I've added this page to keep everyone up-to-date on changes to the website and current events in my life. The most recent entries are at the top of the list.
Merry Christmas to All!!!
Put together my new "data center" in my house. It's a huge workstation area I got from a friend. Houses all my PC equipment much better. Great for my new dual 22" monitors! I rewired my entire first floor - new electric.
Foot of snow...oh, joy...
Bring Jay to a New Jersey Devil's Hockey Game in Newark
Jasmine turns 5 years old
My girls return from an extra month in Indonesia. Pick them up at JFK.
Just returned from a 2 week trip to Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!
wow...hard to believe it's been well over 4 years since I updated this page...Jasmine is 4 years old now...so much has happened during that time...it would be hard to catch up on all of it...I have updated some of the pages...I've been trying to make time get "back into it"
Bonita gave birth to a healthy baby daughter, Jasmine Sabila, at 6 AM sharp.
7 lbs 4 oz, 20 inches
I was there for the whole thing and let me tell you, it was amazing! At long last, I'm a father. My whole life has changed in an instant.
Good news/bad news. We moved into our new house in PA. It is an old house, built in 1920 but in great shape. It has a huge, flat yard and a detached garage. We see deer in the backyard everyday. I got a job installing Cable TV. Hey, I'll get paid to explore and learn the new area! However, the sale on the NJ home fell through. The buyers played some real head games with me, nixed the deal and to top it off bought the house next door! Well, what can you do? It might turn out to be a good thing. Now that we have the new house maybe we'll hang on to the old one and rent it out for another year. So far the value has gone up considerably each year. My wife is almost due...anxious and excited!
We have accepted an offer on our house. We have put an offer on a house in Pennsylvania, in the Poconos.
I quit installing satellite systems for a while. The frustration finally got to me. For now I'm concentrating on my wife's pregnancy and our upcoming move.
We've put our house on the market. We feel it's a good time to cash out. We also want to get out of the New Jersey rat race. We're not sure where we're moving to yet. We're considering Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Florida.
I've been working my butt off 6-7 days a week. Don't get to workout much. No martial arts classes, a little swimming, an occasional bike ride. My jos IS quite a workout though. Thus far my wife's pregnancy has been non-eventful. She's really showing though. We're not going to find out if it's a boy or girl until it pops out.
When I return from the reunion I find out that my dear friend Jim Kennedy has passed away from a drug overdose. I am in shock. He was only 38 years old. Most disturbing of all is the fact that in 13 years since I've known him he never took drugs. The whole thing is very suspicious.
Memorial Day Weekend 2002
Second Annual family reunion to Grandma's in Tennessee. A little bigger this year. Altogether there was:
Me and Bonita
My father and his wife Mary Ann
My mother and my Aunt Glen
My sister Jennifer and her 2 kids
My sister Jill, her husband and their 3 kids
My cousin Branch, his wife, daughter and mother Elda
My newly discovered cousin Monique (daughter of my Uncle Buddy), her son and mother Christine
My cousins Harmony and Autumn
And of course, Grandma
I arrived a day early to set everything up, as usual. It was nice to see my cousin Branch and his mother again and wonderful to meet my cousin Monique. Overall it was a great success although I'm not so sure I want to do it again for a while. Family reunions are a lot of work! I was exhausted after 3 days and then I had to drive home!
One year anniversary at Martial Arts Concepts. Man, that flew by. I have learned quite a bit in my time here. Time to pay tuition again...not sure if I'll commit to another year. Since I started working again I don't have time to attend classes very often.
End of March 2003
I officially went back to work at a "real" job. I've stumbled into a new career (again) installing Satellite TV Systems. It's very similar to the cabling I've done in the past, the startup costs were meager and the pay is good. The frustration level is high on some days though. Jobs don't always go through, you get tied up on the phone for hours...I guess there's a certain frustration level for every job. The best thing about the job is that time flys. That also happens to be the worst thing about it.
Beginning of March 2003
My wife and I find out that she is pregnant. We are ecstatic! Naturally, I want a boy, she wants a girl...to be continued.
Goodness gracious, long time no update! GEEEEESH...where do I begin? Well, It's been a long, cold winter this go 'round...I finally get to use all of the cold weather gear I've stocked up on all these years...
Physically, I'm doing ok. I still have the weirdness in my arms though. Living with it. Comes and goes.
