect and catalogue.

I enjoy movies that have a real story, much like a great work of fiction, without too much vulgar and sexual content that detract from meaningful dialogue.

You can review my collection that I have catalogued on my website.  The DVD section of local thrift stores has provided most of the theatrical features I keep and preserve in orderly notebooks.

So let’s pop some corn, pop in a DVD, and kick back to a time when movies were it!

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Collectibles: Music CDs

My quest for the perfect music collection pre-dates the music CD and MP3 considerably!

My first music collection was comprised solely of vinyl records, which I find interesting because of the renewed interest of new music available on vinyl.  My first records were mainly hand-me-downs from my sister or my father, although I acquired some as a teenager and young adult.  Most of my vinyl collection was acquired from record clubs.

Cassettes became popular during my early adulthood and had an ever increasing “cool” factor because of the availability of tape decks in cars.  My first experiments in the quest for customized music (mix tapes) was recording music on cassette tapes from vinyl.

Compact Discs became wildly popular in the early nineties and between record clubs and music stores (now extinct), I amassed a substantial collection.  The “mix” tape became the “mix” CD which also allowed for custom music selections on car audio.

Now, with the advent of the MP3, enjoying massive amounts of music and customizing play lists on digital media is an easy task with the use of user-friendly, computer audio software.  Also, reusing media (re-writable memory) is similar to erasing a chalk board and writing it anew.

Today my acquisition of compact discs is mainly through yard sales, thrift stores, flea markets, etc.  What is secondhand to most is a veritable treasure for me.  All of these compact discs I have purchased are converted to MP3’s and are stored on my computer’s hard drive.  I “recycle” these compact discs by re-donating them back to thrift stores to again, hopefully to become music for another collector of songs.

So, through the years I have amassed 1,554 albums from 748 artists (not including compilations) on my computer.

I backup all this wondrous music to a one terabyte external hard drive, hardly larger than a deck of cards!

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Collectibles: Books

I have a bumper stick on my car that proclaims: “You can never have to many books” and “bookaholic”.  Alas, I am admitted addict of paperbound material!

I hail from the day when a set of encyclopedias was the extent of knowledge in the known world.  Now, even though my hard drive contains PDFs of entire scientific and research libraries, I crave, collect, and enjoy volumes of tangible, non-digital, non-fiction books.

At one point, I had amassed hundreds of textbooks on subjects from Astronomy to Criminal Justice.  Unfortunately, I moved frequently, and as you well know, boxed books are heavy! So, now my library is mostly confined to Engineering, Computer Science, Military History, and Mathematics.

I also have a nice collection of coffee-table books that on occasion I’ve been known to snatch up and indulge my nerdy self!

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Collectibles: Fishing Tackle

Oh boy, fishing tackle. I LOVES me some fishing tackle!

Before Bass Pro Shops became a major retail outlet, I was a died-in-the-wool subscriber to their fishing tackle catalog.  The Bass Pro Shops catalog was the Sears catalog of the well-equipped fisherman at the time.

My tackle box was always stocked with the latest artificial baits available!

I was like a crow attracted to shiny objects, so many a dollar earned from neighborhood lawn work was dedicated to ordering the coolest tackle available to the professional fisherman.  There were few tackle shops and bait shacks that didn’t benefit from my hard-earned dough, even to this day.

Today, my tackle box offers a complete collection of the most popular artificial lures for bass, bream, and trout fishing.  They are all subject to occasional use, and my heart sinks whenever the unseen underwater crag unexpectedly takes one my beloved baits.

But that’s okay, I know where there is more, laugh out loud!

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Collectibles: Flashlights

Flashlights are another quirky collection that I enjoy.

Ever since I was a young man and possessed a two D-cell flashlight for covert late-night Hardy Boy reading, the modern invention dubbed the “flashlight” has been a beloved, and constant companion!

It does not have to be largest or the brightest, but if it generates light with a battery, I am a dedicated aficionado.  I look for the unusual, the utilitarian, and the state-of-art.

Give me battery, give me flashlight, and I’ve got a luminescent resource!

