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My Hobbies (besides math)........

I'm a collector by nature. I collect antiques, coins, etc. My biggest and most serious collection is license plates from all over the United States and the world. I am a member of the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association (ALPCA) and currently have a collection in excess of 4000 plates from all 50 states and over 70 foreign nations. Pictured here are two examples from my collection from Ireland and French St. Martin. I love to travel at every chance. My parents call me the nomad of the family. I am particularly fascinated by the Caribbean islands and have a goal to someday visit all the islands. I took the photo here on the island of St. Lucia. The twin volcanic peaks in the background known as the "Pitons" are a well-known Caribbean landmark.
Speaking of traveling, another of my hobbies/goals is to visit all 67 county courthouses in Florida. This combines my love of travel with my interests in architecture. The photo here is one of my favorites taken in front of the beautiful Walton County courthouse in DeFuniak Springs, Florida in the Spring of 2006. If you haven't already done so, check out my "Florida Courthouse Quest" link. This is a work in progress where I am attempting to display one photo from each courthouse I have visited. My wife and I share the hobby of adopting and fostering basset hounds. We have two bassets named Bones and Peter. (Update: Unfortunatly Bones passed away on July 4, 2011) Occasionally we will take in a foster dog who has been abused or neglected. Shown here is Dylan, a cutie we fostered in 2005. He came to us starved and sick. We nursed him back to health and he was adopted by a loving family in St. Augustine.
My family genealogy is also one of my favorite hobbies. After years of research, I have taken many of my family lines as far back as the mid-16th. century. The photo here, one of my very favorites, is of my great-grandfather John Bortas and my great-great-grandfather Nick Bortas take only days after their arrival at Ellis Island from Romania in 1911.


I also volunteer as a missionary in Haiti.  I have been going there multiple times per year since 2007.  Click below to view the most recent newsletter from our mission:

Life Connection Mission Fall 2010 Newsletter