Still steady with the martial arts training. 10 months straight. Amazing how much I've learned.
Haven't been able to do much around the outside of the house because of the cold weather...the office has long been finished though. I have 4 computers going out to the net now: my main box, my laptop, an XP box and a Linux box. I finally have dual monitors operational on the main box. I have a webcam up and running too!
Visited Florida to watch the Super Bowl with the "real" Buc fans. Had the time of my life.
I still don't have a "real" job. Doing whatever it takes to survive. I have become a DJ/KJ (Karaoke "Guy"). I have put together a fantastic system. I like it a lot. The smoke kills me though...everything reeks of it when I get home at the end of the night... and of course, the "empty" second bedroom has become a musical equipment store room.
I bought a guitar and started to teach myself how to play. Yeah, right! I honestly have made progress... it's not as easy as it looks!
I updated my Homepage a little...replaced the counter, removed some of the junk. I hope to upload a bunch more pictures when I get a chance.
I have become an eBay JUNKIE! I swear, I buy more STUFF from that site! I can't pass up a good deal!
Spent a lot of time in State College, PA. Really enjoyed it there. Everything revolves around Penn State University. Have the place totally wired! Bought a new mountain bike there and rode every inch of the place...rollerbladed quite a bit too. I could really get used to that place!
First day of Summer. I've already been swimming in the lake for 2 weeks.
7 weeks of unemployment, martial arts classes, working on the house...no luck finding a job though...things are tough out there.
I've been feeling much better lately. My arms feel weird sometimes and I still get occasional numbness in my face...doesn't seem too bad...maybe I'm just getting used to living with it...been over a year now...
The new office in the basement is almost fininshed...it'll be nice to have a second bedroom again!!!
Big concert. Dysfunctional Family Picnic, Jones Beach, NY. Korn, Incubus, System of a Down, POD, Papa Roach, others. Long, cold day.
Also, my Mother arrives to visit for a week. Since we're at the concert, I arrange for a shuttle to pick her up.
5/24/02 to 5/28/02
Trip to Tennessee. Family reunion, arranged by ME. Also a time to weatherproof my Grandmother's deck.
Begin taking martial arts classes again. Heck, if I'm not working, I have no excuse NOT to. Collecting unemployment...not as much as what I was making, but enough to pay the bills...
New York City 5 boro ride. 42 miles. Ride with Bart, Red and Roy. I end up finishing an hour ahead of them. We got a late start and had to walk the bikes a lot due to congestion. We parked in Hoboken and took the PATH to and from. Ended up with 55 miles for the day and a sunburn.
When I return to work Wednesday I am told that I am laid off. Well, I don't have to worry about THAT anymore...
After one last day in Liverpool it's back to London by train. Spend the night and fly back to the US.
After spending a day near Liverpool, John, Sharon and I are off to Dublin, Ireland by ferry. Spend a day and the night there. Back to Liverpool by ferry the next day.
Leave for England. (The details about the trip will be with the pictures.) First flight for me since 9/11. Pleasant flight. Only get about 3 hours sleep. Left at 6 PM my time, land 6 hours later except it's 6 AM in England. I have no choice but to go like mad.
Spend the day walking around London. Take a train to Liverpool to meet John Manning.
I'm going on vacation again. I booked a flight to England to see my friend John Manning who moved there last Summer. My wife cannot go, because her Green Card STILL has not arrived (supposed to have it MONTHS AGO). Without that card she has no documentation to get back into the US. Anyway, I decided to go now because the airfare is so low.
Work has been really slow for months now. Seems like it's only a matter of time before they let people go.
I was on vacation last week. I drove to Tennessee to see my Father and Grandmother. My wife could not go because she had to work. I did take the dog though. On the way back I visited my Sister in Ohio. Then on Saturday I stopped in at the Arnold Fitness Expo in Colombus for about 3 hours. The place was mobbed. Had a great time. Now, back to the grind.
I shrunk many of the pictures on the website so they download faster. They will look the same.
Well the new year is upon us. I will turn 40 tomorrow...what a TRIP that is...
I got a new dog a couple of weeks ago. Her name is Precious Pearly White. I got her on Pearl Harbor Day. She is a Pit Bull just like Sparky only white and tan. I'll have a picture of her soon. She's only about a year old so she still acts like a puppy, even though she's full grown. She's VERY protective of the house and car, unlike Spark the wimp. She's a little bigger than Sparky and stronger. She pulls Bonita down the road when she walks her (who's walking who???) It took a long time for me to get a new dog but I'm glad I did. I got her at the local pound. I cried all the way home...I passed the place where Sparky is buried...but I was over it soon enough.
