Story - Ancient History 1960-2000
 
 
 
 
Places Lived
Kenmore, New York
Born and raised in this little village north of Buffalo, New York and damn proud of it. Much more about this wonderful community as this page develops.
http://www.villageofkenmore.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenmore,_New_York
http://www.ci.buffalo.ny.us/
http://www.visitbuffaloniagara.com/
http://home.buffalo.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo,_New_York
New Orleans, Louisiana
This was a really temporary move. Gosh, was only there for about 6 weeks when I was about 16 years old and on the road to dropping out of school. Spent most of the time drinking and can't really remember much.
San Diego, California
What can I say about this place. The weather is incredible. You can plan a picnic months ahead of time and not worry about rain. The beaches are pretty nice depending on where you go. Ocean Beach is pretty much the dregs when it comes to beach communities but is home to one of the best fishing piers on the west coast. As long as you can handle walking through the littered parking lot which smells like urine much of the time. La Jolla....well....a completely different story. Anyway, go a few miles inland and things dry out considerably. Not many natural trees and the mountains turn pretty brown during the summer.
Places Japan
Oji, Nara, Japan
Pretty much a little hick town but, in many ways, a lot like the place where I grew....um, except everyone is Japanese. Centered in one of the most historic prefectures in Japan (Nara) you can find what seems like an unlimited supply of Japanese temples. The Summers are unbearable for most people. Really hot and humid. I happen to like this type of climate and looking forward to getting a good sweat on. Japanese beer from the tap tastes incredible during the long, hot, Summer days.
Oji, Nara, Japan.
Amanohashidate, Kyoto, Japan.
Places Traveled
At least half of the United States.
Mexico.
San Diego, California.
Taiwan....Philippines.
Saipan....Palau, Micronesia.
Toyama City, Toyama, Japan.
Oji, Nara, Japan.
Thailand.
Korea....Japan.
Thailand.
Schools Attended
Lindbergh Elementary School
http://www.kenton.k12.ny.us/kentonle/site/default.asp
This is without a doubt the coolest school in the United States. Really good memories from this place for sure. The building is what a school is supposed to look like as opposed to the crap they build for schools in California. Most of the schools look like manufactures homes....one story buildings, run-down school grounds, and what's up with all the locked fences and gates? Anyway much more about this school later on.
Kenmore Middle School (formerly Kenmore Junior High School)
http://www.kenton.k12.ny.us/kentonkms/site/default.asp
Kind of began disliking school at this point. Not really much to say for now except a bit disappointed the school is now a middle school grades 6-8.
Kenmore West High School
http://www.kenton.k12.ny.us/kentonkwhs/site/default.asp
Went a few days and decided to take the G.E.D.
San Diego City College - General Education
http://www.sdcity.edu/
This is an inner-city school in San Diego. While I was attending this school, I was working like crazy to pay rent, tuition, and books. With this said, not much in the way of fun but this was a fantastic place to take general education courses. Pretty much an easy A anytime.
San Diego State University - Alumni - B.S. Business Finance, minor in Real Estate, Geological Studies
http://www.grossmont.edu/
Even though I was still working a lot while attending SDSU, I still managed to enjoy myself. Plenty of beach and house parties in between work. I was a geology major for much of the time until the oil industry was going bust. Then I decided to go for a business degree and switched to finance. Really missed all the Geology field trips though. A bunch of students sleeping on the ground in the middle of the desert waiting to get up the next day to collect rocks or look for faults, um, earthquake faults, not faults with each other. I worked at the weather station in the Geography building for quite some time which was an absolute thrill for me.
Grossmont College - Alumni - A.A. Japanese Studies
http://www.sdsu.edu/