I see the light!

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Collectibles: Gadgets & Knives

As a young man, I still fondly remember the first pocket knife I ever acquired.  Since then, I have been enamored with all things cutlery, and all things gadget.

From my first Swiss Army knife and the first production of the Leatherman to come into my possession, I have dedicated a special tackle box, and a special place, for all my beloved artifacts.

One of my favorite catalogs is the Smokey Mountain Knife Works catalog.  I am always in search of the different knife or handy must-have gadget.  Even an inexpensive knife of different design or color will satisfy my quest. They are equally oiled, wiped, loved, and stored with all-out collector zeal.

I have only a few knives and gadgets that see daily use, but even they are treated with love and respect.  I am always quick to answer the question of whether I have a knife on me:

Have I got pants on? It’s a Southern thing, laugh out loud!

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Collectibles: Board Games

I profess my love and interest in modern (and the not so modern) video games, but I still enjoy and collect card, board, and dice games.

When the electromagnetic pulse from North Korea fries all the electronic circuity of our modern-day artificial amusements, I will be at the ready.  I highly value and enjoy playing manual “analog” games with friends and family.  Many hours as a young child were spent with neighborhood friends playing Checkers, Scrabble, Chutes and Ladders, Mille Bourne, Uno, and Life board and card games.

Many nights of fellowship as adults were spent with only a simple deck of cards.  The innovation and imagination that created so many amazing card games cannot be forgotten.

Who’s up for a rousing game of Chess?

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Hobbies: Painting

I have recently discovered an interest in painting with water-based acrylics on canvas.  There is something very relaxing and therapeutic about allowing the mind to create and wander about with color on canvas.

I also enjoy “paint-by-number” kits, while not as creative, they are a very relaxing way to turn off the world for a moment and create beautiful pieces of art.  I believe this is very similar to the resurgence in coloring books for adults.  Sometimes we need simple diversions from our ever increasingly distracted lives.

This interest in creating paintings parallels my interest in viewing paintings and sculptures.  I am always amazed by the creative talents that God’s children possess.  Each talent is unique, but also very special.  Art books are some of my favorite book selections and I can spend hours embracing the wonderful content therein.

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Hobbies: Video Games

The first video game I ever played was “Pong” at a motel game room in 1976 while on vacation with my best friend at the time.  That video game consisted of a large table like machine with a wheel for each player. The whole premise of the game was like table tennis; the wheels controlled a paddle that kept a “blip” in play.

So, I have now officially dated my video game beginning!

The next big step in video game technology was the Atari game console that used a television set as a monitor.  That console game utilized a variety of games on “cartridges” and was my first exposure to a joystick type controller and it only had a single button to contend with!

Then along came the Commodore 64.  It was one of the first computes that I owned that had an actual keyboard and you could add a separate external floppy disk drive.  Only a few of us remember the 5.25” diskettes used during that time period. The Commodore 64 was very popular and had a lot of cool games available on cartridge or floppy disks.

Then in the early eighties when the IBM PC made its debut.  That was the beginning of my early computer aided drafting days.  There were relatively few titles available initially and all of them were contained on 5.25” diskettes.  Dedicated monitors (not television sets) were now becoming more prevalent as computer displays.

I remembered being impressed by the first color monitors, CGA (color graphics array), these monitors were the successors of the green screen or monochrome monitor.  As the IBM PC grew in popularity, EGA (enhanced graphics array) and VGA (Video graphics array) became more prevalent.  We thought we were at the pinnacle of display technology, surpassing the capabilities of the ordinary color TV set!

My interest in computer games waned with my immersion in AutoCAD, software that was quickly replacing manual drafting tools and would become a major skill in my career while learning Land Surveying.

My son Justin became an instant fan of Nintendo and Gameboys that were popular during the early nineties, and he became very skilled with the PS2 Play Station and the early Xbox.  Justin tried to involve me in gaming, but I was intimidated by the modern controller, it seemed like it had more buttons, triggers, and joysticks than the space shuttle!

When I played combat games with him, I was usually dispatched immediately and spent a majority of the time staring up to the sky or on the ground!

