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Interest 1: I dabble in computers and programming, so here is a Slot Machine I designed for the kids to try and break!

 

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Interest 2: I fancy myself a weekend carpenter, so I entered the National Western Red Cedar Association Design and Build Competition. I took Runner-up to the Grand prize by designing and constructing a Japanese style gate, fence, and garden area for our home. For my effort, I won a battery powered lawn mower.  I wanted to construct something reminiscent of Yoshiko's hometown. Here is how it turned out:

fence2.jpg (147421 bytes)

 

Fence.jpg (91668 bytes)

 

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Interest 3: I enjoy playing Chess. Many years ago, I played regularly at the Spokane Chess Club at Gonzaga University. Today, when I need a quick, challenging game I go online to play, but I prefer to challenge an opponent in person. 

 

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Interest 4: Like everyone else, we're trying to retain some youthful functionality. Yoshiko works out regularly and vigorously on a Nordic Track cross country skiing machine and exercycle. She also cross trains with dumbbells. Her discipline and tenacity is phenomenal and  it never ceases to inspire me. I must be on the fifth re-build of that ski machine since she chose it as her primary mode of exercise.

I, on the other hand, used to enjoy putting in 25 to 30 miles a week of carefree road running, which I did for nearly 25 years. Unfortunately, all that pounding aggravated my lower back, so I switched to an ergonomic stationary bicycle. Additionally, I spend a few days a week down in our basement, where I have put together a makeshift torture chamber. The gym consists of free weights, low-impact power tubes, benches, weighted  pulleys, a chin-up/dip tower, and a bazooka boom box, which staves off boredom.

    

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Interest 5: Reading is one of life's relaxing, relatively low cost joys. Yoshiko reads literary and history books, some about countries where her pen friends live. She also enjoys reading cookbooks, Japanese magazines, and The Smithsonian Magazine. I read history, true crime, adventure, medical, and other non-fiction books; however, I have read more than a few novels. Here are a few book recommendations:

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The Holocaust by Martin Gilbert  (Imagine yourself in these peoples' predicament.)

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How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter by Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland  (Idiosyncrasies of the body.)

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Aerobics by Kenneth H. Cooper, M.D.  (Inspired me to get on the fitness bandwagon.)

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The Coming Plague by Laurie Garrett  (The ongoing war against microbes.)

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Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser  (First cigarettes; now fast food.)

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The Snakebite Survivors' Club by Jeremy Seal  (The most venomous serpents on the planet.)

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The Climb by Anatoli Boukreev  (Author died climbing after book published.)

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The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger  (Book which inspired the movie.)

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The Demonologist by Gerald Brittle (And you thought The Exorcist was scary!)

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The Millionaire Next Door by Stanley Danko  (How they really did it.)

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The Reader's Digest Bible  (Finally, a Bible that reads easily.)

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Victim by Gary Kinder  (A horrific crime and its aftermath.)

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For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway  (Spanish Civil War is backdrop for author's imagery.)

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The Demon in the Freezer by Richard Preston (Bio-Terror realities. Don't read if prone to Anxiety!)

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Death in Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park by Lee Whittlesey
(A park that bites the unwary!)

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Horrible Histories series by Terry Deary
(Great books for children and teens, but we enjoy reading about world history with a twist of humor.)

 

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Interest 6: Recently, I have garnered an interest in digital imaging. I have an Epson Perfection Photo scanner, which came packaged with PhotoShop Elements in the bundled software. This is a great deal! Elements retails for around $100, and it is the sibling of PhotoShop, which is a $600 full-featured digital imaging program used by professionals. However, don't make the mistake of thinking Elements is a cut-down version of the flagship program. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of its big brother, but it does have most of what digital imaging hobbyists require, and it has some nifty features that the professional version doesn't include.

I have been studying photograph restoration and archiving techniques. Our family has a backlog of irreplaceable, and sometimes deteriorating, photographs that need digitizing, restoration, and archiving. In conjunction with the learning process, I am restoring some photographs. Here is an example of a severely damaged 65-year-old photograph of my mother. The delicate original photograph is one square inch in size, and the film was actually bubbling and flaking off. I attempted the restoration and was satisfied with the result, even though my skills, at this point, are limited.

Before After

 

bulletInterest 7: I have a degree in Computer Network Engineering, so I have built all of our home computers for the past 10 years and administer a small Home Network.

 
bulletInterest 8: Recently, I have taken up Amateur Astronomy. I have acquired an 8 inch CELESTRON NEXSTAR 8i Schmidt Cassegrain telescope and a 12-inch ORION XX12 Dobsonian reflector Telescope. Both of these scopes are renown for their optics and ease of portability. The NEXSTAR 8i is computer controlled, so at the touch of a button it will slew to any of 40,000 celestial objects and place them in the center of the eyepiece. The ORION is equipped with a more passive but capable system that will find 14,000 objects and guide you to them. I already have a Dark Sky site selected and cannot wait to put the telescopes to work.

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Copyright 2003 by Daniel L. Hagerman. All rights reserved.
Revised: 26 Aug 2009 08:54:07 -0400 .