Hmmmm, what can I possibly say about this place. I was the first student to graduate with an A.A. Degree in Japanese Studies. A couple of reasons. Although the college offered Japanese classes for many years, the degree was kind of a new thing. In addition, most students dropped out of Japanese after one semester after finding out there is much more to the language than manga and anime. Actually I was one of the few students studying Japanese for cultural reasons and not to understand Japanese cartoons. Come to think of it, I was one of the few students to actually study. This school is filled with lazy American students who are basically unsure of which direction they plan to take. The students were cheating on exams like crazy and the teachers didn't even give a crap. Anyway, happy to be out of that "college" for sure. The main benefit of this place was the presence of tons of Japanese students since this school has the lowest entry requirements "TOEFL score" in San Diego. This meant plenty of Japanese students for language exchange, many of whom became and still are my friends.
American Language Institute - Alumni - Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate
http://www.americanlanguage.org/
I wanted to go back to Japan and stay for at least a year but was unable to because of the 3 month visa limit. I decided to obtain a teaching certificate in order to teach English and get a working visa. The teacher training program at this school is awesome. The teachers are very dedicated and my mentor, Rob Shaffer, really taught me a lot. We are now good friends.
Places Worked
  • During college and before - Insignificant jobs - numerous to get myself through college. More about these when I feel like writing about them....um, and if I can even remember.
  • From graduation from SDSU until 1992 - Security Pacific National Bank - Appraisal Officer - This was a very cool place to work. Probably would have stayed there if stinky BofA had not bought them out.
  • 1992 - Bank of America - Appraisal Officer - Nothing good to say about this bank except working for this company after the merger (yeah right-takeover) with Security Pacific for eight months gave me the motivation to form my own company.
  • Somewhere in there was my brief attempt at an acting career. Will try to pull out the pictures and videos at a later date.
  • 1992-1999 - Paramount Appraisals - Owner - Residential real estate valuation company.
  • 1999 - Retired and went back to school to learn Japanese.
  • Currently - Still retired, well semi-retired, and actually making an income now from my Internet projects.
My interests
Hiking - Really into hiking since my place is one mile from Mission Trails Regional Park in two different directions. This is one of the largest urban parks in the country and encompasses 5,800 acres. In the background you can see Cowles Mountain which actually is the highest point within the San Diego city limits. The hike is about 3 miles round trip and is a level 5 trail, which is considered to be difficult based on a 1 to 5 rating scale. From the top is a panoramic view of San Diego which stretches all the way from the ocean to the mountains at the edge of San Diego County.
Mountain bike riding - This is a picture of the back of Mission Trails Regional Park. This section of the park has miles and miles of trails through meadows and over small hills. Mostly grassy with some small bushes much of which turns brown during the Summer months.
Camping - We usually go camping a couple times every year in the Cleveland National Forest. This is our favorite campground because the camping spaces are really spread apart and, if you go during the week, you can pretty much get the place to yourself. This campground is up at around 5,600 feet in elevation. Not exactly Mount Fuji but pretty high for San Diego County. Tons of wildlife up here including birds like blue jays, woodpeckers, crows, and hawks. You can also find squirrels, raccoons, field mice, coyotes, and an occasional mountain lion, although very rare. Oh yeah, one year it had just rained and there were thousands of small tree frogs everywhere. They were even in the bathrooms. They were really cute although Akiko wasn't too thrilled with them.
Wine - I was really not much of a drinker over the years except at parties and other social occasions. After Akiko and I met several years ago, I began to appreciate wine. Akiko knows quite a bit about the different varieties. My favorite is Cabernet Sauvignon. Last year we drove up to San Francisco to visit friends and went up north to Napa Valley and Sonoma County, California wine country. We visited many wineries many of which offered free wine tasting. It was a lot of fun.
Traveling - You can find out more about this if you visit the places section of my site.
Learning languages - Hmmmm, let's see. I studied the following languages.