But I gave it another go and now I have my own Xbox!

I enjoy mostly “first person shooter” campaign type combat games now and my favorite titles include Call of Duty, Halo, and Borderlands, and Battlefield!

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Hobbies: Programming

My interest in programming began with a TI-99 computer that utilized any television set as a monitor, it was also a game console but contained a built-in keypad.  The only available data storage device was via an optional cassette recorder.  It had a user accessible memory of 4KB and contained an early version of the BASIC type language.

It was my first taste of programming and I enjoyed writing lines of code that would gather input, perform basic branching, and produce output.  The problem was when you turned off the TI-99, all of my lines of code also disappeared.  I never had the resources to acquire the necessary cassette recorder for data storage and I was content just to own my first computer.  I was only able to acquire this first computer because it was being discontinued because it was known to be an electrical shock hazard!

Years later I acquired a Commodore 64 (contained 64KB RAM memory) and it also utilized a television set as a monitor and also sported a built-in keypad.  I experimented with this computer a great deal writing bits of code in a BASIC style programming language.  Magazines dedicated to the Commodore 64 offered lines of code you could type in for free games and utilities! With this computer I was able to afford the external 5.25” floppy drive in which you could store the “typed in” programs and games!

When the modern-day IBM compatible computers became affordable and available to consumers, MSDOS was the operating system of the day.  The whole operating system was contained on a single 5.25 floppy disk with an awesome storage of 360K, and hard drives of the day had a whopping 10MB!

Contained on the MSDOS system disk was a program called “Basic.exe”, this was the first program editor I used to compose and execute computer code.  The BASIC computer language at that time was a “line numbered” type of basic programming that used GOTO, GOSUB, and RETURN as a method of branching and sub-routines.

In the middle eighties, object-oriented languages appear such as QuickBasic and Turbo Pascal.  These programming languages and user-friendly editors greatly simplified the creation of sub-routines.  Gone was the need for line numbering!

This was during my early surveying career and I wrote many coordinate geometry programs for both a hobby and a work tool.  I also authored user manuals for many of these programs that I developed.  Also, my interest in the programmable calculators began with the Hewlett Packard HP-41 and later to the HP-48.  I also wrote code for the Radio Shack palm-top computer, the PC-6.

Additionally, with my continuing mastery of AutoCAD, I wrote many macros and other drafting routines using AutoLisp.

My favorite programming language is Visual Basic.  I have created a program that I use frequently to back up my data files to USB devices.

Now as a student of Computer Science at Tri-County Technical college, I am learning new computer programming languages and computer operating systems.  I enjoy producing web pages and aspire to become a web developer for Home Depot in the near future.

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Hobbies: Photography

My interest in photography was inspired by a man that I deeply loved and admired, my Uncle Andy.  My Uncle Andy served honorably in the Navy during World War II and became a lawyer for the Port Authority of Miami.  My Uncle Andy was originally from Greece and he was quite a fascinating gentleman.

My Uncle Andy and my Aunt Cookie traveled frequently to far away places around the world.  Wherever they went they took plenty of pictures with their 35mm SLR cameras.  I remember fondly how they would often would bring their slides from their trips and a projector to share their experiences.

These are all memories from the 1970’s.  Most of my immediate family members owned Polaroids and Kodaks that they used to capture family events.  I remember how cool it was to instantly see your pictures with Polaroid cameras.  I certainly couldn’t imagine the digital cameras that are now commonplace

My first camera was a Kodak 110 instamatic.  It was a small but versatile camera that used film cartridges and square flashbulbs that were popular during that period.  I loved to take pictures whenever the occasion presented itself and my only limitation was paying to have the film developed!

Now, I am fortunate to own a digital SLR camera and enjoy taking pictures of wildlife and scenery.  I enjoy post-processing my pictures with imaging software.  With the megapixel picture capabilities of modern digital cameras, cropping most any picture can yield beautifully framed portrait.  Imaging software can also transform any picture with a multitude of special effects.

