August 29, 2003

the friday five

1. Are you going to school this year? No, I have 2 more years until all three of my kids will be in school, at that time I plan to start taking some classes or to get certified as a dog groomer.

2. If yes, where are you going (high school, college, etc.)? If no, when did you graduate? I graduated High School in 1985. Since then I have gone to college 3 times and only managed to finish one semester of classes.

3. What are/were your favorite school subjects? Don't know if I had any favorites. I loved any performing arts classes and did well in Math and Science. I'm more interested in writing and literature now.

4. What are/were your least favorite school subjects? P.E. - I deplored it. I almost didn't graduate High School simply because I never attended my P.E. class. Next to that it was never the subjects it was the teachers. I only had 3 teachers in 4 years of high school I respected or liked.

5. Have you ever had a favorite teacher? Why was he/she a favorite? Looking back on all my teachers the one that stands out the most is Ms. Guerney my art then drama teacher. She was an amazing talent and was the first teacher to ever treat me like she knew there was more to me than it might have appeared. I was quite hurt by the fact that when her contract wasn't renewed she never contacted me again. I always thought she would be there. But, I don;t think she ever saw herself as a teacher. She was an artist sharing her talents with young people.

Posted by John at 11:35 AM
August 27, 2003
More Wildlife

Our back yard (and it's continuing woods) are a never ending fascination for me. Everyday I seem to see something new. I got a picture of that Praying Mantis that lives outside our bedroom door.


He is huge. About 5 inches long. He was a bright green, but in this picture he's turned brown because he's about to shed again.

A new edition to the patio habitat is this spider. Not sure what kind he is, but I know I don't want him anywhere near me :) I don't want to kill these spiders even though they are huge and make huge webs because I'm sure he's killing off a lot of misquitoes and other flying bugs.


Last night we kept hearing a thud against one of the sliding doors out to the deck from the living room. When I looked out I saw yet another breed of frog and this one was going after a inch or so long cricket. Didn't get a picture though, they were to close to the sliding door and I felt if I went outside it would only scare them away.

One final note: Is seem to be playing Clocks by Coldplay every chance I get. It is one of my favourite songs of the year.

Posted by John at 10:48 AM
August 22, 2003

the friday five

1. When was the last time you laughed? last night I had a laugh watching "The West Wing", but it's been a while since I had my last full-on tears in your eyes laugh.

2. Who was the last person you had an argument with? define argument. Brie and I manage to get into little "discussions" almost everyday, the last person I had a "stop talking to each other" disagreement with was the only person I've ever been in them with since high school... Sean and that was a few years ago.

3. Who was the last person you emailed? According to my "Copies" folder. I last emailed the Emax and Emax II User's Group through Yahoo! Groups that I own and before that it was my cousin Cheryl, another long lost relative to make contact over the last couple of weeks.

4. When was the last time you bathed? Last night about 7:30 pm. I took a shower to wash off all the dirt from using the weed-eater and mowing our front lawn. The last time I took an actual bath was about a week ago.

5. What was the last thing you ate? I skipped dinner last night because we had a big lunch. I did have a bowl of Life cereal though.

Posted by John at 10:40 AM
August 19, 2003
What the Frog

While I contemplate how to exactly share the 92 pictures from our vacation I thought I'd share these two taken last night.

While I was cleaning our bedroom a massive thunder storm hit. I thought it would be cool to open the sliding glass door in our bedroom so I could hear it better, but as I opened the door, I was splashed by something wet and when I looked down there was our friendly tree frog who has a habit of hanging out on the screen door. As we contemplated ways to get him back out unharmed (Brie eventually just picked him up in her hand with a paper towel) I took this picture of him as he hung in the upper side frame of the door.


While getting him outside I noticed a HUGE praying mantis caught between the screen and sliding door as well. Trying to get it to leave I noticed that he seemed to be zooming in for a kill on another tree frog, this one a baby, on the outside frame of our sliding door. We got the baby to get down and move on and eventually I got the praying mantis out from behind the screen so I could close. Before I came back in though I got another shot of the frog, he was such a beautiful color.


-click on images for their large scale counterparts-

Posted by John at 04:04 PM
August 17, 2003
What's In A Name

I believe I already mentioned in a previous post that while at my Dad's we had a small family reunion. During a conversation with my Aunt Alberta it was mentioned that there was somebody on the internet that had been working on our family tree. I set out to find that person on Friday.

Through Google I found a post by a woman on, that woman turned out to be a descendant of my grandfather's sister. She has put together a large quantity of information and has contacted many people that are related to us, no easy task. I was quite shocked that the first thing I saw upon her invitation to view the material was a picture of my Great Grandparents that had been in my house growing up. My great grandfather was born around 1830 on the island Faial which is part of the Azore Islands. He was the first Silveria to come to California. Because of his journey our clan name is known as The California Silverias, though California is not pronounced the way American's pronounce it.

