My Other Interests

 

Roller Coasters

I've ridden at least 100, including about 82 between October 2008 and February 2010. I would have to say that some of my favorites, in no particular order, include:

Millennium Force at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH

Griffon at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA

The Boss at Six Flags St. Louis in Eureka, MO

Raging Bull at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL

Beast at Kings Island in Mason, OH

Mr. Freeze at Six Flags St. Louis in Eureka, MO

Diamondback at Kings Island in Mason, OH

Viper at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL

Desperado at Buffalo Bill's Resort & Casino in Primm, NV

Mamba at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, MO

Alpengeist at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA

Apollo's Chariot at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA

Storm Runner at HersheyPark in Hershey, PA

Mantis at at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH

Flight of Fear at Kings Island in Mason, OH

In the summer of 2010, I rode the Arkansas Twister at Magic Springs and Crystal Falls in Hot Springs, AR and got stuck on the lift hill. That was a first. The day before had been REALLY hot an humid. The day I rode and got stuck for about 10 minutes, the sun was out, the sky was blue, the humidity had broken, and we had just cleared the treetops. That was actually a great place to get stuck and be able to look out at all the wooded area surrounding Hot Springs. Moral of the story: When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.

"Do-It-Yourself" projects around my house

I ripped out the front bathroom and installed ceramic tile during the summer of 2012. Here's a picture of the finished project:

tiled bathroom

Over spring break, 2012, I ripped out the vinyl in my laundry room and installed ceramic tile.

I made-over the master bathroom one year DURING the school year-- BIG mistake. I started in August and finished in December, so I vowed never again to tackle a project so big during the school year. It all started when the chrome trim on the shower door fell down a little and made the door difficult to close. I inspected the problem by removing a screw at the bottom of the door and found the screw had broken. In the process of inspecting, I made it so that the door wouldn't close all the way. Thus began the remodel that my wife had longed for. Out with the white tile, out with the ceramic soaking tub, and in with some patterned tan and beige tile, stone trim, and a whirlpool tub. Out with the toilet that had a cracked lid from the day we bought the house and in with a new toilet that was some color other than white, but not cream, nor tan. I don't know what to call it, but I'm sure my wife would remember the name of the color. Out with the white double sink and in with a flecked one that matched the other colors. All that while teaching full time at the high school and teaching 2 classes at the community college. Wow.

Back around 2000, I put a floating floor (like Pergo) in my dining room, kitchen, and hallway. This was the old glue-together kind. That took me about 31 days to do, during the same summer that I taught summer school at Francis Howell High School and picked up 9 hours of teaching at the community college. My daughter was 2 at the time. I spent more time at one school or the other per week that summer than I normally do during the school year (becuase it was 20 hours per week at the high school plus 18 hours per week at the college, plus 3 hours per week of office hours) and somehow still managed to get the flooring finished.

I put crown moulding in my master bedroom and above my kitchen cabinets, thereby applying my math skills as I used a compound miter saw.

 

 

Sports

I don't watch any. I know, that may sound bizarre, but I have no interest in it.

Cooking

I like to grill. I enjoy trying new recipes, especially things that are a little challenge at times. Tried making sweet potato gnocchi and I don't think it was a success, but wouldn't call it a horrible failure, either. I've made ice cream from scratch with good results-- I thought of Mr. Manfull when I made banana ice cream. I've made creme brulee several times, but with a slowing metabolism, I have no business eating it very often. I've picked mulberries around Laurel Park and made and canned mulberry jelly with very good results. Baking bread from scratch, with or without a machine, has been an off-and-on endeavor.

Speaking Spanish

I don't get a chance to speak much Spanish, other than with students or the Spanish teachers down the hall, but enjoy trying to maintain my skills. The year before I started at FHN, I taught one year of Spanish at a school in Florissant and am certified K-9 to teach it.