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Hobbies: Model Railroading

My interest in model railroading begin when my sister, who lived in Grant, Florida during the 1970’s, retrieved a Lionel set from her attic that belonged to my half-brother.  It was rusty, and the boxes were filled with insect castings, but I was totally enthralled with it.

We were never able to get that train operational, but that train ran circles in my mind endlessly! So, one Christmas, after probably many endless requests to Santa Claus, I was gifted with my first train set.  My father worked for a beer distribution company, Anheuser Busch, and purchased a Michelob train set for me.

It was a HO gauge train set that provided endless hours of entertainment on whatever flat, firm surface I could find.  It was not long thereafter that I acquired a 4x8 sheet of plywood and commenced to building my own railroad empire! Electric switches, freight cars, rail stations, and more track commanded this young man’s attention.

And as what happens with most of young man’s toys, I replaced this hobby with girls, music, and mischief!

But the aspiring railroader in me has never died, and now I have a substantial collection of N scale engines and rail stock.  I hope someday when I get settled in a house that I can again build my railroad empire!

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Hobbies: Plastic Models

Besides being the quintessential nerd who spend a majority of his childhood reading Hardy Boy Mysteries and watching Star Trek, I dedicated considerable effort in assembling plastic models.

I remember fondly spending money earned from mowing laws to purchase a plastic model from Eckert Drugs for the exorbitant amount of $1.49!

I was a member of the Testor’s model of the month club, and wherever my travels took me, I immediately sought the nearest hobby store to monument my travels with a plastic model to take home with me.

My favorite model selections are military vehicles ships, planes, and tanks.  My bookshelf holds my favorite builds and I have racing car waiting to be built.  Like painting, assembling plastic or wood models is a relaxing diversion from sometimes stressful times.

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Hobbies: Woodworking

Woodworking has been in my blood since I was old enough to get a scraped knuckle.

My earliest efforts were made from residential construction scraps and my father’s hand tools.  My best friend and I used to fashion homemade wooden boats that we would sail in the roadside gutters that lined the street in front of my home, after afternoon storms, in Maitland, Florida.

From a simple hand drill to a drill press, I enjoy making all kinds of household furniture from stock lumber found at your local neighborhood home supply store.

Some of my projects include entertainment centers, desks, bookshelves, media racks and tool boxes.  Pictured above is a spice rack I made for my apartment.  I currently have basic power tools but hope to own more bench tools when I am able.

My love for woodworking has now come full circle with my employment as a lumber associate with Home Depot.  The hoarder in me wishes I had the storage for all the scrap wood that I toss in the trash.  Sometimes it is a rewarding experience to make simple projects just out of scrap materials that are normally tossed in the trash!

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Outdoor Activity: Archery

My passion for archery began with the purchase of a used compound bow at an auction in Martin, Georgia.   Later, I learned this compound bow was a youth model and needed more attention and money than what I paid for it.

A good friend of mine that I worked with at the time in Ellijay, Georgia noticed my interest in archery and gave me a very nice Browning compound bow.  With only a few dollars in parts, I repaired that compound bow and outfitted it with a new quill and sight.

A friend that I had often did target practice with firearms invited me to target practice with bow and arrows.

It didn’t take long to discover that archery requires a great deal of skill and practice! Out of six arrows I purchased, only one hit the target block! The rest required some time to find, and a couple were not found at all!

So, I hope to acquire more practice with my compound box when I locate a suitable place to set up targets.  With my current level of expertise, I’ll make sure there is a backstop to catch the arrows that miss the target block!

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Outdoor Activity: Shooting

As a young man, a trip to an abandoned clay pit in Central Florida to shoot cans and bottles was always an inexpensive and enjoyable endeavor.  I own firearms predominately for this reason (target practice) and although they also have an alternate purpose for personal protection, I consider firearms the last alternative to self-defense.

One of my favorite places to target practice is the Panther Top shooting range located in Ranger, North Carolina. They offered two ranges there, a pistol and a rifle range.

I always enjoy the opportunity to practice my shooting skills.