As I read through the material about my lineage I was struck by something both erie and heartwarming. My family all come from the San Jose region. They owned farms in Milpitas, lived in Cupertino, and are buried in San Jose. My Grandfather's sister has the middle name Madeline. How did it come to be that so much of my family, which I knew nothing about, could become a part of my life? Was it instinctual? Here we were thinking we had been so clever coming up with Madeline (I did come up with the pronunciation based on my Aunt Adeline) when the name was already in the family. I thought I was getting away from my family when I moved to San Jose, when reality I was moving right into the core of where my strongest family ties lie. All very odd.

So what is in a name? Apparently more than I had realised. I'm glad I'll be able to share this with my children. There is still more to learn, my Aunt had mentioned that our family can actually be traced back to Belgium, that it was from there that three sons were sent out by their father to the Azores and from there are family grew. I can't confirm that yet, but I've found a good place to start looking.

Posted by John at 11:47 PM
August 15, 2003
f5 8/15/2003

the friday five

1. How much time do you spend online each day? It varies, but usually at least 3 hours.

2. What is your browser homepage set to? Load "My Yahoo! Homepage" for quick access to web tools like yellow pages and news.

3. Do you use any instant messaging programs? If so, which one(s)? I use a program called Trillian Pro which allows you to connect to AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, IRC, and ICQ using only one GUI. I highly recommend it. The "Pro" version also has plug-ins that do stock market tracking, weather, winamp 2.x, and most importantly checking all my POP3 email accounts.

4. Where was your first webpage located? In the days before the www was the popular way to gather information on the Internet I had a shell account (unix) with Netcom back then they were in a little office building in on the San Jose/Santa Clara border. When Netscape went beta I wrote a few pages of html in Notepad and stored it in my FTP directory.

5. How long have you had your current website? From those few pages at Netcom my websites grew and grew, I went from Netcom to Aimnet which is where the Emax and Emax II User's Group was born and then in 1999 I registered and soon after switched from hosting my sites on ISP servers to a real hosting company. has been active since 1999.

Posted by John at 11:10 AM
August 12, 2003
on our way home

Everyone is asleep here and I am about to join them, but I thought I should make a quick post. Tomorrow we head home and I'm glad. Over the last few days everyone has managed to get sick including me. Luckily, I seem to have the least of it with only a itchy throat.

The wedding and reception were beautiful and though Maddy was sick she looked beautiful in her flower girl dress and the boys looked handsome in their tuxedos. We made an early night of it, all of need as much rest as possible before the flight on Tuesday.

We didn't get back into San Jose until today. We needed the extra day to spend time with Brie's family in Fresno. Tonight all of us (Sean and mine's families) met up with Tony and his wife at Pizza Chicago in dowtown San Jose. We had a great time, even if the pizza wasn't as great as we remembered. Overall I think this trip has been a great time and the kids have done great being so far away from home for so long. I think this is it for the long vacations though. Nothing longer than a few nights until the kids get bigger. Especially Maddy, she doesn't enjoy being stuck in her seat in the airplane.

Nothing much more to say right now, I feel nauseous (to much wine, beer, and pizza). I do want to say to all of you who have made this trip possible, namely my Dad, Brie's parents, and Sean and Amy - thank you all for your hospitality and generosity we couldn't have done this trip without all of you!

Posted by John at 02:28 AM
August 06, 2003
hello from the road

Now that we are settled into our hotel in Fresno I thought I'd make a post from the road. We have had a fantastic time so far!

Friday, we landed in San Jose about 20 minutes earlier than scheduled, but spent nearly an hour trying to get out to the rental car pick-up. San Jose Airport has always been bad, but now it's completely unbearable. They run one shuttle bus every 20-30 minutes and they are so packed only about half the people waiting can get on at any one time. After we got the car settled we headed over to Sean and Amy's. The weather was beautiful and we spent the afternoon drinking beer and mojitos while watching DVDs and catching up. Sean took the kids out front to play in the sprinklers, then BBQ'd us some steaks. They provided us with a very relaxing afternoon which was much needed after the 8 hour of travelling.

Saturday; we headed for my Dad's in Denair. It rained on and off on the drive there. Brie was thrilled to be able to get a Starbucks. That's one of the things we do not have in rural Virginia. My sister and nieces arrived later that evening and we spent the day walking around his gorgeous gardens and went out io the orchards and picked some peaches. I made peach cobbler for dessert

Sunday; was the real treat. I had asked my dad to invite some family over since I have only seen a few of them once since our wedding. Everyone turned up including some cousins. It was great to see everyone. None of them had ever seen Maddy and I got to meet my new 2nd cousins.

Monday; I took Brie and the kids into Modesto to see my childhood home and schools. We drove by Cindi's parents house (which was a new color!) and then out to the mall (which has been completely remodeled). I was very edgey the whole trip. I do not feel at home there anymore and I was not happy at how poorly our old house has been treated. Overall Modesto has really gone downhill, I could never live there again.

Tuesday; was a day of rest just hanging out at the ranch and my dad treated us to hometown buffet. Then we watched the sunset.

Today we have arrived in Fresno and after a quick bite at The Elephant Bar we are settled into the hotel and awaiting a call from Brie's mom so we can meet back up with them.

I have been taking lots of pictures, but I forgot my USB cable so I won't be able to upload them until I get back home.

Posted by John at 08:28 PM