AUTOBIOGRAPHY & BIOGRAPHY follows a few sample pictures and basic information:
Parents: Garry and Mary Strohmeyer
Co Authored by Devon Trigg & Misti King (so some of this will read as a personal autobiography and some of the content will read as written by another)
The above picture is the Grants Pass street display for Christmas (2007) on 6th St.
The pictures below (reading left to right, top to bottom) is Danielle at Universal Studios Hollywood, Jan. 1, 2010
The second is Danielle and Timothy at a LA Dodgers Game in June 2009.
The third is from the Winter 2008 with Jodie, Danielle and Timothy waiting for the School bus. The forth is my son Timothy’s 11th Birthday at Jan & Cary’s home.
The fifth is Michelle 16th Birthday
The sixth is Danielle’s 13th 2009 birthday.
(Click Pictures below to enlarge)
Please note that Carl is actually a very private person at heart, but he and others felt that it is important to give at last some background history so others can understand what is important to him and why he conducts himself the way he does.
This said, this autobiography/biography only provide a “rated PG” version of what he has been through, many very personal and difficult family/life details have been left out for obvious reasons
I currently live in Southern Oregon, and have been in the Aquarium and Pet related business since 1977. I owned a Pet store and aquarium maintenance and design business in the Los Angeles area from 1978 until 2002 when we moved to Grants Pass Oregon.
Reference: American Aquarium Products
I designed some of my own equipment such as the “Custom 15 watt UV Sterilizer” and Medicated Wonder Shells I sell here (as well as many custom aquarium and pond filter installations and designs).
I have done contract maintenance for Disney, the Bahooka Restaurant (over 100 aquariums, mostly larger than 100 gallons), Coaster Co. (the largest furniture importer in North America, also based in the Los Angeles area), and many more. I also have made excellent business contacts over the years (especially in Asia, UK).
I have owned aquariums since I was 9 years old (1968), and at one time had a room with nothing but aquariums on racks two aquariums high, in addition to this I had literally 100s of aquariums in my care in my maintenance business as well.
My wife, Jodie, (Joanne) currently works at Bi-Mart in Grants Pass (a Northwest only Department store similar to Wal-Mart, but smaller).
I went to high school at Los Altos High in Hacienda Heights, CA. and College at Cal Poly University, Pomona.
I was in the class of 1977 at Los Altos High School (Hacienda Heights). I went to Hillgrove Elementary, and Orange Grove Jr. High (Middle School).
MORE IN DEPTH BIO (With editing and input from Devon Trigg and Misti King)
I, Carl Strohmeyer, was born on February 9, 1959 at Hart Hospital in Baldwin Park, CA. My parents (& one older sibling, Janice) were living in an apartment over my Grandfather’s garage in Baldwin Park.
Around my first birthday we moved to a new home in a housing tract in the fast growing bedroom community of Hacienda Heights (a Suburb of Los Angeles). Hacienda Heights went from orange groves to a community of 35,000 in around 10 years (it is larger now).
I liked school in my early years, and in particular liked my Kindergarten teacher (Mrs. Wooton) whom I had again in 2nd grade.
However this all came to a crashing end in the 4th grade with Mrs. Eckman whom I had the great misfortune to have again in the 6th grade.
I often day-dreamed in class and she called me a vegetable and informed the rest of the class I was doomed to be a failure (on one occasion she took a “doodle” of mine, held it up and stated; “This is what a Failure does”).
From this point on school was pure misery as even when I met new students such as in Middle School or High School, others seemed to be “filled in” as to who I was and what I am in others views.
In hindsight, I probably should have tried harder to set things right however, but I had and still have the charisma of a turnip (BTW, this is something others have told me). I did make some attempts including joining square dancing, but this ended in disaster for me.
On the last day of the class the boys had to ask the girls to dance and NOT one would dance with me.
This left me in tears for days and resulted in me running away from home, after this I withdrew to spending time with my pets/fish while I sucked in my emotions so others could not see them. This also resulted in my being hospitalized for an ulcer in the 6th grade.
For the rest of my life, I have struggled with trying to please others (often in ways that usually goes unnoticed). I have defaulted to often doing anything to avoid hearing the constant criticism I have heard throughout my life from you suck at this, you cannot sing, you cannot dance, your too skinny, you need to do more, etc. This then often results in being used, further bullied, controlled, etc. I have struggled for years with labels placed on me, including by my own family where I am the “weird” uncle Carl and my successes are ignored while my failures (many of which were not even failures) are still judged even by family and friends to this day!
