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Updated May 12, 2006

What's new with me?

Well, the big bike trip is about to begin. For those of you who are not familiar, I will be biking across the country the next couple months to honor my friend BJ Carlson, who passed away last year. Well, actually my best friend Sean Ryan will be doing most of the biking, I'm just going to be sitting on the trailer along for the ride. We're biking to realize a childhood dream, to achieve something big, and show people that even despite a spinal cord injury, that you can still achieve great things.

We're also biking to raise money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, to help develop treatments for these cancers that affect so many, young and old. How can you not want to do your part to help eradicate a cancer that can steal away young children before they can ever spend a single day in school. I want to support research to eradicate a disease that has affected my family personally. Fortunately for us, my uncle survived his battle with lymphoma, but others aren't so lucky. We bike to make a difference for the next person who has to fight that battle.  We also ride to inspire others the same way BJ inspired us.  BJ's message was that your dreams are never out of reach.  He lived his message, that you can still achieve all of those goals you once made for yourself through perseverance and courage.  If you have those things, nothing can hold you back.  We will move BJ's message, and pass it on to those we may encounter to inspire them as BJ inspired us.

Our trip commences May 14, when we head for San Diego to embark on our journey. For our trip, we estimate it will take us about $15,000 to cause the equipment and expenses we will have during our journey.  We also hope to raise another $15,000 we can give to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in BJ's name to help continue research into treatments and cures for these and other blood cancers that affect so many.

We need your help! We have learned over the course of the last several years, from my rehab and recovery from my spinal cord injury to involvement in other clubs and organizations with their own struggles, that help comes in many different forms. Whether it may be large or small, every contribution puts us closer to our goal, and puts us on the road to St. Augustine, Florida. But also, once we reached our fundraising goal, all net proceeds we receive go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to support further research and finding a cure for these terrible diseases. If you want to help us out, please go to to see how you can help. Thanks for making a difference!  = P

In the fall of 2000 I began my studies at the University of Arizona , in Tucson. My major? I recently decided on astronomy. Why astronomy? It's absolutely fascinating! It's something I think I could enjoy teaching others. There have been times where I've spent hours explaining subjects and concepts of astronomy to friends and family, to find I have not lost their attention. If that doesn't scream future, I don't know what does. And there's no place on earth better to study astronomy at the University of Arizona. Whether it's the Cassini probe, or the recently arrived Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, or the Spitzer space telescope, we are involved and continue to be at the forefront! There's nothing more exciting than having the opportunity to learn from the best in the field in the world.

The best part about being at U. of A.? The weather is beautiful, but the people I've met take the pot. You guys keep me going. I'm very fortunate that many of my close friends from Flagstaff, like Sean, Keith, Carlton, and Lillian have come down to Tucson to go to school. You guys are what make it possible for me to be here at school, and it is your pillars of support that keep me up and still going. And to all of you I've met since coming down here, like Coral, Stefanie, Katie, Jenn, Nikki, Tiffany, and Joanna, among others, I consider myself the luckiest man alive to have met all of you, and to have become your friend. I truly do love you all, without you I'd be lost.

The lesson, in case you still haven't figured it out... life goes on my friend, so stop dwelling on the bad and concentrate on the good. You create your own happiness.

the University of Arizona

Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity  

In the fall of 2001, I decided to take part in the Greek system at the U. of A., the largest in the West.  I am fortunate enough to have chosen the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.  Traditionally an agriculturally based fraternity, and both a social and professional fraternity, it has given me a chance to grow that no purely social fraternity could ever offer me. We still have all the same fun, parties and events, but with a professional side as well. Granted I'm not an agriculture major, but being a member in this house has given me the opportunity to meet many people around whom I can grow a more mature and compassionate person. I really do love you guys.  Thank you all so very much for what you do for me.  I could not succeed without your support.

If you would like to check out the fraternity's web page, which I also designed and manage, click here.

The web page also has a little history about our chapter house where I currently live, and other links to sites related to the University and the fraternity.

A quick hi and thank you to Joanna Wilson, Haley McDonald, Nikki McGee, the Cave Creek Trio; Coral Fahringer, Sarah Adrience, and Andrea Donovan, Stefanie Koberna, Jenn Forsythe, Katie Chester (or Kathleen if you like), Jessyca James, Tiffany Gelabert, Mandi Williams, and all the rest of you.  You know who you are.  Not only beautiful women, all, but amazing women at that. All of you, my Tucson ambassadors, have made my time here great.  All of you have helped make Tucson my new home.  Any of you I have not mentioned, I still love you.  Please drop me a line and I'll get you up here as well, on this wall of supercool dudes and dudettes.

A quick thanks and I love you man/woman (just like the commercials from years ago, you know which ones) to my buddies from back home in Flagstaff, including my best friend in the world Sean Ryan, Keith Buzzard, Carlton Johnson, Scrawny Johnny Bordwell, Lilian Hautemulle (please forgive the spelling), my big papa, my angel of a sister Lauren Mary Blankenburg, 2005 Arizona State Champion Web Designer (although she recently changed her name. Seriously.)

And surely I cannot forget Jenie Clarke, and Angie Cremeens as well, friends from a little further back but still putting a smile on my face.  And the both of you with your beautiful young children, absolutely amazing.

All of you give me the strength to get up each and every day.

Those of the graduating, I'm going to miss the heck out of you, I really am.

And finally, I have a critter pal that keeps me company.  She is my 1 1/2 year old Colombian Boa named Fera.  I was told that in Greek, Fera means "untamed beast" which I thought was quite fitting, except for the fact that she is a gentle little sweetheart.  Wouldn't harm a fly.  Just a little mouse that's destined to be dinner.  But that's it.  A quick shout out to my little lady.

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