Welcome to My Blog Page

Wow, so here we are, starting the 5th season of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. It’s taken that long for me to get a website up and running. I will do my best to entertain you with both fun and educational stuff. If I have learned anything in the last 5 years, – and oh I have – it is that almost everything we need to know we learn at a very early age, and then spend the rest of our lives relearning it. The things I want to share with you all are what you don’t get to see on Sunday nights.

Let’s start with a little personal information. I have been blessed with a wonderful family, wonderful friends and wonderful teachers, some who have taught in the classroom and other who haven’t. But what I have been mostly blessed with is a wonderful wife who encourages and supports me being a kid. I guess that means expect lots of pictures, because this typing thing is a pain. It seems that the person who invented the typewriter just threw the letters down and how they landed was what they went with. As I learned from Lance Varden, brail makes much more since. So here we go. I am on a jet headed to Hawaii to begin what I hope will be a great build for a deserving family.

What a family. What a place. Trade winds… If you have never felt them you should. More than any place else in the country outside of New Orleans, being in Hawaii is like being in another world. What an abundance of life from the plants to the birds to new land evolving right before you very eyes. The Akana family is a loving, giving and full of life family. Their commitment to helping others less fortunate than themselves is an inspiration. Met our contractor – Jeff Proster from Brook Field Homes. They sure have a job in front of them. This will be our biggest build to date; Jeff is doing this build for all the right reason.

Not much time to sightsee, but I heard I am going to the Volcano National Park for a field trip to check out the volcanoes for my project. I am building a “Volcano Room” for Maka.Maka is an 8 years old boy who loves volcanoes. It seems that our show since the pilot has always embraced theme rooms. If you remember in the first show with the Powers family from Santa Clarita I took the back end of an old pickup truck and turned it into their sons bed. Bedrooms on our show have never been the same. This bedroom is no different except the fact that instead of trucks its volcanoes. So off to Volcanoes National Park, which is on the big island of Hawaii.

Volcano National Park is one of the coolest places I have ever been. Volcanoes, lava, the very stuff that when you were a kid and your teacher would show pictures in class you would say ‘that’s cool”. As far as the eyes could see was lava. These lava fields are all over the island, and walking on them is not easy. There are those times in life you see things that really humble you. This was one of those times for me.

Now whenever we take a field trip we take a cameraman – Scott, an assistant cameraman – Phil, a soundman – Todd, and a producer and on this field trip we took our location manager – Milan. Thank god for Milan, he hooked us up with all the stuff we needed for our hike – flashlights and water, etc. Remember on any hike or walk to always take enough water. Milan also got us a Park Ranger to guide us on our three-mile walk to where the lava flows through tunnels underground and pours out to the sea. I have seen this on TV, the steam, the waves crashing on melting rock, but to be there, in person, well let me say if you are ever lucky enough to go to Hawaii make sure you go to the big island to visit the Volcanoes National Park. It was very cool.

Look up Ranger Andrea. Tell her I said, “Hello and thank you.”
And remember to bring water.

So how do you make a Volcano? Get a dozen cans of spray foam and some wire lathe and back it with paper (the kind you would use to stucco) build a frame that resembles a volcano and get to work.

I had wonderful help this week on my project. Two talented local Hawaiians, Junior and Douglas, worked 12 and 14 hr days and never even balked. I also had my friend and the show’s scenic artist – Nancy. Nancy has been our faux finisher, artist extraordinaire since the beginning of the show. She makes all of us look good. “Way to go Nancy, you’re the best.” But I would need more than a paragraph to talk about Nancy and this typing thing is starting to get to me. We have a tent, called the Art Tent where all the magic happens thanks to the efforts of many talented people. A big thanks to all the volunteers in every town; I have made some wonderful new friendship and met some amazing people along the way. And to all those other “kids” that have helped me over the last 49 years I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Life is to short not to live in the moment.