My firearm of choice is the rifle and my range of choice is 100 yards.  It is very rewarding to retrieve targets and document tight groups.  Most all of my rifles have scopes mounted.  I enjoy the technical aspects of determining elevation, wind drift, and other factors to properly adjust the scope reticle to dead center.

I also enjoy maintaining my firearms.  I find the disassembly, cleaning and reassembly of firearms to also be a rewarding and enjoyable pastime.

I do believe in second amendment rights, but I also believe that the ownership of firearms is an enormous responsibility and privilege that requires safety training and proper registration.  I also believe that guns do not belong in the hands of the mentally ill or the radicalized individual.

Let’s be safe out there!

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Outdoor Activity: Camping

My interest in camping started as a way to stay out all night away from under my parent’s watchful eye.  During my teenage years this was also a way to gather friends and enjoy forbidden libations.

As I matured, I began to embrace the quiet serenity of nature and witness the wonders of Mother Nature’s awesome flora and fauna.  Beside this meaningful communion with nature, camping was an inexpensive way to have family outings.  Once the necessary equipment was purchased, the only cost was in food and drink.

My cuisine in the early days was a bag of snacks and a can of beany weanys. As my culinary tastes became more refined, the addition of a charcoal cooker made for delicious outdoor meat entrees and foil vegetable packs.  Of course, everyone knows that food tastes better outdoors!

Also, my choice of bedding and shelter would become more sophisticated.  What started with a pocket hammock, now demands a roomy tent with an opulent air mattress.

Camping for me is an escape from the ordinary while exploring new vistas in a frugal way.  I am planning a cross-country camping trip that is based from a modified cargo van in the spring of 2019 when I graduate from college.

I’ve always wanted to head west, much like the early American pioneer.

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Outdoor Activity: Hiking

To me hiking is the quintessential art of including all life’s necessities while traveling in communion with nature.

My first hiking expeditions were on the Florida Trail, when I lived in Eustis, Florida.  While I had acquired a fair amount of experience with tent camping at state parks, I soon discovered the complexity and planning that went into an enjoyable overnight hiking trip.

I began to acquire more equipment specific to hiking.  Tents, stoves, etc. that shaved off precious ounces meant the difference between an aching back or pleasant exertion.

When I moved to North Georgia, the Cohutta Wilderness would be the proving grounds for living off the grid, miles away from any possible human comfort.  The North Georgia mountains also introduced an element not present in Florida, steep grades!

While hiking does not afford coolers, or other extravagant amenities, hiking rewards you with the knowledge that if you properly apply your wits, skills, and abilities, you can survive outdoors.

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Outdoor Activity: Bass Fishing

My earliest memories of Bass fishing are with my Uncle Russell. My Uncle Russell was more like a father to me growing up.  I can remember weekends with Uncle Russell at the Lane Park Fish Camp on Little Lake Harris in Leesburg, Florida.

I remember that I was too young then to go Bass fishing on the lake with the adults (or so I was told), so I would spend my day casting a hastily tied plastic worm in an adjacent canal near our cabin.  The first Bass I caught seemed enormous to me and I can remember the incredible pride I experienced that day.  I remember having my Uncle Russell disgorge the hook because I was petrified of that largemouth!

Bass fishing became a rewarding and a bonding experience with my Uncle and also my Uncle Roy.  I learned a lot about life from those two fine men.

There is nothing quite like a quiet morning on the lake, pitting one’s skills of luring and capturing that remarkable species of freshwater fish with an artificial lure.

I also enjoy sport fishing in general.  Fishing in the ocean or beach is also a very enjoyable experience.  Fishing in general is a wonderful sport to share with friends and family.

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Outdoor Activity: Kayaking

I discovered kayaking while living in Ellijay, Georgia.  I enjoyed many trips to Carters Lake and the Coosawattee River in Gilmer County, Georgia, and the Toccoa River in Fannin County, Georgia.

I enjoy packing a cooler, picnic lunch, and fishing gear and then launching a kayak in unexplored waters to find relief from a stressful work week.