So my big four-oh has arrived. Honest to God, I still feel like a 25 year old at heart. Except for being sick for most of this year I've felt like one too. I've been feeling better lately but I'm still not myself. In any case, I've been going on some great mountain bike rides lately and that makes me feel better.
On that note I'll end and wish everyone Happy Holidays and a great New Year!!!
I finally decided to fork over the $6.95 per month to have my website hosted WITHOUT banners. It was free as long as I let them put a banner on the top of the page...after 6 months I guess I can trust them!
For those of you who do not know...I cut my hair...NO, NOT ALL OF IT!!! Last May I cut it from the back of my leg to the middle of my butt. The day after the terrorist attacks I cut it to the middle of my back. After I returned from Florida I cut it to between my shoulder blades. I'm leaving it there for now...I simply CANNOT bring myself to cutting it all off. It's too much a part of my personality at this point. One thing's for sure, it's a lot easier to take care of now!!!
I attended a BICSI conference in Worcester, Mass on Friday, Nov 9. Had a great time, learned a lot!
Well, well, well...it's been a while... The world has changed since my last update. The World Trade Center buildings have collapsed and we're in a war now. I've been sick since June with something that no Doctor can diagnose. Still, I carry on...Not much has changed for me lately...Yes, I'm a little somber about it all...
My scanner has been broken for months and I'll be damned if I'll pay $180 to fix it and I'll be GOD damned if I'll pay HP $300 for another one! SO, no new pictures for now...
As far as my illness, I can function ok, but I have not been myself since June. I've had tingling in my arms and legs, numbness in my face, chills, spasticity, muscle spasms, shortness of breath, ringing in my ears and weakness in my thighs. For the last 2 months it's been mostly the facial numbness and weak legs. Keep in mind that all of these symptoms come and go... I've been to 5 Doctors and have had batteries of tests but it seems according to them at least that I'm fine. Anyway, I haven't missed any work because of it and I'm still able to exercise and work on the house, trucks, etc...it just kind of depresses me...
I was about 20 miles from ground zero when the planes hit the WTC. I'm going to be straight... I was terrified out of my mind. And I never felt so helpless. I haven't visited Manhattan since and I have no desire to do so.
I made a brief trip to Florida in September to attend a training class. Since the class was 8am-5pm Mon-Fri with a 45 minute commute each way, I had no time for any fun. I had hoped to get together with many of my friends but didn't even get to see most of them. We stopped in Tennessee on the way home. I could tell that my transmission was having problems... it gave out 50 miles from home. Cost me over $2700 to fix everything... heck, the truck isn't even worth that much!!!
On the positive side, that training course taught me a lot and I now have a quality certification in cabling. Also, I have made great progress around the house. We had beautiful gardens over the Summer and abundant vegetables. I moved my workbench out of the basement and into the shed. Now I don't have to work between the two places and it freed up a lot of room in the basement. I have all of the house plants back inside for the Winter. I'm using grow lights again this year...it seems that the plants live longer when they're not in total darkness!!! The humidifier keeps them from drying out, too!!! I'm learning!!! The biggest relief for me is that I finally moved the hot water heater yesterday. It was on the far side of the basement. You know what that meant...cold water for several minutes before you could jump in the shower or wash dishes...what a waste!!! I can't imagine why they put it so far away in the first place!!! Best of all, now I can build my office in the basement. We moved the computer equipment into the spare bedroom after the tenant moved out in June. However, we now have no spare bedroom. Well, my Winter project is all ready to go!!!
I've been working hard on increasing my technical knowledge. I built a small network at home to practice on.
I got rid of Cable TV over the Summer and now have Satellite TV. I'll NEVER go back. The difference in picture quality is truly incredible. I couldn't believe that the installer hit that satellite from where I live...but I'm glad he did!!! Since I have the NFL Sunday Ticket, I don't accomplish much on those days...I guess I needed to learn how to relax!!!
So, little by little things are falling into place around the house...more than 2 years after moving in!!!
As far as the site goes, I updated the broken links and out of date info...cleaned up the homepage: moved the Guestbook UP to the top so maybe more people will SIGN IT!!!
