That would be a birthday cake being frosted, my birthday cake.
Ashley baked & frosted it and did a fine job.
With this being my 46th birthday I thought I'd share a list I keep of my life's Hi/Lo-lights. Just a simple bullet-style list which doesn't do much justice in capturing all I've done, seen, etc., but it does sketch out the borders of my life. To know the detail of what is colored within the borders you'd need to ask me.
1965 Born in July in Chicago, IL on a beautiful 85F day
1966 I was the center of attention until NBC announced that all of its programming will air in full-color going forward
1967 This year was doomed right away when in Super Bowl 1 the Green Bay Packers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs
1968 End of any dreams I had of being an only-child; Kimberly Lynn is born on a windy 69F day in Chicago, IL
1969 Was not happy my mom did not allow me to attend the 3 Days of Peace & Music at Woodstock
1970-71 Attend Ravenswood Elementary - Chicago, IL, Kindergarten - 1st grades
1972-76 Attend DeWitt Clinton Elementary - Chicago, IL, 2nd - 6th grades
1977 Attend Jamieson Elementary - Chicago, IL; Parents (Kristine M. & John R.) Divorce
1978 Mother marries Patrick D. Kille
1979 Graduate 8th grade from Jamieson Elementary; attend Mather H.S. - Chicago, IL 1st semester Freshman year
1980 Attend Libertyville H.S. - Libertyville, IL, watch the US Hockey victory over Russia at Bills Pub (Mundelein, IL)
1981 First Job: Golden Bear Restaurant, Libertyville, IL (Dishwasher)
1982 Fishing trips to Hayward, WI with Tim Cook, Shawn Cook, Bob Anderson, Jim Benes and others were unreal. Second Job: K-Mart, Mundelein, IL (Stock Boy); Joined USMC under delayed-entry program
1983 Graduated H.S., Libertyville, IL.; USMC: Graduated Boot Camp, San Diego, CA. 3rd Battalion, Kilo Company, Platoon 3103
1984 USMC: Twenty Nine Palms, CA (Completed training for MOS 2811, Telephone/Teletype Technician)
1984-85 USMC: Quantico, VA (Communications Maintenance at The Basic School)
1985-86 USMC: Okinawa & Camp Fuji, Japan (ELMACO & CSSD-32 respectively); mom sent me vhs tapes of every Bears game. Vacationed in South Korea
1986-87 USMC: Camp Pendleton, CA. (ELMACO), was still in Okinawa for the superbowl which I saw live in the wee-hours of the morning. Sitting in the chow-hall eating breakfast when the news broke of the Challenger disaster
1987 USMC: Honorably Discharged. Moved to Fallborook, CA briefly believing I would stay and live in CA, but then reality (lack of cash) hit and I moved home to Vernon Hills, IL
1988 Moved to Carbondale, IL to attend SIU oh-so briefly. Moved back to Vernon Hills, IL and held a number of small jobs while contemplating life while playing a lot of golf
1989 Moved to Beach Park, IL. Attended DeVry University (for 2 yrs.), Chicago, IL
1990 I recall eating a lot this year, probably while spending all that time on the couch watching the Gulf War unfold on CNN. Considered re-entering USMC, but chose to hear the call of love over the call of duty - if I only I'd had a crystal ball for just a few moments
1991 Went to work for Moore Corporation (Bindery, then Desktop Publishing). Married Patricia Ann DuBois & became step-father to Ashley Marie Flament. Moved to Park City, IL
1992 Separated from wife for a month or so; yeah I know - some of you told me this was inevitable. Accepted promotions at Moore which saw me switch from blue-collar to white-collar
1993 Birth of Son; Andrew Jordan Ray O'Neal
1994 Moved to Winthrop Harbor, IL, bought first home. Great Grandmother ("Bella") passes away at 92
1995 Took a few 'get-away-from-my-wife' trips; what a mess of a year!
1996 Grandmother (Alma R.) passes away at 75, traveled the country for Moore Corp. which helped get my mind off my marriage mess
1997 I don't know, recall staring at the Hale-Bopp comet. Bought my first 'new' ride, a SUV (Chevy Blazer). Otherwise '97 was just more marriage mess aggravated by worthless attempts at counseling and pretending to want to be there
1998 Divorced. Moved to Vernon Hills, IL. Last year in printing operations before moving to the information systems at Moore for a career change from manufacturing into technology (or back to technology which is what I joined USMC to learn)
1999 Married Catherine Lynn Krause & became step-father to Ashley Victoria, Ryan Christopher & Cameron Michael Flores and a cat named Cody
2000 Bought a house & moved to Grayslake, IL. Hung on at Moore as the company began imploding on it's own lack of vision and ability to change
2001 Went to work for W.W. Grainger as an application developer. Was in line awaiting my omelet at Grainger cafeteria when 9-11 went down. Diagnosed with Colon Caner, kicked its ass; ME 1 - Cancer 0
2002 Joined classmates dot com (can you believe facebook removed it when I used a real 'dot') looking for old buddies and found a few but didn't find James Dean Lewis from the Corps. Realized Grayslake sucks as a community to live in
2003 Father passes away at age 65. Had a house built & moved near Fox Lake, IL
2004 Step-Father passes away ay age 69. Wife and I celebrated 5th anniversary; Yeah - I got this one right!
2005 Went back to DeVry to complete those final classes needed for that B.S., Ashley Marie graduates from Zion-Benton High
2006 Started the year watching the Steelers win the Super Bowl with the Cook Clan and ended the year watching Saddam Hussein swing. Changes at Grainger saw me move from the application development management to project management
2007 Said goodbye to Keith Runnfeldt; you left us way too young friend. Graduated, finally, B.S. Technical Management from DeVry University. Ashley Victoria graduates 8th grade from Big Hollow
2008 Went back to USMC MCRD San Diego to get a reality check and got it! Attended 25 year LHS reunion and had a blast. Andrew Jordan Ray graduates 8th grade from North Prairie
2009 Joined Facebook.com for who knows what reason; well my wife nudged me to. Enjoyed my first Bacon-Explosion while watching the Steelers win another Super Bowl with the Cook Clan. Ryan Christopher graduates 8th grade from Big Hollow. Ashley gets her drivers license. Our 10th anniversary is celebrated at Disney in Orlando
2010 Successful year of deer hunting (97 pounds of deer bacon), purchased hunting property in Vernon County, WI. Cameron Michael graduates 8th grade from Big Hollow. Andrew gets his drivers license. Cathy triumphs over 'sticky' surgery. Attend Stanley Cup Game 1 & the Victory Parade for Chicago Blackhawks. Diagnosed with Melanoma on my right face cheek, kicked its ass; ME 2 - Cancer 0
2011 Diagnosed with Melanoma on my forehead, kicked its ass; ME 3 - Cancer 0. Ashley graduates from Grant H.S., is accepted to study Chemisty (we think that is what she'll study) at Millikin University. Ryan gets his drivers license. Family vacation in Hawaii. To be continued...
Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!