Shaver Lake camping, September 2016


This past weekend from Thursday, September 15th, 2016 thru Sunday, September 18th, 2016 the boys and I made our annual trek up the to the California mountains for cabin-camping.

Cabin-camping isn’t quite as extreme as tent-camping because our living quarters typically have a solid foundation, roof, refrigerator and bathroom. In other words, we rent a house for the few days instead of living out of a tent.

This certainly sounds like it’s easier than traditional tent-camping, but I can assure you that we challenge ourselves in many ways to make up for the convenience of having a roof over our heads.


I have been fortunate enough to participate in this fun event for roughly the past 4-5 years. It’s my understanding that this great tradition has been happening for years prior and I’m so grateful to participate with these guys, and have great fun planning with our wives.

Each year our destination is different, however, generally we choose a location somewhere in the Yosemite National Forest. Sometimes we go more north and sometimes we go south. This particular year we went East! We ended-up near this place called Shaver Lake in California.


Upon arrival at the location we all were very excited, as always. These cabins were a bit particular though. Why? Because the pathway to the cabin involved a 30-or-so yard walk from our parking place to the cabin itself. You might not think that’s a big deal but when you have as much ‘gear’ as we bring it makes a huge difference. Anyhow, that was a big difference from our typical situation because usually parking is more reasonable.

We ended up staying at this place called Cedar Crest Resort in Lakeshore, CA. The people were super-duper nice, no doubt, and we loved their friendship. We must honestly say though that the accommodations weren’t the best, nor the worst. The cabin was clean but not nearly as spacious as advertised on the website which was interesting but being the manly-men that we are; we overcame. In all seriousness they had four couches in one room and we each commandeered one of thcampfire-and-roughageem!


After we got settled into the cabin and got our gear settled-in it was time to ‘camp’! So what was the first thing that my amigo’s immediately did? Start the BBQ grill and a campfire, of course!

Our group this year consisted of 6 total dudes. This is the largest number of campers since campfireI’ve joined the festivities. The four other guys, other than myself, I have known for a while and really appreciate their friendship. This year, however, a rookie was introduced to the gang. This rookie-guy was an absolutely wonderful person! He was such fun, entertaining and a great person to talk with. I can’t wait to hang-out with him again buy cheap viagra online uk. It is always so much fun to have new people join the group.




This is a beautiful picture of Frank (who is our fearless leader) and his beloved puppy, Aussie. This is a photo just before Frank took Aussie on a long walk. I know both of them really enjoyed this.

Frank is a great animal lover overall and I really appreciate this quality because he is an absolutely decent person. Thanks Frank!

Aussie is terrific fun among this group of guys. We love having Aussie join us for camping and he loves being in the wilderness. Frank is such a wonderful ‘daddy’ for Aussie that it’s borderline-sickening. Just kidding Frank-Buddy!

In all seriousness it’s really fantastic to have Aussie and Frank with us. I could not imagine spending a weekend without these two entertaining guys.


So once we got settled, it was gametime for us six guys and Aussie!

Whether it was happenstance or not, a football was brought by one of my fellow campers. Maybe they had heard the legend of the Kevin Neal Golden Arm? Regardless, as you can see in the photo, my football grip has perfect technqiue which allows me to throw perfect spirals at every release of the ball.

In addition to perfect grip and technqiue, my unbelievable accuracy to hit a received in a full-motion route is simply amazing.

LOL, yeah right! If that were all true then I would be playing football on Sunday’s instead of camping with 5 other dudes in a cabin drinking beer all weekend.

golden-armOverall, I would have to say that this was certainly a fantastic experience. What I enjoyed most was the conversations with the other guys. This was really special to me. These guys are smart dudes and have a lot of common sense. It’s absolutely refreshing to have such great discussions, debate controversial topics like adults and agree that the Cowboys stink! J

So, in summary, let me please provide my ratings:

  • Location: Lakeshore, CA = 6 out of 10 Steeler Stars
  • Cabin: Cedar Crest Resort = 4 out of 10 Steeler Stars
  • Fellow Campers: 5 dudes and Aussie = 10 out of 10 Steeler Stars
  • Food: 9 out of 10 Steeler Stars
  • Drink: 7 out of 10 Steeler Stars

I had a lot of fun guys and I look forward to next year!