Scanned about 25 more pictures and added several new pages under Bali 2001 Page. To find it click Photo Album then Travel Page then Indonesia Page.
Since I've only been working one job for almost 2 months now, I've made some great progress on the house and in the yard. All of the drywall is up as far as my current project goes. The vegetable garden is going strong. The flower beds have increased and everything is blooming. Pictures forthcoming.
Put my website back up. The hosting is free, but I have to let them put a small banner on every page. I don't think it's too much to ask...if I pay a small amount they'll remove the banners...so I thought I'd try them out for a while first...so far, so good...I highly recommend them as a web host. Their servers are FAST!
Mid May, 2001
I quit my job in New York City after 15 months. Now I only have *ONE* fulltime job. I also have nights and weekends off now. I had worked over 70 weekends in a row!
As a consequence, my website has been taken down. Darn it, I just spent about 2 weeks putting it up. Oh well, time to find a new home...AGAIN!!!
I have not put up any new pics because my PC at home has crashed. Therefore I cannot scan pictures. So much for Windows 2000 being STABLE...I don't know WHEN I'll find time to do a reinstall b e c a u s e...
We've been working very hard on the house. I'm sick of living in a construction zone. The new linen closet is almost finished. We installed the new lighting in the dining room. Now we have to replace the ceiling. The drain pipes for the kitchen and bathroom have been replaced. Moving the hot water heater and building my office are next on the long list.
HAPPY SAINT PATRICK'S DAY!!!
After much aggravation I have all of the old pictures back up! PLEASE, if you see anything that doesn't work correctly, email me about it so I can fix it!
So anyway I learned a lot about UNIX/Linux in the process of doing all of this. I am going to set up a Linux box at home. That should be a lot of fun...
I put some pictures on the Wedding and Bali pages. To see them, click here:
Wedding and Bali Pictures!!!
I only put a few up for now...I have many more so check back...I just need some time to scan them all in and then update the pages.
3/11/01 (wee hours of the morning...)
Worked on website "housekeeping" tasks too numerous to mention...
I was able to get quite a few more pictures uploaded...most of the old ones are back up now...
Added Indonesian Wedding and Bali 2001 pages, but they are empty at the moment!
I turned this page upside down! It now starts from the most recent entry!
Well, the server migration didn't go as well as I had planned. Several of my pictures still will not upload. I'm working on it though, a couple at a time...haven't even gotten CLOSE to scanning the new ones from Indonesia and Korea...what a CHORE this web site is!!!
My PC at home is now working top notch. I basically rebuilt it from the bottom up...new processor, motherboard, 2 hard drives, power supply, CD-RW, ZIP 250, 256 MB RAM...la-dee-da...burns CDs in 8 minutes...still not online with it though...waiting for a better deal on a cable modem...I REFUSE to put Netzero on it...that software will SCREW UP a computer!!!
Still working hard at 2 jobs...getting plenty of sleep, too!!!
Long live Napster!!!
I've been locked out of my site for over a MONTH!!! (Problems with a server migration)
Went on another trip to Indonesia and Korea. Had a THIRD (and FINAL!) Wedding ceremony...wait til you see the pictures...many coming soon...made it to Bali...what a cool place!
Finishing up putting my home PC back together...that has been down for several months.
I have been working 2 fulltime jobs since the first of the year...grueling! I'm hanging in there though...the extra cash comes in handy ; )
Waiting patiently for Winter to wind down...ENOUGH SNOW ALREADY!!!
Anyway, the site is being moved to a new server so expect glitches! I'm doing the best I can!
Happy New Year to everyone! I'm stuck at work again...wonder if I'll EVER get to see the ball drop in Times Square...with a little luck I'll make it there tonight...not getting my hopes up tho'...at least they're catering food for us here at work!
As you probably saw, I added some temporary snowfall to the homepage...I can change it to leaves in Fall...I also changed the music from loop to single play...almost drove me CRAZY!
Updated Sparky's Page...very tough. I miss her tremendously.
Best wishes to all for the new year!
Haven't done much on the site in a while...not much has changed for me lately...working hard...been at my job in NYC over a year now...preparing for another trip to Indonesia and Korea in January.
Added my Homebrew and Beer Page. Still has a long way to go...
I took out the fade from the index page...loads much faster now...
