This page contains a rundown of my interests. If it seems to you like I'm less than "focused", you're right... I really do have too many hobbies.

The List

Amateur Radio: Also known as "Ham Radio". I've been a licensed "ham" since 1975, and continue to enjoy this hobby. You can find more details about my involvement in ham radio -- including my call sign change in 2012 to N6OI -- on the Home Page of this site.

Playing Music: I love to play music. This is, without reservation, my favorite hobby. I started playing clarinet in grammar school, and ended up majoring in Music Education in college. (I taught only briefly, however. Suffice it to say that I'm not patient enough to be a public school teacher, and I have the utmost respect for those that are.). My major instrument in college was indeed the clarinet, but I also play sax, guitar, and whatever else I feel brave enough to fool with at the time. My only claim to fame is being a (nearly) original member of The Chico Bavarian Band, which in 1997, became the first American band ever to play in the Munich Oktoberfest.

I don't play as often as I would like, in part because (and I'll undoubtedly come back to this) I have too many hobbies! But I do enjoy getting together with friends and playing whatever type of music seems to grab us at the moment. My forte is definitely around the formal aspects of playing - I can sight read just about any music handed to me on clarinet and sax - but I also really enjoy sitting in with friends that play entirely by ear. I'm not generally in their league, but I love to try. And I have some life-long friends that are kind enough to let me sit in now and again despite my "ad-lib challenged" playing. I do find, in my own defense, that the more I try the better I get. I wish someone had made that clear 45 years ago when I started playing; I would have spent more time noodling around and less time with my nose buried in my Klosé book (inside joke for clarinetists).

Of late, I've picked up the guitar after hardly touching one for nearly two decades. No real reason for not playing all this time other than the fact that I met my wife roughly twenty years ago and guitar didn't seem to have the same priority that it used to have. Now I'm finding that I miss playing guitar very much, and my wife, as it turns out, is quite supportive of my getting back into it. (No wonder I married her!)

My "regular gigs" these days are with two groups:

Alpine Sound is a four-piece (sometimes five) dance band, focusing on German, Austrian, and other Western European music, as well as American standards. We play for a variety of public and private events, especially (as you might expect) during September and October. Check us out... we'd love to play for your next event!

The other way I get my playing fix is with the Saratoga Community Band. It's a great organization, and there are some very talented members. The band is all volunteer (in fact, we pay a little each semester to cover costs), and generally varies between 70 and 80 musicians each semester. We play a lot of the same music that high school and college bands play, and it's a great way for all of us to play music that most of us grew up playing in school. Come out to one of our concerts sometime and check us out!

Golf: I absolutely stink at this game, but enjoy it nonetheless. Go figure. As I update this page (July, 2019), I haven't played in five or six years (Ouch!). I stopped playing in 2005 because of a rotator cuff injury, and then had subsequent injuries over a two year period to a knee and a tendon in my foot, and finally had some minor heart problems (corrected now, thankfully). But at this point, I have no excuse because I've been retired for more than a year, so... I guess it's time to get back out there (despite cash offers from many who would prefer I don't)!. How bad am I? Let's just say that breaking 100 is just about as good as getting a hole-in-one for me. Sad, but true...

Motorcycling: I've been riding motorcycles for 30+ years. My current ride is a 2003 Honda ST1300 sport touring model, with a ton of add-ons. In fact, the cost of all of these add-ons (referred to in the vernacular as "farkles") is approaching that of the bike itself. Well, maybe not quite, but it often seems that way.

Photography: Taking photos is something that I more or less got away from after college, but have more recently returned to as a part-time hobby (again, I have too many hobbies, so they're all part-time!). In my college days, I was immersed in this art form pretty deeply for a while. I had my own dark room, and even did the occassional wedding photo album for a friend or aquaintance (with the help of fellow-ham Alan, W6AKB (formerly WB6ZQZ)). These days, I'm using my first full frame DSLR (a Canon 6D, for those that might care), and am spending what time I can just figuring out all the things it's capable of. I'm sure it will take a while!

Traveling: Traveling is something I've always been interested in, but haven't been able to afford until I was an adult. I travelled less than some but more than most in my early adulthood, visiting most of the 48 states and parts of Europe (several times) by the age of 35. And then I met my wife Carol, who worked for American Airlines when I met her (no, not as a flight attendant -- she worked at the airport). Carol didn't just work for an airline, she actually likes to fly! You would be amazed at how many people work for an airline and never, ever travel. Granted, traveling on an airline employee's pass can be a challenge (you always fly standby), but you would think everyone that could do so would at least occasionally take advantage of the reduced cost. Not so.

Carol no longer works for AA (after 28 years, they bid her farewell as part of their restructuring), but she was with them long enough that we'll still be able to travel at reduced rates now and again. And Carol does indeed like to travel, so we will undoubtedly do so whenever possible. Which (like the time spent on the rest of my hobbies) will most certainly be less often than we would like.

Webmaster: Many years ago now, I decided that the band I've played in since college -- The Chico Bavarian Band -- needed a web site. I've done some programming in my earlier professional days, so I decided to teach myself HTML and become the band's self-proclaimed webmaster. It proved simple enough, and over time the whole webmaster thing has, well, basically gotten out of hand. I now host web sites for several friends, and manage a few more. As of this writing, I serve as webmaster for the band's site, the site for The Internationals™, Linda McGinnis (author), Cal Fire's Santa Clara Unit, and a couple personal sites as well (including this one). Who knew that web sites actually breed like rabbits!?!


Well, I think that may be it... until I decide to take up a new hobby, of course. I haven't added a new one in some time now, so I'm due!


Last updated on Sunday July 14, 2019 at 1:23 PM Pacific.

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