Wanna wrastle? [Video]

I wrestled from 1988 to 1994. I did 4 years at Oak Grove High School in San Jose, 1 year at West Valley Community College, and 6 years of freestyle and greco with the Soaring Eagles Wrestling Club. I wasn’t the superstar but I sure didn’t suck. I had a great time competing and pushing myself to do better.

Some stats include league champ (1992), 3rd CCS (1992), state qualifier (1992), and 3rd in greco and 2nd in freestyle at the California State Championship Tournament. My senior of high school I was 40-5 (my best record of any year).

This is a video I made in June 1992 when I graduated from high school. The footage is mostly my junior and senior high school with some freestyle footage. You’ll have to pardon the visual effects, I really enjoyed using all the built-in VCR effects.

Good times!

8 Years of Awesomeness…and Dove Chocolates and Journals and Road Trips and HAPPINESS!

Olympic National Park (October 2011)

It’s been a wonderful…no wait, it’s been an awesome eight years of being married to the most amazing woman in the world! I’m constantly in awe at all the experiences we’ve done in our short time together (~10 years from the day we met). Peace Corps, hiking, moving, kids, graduate school, New York, National Parks, teaching, community gardens, Hranush Dermoyan, road trips, and so much more.

I’m very proud to call Laura my wife and look forward to the future as we continue to share our life together, lean on each other during the tough times, look to each other for support, hug each other in celebration of our success, and snuggle in front a good movie.

Many years from now,
We’ll look back on this crazy time
in our life together
and wonder how we did it all…
and then, those ordinary, everyday moments
that we often take for granted
will shimmer like stars
as we recount them…
I’ll sit close beside you,
you’ll take my hand in yours.
We’ll look at each other and say:
“I’d do it all again…
and I wouldn’t change a thing.”
~ Author Unknown

Today, Laura found a journal we use to send each other during our first year of dating. We did the long distance relationship thing and found joy in sending this journal to each other each month so that we could remember the little things. Here a few of the items we included that made us smile as we looked through it.

It's official...Laura gave me her number and thought I'd never call. 2 days later....
Of course we both held on tight to those numbers because there was something special there.
In the beginning we did a lot of great road trips. This was our first to Missoula, MT.
And on those long road trips we played games...like who can keep the chocolate in their mouth the longest. Laura rules at it!
A momento from a mexican restaurant we visited on our first date. Last summer we visited the restaurant again with our children.

This is what love looks like!

Happy visit to Death Valley National Park (February 2004)
Happy visit to Death Valley National Park (February 2004)



Happy Birthday to Me!

Kodiak Island (August 2011)

I’m 37 years old today. To put it simply, it’s been an awesome 37 years. My family is not with me today since I’m in Alaska but am truly thankful for their love and support. We’ll Skype this evening when I get to Anchorage. I’ve done a lot with my life that I’m extremely proud of and I look forward to all my future endeavors. Thank you for coming along for the ride.

Story Behind The Picture #4: Hole Prescribed Burn

Lassen Hand Crew on the Hole Burn at Lassen Volcanic National Park
Leading the Lassen Hand Crew on the Hole Burn at Lassen Volcanic National Park

November 2002 (Lassen Volcanic National Park): I love this photo of my Type II hand crew on the Hole Prescribed Burn at Lassen Volcanic National Park. I didn’t take this shot but what you can’t see is I’m leading this crew to another assignment on the burn. The importance of this photo to me is the discipline the crew shows. They are spaced out, tools by their side, PPE in tact, and ready to work. A few days earlier this photo would’ve looked like a disaster.

I’d arrived at Lassen Volcanic National Park just a few weeks earlier to take new position as the Assistant Fire Engine Operator on Engine 33. The Manzanita Lake Guard Station (where I was assigned during the summer on Engine 33) was closed for the season and I was working from the Park Headquarters Mineral Fire Station. Our fall project was preparing and executing the Hole Prescribed Burn in the park. I was assigned to our Type II hand crew where Phil Monsanto was the Crew Boss and I was a Squad Boss. When the time came to break out the drip torches and ignite the place Phil would take another assignment on the Burn and I’d take charge of the troops.

Prior to moving to Lassen I had just spent a couple of months with the Vale Hotshot crew out of Vale, Oregon. Hotshot Crews are Type I Hand Crews and are always put on the front fire lines to contain wildfires. They work as a team, remain disciplined, follow orders, and carry a bit of ego (why not, you’re a freakin’ hotshot). These traits help get the job done safely and effectively.

Well, on the first day of the Hole Burn generally the crew was awesome. Of course I had a few folks who just plain didn’t get it (Not you Bruce…no worries). They were new to firefighting and this crew. Throughout the summer they were seasonal National Park Service Law Enforcement Rangers. The end of season was over for them but because they had a Red Card (meaning they were qualified to be on the fire line) and we had funds to bring them on for a few weeks so they were now part of the crew. The issue was they didn’t understand how to work as a team on the fire line, they didn’t follow orders well, were lazy, and were a “Watch Out” situation putting all the crew at risk.

Well I kept at it with them. I expected the Crew to communicate down the line, watch spacing, walk with tools down by your side, and other firefighting tactics that keep wildland firefighters safe on the line. My persistance paid off because I can spot those three seasonal park rangers in this photo. They may not have liked what was going on (and I have no idea if they ever set foot on a fireline again) but they did became part of this Crew, even if it was for just a few days.

Happy Holidays 2010

Happy Holidays to all of our family and friends. We hope you’ve had a great 2010 and wish you the best in 2011.

We thank all of you who have taken the time to get in touch with us or visited our website this past year. It’s been a wonderful first full year in Seattle, Washington. Everyone is doing extremely well. We look forward to many new experiences in 2011. If you’re in the Seattle area, feel free to get in touch.

Happy Holidays 2010