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Welcome to the new design of my website.  I hope you like it.  Have fun looking around at what I've assembled here for your browsing pleasure.

Not-So-Recent News:

Our FAST Pass program has now generated 18 applications from students.  We are all very thrilled with the way it has taken off.  I also was told that the Lodi Chamber of Commerce wants to nominate our program for a San Joaquin Council of Governments award which was a huge compliment. 

After eleven months, I graduated from Leadership Lodi!  What an incredible journey it was, too.  I was elected to be the class speaker a few months ago and tonight gave our commencement speech to a few dozen people... everything went great.  Also nice was that my parents were able to come up and watch.  I cannot recommend Leadership Lodi enough -- it was an amazing experience.

I picked up my new car today!  It's a Saturn Ion-3 2005 Quad-Door Coupe, and I love it!

Lodi House held their annual Harvest with live music, some great food, and a fun auction.  I've found myself becoming a big supporter of Lodi House after putting together their website and working with some of the people there.  What a great group!

Today was the Lodi Street Faire.  I had never driven a golf cart until now.  Stay off the sidewalks!

Tonight I started a series of classes developed by the Lodi Police Department.  It's called the Citizen's Academy, and is basically a ten-week (3 hours a week) course on all different aspects of the police department and their functions.  We'll learn about things like gangs, drugs, CSI, traffic, proactive measures, SWAT, and more.  I probably don't have the time to really do this, but it's an opportunity I don't want to pass up.

For the first time in our homeowners' association's history, we participated in National Night Out -- part of the Neighborhood Watch program.  We were visited by the LPD and the Lodi Sentinel who said hello and brought treats for the kids.  It was really nice seeing so many people from the community come out to mingle and meet one another.  We even got a write-up in the paper and a certificate from Congressman Pombo.

I participated on my first-ever police ride-along this evening.  It was fun.  And no, it was not "Cops" like you'd see on television.  There was no high-speed chase, no shoot outs, and no drug raids.  This is Lodi, after all.  Still, it was extremely interesting and very fun to do.  It opened my eyes to what our officers have to do on a daily basis, which was really quite different from what I expected.  I cannot believe the amount of paperwork and other time-wasting things they have to do.  People complain about 9-1-1 response times -- they could start by fixing all that red tape.

Tonight I went to see Sarah McLaughlin live in concert at Arco.  When the time came around to buy tickets, I thought "ah, why not" and decided to get them.  I figured it would be an all-right concert as I like Sarah, but I've never really been that into her.  Boy was I changed!  I cannot express just how amazing she was in concert -- and interestingly enough, her music is far better live than anything on her CDs.  I'm very glad I went and would happily see her again.

Today I officially start my new position at InReach -- outside sales.  I'm excited because I already have a number of leads which I'm confident I'll close.  This means I get to be out of the office more, meet more people, and of course get paid more.  :)

I joined a networking (people networking, not computer networking) group today called BNI.  They have recently formed a Lodi chapter.  I think this will be good for business.

I put together a simple website for the Lincoln High Grad Night 2004.  Check it out here.

Saw Jewel in concert tonight.  This is now the fourth time I've seen her live.  *swoon*

Our Adopt-A-Street program at InReach has expanded to include the part behind Sherwood Mall.  Not only are we picking up trash but we're painting the playground that's there.  This will certainly take a few visits but it will be well worth it.  The swings, slides, and other facilities are chipped to the point they're almost bare metal again.

Today, in addition to visiting the Government Technology Conference in Sacramento, I had the opportunity to review High School projects from Lodi High.  I also did this a few days ago (but with Middle College High School) through Leadership Lodi.  This was a blast!  These students -- well, nearly all of them -- were so professional and put together very good presentations.  I was quite impressed and made sure that they knew it.  I think this is a fantastic concept and I'm appalled that there are parents who want this shut down.

Our three-day Leadership Lodi planning retreat ended today, and I have to say that was the most fun I've had in quite a while.  Not only did the 15 of us click like we knew each other forever, but we actually came out of there with a mostly-planned idea of what our non-profit program is going to look like.  In a nutshell, we're going to raise funds for high school students to get free transportation to local venues like the library or the Boys and Girls Club.  I think this is a very important endeavor and am excited to start on it.

Happy Earth Day.  Do you recycle?

Today was the season finale of The Apprentice.  *sigh*  I can't get enough of this show.  I suppose I'll just have to wait until September when it starts up again.  A part of me thinks I should be on the show... but the majority of me disagrees.  I suppose it would be fun, and an interesting challenge, but that's about all it would be... and I don't need that kind of attention.

I won tickets on the radio to see Jewel in concert up in Sacramento in a few months.  This is the first time I've ever won something from a radio contest.

Spent the morning picking up trash on March Lane in Stockton, as part of an Adopt-A-Street program at InReach.  People are filthy creatures.  It was both amazing and depressing to see how much trash people discard. 

I have been elected as president of the board for our home owners' association.  This is the first time I've done anything like this but I think it will be a good opportunity to learn more about the dynamics of an association as well as meet some of my neighbors.

Today I traded my phone in for a Motorola MPx200.  I love this phone.  It is a combination cell phone, PDA, music player, and more.  And it runs Microsoft's new SmartPhone OS which means it behaves just like a PDA when hooked up to the computer to sync.

I was write about Leadership Lodi being life-changing.  We had the opportunity to visit a number of non-profit groups throughout the city, including the Boys and Girls club, Lodi House, the Salvation Army, and others.  I felt an overwhelming need to find ways to help these groups that are doing fantastic things for the people in our community.  I think I'm going to volunteer for the Boys and Girls Club if I can find the time.

Today I took a proficiency exam in English for University of Phoenix and passed.  It was actually rather easy, and only took me half of the alloted time.  That means I'm 5 weeks closer to finishing and getting my degree.  Go me!

Our first Leadership Lodi class allowed us to all get to know each other and learn the dynamics of the team.  I can already tell that this going to be a very life-changing experience as I learn more about the city, and myself, and meet all sorts of interesting people.

I took and passed the CompTIA i-Net+ certification in twenty minutes with a 95% score.

I took a trip to Florida to visit my brother and "that side" of the family.  What a great trip!  I'm glad I got to go and hope to make this a more regular occurrence.

I was accepted to be a part of Leadership Lodi 2004.  This is a year-long class that teaches the inner-workings of Lodi government, industry, and education.  Only about a dozen people are selected each year.  Everyone tells me that I will meet a number of people through this, and that it is very exciting and educational.  By the end of the year we will have designed and executed some kind of philanthropic program to help the community.  Last year they organized a fund raiser to donate money to the Women's Center of SJC.

I finished my 2nd Class at UOPhoenix, and now have a 3.5 GPA (one A and one B).  This is going pretty well!

Napster is officially back.  Support legal online downloads by purchasing songs via Napster for just $0.99 each!

I took Q-Tip to the vet today for his first annual check-up, and he did very well.  He even behaved like a good little kitty at the vet's office.  She was very impressed with his coat.  If that impressed her, I should have told her about the web page he did!

My cat decided to put up his own page, so go check that out and sign his guestbook before he gets grouchy.  Oh, and I finally put up the pictures of my family, my condo, and me.  Any stalkers out there?  This is your chance!

I've enrolled at the University of Phoenix Online to complete my AA and then move on to my MBA.  I figure this will take me about an hour a day for the next 1040 days!  Yikes!  Oh, and tuition?  Well, gladly Uncle Sam is picking up the tab, until I've graduated that is.  I'm looking at about $48686 plus interest.  Whee!