Personal

 
I am a very involved person.  If I decide something is worth doing I am passionate about finishing what I begin.  This includes my personal interests.  I have many hobbies that keep me entertained throughout the year.  Below you will find pictures, video clips and information about my personal interests.

Click on any of the pictures below that have a boarder for an enlarged view of the picture.

 

Martial Arts

 
I wanted to study karate ever since I was kid.  I used to check out self teach books from the library and make punching bags out of garbage bags, sand and pillows.  As a child we couldn't afford karate lessons, so I told myself when I got old enough I was going to study karate.  I began studying in September 1993.  I currently hold the rank of Third Degree Black Belt.  I love everything about karate.  I love the discipline, the competition, and the confidence.  I can hardly wait to teach my children.

For many years karate was more than a hobby, it was how I survived.  I both managed and taught at a karate studio in Spanish Fork, Utah for about 3 and a half years.  This was partly how I paid for my undergraduate mechanical engineering education; my wife paid for the part by working fulltime.  Managing this studio was a great opportunity and was one of the reasons I decided to go back to school to earn my MBA.  Teaching here made me realize how much I enjoyed teaching others and helping them succeed.

The first picture to the right is of me demonstrating a jumping sidekick to my students on 6 foot dummy.  The second picture is of me a few months after earning my first degree black belt.  I'm the one under the red arrow.  The guy to my left is Jeff Speakman, star of various martial art movies.  The third picture is of me receiving my third degree black belt on September 13, 2003.

 

Paintball

 
I guess I never got past the fun I used to have playing cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, and GI Joe with my childhood friends.  Paintball draws me to it for two reasons.  First is the game itself - the adrenalin rush, the sneaking around, the competition.  Second is the equipment.  The minute I first laid eyes on a paintball gun I haven't stopped thinking about ways to improve them.  I currently own four paintball guns and several masks.  I used to play about once a month, but have not had much time to play since I started working fulltime.

I don't have many pictures of me playing paintball.  No one wants to put down their gun long enough to take a picture while we are playing.  However, I recently started an owners group for my favorite line of paintball guns.  The owners group can be found by clicking here.  The first picture to the right is a picture of my favorite paintball gun.  The second picture is of a prop at a now closed local paintball field.

 

Wake/Snow Boarding

 

This picture is of me (under the red arrow), my wife (directly to my right), and her sister and late brother-in-law.  At this time my wife and I were still dating.  We got to know each other a lot better during the time I taught her how to snowboard.  This picture was taken at Sundance Ski Resort in Provo Canyon, UT.

 

 
I'm a much better wakeboarder than I am snowboarder.  The picture to the left is of me dong my best trick on a wakeboard.  The trick is called a "Tantrum."  It is basically a back flip that travels the distance between the wakes created by the boat.  For a video (1.5 MB) of me doing a tantrum click the link to the right.
VIDEO
 

Carpentry and Metal Work

 
There is a good reason as to why I studied Mechanical Engineering and earned a Master of Science in that discipline.  I love to build things.  As I child my mom could never keep tape, yarn or cardboard boxes in the house because I was constantly building things with them.   As I got older it was a regular occurrence for my dad to find his screw drivers and tools scattered in the yard because I had been building something.

Now that I am grown, have my own house and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering my methods have become more sophisticated but I am still the same.  I love to build things.  I now use CAD programs, a CNC mill, microcontrollers, and power tools to make my inventions, furniture, etc.  The first picture to the right is looking into my projects lab from my garage.  More information on my projects lab can be seen by clicking here.

 

Performing

 
I began performing at my elementary school in the third grade.  I then surprised my parents in the forth grade by volunteering to sing a solo in church.  Everything has snowballed since then.  The last time I acted in a play was the Summer of 1994.  I simply have not had the time to continue acting due to my school work, family and now working fulltime.  However, I still sing solos regularly and look forward to a time when I can return to the theatre.

To the right is a list of some of the musicals and plays I have performed in.  I also sang in a Chamber Choir all four years of High School.

You're a Good Man Charlie Brown
Grease
The Miracle Worker
Godspell
The Wakefield Passion Play
Fame
Peter Pan
 

Computers

 
Like many red-blooded male Americans from my generation (and every generation since) I like to play videogames on my computer.  I am particularly fond of the War Craft series of computer games and similar competitive real time strategies.  However, my interest in computers goes way beyond games.  I love computers as an information storage and retrieval tool - I like to archive family pictures, videos, etc.  I love computers as a tool for product design and analysis - running CAD software, spreadsheets, etc.  But lately, I love computers because I have figured out how to make them do some incredible things.

By linking my computer to a simple microcontroller I can make it read sensors and control motors.  This discovery opened a whole new world for me as far as prototyping new products.  I can now design intelligent/thinking products.  I have become proficient in programming the Parallax Basic Stamp II, and I am currently using it regularly in my projects lab.  The Basic Stamp II is pictured to the right.

 

Video Games

 
Since the time I married in October of 1998 my video game playing has been curtailed, but I still find time to play games once and a while.  The games I enjoy most are competitive games I can play with other people. Games like Halo where I can play online with family and chat at the same time.  Even my wife will play Halo as ling as we are playing with family.  Wii Sports is a great party favorite.  And all of our friends love to come over and play Rock Band.  However, when I play games by myself I like RPGs, mystery games, strategy games, and arcade classics.

I have a collection of video platforms that includes every system ever made by Nintendo, an Xbox and Xbox 360, a Play Station (to play DDR) an original Atari 2600, and an original CollecoVision.  I am one of the luckiest men alive because my wife likes to play Halo, Halo 2, and Halo 3 with me online.

 

Family

 
My family is very important to me.  I love spending time with my wife and two children.  My daughter was born December 1, 2002 fifteen weeks premature.  More information can be found about my daughter by clicking here.  My son was born on March 22, 2005 five weeks early with minimal complications.  The first picture to the right is my daughter Bailey taken in the Spring of 2007.  The second picture is of my son Hayden also taken in the Spring of 2007.  The third picture is of me and my wife on our wedding day in beautiful San Diego, CA October 17, 1998.

I am the second oldest of six kids.  I like being from a large family.  Trips to Disneyland, playing games at home, and backyard BBQ's were a lot of fun because I always had friends (siblings) to share the experience with.  Now that most of us are grown and more than half of us are married, I look forward to creating memories for my children, nieces and nephews. 

My dad's family is huge.  I have 7 sets of aunts and uncles and over 70 cousins that represent my dad's extended family.  Some of the best memories of my childhood are of the enormous family reunions we would have with dad's entire family.  My mom's family is much smaller.  I have three sets of aunts and uncles and 8 cousins that represent my mom's extended family.  I have many good memories of spending time with my mom's family because we lived very close to them while I was growing up.

I need to make one special mention of the person that inspired me to go into product development.  My late grandfather Don Sauser was a mechanical engineer by education, and a technical salesmen by practice.  He always had projects around the house that interested me.  When he retired, he wanted to prove to himself that he could do all that engineering stuff he learned in school but never had an opportunity to use in sales.  The result is the P-6E biplane shown in the last two pictures to the right.  Ever since he saw the P-6E for the first time at the 1942 World's Fair, he dreamed of someday owning one.  I'm happy and proud to say that he reached his dream before passing away in June of 2001 by designing from scratch the airplane you see in the pictures.  He taught me to never let go of my dreams.