Being Me...

 

Thanks for visiting my personal web page. You almost certainly arrived here via my PONY ESPRESSO home page, so you already know a little bit about me. This page is going to tell you more than you could possibly want to know. I am a single dad and plan to stay that way unless somebody truly special comes along.

I was born in Oakland California on April 22, 1952... (do the math Einstein). I grew up in a town just east of San Francisco called Danville, finished school in 1970, and spent the next year living overseas. I moved to the Portland area in May of 1972 and have been here ever since. Here are some rather bizarre looking pictures of me, some with various animals and girlfriends taken over the years. A smart-assed kid conspiring some sort of mischief in 1958, high school age, around 1969 or so, here sporting the "Cousin It" look in northern Greece in 1971, holding my pet fox "Sly" in 1972, with my girlfriend Leilani (this picture is best titled VERY long hair; VERY short dress) in 1974, visiting my parents in 1975, & at my brother's wedding in 1979 .

After almost 10 years working in a plywood mill alongside men whose necks were as red as a Mandrill's butt, I decided to try something a little more respectable. So in early 1981 I went to work for Fred Meyer at their Apparel Distribution Center in Clackamas. Big mistake!!! After 13 years of truly horrible working conditions (can you say "Big Brother"? Sure you can), I decided to try going into business for myself when Fred Meyer closed the warehouse.

In 1994, I vowed never to work in the corporate world again. A few months before I left Fred Meyer, I mapped out what I wanted to do, and how I was going to do it. With the advice of guy who also had a mobile espresso business, I was able to be up and running 5 months after I left Freddies.

I absolutely love what I do. I am my own boss, I usually work around a 4-5 hour day, and I've made some truly wonderful friends on my daily route.

In my spare time I like to putz around on the computer doing graphics, (duh!) and I enjoy listening to shortwave radio. There's nothing quite like hearing the facts directly from the source.

I also enjoy ethnic cooking. I've been on an Indian/Pakistani kick recently, but usually it's Arabic, Cambodian or Thai cuisines. The spicier the better. And like most men of my generation, I love sports cars. Keep your SUV's, Bimmers and "sports" sedans, gimme a Ford GT any day. Check out my Corvair pages for more on my car addiction.

The two loves of my life are my daughter Lisa, and my pet pot-bellied pig "Pancetta" (usually in that order). Lisa's away at college now, so I'll let her describe herself on her own page (it's probably even more outdated than this one).

Some of my favorite music is probably James Taylor, Jimmy Buffett, and various old stuff from the '60s. But the best of all time has got to be the Beatles. When I was 13, I was lucky enough to see them live at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. In this picture taken that night (I have no idea who took it), we were sitting just to the right and slightly above the stage. It was awesome! I've been a Beatles fanatic ever since.

Same with the Doors, the Grateful Dead, Janice Joplin, Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Youngbloods, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, The Yardbirds, etc. Growing up near San Francisco in the 60's provided lots of opportunities to hear the great rock stars of that era live on stage. Most Wednesday mornings the Grateful Dead would give free "jam" concerts in the panhandle of Golden Gate Park. I managed to "elude" school to attend them. In May of '68, there was a two day outdoor concert held at the San Jose County Fairgrounds, so my brother and I took our girlfriends to it. Check out the bands named in this flyer (that for some reason I had stashed away for thirty five years). Many of those names are long gone, but some made it big, and are huge legends even today! All for $6.00 per person... those were the days!

So much for the '60s. Currently, my favorite author is Tom Clancy, although he's slipped in recent years. My favorite movie of all time is "The Godfather", nothing else even comes close, and a distant second is Lawrence of Arabia. Honorable mentions go to Scent of a Woman, & Forest Gump. No other film I've ever seen captured the feel of the 60s so well; that soundtrack made it.