I currently don’t own a kayak because of limited space in my apartment, but someday I hope to own another.  My car is still equipped with a kayak rack, so perhaps when I settle down after my extended camping trip in the spring, I will find a home where I can keep a kayak.

I find kayaks fascinating because they allow you to explore shallow waters where only a kayak can go.  I also like that kayaks are powered only by muscle and have no carbon emissions!

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Outdoor Activity: Bicycling

This is a picture of my current bicycle, a Cannondale 27-speed mountain bike.

For a better part of my life, bicycling has defined the limits of the known world.  I can remember receiving my first tricycle at Christmas when I lived in Winter Park, Florida as a small child.  My world then consisted only of a concrete drive which was sloped away from the street.

Undoubtedly, this is where I earned my first road rash!

As my family frequently relocated around Central Florida, my bicycle was always the vehicle of my explorations and a way to meet new friends.

One fond memory I have is owning my first Huffy bike, while we were living in a condominium that was part of a multiple acre development on the Little Wekiva Springs. “The Springs” was one of the first multi-phased developments during the 70’s.  There were many roads cleared but only a few that were actually paved.

I loved my first Huffy bike, it was equipped with a banana seat, ape hanger handlebars, and sissy bars which gave this bike a major cool factor!

I can still remember pedaling to the end of the paved roads and pedaling as far as possible in the sugar sand of freshly cleared roads until I had to dismount and push.  One day I set out to find the end of one particular sand road and I unexpectedly reached another paved road.  What I discovered was this same paved road I had begun my journey on.

As many early explorers would find, my world turned out to be round!

When we moved to a more suburban setting in Conway, Florida, I purchased my first ten-speed bike.  It was a fairly new style of bicycle with the signature downward curved handle bars and skinny tires designed for road use.

This bicycle would become my vehicle of more advanced long-distance travels.

Where I lived there were many sidewalks and side streets that would connect me to my schools, my friends, and even shopping malls.

When we moved to Tavares, Florida during my high school years, my trusty ten-speed bicycle was still my connection to the world. I would often pedal 15 miles one-way to visit my friends in the neighboring town of Howey-In-The-Hills.

But once I entered the job world, I would temporarily abandon the bicycle in favor of automobiles (which was also proved to more advantageous for dating purposes).

I re-entered the bicycling world in the early nineties when I lived in a small town called Weirsdale, Florida.  During my weekends and days off, I would make the 12 miles one-way trip to Eustis, Florida or to Umatilla, Florida.

When I moved to the North Georgia Mountains in the late nineties, I put my bicycling passions aside, not from lack of interest, but because mountain roads are very steep!

I now use my bicycle to commute to work at Home Depot.  When the weather is nice, I put my bike rack on my car with my bike and head for the Swamp Rabbit Trail.  My favorite ride is from Travelers Rest to downtown Greenville.

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Outdoor Activity: Motorcycling

This is a picture shown of my first motorcycle, a 1985 Honda VT-500 Shadow.  I drove this brand-new motorcycle off the lot of a Honda dealership in Leesburg, Florida with no clue about how to drive a motorcycle.  The salesman basically explained the gear box and after dumping the clutch a couple of times, I drove off that lot and began a journey on two wheels that continues today. My first motorcycle was a liquid cooled 500cc V-twin, shaft driven technological marvel of the day.

I drove my first “coast to coast” expedition from Crystal River, Florida to New Smyrna Beach Florida on State Road #44.  I lived equidistant to both coasts in Leesburg, so the journey was 50 miles East and 50 miles west.

This motorcycle was my sole means of transportation and I braved the elements with gusto as a young buck.  I loved the freedom of the open road, the simplicity, and the economy of owning two-wheeled transportation.

I put many miles on this motorcycle and only parted with it when I became a family man.

As I became more financially secure I was able to purchase another motorcycle as second means of transportation.  I was able to reginite my motorcycle passion with a Kawasaki Vulcan.  This was also a 500cc liquid cooled machine, but this time a horizontal twin powered a belt drive.

I enjoyed this motorcycle as well, but family circumstances dictated a move to the North Georgia mountains.  I was intimidated by the gravelly mountain roads and felt it best to sell this motorcycle to a friend.

