A little about the Author/Photographer/site builder…

I'm retired; actually I should have said I'm twice retired; I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in October of 1967 and after 23 years of boating and high seas adventure I retired. I retired the second time from a local shipyard, which over the last twenty years has frequently changed names and owners several times while I was with them. But most people still refer to it as Newport News Shipbuilding.

Over my 23 years with the U.S. Navy, I have visited some interesting places. I retired from active service in 1989, and for those of you who just have to know I retired as a Senior Chief Boatswain's Mate.

After I left my long career with the Navy, I began my "nuclear power plant painter" career; which failed to materialize into the million-dollar deal of a lifetime. After a year of "Power Plant painting" I left and went fishing… at least until my wife Flo pushed me back into the land of working people…

In 1991 I began my association with Newport News Shipbuilding. I somehow managed to spend most of my time building Nimitz class Aircraft Carriers. I was part of the crew that built the carriers aircraft catapults and arresting gear. In between new construction work, I was assigned to work on aircraft carriers overhauls.

After being there for twenty years, I retired again at the ripe old age of 62.

I then embarked on an interesting, but very short career as an exotic motorcycle mechanic with a local motorcycle dealer; the motorcycles were exotic not me. I don't want anyone thinking that I would ever work on motorcycles in the buff. Six months later, they closed the doors and I was now an unemployed retiree.

I'm now free to fill six Saturdays a week with interesting things to do from watching soap operas, repairing motorcycles of friends, shooting and fishing and just about any other activity that strikes me.

For almost twenty years was the editor-owner-publisher of a local motorcycle website which served Iwhere the local area motorcyclists could post and share up to date news and information covering local events and things of interest to them.

My weekly column the "Last Page" provided a place for me to develop my own Hemmingway writing style.

Because of my involvement with the Biker eNews I managed to get involved with a local radio show called "Motorcycle Mania". I started out making guest appearances, and before long either due to my outspokenness or knowledge of motorcycles I became one of the show's co-hosts along with one of the areas well know attorneys. This was a lot of fun and it introduced me to the inner workings of live radio. Not to mention all of the great people I got to meet and interview.

Obviously, I'm a motorcycle enthusiast; I'm an avid motorcycle road racing fan. I always wanted to try road racing when I was younger; but my Navy career and raising a family prevented it.

Currently I'm in-between motorcycles, none in the garage. My age has forced me to stop riding. I don't think I ever met a motorcycle I couldn't like...

I also love hunting, fishing, and the great outdoors. This is rather strange because I was a typical city kid. My dad wasn't a hunter or fisherman, You could say I missed out on how most boys are introduced to hunting and fishing by there dads. Mattel or Hasbro made all the guns I was acquainted with until I joined the Navy. All of my early gun instruction came from episodes of Roy Rogers and the countless westerns I saw on television and at the movies. That was until I went to boot camp.

During boot camp, I received my first opportunity to fire a real gun. Later on, in my navy career I was assigned to a special group, which required us to learn, train, and become proficient in providing for our own defense. I was required to qualify with an, M16, 1911A1 45 cal. pistol, M60 machine gun, M79 grenade launcher and of all things an 81mm mortar, at least enough to satisfy our Marine Corps instructors.

It seems the Navy kept finding ways to make me shoot, aboard ship I had to qualify with M14, the good ole 45, the M60 and now a 12 gauge pump shotgun. For some reason I really loved all this macho man shooting stuff and it lit a fire; slowly I began collecting my own personal firearms. I loved to send bullets down range at targets.

I learned from friends how to hunt, how to stalk game as well as how to take care of it so it tastes good too. I did manage to squeeze in some competitive shooting while I was on active duty. Some friends had introduced me to the fun of competing in combat shooting. I was never any good, not like the people who introduced me to this sport. Of course, I really did have to manage my time between being at sea, family, and shooting competitions.

I also at this time became involved with Archery. Once again, I found another way to enjoy myself out doors.

I'm also an avid fly fisherman, and I truly can spend days on end casting for trout and bass. I love fishing no matter whether it's for brim on a calm freshwater pond, or sharks in the Indian Ocean. Here's another funny thing, I don't eat fish in fact I don't eat seafood of any kind. All of my fishing is catch and release.

I love art and music too… Unbelievably I can sling a paintbrush with the best of them; like Michelangelo, I can paint the hell out of ceilings and walls. Except his are full of people and mine are a solid color.

As a musician I'm very skilled at playing several instruments, I'm able to play phonograph/radio/mp3 player. I love to listen to real musicians and talented singers and when I'm alone I even get to sing along.

I have been an avid shutterbug as long as I can remember. From my early days with the family's Kodak box camera, I have been in love with photography. I bought a used 35mm SLR and took it aboard ship with me. That camera accompanied me from then on no matter where I went; all over Europe during my first med cruise, and then all the way to the south pole (Yes, the south pole on more than one occasion, and believe it or not the North Pole too.) and everywhere in-between.

I made the acquaintance of a local camera shop owner and he taught me how to develop and print my own film and pictures. I slowly made the switch from film to digital; in the beginning, I scanned photographs on a flat bed scanner into the computer for use on the Biker eNews web site. Eventually bought a digital camera, and from there the process of learning the medium all over began. Now instead of the magic happening in the darkroom It's all done on the computer.

The desire to share the fun of all these activities led me to learn how to build a web site. I have some very rudimentary skills in HTML, just enough to get by.

I have not only nurtured my photographic talents but recently I've become a videographer, too.

I have a lot more interests but for now, you get the idea that anything or everything will show up here in Phil Floria's World.