Welcome to Bruce's (old) Homepage!

This page has been replaced by my new WordPress blog and will no longer be updated. Please head on over to The Geek Blog for my current posts...

This section of our site represents me as an individual. Outside of any defined role or stereotype, outside of any pre-conceived notions. As an exercise in discipline I will try and keep the site updated with current info, tidbits of news and various items that interest me.

Thursday - December 1, 2005

I just added some new blogging software to the site. I'm going to play with it for a while and see how I like it, mainly for posting techie stuff. I added a link in the menu for it, The Geek Blog. Check it out!

Wednesday - August 25, 2005

Now that the rest of the site is 99% migrated to "TheWestbrooks.com - Version 4.0" (there's always going to be little tweaks and things) I guess it's time to finally wipe the cobwebs off of my personal page and bring it up to date - both in the look and feel to match the rest of our site and maybe even more so in the content.

At first I thought that since I never really kept my own page very up to date, I would start it over from scratch. Unlike Lisa, I've not been very consistent with my own personal page. But, then I realized that would contradict what we were doing in the first place - keeping a sort of online journal for our family and friends, as well as providing a place for us to look back. So I'll keep what little I had to start with after all. Over the next few days and weeks this page will continue to change and evolve as I match up the look and feel and make a valiant attempt to keep the content going. Now, I'm not promising I'll keep the same momentum as she does, but we'll see how it goes. :)

Friday - May 7, 2004

Request information and get questioned by the FBI and Secret Service.

In this new age of terrorism, not only are granny's getting stopped at airports, but simply requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) now heightens suspicions and gets you questioned by the FBI and Secret Sevice.

Student Interrogated After Filing FOIA Request

"Without a subpoena, without any clear evidence that this person is up to no good, I think this is chilling, and this could have a very adverse impact on people who are requesting information," Woodford said.

While I'm certainly not against curbing terrorism and terrorist activity, it's past the time when our personal rights and the effort to root out terrorism need to be balanced. Getting interrogated for requesting information under the FOIA - arbitrarily putting Americans on blacklists for domestic air flights without providing an avenue for clearing their names - these types of activities are getting ridiculous.

With freedom comes a price, and for the first time in a couple hundred of years, we're paying that price on our own soil. So do we now bend to the will of these terrorists and reduce our freedoms, our free agency, our right to make choices - all in the name of protection? That's a very thin edge to try and walk, without leaning too far one way or another. This is in interesting time for us all...

Sunday - April 25, 2004

Today is Lisa and my 12th anniversary! Congratulations to us!!

Yes, we've been married for 12 years today, and with another 6 years of dating before the big day, that puts us together for 18 years. Wow! It really doesn't seem that long at all. I am so grateful for the opportunity to spend my life with such a wonderful and beautiful woman. She is the center of my life, my best friend, and my eternal companion. She gives me an extraordinary amount of joy and love and laughter in life.

I have to laugh when I see people like "pop culture" idols Jessica Simpson and her husband Nick put a book together on how to have a successfull marriage - after they've only been married a year! After 12 years of marriage, I know we certainly don't have the answers to everything, and we're constantly learning new things, but my bet would be that those two certainly don't have anything new to tell us, or anyone else that's been married for even just a few years. I look at people that have been married for 25, 30, 35 years (like my own parents), and I see couples that are still learning to cope and deal with the curves that life throws them.

I think that's actually a good thing! How boring would life be without the challenges that make us grow? Just like our muscles, we need challenges to push us to learn and grow. I'm just so grateful that I have such a wonderful woman beside me to go through those challenges with.

I love you Lisa! Forever and always!

Thursday - April 1, 2004

Well, let's see, what's new since...uh...jeez! It's almost exactly one year from when I left my last post! Well, too much has happened since then to bore myself with rehashing the details of my so-called life, so let me think of what's happened recently....

OH! I went on my first international travel expedition (Canada doesn't really count). Just a couple of weeks ago, I took off to Cost Rica for 5 days with a couple buddies. (Call it a boy's weekend away). It was a blast! "Why Costa Rica?", you ask. Well, why not! It's close enough to make it a long weekend, far enough to experience international travel, cheap enough that it doesn't cost an entire summer's fun money, and unique enough without being too "touristy".

The high-level synopsis of what we did:

- Flew 2 1/2 hours to Houston, then 3 1/2 hours to San Jose
- Found a taxi driver (Eli) to drive us 2 hours to Jaco (remember your Spanish? It's pronounced "Haco" like "taco" with an "h")
- Eli proved to be quite a find! He spoke very good English (it's actually pretty prevalent there) and he was a great tour guide. On the drive to Jaco, he stopped and showed us a bunch of crocodiles (pics will be here shortly)
- In Jaco, found a hotel right on the beach of the Pacific Ocean (we didn't bother to make reservations anywhere - part of the fun experience!)
- Wandered the might town of Jaco (yup...all 3/4 mile long of it - hehe) and found a place to eat. Typical Costa Rican food consists of rice and beans.
- Found the "Beetle Bar" and spent the night shooting pool, etc.

- Morning on the beach, in the water, body surfing
- Early afternoon finds us hanging several hundred feet in the air as the three of us zip-line from tree to tree and across deep gullies in an awesome canopy tour. The longest line was almost 1/3 mile long!
- Dinner and hang out

- Play in the waves, body surfing, HUGE waves this morning
- After lunch, Eli drives out to pick us up and take us to San Jose
- Find a nice hotel, cheaper than the beach hotel by about 1/2
- Head out exploring downtown San Jose
- Tons of shops. My take is probably 30% shoe stores (very inexpensive shoes compared to USA), 20% electronics (more expensive than USA), 20% lingerie, 20% watches, with the remaining being misc. stuff.
- Find ourselves back where we started after a bit. Hang out in an open-air restaurant and people watch for a while. The air begins to get a bit cool - we realize that San Jose is not Jaco on the beach where it was 80 degrees.
- Back to the hotel to change from shorts to jeans (it's definitely getting a bit cooler) and head out to find something to eat.
- Do some souvenir shopping at a very cool art shop
- Eat, then head over to the "Pueblo", a very active night-life area of San Jose
- Hit some clubs, play some pool, etc. Back at the hotel by 3:30am

- Eli picks us up in the morning and takes us out for some "touristy" stuff
- We stop off at a coffee plantation and check it out. While I'm not a coffee drinker, Costa Rica is known for excellent coffee, and the plantation is a bit of the local culture, although a bit too touristy
- Next stop, a live volcano! Cost Rica has several active volcanos - sadly, the mist is too heavy to see anything today
- Next it's off to a self-guided walking tour of several waterfalls. This is very cool, as you'll see from the pics once I post them. There's also a butterfly preserve, and at the end of the waterfalls we see an old collapsed wooden bridge with a new cement bridge built in its' place. We later find out from Eli that the collapsed bridge is not so old afterall - it collapsed under the weight of a truck just a couple months ago!
- Final stop is a family restaraunt, and we enjoy some good Cost Rican food
- Head back to the hotel for a "1-hour power nap" before heading out for the night.
- Find a nice open-air bar/grill right on the pedestrian walk-way downtown, where we spend a couple hours reviewing our adventures over the past few days.
- End the night hanging out at the Blue Marlin

Looking back, while I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, I can't wait to plan the next adventure with Lisa!


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