9/11: 15 Years Later

I will #NeverForget, EVER!!!


This Sunday, September 11th, 2016 is the fifteenth anniversary of the awful terrorist attacks on the United States in New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland using commercial aircraft as the weapon of death and destruction, as disgusting as that may be. Naturally this day is filled with a lot of sadness, as it should be, but it’s also a day of great inspiration and hope for the future.

September 11th, 2001, was, with a single doubt THE most memorable day of my lifetime. It was absolutely surrealistic, like I was in the twilight zone, and certainly not in a good way. As with most of you I might imagine, it’s like a bad nightmare that doesn’t seem real, yet you know it is and can’t get rid of it from your memory banks.

On this 15th year memorial, I would like to share three topics about this important day in the hopes of more healing which are (1) My Memories, (2) Inspiration from Sadness and (3) Future Generations.


My Memories

I woke up early to watch the stock market news on TV at 4am PST (7am EST) as I normally do. It was like any other normal day until about 5:47am PST (8:47am EST). At. 5:47 EST the first plane hit the North Tower of World Trade Center. I left for work at 6:00am PST thinking this might be a horrible accident, and as tragic as it might be a few casualties, then end-of-story.

However, unfortunately, it was no accident and when I got to work it became clear that the United States was under attack.

At our work office of 100 or so persons, my office had the only TV in the building, and I’ll never forget the stream of concerned persons coming to the office to get updates. You have to remember that in the early morning hours this event was still unfolding. I witnessed a full-range of emotions seeing these people come to witness the events unfold. Caring, sadness and loss. The attack seemed to be getting worse and worse by the minute. Watching these powerful images on TV together left us helpless on how we could directly help, however, I GUARANTEE, without a doubt, that we were together in spirit for the victims and fantastic responders.

In particular, I’ll never forget how ‘empty’ I felt on the drive home that day. I vividly remember the emptiness of the highways. I remember each American Flag that was proudly flown along the highway I traveled. And I remember this horrible, awful, disgusting kick-in-the-gut that my proud country was attacked by such cowards.


Inspiration from Sadness

The memory of 9/11/01 typically invokes a feeling of sadness among most people. I’ve heard that something like 20% of Americans were personally affected by this tragedy. And to be sure, it is a really sad day, yet it’s also a day of Inspiration.

However; today, as I’ve seen with each memorial for the past fourteen years there is wonderful stories of inspiration from the families and loved ones of those that were lost. Their strength to speak-up and be public about their loss is simply amazing to me. These families are awesome!

Specifically, during the remembrances’ I witnessed on TV today, never did I hear a disrespectful word uttered, nor a vicious attack and only love for others. Each and every person that spoke today did with grace, dignity and confidence. These were such an inspirational bunch of people that have suffered so much incredible loss. It was so beautifully sad actually.


Future Generations

Now it’s time to move-on and future generations that are affected by the events of 9/11/2001. One of the things that really struck me profoundly was that High School Freshman this year weren’t even born or were just infants on that terrible day. That means this whole new, next-generation of American’s will not have lived this personal experience or felt the pain of this awful reality. They can only learn this through teaching in some form or another and we MUST tell the Truth.

It’s important that we continue to share the true facts and not a fabricated narrative. Those who committed these crimes are clear, why they did it is clear and what they want to achieve is clear.


These 2,997 innocent victims of the 9/11/2001 attacks are hero’s that did nothing wrong and deserve nothing but for their stories to be told and #NeverForget. Their crime was going to work on that day – that’s all -, trying to make a positive difference for themselves, friends and family; if you can believe it.

God Bless to all 2,997 killed, the thousands injured and the millions of families forever affected.