Sunday, July 12, 2009

For my Facebook Friends

Note: This is not my "regular blog" any longer; I put stuff here that I think my be a distraction from my usual "political issues, philosophical rantings and athletic reports" blog.

My regular blog can be found here.

Facebook information:
I am putting in an "outline" biography so that my facebook friends from bygone eras (up to 1985) can find photos and stories about that time.

I'll put headers of places and dates in bold so you can easily scroll to what you want to see.

For those who are interested in my endurance sports record, go here.

Tachikawa Middle School and Yokota High School, 1973-1975

8'th grade: played football, basketball and baseball. I sucked at basketball and baseball. I also took algebra and did well (Mr. Christ) and though our science course sucked (I remember the teacher's name and still think that she is an idiot)

Other memories: I often got matched up with Greg Benton and got my ass kicked; Doug Anderson broke my ankle when he rejected a basketball shot (clean block) and then gave me a ride home on his bike. There were lots of girls that made my heart go pitter patter: The Kyle sisters (Cindy is the one I remember), Braunner sisters (Patricia and Kathleen), Angie Bennett, Barbara Ault, Cathie Shuck, Petra, etc.

Mostly I was clumsy, uncoordinated and socially awkward.


9'th grade: Football (JV), Wrestling and Track. I got picked on and didn't get my revenge until months later. I liked science (Mr. Schwalder) and thought that my English teacher meant well but didn't get it. Carlos McDade, Michelle Wardlay, and Lynn Sugiama were some friends that year.

10'th grade: this went better; I played on the varsity football team; the coach rode me the whole year through I started every game. Wrestling went ok too (12-3 record) before I had to leave.
Grades: I was indifferent during this time; I didn't care about academics at all and made bad grades.

I grew a bit more comfortable with girls at this time.

Tachikawa and Yokota Photos (click to see)


Travis High School: 1975-1977
Starting out at a new school was tough; I struggled on the football team though I started on the JV team as a junior and mostly rode the bench as a senior.

Academics: I kind of came alive at this time and did ok. I liked my math teachers (Halliburton, Musgraves and Sylliman (sp)) and my chemistry teacher (Ms. Mack) and coach Rhorer.

The Spanish teacher (Ms. McDow) also treated me well.

I was socially inept for this period; a highlight was going on a Citizenship Seminar week with Paul Gonzales, Joe Galvan and Tito Menchaca (my cousin). I met some friends there that I would end up corresponding with for several years.

Travis Photos.

US Naval Academy, 1977-1981

I got my BS in mathematics and a changing event for me was my first analysis class that was taught by Professor Rich Davis. Also of note: Professor Betz (complex analysis), Professor Strohl (real analysis, topology), Professor Wardlaw (algebra) and Professor Abbot. (algebra) I'll always remember them.

My Plebe (Freshman) year was a nightmare, on military grounds. I sucked; an "absent minded professor/nerd personality" just isn't a good fit with the Navy. My grades suffered as well, though I made it up somewhat to finish 269/969 in terms of grades.

I grew to love running, weight lifting and swimming.

I participated in judo and in intramural wrestling and weight lifting.

I visited Hood College a few times.

But for the most part, my memories of the Academy were not good; the place itself IS a good place but I didn't belong there.

Oh yes, I had two knee operations (1977, 1978).

Roommates included: Ron Sandoval (3 years), Dave Kroupa, John Barnhill, Jeb Hall and Brad Belletto.

Naval Academy Photos

Navy: 1981-1985

Recruiting Duty, San Antonio, fall 1981. Bill Cone, James Daniels, Ron Sandoval and later Mike Becknell (via OCS) were my compatriots. Later I was to be a housemate with Mike; I attended JD and Bill's wedding.

I mostly ran and goofed off during this time.

Pensacola, 1982 (spring)
I got NPQ'ed. I stayed in a house with 3 guys; Mike was one heck of a nice guy and had success in NFO training. He was also quite the ladies man; he sure could hook 'em any time he wanted to. His roommate was also successful with the ladies, though he was a KKK sympathizing racist. I wonder how he feels about President Obama? :-)

I did my best running during this period, hitting these times over a 6 week period: 32:06 for 5 miles, 1:09:55 for 10.2 miles, 39:50 for 10K.

I also met Mary on the way to the pool. We dated some. She loved the Washington Redskins as was a Republican.

Orlando, 1982
I got NPQ'ed (not physically qualified) for flight (bad knees, see the Naval Academy)

So, I was sent to nuclear power school. I survived; that was about it. Interestingly enough, I fit in better here than I did at the Academy, though I didn't fit in that well.

Oh yes, my classmates were very bright people; some were brilliant.

Nuclear Navy: 1983-1985

Prototype 1983: BARELY made it; I can't think on my feet very well. I loved the machinery though.

Sub school and USS Trepang: Here is where my absent mindedness really killed me; I really couldn't keep two thoughts in my head at the same time. But on the other hand I developed an awe for those who were successful; these men could balance 100 different things in their heads at the same time; even after meeting some of the smartest people in the world I remain impressed by them.

And yes, the enlisted men were pretty good too.

But my knees just killed me; I was to get taken off of the Submarine, operated on two more times and then booted from the Navy.

Nuclear Navy photos

USS Trepang photos

Women I've dated from 1977-1985. (photos)


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Modern Era: people who met me from 1985 on already know what I am like, though those who knew me between 1985-1992 might be shocked that I am no longer obese.

Then I ended up in Grad School in Austin, Texas (University of Texas, 1985-1991)

Personality wise I actually fit in; I was just in the lower 5'th in terms of intelligence. Still I made it when 70 percent did not; I got the Ph. D.

Other stuff: watched lots of football and basketball, met a woman and married her; she was to become the mother of my daughter. Oh yes, I ballooned up to 300 pounds.

Peoria: Bradley University (1991-present)

Highlights: established a modest publication record, got tenure, had my daughter and then got divorced, remarried, lost weight, restarted running and other endurance sports.

I also got political (worked for Senator Kerry and Obama during their Presidential campaigns) and worked for other candidates. I was president of the local ACLU for one year.