I have a number of interests on which I spend most of my free time. I tend to shift on and off topics with some regularity, so I update this section more frequently than I probably should have to.
Running and Triathlon
In 2007, I quit smoking and started running with the idea that it would help me stay off cigarettes. Ultimately, it didn’t, but that’s neither here nor there. In 2008, I ran seven marathons and half-marathons. By the end of the year, I had my eye on triathlons, having made several friends who really enjoyed the sport. A close friend had already talked me into buying a road bike and so I signed up for several events in 2009. By the time the season started, I had bought a triathlon bike and was considering a full Ironman triathlon. In November 2009, I completed the Beach2Battleship Ironman Triathlon in Wilmington, North Carolina. It was a challenging and grueling event, but also a life-changing experience.
I started designing web sites years ago (1996 to be exact) and have always enjoyed it. I currently work for a web-based health and wellness retailer so much of my work involves either serving as the product owner for large web development efforts or in some cases doing the actual design myself. A close friend and I own a small web design and software development business that caters to other small businesses and offers site design and process automation services.
I took a college history course several years ago that included a genealogy assignment as the final project. The instructor required us to (correctly) research at least three generations of our families and document our findings. I was instantly hooked and have managed to trace my maternal line back to the late 1700s and my paternal line to the late 1600s. I’m in the middle of trying to better document this and complete a second verification of all my sources so that I can publish the information and distribute it to known family members. I’m hopeful that I can complete this project by the end of 2012, and I plan to also publish it on my website using an application called PHPGedView.
My love of music goes back to my childhood. I’ve always loved listening to music (sometimes on repeat, which drives my wife absolutely nuts) and spending several years as a DJ only made the addiction worse. I love house remixes of old songs and especially closed distribution white labels that are not particularly well-known.
As a kid, my parents used to try to get us away from home and take vacations into the mountains at least once a year. That only lasted for about three years. As an adult, I’ve never been one to take vacations, usually because I was so overloaded at work and taking time off would have painful consequences afterward. Every October, my mother and her husband rent a cabin in the mountains and sit there for a week doing basically nothing; that doesn’t sound fun to me. I have to plan, I have to do things all the time, I can’t sit idle.
In 2011, my wife and I decided to take an actual vacation and picked Las Vegas as the destination. We planned a three-day trip to the Grand Canyon, and I can tell you now that Vegas pales in comparison. Our new approach is to take an annual vacation and hit at least one National Park on each trip. In 2012, we visited Los Angeles, Yosemite National Park, and San Francisco. We haven’t decided where to go in 2013, but it’s likely that we’ll take a trip through the mountains to look at the fall colors.