When time and money permits, I like to travel, though I rarely get the chance. In 1962, when when I was just ten years old, my parents blessed me and my older brother Mark to an around the world trip, with nine months of that living in Israel. It really opened my eyes. Then in 1970, I went back and stayed another year in Israel living on a kibbutz. I did everything from picking bananas and oranges, to hauling garbage, all for room and board plus 29¢ per day. It was a simple, but satisfying lifestyle. I made my way back home in the summer of 1971, first by flying to Istanbul, then by any means possible (walked, hitch-hiked, rode buses, trains, and boats... at one point I even hitched a ride on a donkey cart in Yugoslavia) all the way to London. Thirty years later, I pulled Lisa out of school and took her on a trip to the Middle East. It was her first time out of the country, but for me, it was pure nostalgia. Having spent my youth scrambling over sand dunes looking for (and finding) ancient Roman artifacts, it was high time to share that experience with my daughter. Times have changed, and you're no longer allowed to plunder the Mediterranean at your whim, but we still managed to have a wonderful visit... and pulled off a teensy bit of plundering. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; one of my favorite places on the planet, is like going back in time to the days of the great Sultans & Viziers; lots of sights, smells and beaucoup bargains to be had... if you know what you're doing. It's an enormous covered marketplace (several acres) with thousands of shops selling everything from gold rings to goat skins. The place is constantly shrouded with the smells of incense, spices, grilled foods from sidewalk vendors, and exotic belly dancing music. In the Spring of '05, I went to France for a week, then on to Italy, where I picked up Lisa and her friend Aaron at the Milan airport. From there, we toured Italy from Venice to Pompeii for ten days. It was wonderful!!. The ultimate road trip... Below are some pictures from these various sojourns.

1962-63 trip to Israel via Europe; home via Asia

2000 trip to Egypt, Israel & Turkey

2005 trip to France & Italy

And this was taken in Maui in 2001. I went there with a lady friend and we had a great time. Hawaii may be hyped, but for us it more than lived up to expectations.

Some of the web sites I like to cruise:

Since I'm a Corvair Junkie, this one's a must... CORSA

For Shortwave radio nuts like me... HF/Radio This site is a tremendous aid to the hobby. Type in a frequency, and the web site tells you who you're listening to.

Tunisia I like the music on this site, but you'll need to install the Realaudio Player to hear it.

In 2002 I was blessed with a rather unwelcome surprise... I was diagnosed with cancer. Well, sheeeit... I went through four months of chemotherapy followed by three months of radiation, and it now appears that I'm going to be okay. The chemo was pretty nasty stuff, but I actually had a harder time with the radiation. It messed up my throat and all the mechanisms that allow me to do the things I like to do on a daily basis... you know, like swallowing and breathing? It damaged the upper part of my lungs and my trachea, but they tell me that it should get better in time (keyword here: should). Here's a picture of how I looked before and during my treatments. The first two shots were taken in Maui the year before my diagnosis, the last three just as I completed chemo. As you can see, I still had some hair, but but not much. Man, I was sick! Notice the goofy looking eyebrows and mustache and the "nobody's home" expression on my whiter-than-Michael Jackson face. I was so burned out from the treatment that the cancer didn't seem so bad in comparison. I'm pretty much back to my normal fuzzy self now. When my hair did finally start growing in again, it was all curly. I looked like a black haired Barry Manilow! Not a pretty sight... But it was only temporary. The breathing problems still annoy me, but I guess that's a small price to pay for being alive. I found a site on the web about my particular type of cancer, and I thought it was both informative and funny "Gary's PISSED." If you or anybody in your family has any questions about what to expect from chemotherapy, I highly recommend you visit Gary's site.

And please check out my friend Robert's web site; SteinyGuitars.com. His occupation is building and repairing acoustic guitars, but clearly, his passion goes well beyond music... he makes these wonderful satirical buttons which he offers for a pittance. Here are a couple of recent examples:

These are some recent photos of me (and my family) on & off the job. Dashing devil; eh?


Yep, that's me inside my espresso truck doing... what I do!

 

... And here sporting my winter growth

 

family.jpg

That's my Dad in the pe_copy.gif hat! Is he a stylin' dude or what? This one was taken in 1996 on Kauai; my whole family met there for my parents 50th anniversary.

And this is the whole famn damily (minus dad who took the shot and my niece Annika who was on a Caribbean cruise at the time) in Alaska. We all met there in the summer of '03 to celebrate my mom's 80th birthday. From the left, yours truly (still with my curly hair), my older brother Mark, my mother, Lisa, Mark's son Daniel, and my sister-in-law Netty.