English - Fairly proficient.

Hebrew - Studied for 3 years. Can still read a little bit but pretty much forgot most of the vocabulary.

French - Studied for 3 years. Can read a little and still remember some vocabulary.

Spanish - Took one semester and can understand a little.

Japanese - Completed an A.A. degree in Japanese studies. Traveled to Japan on four separate occasions. Two of the trips included three months each with Japanese families. Can understand and speak the language at least enough for a basic conversation. Really technical conversations are not possible due to lack of vocabulary. Can read a little bit but need to learn thousands of kanji, Chinese characters.
Learning about different cultures - Probably the best way to learn about the world is to travel to your countries of interest and hang out with the locals. This picture was taken on a really old sleeper train which we rode for 10 hours from Bangkok Thailand to Chiang Mai, Thailand, a city up in the northern mountains. It was right before New Year's and we went to Thailand for 10 days including this trip up north for a 3-day trekking tour. This was the party car in the middle of the train where everyone was drinking, including the train workers. Akiko is in the orange shirt, and Rieko is a Japanese girl we met on the train who was en route to Africa to continue her world travels. It was an unbelievable experience.
Star Trek - Pretty much limited to the Original Series and The Next Generation. Really could not get into the other spinoffs. A couple links for watching the old shows.
Full episodes of the original series on Fancast
Full episodes of the original series on YouTube - Season 1
Full episodes of the original series on YouTube - Season 2
Full episodes of the original series on YouTube - Season 3
Total science geek - Anything related to meteorology, geology, geography, astronomy.
Surfing - Hey, this Summer I am going surfing for the first time after many years in SD.
http://surfing-gooroo.com/
Fishing - Yup, I really like fishing. Spent the last few years trying to work out a formula to figure out when the fish would be biting. Needless to say, still working on it. This is a picture of the Ocean Beach pier. Anyway, thought it might be cool to put this fishing report up this year since this is the last fishing season before moving to Japan.
Ocean Beach Fishing Report
Date Caught Fish Conditions
4/19/09 18 Sardines Warm-80's, calm wind
4/20/09 12
1
1
Sardines
Jacksmelt
Mackerel
Warm-80's, calm wind,
Ocean H2O-64
Light Waves
5/7/09 0   Awful conditions, record high surf, looked cool but no fish
5/18/09 1
1
Mackerel
Smelt
Cloudy, windy, and not very warm
San Diego, California and Japan Time Differences

Japan is 17 hours ahead of San Diego using Pacific Standard Time (PST) and 16 hours ahead of San Diego during Daylight Savings Time (DST) in Spring and Summer.

I put this information together for those of you who want to chat and are confused about the time differences. Since most of you are in San Diego, this page will include time differences between California and Japan. Hoping to talk to all of you soon. Until then.
San Diego to Japan Time Differences - PST
San Diego Japan
12:00 am 5:00 pm
1:00 am 6:00 pm
2:00 am 7:00 pm
3:00 am 8:00 pm
4:00 am 9:00 pm
5:00 am 10:00 pm
6:00 am 11:00 pm
7:00 am 12:00 am
8:00 am 1:00 am
9:00 am 2:00 am
10:00 am 3:00 am
11:00 am 4:00 am
San Diego Japan
12:00 pm 5:00 am
1:00 pm 6:00 am
2:00 pm 7:00 am
3:00 pm 8:00 am
4:00 pm 9:00 am
5:00 pm 10:00 am
6:00 pm 11:00 am
7:00 pm 12:00 pm
8:00 pm 1:00 pm
9:00 pm 2:00 pm
10:00 pm 3:00 pm
11:00 pm 4:00 pm
San Diego to Japan Time Differences - DST
San Diego Japan
12:00 am 4:00 pm
1:00 am 5:00 pm
2:00 am 6:00 pm
3:00 am 7:00 pm
4:00 am 8:00 pm
5:00 am 9:00 pm
6:00 am 10:00 pm
7:00 am 11:00 pm
8:00 am 12:00 am
9:00 am 1:00 am
10:00 am 2:00 am
11:00 am 3:00 am
San Diego Japan
12:00 pm 4:00 am
1:00 pm 5:00 am
2:00 pm 6:00 am
3:00 pm 7:00 am
4:00 pm 8:00 am
5:00 pm 9:00 am
6:00 pm 10:00 am
7:00 pm 11:00 am
8:00 pm 12:00 pm
9:00 pm 1:00 pm
10:00 pm 2:00 pm
11:00 pm 3:00 pm
Kenmore Days

I thought it might be nice to put a few thoughts about my time in Kenmore and Tonawanda. Certainly was fun bowling at MilSher lanes....seems like that place is still there, although with a different name.
Porter, New York

This is the area where I am thinking of purchasing a home. I found a lot of good points about Porter and the surrounding areas and some things of concern as well.

The good points of this area include the following:

Nice homes, large lots (really prefer at least half an acre), small town feeling, basically secluded which is something I prefer, especially after spending a couple of years on this island and a few years in the countryside of Japan. I also like the close proximity to Canada, and the possibility of catching salmon.

The not so good points include the following:

Possibly a fairly old population, making friends for my kids difficult to find, the difficult climate, and the fact that any salmon caught are probably contaminated with toxins. Actually we are not a catch and release family, we are a catch and eat family, lol.