I thought my motorcycle days had run their course.

But that was not to be!

My next bike was the Yamaha FZ6 sport bike, a fuel injected, 4 cylinder, 600cc liquid cooled engine with chain drive.  This motorcycle redlined at 14,000 RPM, but the most my courage would allow was 10,000 RPM.

I also sold that motorcycle because of family obligations and feel fortunate to have enjoyed this speed demon with no broken bones.

Now, I own a 250cc horizontal twin Honda Rebel with chain drive, and I love my mild-mannered stallion.  It is perfect for puttering around town and is enough motorcycle for the time being.

But maybe, just maybe, I might get another sport bike!

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Passion: Listening To Music

According to my iTunes status bar, my musical collection consists of 21,169 songs that span 64.2 hours of continuous music.  My passion for music began with a second-hand record player I received for Christmas as a twelve-year-old.  I only had a few albums, mostly hand-me-downs from my father, but music spoke to my very soul.

As a child of the seventies, I enjoyed artists like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, just to mention a few.  As a teenager I danced to Disco music from the Bee Gees and Diana Ross.  Music was always apart of my growing up, my growing old, and my growing young.

Even as the media changed from vinyl to cassettes, from cassettes to compact disc, and from compact disc to MP3s, the sound of music always accompanied me in the best of times and the worst of times.

I miss the fellowship of the record store and all the tangible elements of music that have disappeared with digital and online music services.

Even now I only possess a few compact discs, and these are collections of classical music.  My entire musical history is contained on the computer that I am composing these words on.

Here is a listing of the genres I enjoy:

  1. Female vocalists of all genres: The female voice is magical!
  2. Blues: When I am in somber mood, this genre helps me feel thankfulness.
  3. Classic Rock: I grew up with Classic Rock, and I still love all those original great rock bands.
  4. Classical Music: This is soothing music that I enjoy while writing or simply contemplating.
  5. Country Music: I mostly enjoy the older artists, but I have developed a taste for more of the modern artists.
  6. Dub Step: My son Justin introduced me to this genre, and I dig its psychedelic qualities.
  7. Psychedelic Rock: One of my favorites bands of all time is Pink Floyd!
  8. Hard Rock: For times that I yearn for something to blow off steam.
  9. Hip-Hop: For the times when I want something upbeat, music with caffeine!
  10. Jazz: This is music that my soul can swim in.
  11. Pop: Whether old or new, music with a beat and new style.
  12. Reggae: Every once in a while, this music genre can be magical.
  13. R&B: Soulful music that is food for the soul.
  14. Southern Rock: Every Southern boy likes his rebel rock!
  15. Electronica: A newly minted passion, a merger of Hip-Hop and psychedelic stylings.
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Passion: Spirituality

I found my spiritual calling late in life; my childhood was totally devoid of any religious teachings.  I had no meaningful affiliations with any church until my late forties.  I discovered and revered Jesus Christ on October 3, 2010 and I became a closer child of God through that relationship with his son.

I enjoyed that small church in Blue Ridge, Georgia, but was becoming disillusioned by the inclusion of political views and disrespect directed towards other religions and lifestyles.  I also became disturbed by their views toward homosexuals or other gentiles, often portraying them as lesser peoples.

I feel strongly that is very important to be respectful of all religious beliefs, whether it is Hindu, Muslim, Wiccan, Judaism, or any other world religion.  We are all God’s children and how we view our higher power is a matter of human consciousness and perception.

A loving God is for everyone.  I am deeply saddened by atrocities committed in the name of God, because God is about love.  I believe through Him we ought to love each other, regardless of any station in life.

I attend church services at the church pictured above, South Main Chapel & Mercy Center.

We have a very diverse congregation and have an exceptionally gifted preacher; Reverend Kurt Stutler, and I am proud to call him a friend and a brother.

Loving God and loving each other is foremost, and all are welcomed regardless of race, sexual preference, political view or economic status.

I love all my brothers and sisters, and South Main Chapel & Mercy Center is where I love to worship God!

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