2 day trip to Washington, DC to visit Bonita's niece Dian. Drive home along scenic roads in northern Maryland.
Make Arnold 2000 page (FINALLY!) Check it out! Pictures with the Stars!
Update the Weight Lifting Page. Making plans to add workout MPEG's to show how to properly do certain exercises. Still have to add pic's from Arnold Fitness weekend...boy am I behind on that!!!
I've been checking out a lot of webcam sites lately. It looks like a fabulous idea but I can tell that it takes A LOT OF WORK. Man, those people are dedicated! It also means a much faster connection to the net from home...I'm looking into a cable modem.
Vacation. Washington DC, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina.
We lost Sparky. God bless her. She will NOT be easy to replace.
Add numerous CCNA sites to my Networking Page. I've refocused lately on getting my CCNA certification.
Homepage work: add mouseover "negative" shots; add AOL Instant Messenger Remote bar; add scrolling message to status bar. Add pictures to My House page in photo album.
Add onmouseover feature to buttons on Site Navigator. Update Personal Page.
Change META Tags; update Martial Arts Page: add "Techniques" section (under construction), add links; move Martial Arts, Fitness and Weights Pages from Photo Album Page back to Contents Page so that they're always on the navigation bar; other misc site housekeeping.
Ride motorcycle up to Bear Mt, New York. Beautiful view!
Day motorcycle trip to Pennsylvania...Happy 4th of July!!!
Work at the Statue of Liberty...went up to the crown at 6:40 AM...the ONLY ONE in the entire Statue!!!
After being down for almost a MONTH, johnemerson.com is back up and running!
Quick trip to Tennessee and Ohio
My web host shuts me down because I posted a deragatory (but TRUE) comment about them on their Yahoo board (IBSX if you care to check it out)...screw them!!!
Major improvement...add SOUND to the website! k e w l !!!
I get married....to Bonita, OF COURSE!
Update Weightlifting Page
Bonita arrives from Indonesia....YIPPEE!!!!
Happy St Patrick's Day!!! Add fade effect between intro page and homepage.
Add picture of me and Arnold....
Attend Arnold Fitness Weekend in Columbus, Ohio. Fantastic event...a weekend full of bodybuilding, powerlifting, martial arts and fitness!
Add the "shake" to the intro page. Add "lake" effect to middle picture on homepage.
Change background on Homepage and Network Page; Misc site housekeeping.
Add pictures to New Orleans Page. Create Florida Keys Page and add to Travel Page.
My birthday. Also, I added the pictures to the Cave page, completing the Indonesia section. Create Misc Concert page for the events that don't take up a whole page.
Replace hit counter on homepage. The old one never worked. Update various pages.
Add new pictures to Indonesia area on "Beach" page; add a new picture to Sparky's page.
Okay!!!!! I'm back online....my ftp program pooped out last month and I had to get another one...watch for lots of new stuff!!!
Start my new job in New York City....Chinatown!
Drive to Florida, spend 3 days taking care of business and visiting friends, drive back.
Update text on Bogor Page.
Add more pictures to Indonesia area (create Jakarta and Bogor Pages). Add new House Page and Concert Page to Photo Album. Add Guavaween Page (under Concert Page) WITH PICTURES!!! Re-write Personal Page. Misc site "housekeeping". Update this page.
Add new Photo Album Page. Update and change buttons on Navigation Bar.
Fly to Florida for two days for Guavaween 99 in Tampa. I've been too busy to do much work on this site...I apologize...it won't be long before there's A LOT MORE STUFF...I tend to work on it in spurts!!!
Last day at my job...back on the open market!!!
Put new counter and guestbook on Home Page....won't someone sign it????
Celebrate my one year anniversary at my job....boy, that went fast!!!
Make slight changes to Homepage; add realtime New York City weather forecast.
Add Borobudor pictures; Add Peti Mas Page/pictures to Indonesia Page.
Add Temple Pages, Prambanan pictures to Indonesia Page.
Completed adding pictures to Korea Page.
Added "Indonesia" and "Korea" pages under "Travel" page. Many more pictures from Indonesia to come. Added this page and "What's New" button to site navigator.
Return from vacation. Had a fantastic time.
Leave for vacation to Indonesia and Korea.
Move into my new house.
Please come back and visit me soon.
Copyright John B Emerson
Last Updated 12/25/2008