During this time, many who claimed to be Christians also joined in the bullying, so it took me years to find God because of this.
To this date, I am getting better and learning to exercise the discernment God has given me, but I still find that I am often getting taking advantage of, especially to avoid further criticism. Sadly I still deal with a lot of bullying/dishonest/hateful persons who claim to be Christians while attempting to help others via online forums.
A bright spot was my family camping trips to places like Utah and Yellowstone that my Dad and Mom would take us on. My Grandfather, along with my Dad took me on a trip to Panguitch Lake Utah, during the first week of 8th grade. It was especially memorable to me, for the beauty and the peace I felt. When I returned to school after the trip, the negative revelations of what persons really thought of me came to light as my class mates “happily” thought I had moved.
Also, a “flight lesson” with a friend of my Dad was a memorable birthday present when I was 9 that I will never forget.
One friend did truly stick by me and that was Greg Siegel, he often defended me emotionally and his friendship helped me feel like less of failure.
I had, and still have, a skinny build. Several persons labeled me as ‘Gay’ for this reason along with high high voice, except not just in those words (others such as “worm” were used). This was also a struggle for me to deal with. My weight continues to haunt me as persons still treat me this way or go to the other extreme and judge my motives of helping a friend that might just happen to be a female.
I also really enjoyed Jr. High (Middle School) band, especially my instructor there, Mrs. Duke. I also had good friends in Jeff Fournier and again Greg Siegel as well as Luke Camarillo.
Unfortunately high school band was much more miserable, even though I loved music as I was made to feel an inch tall.
Again in hindsight, maybe I should have “fought back”, but by this time I had such terrible self esteem, I simply did not have it in me.
Even then I did enjoy the band tournaments and playing at the many football games. I rarely missed the games even after leaving band to concentrate on studies that I hoped would one day redeem me.
I dealt with bullying by often being a “class clown” in some classes, in other classes I was just quiet.
I still to this day deal with sadness with humor.
Some see this others do not. As an example, when I was forced to leave my business and move my family quickly to Oregon to escape a terrible influence who took advantage of my wide’s postpartum depression, several of my customers were quite surprised when I told them why we had to move.
Quoting a few comments: “You always were joking around and seemed happy”
Back to High School, although I could not get a date (in part I still felt very insecure due to the past ridicule, as well I was frankly rather socially immature until I got into my 20s). I finally met a nice girl (Pam) in my senior year who treated me very respectfully & showed a positive side to Christians that would be a seed for later, so thanks go to her!. She was a Junior, who set me up with her sister, who was a freshman.
This allowed me go to the senior prom. We later dated for a while, however her dad felt it was inappropriate for us to date after I graduated from High School. Which at the time, though I was very mature in how I was very focused on achieving success in business, I was still socially immature and so I did not understand ‘why’ since I did know I was quite innocent (my friends even joked with me about my lack of “worldliness”).
Another bright spot in high school was meeting my friend Randy Viall, we are still good friends to this day.
Back To Top
Beginning years in Pet Business and the establishing of my Aquarium Business
After High School life really began looking up, I met new friends at work, I began skiing every other weekend which I had a natural talent for (unlike some other athletic endeavors), these were some of my most positive and “happy” years.
While in college at California Polytechnic University I got a job at Archie’s House of Pets and within about 6 months I was the manager of the three stores fish departments and an assistant manager at the West Covina Mall store. My original “boss” was Danny DiGiacamo who was great at tutoring me in many ways.
He later left to run his own stores and Debbie Galea took over running the West Covina store (Danny ran all three). She did not have the business knowledge of Danny, but still a good person to work under.
In 1978, during my time at Archie’s I started my Aquarium Maintenance business (Carl’s Aquarium Service at the time). This unfortunately caused some friction with Debbie’s father and owner of Archie’s. He was not actually active in running his business, so I along with Tris Higa (whom I would later marry) left to start our own store in late 1979.
The aquarium service business really blossomed when an employee at the Bahooka restaurant called me to treat dying Arowana that she had been unsuccessful at treating up to this point. I was able to save her prize fish and she recommended me to her boss, