Interests and Hobbies

To totally escape from the pressure of work, I enjoy reading mystery novels, working on a few pet computer programming projects, and occasionally brushing up on my martial arts.

Reading for fun:
Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

Current Computer Projects
I'm learning to program in LiveCode so that I can deploy on multiple platforms, including mobile phones and iPads. Previously, I had used SuperCard exclusively, but certain projects I want to be able to make available in Windows (uggh!).

Martial Arts
I started training in martial arts when I was 15. After trying one Japanese style, I switched to American Kenpo, a variety of a Chinese art that was brought to the US by Ed Parker. Grandmaster Parker had a very systematic way of breaking down movement, categorizing reactions, and increasing speed. I studied Kenpo under Steve LaBounty in California, one of Mr. Parker's senior black belts. I was fortunate to have watched Mr. Parker perform demonstrations many times - he had unbelievable speed and power. I earned my purple belt with Mr. LaBounty, then he sold his studio to Larry DeMerritt. I earned my brown belt under Mr. DeMerritt and then moved to Illinois. After a break, I began training again with Dan Babcock. Dan had lived in California for several years and knew both Mr. LaBounty and Mr. DeMerritt through the Tracy karate organization. After two years with Mr. Babcock, he turned his studio over to his best black belt, Ray Pohl. Ray is one of the best teachers you could ever meet in the martial arts. I was the first student to earn a black belt under Mr. Pohl. Eventually I earned my 2nd degree from him. Ray also introduced me to Systema - a Russian martial art taught to special forces and brought to North America by Vladimir Vasilev. Vlad is one of the most amazing martial artists I've ever met. I've worked with Vlad at his studio in Toronto as well as at various workshops in the U.S.

Here's a web page I created to discuss the relationship between
Elvis Presley and Kenpo, and to explain the patch worn by Kenpo practitioners (such as seen in the photos to the left of Ray Pohl and Steve LaBounty). Elvis’ instructor was Ed Parker.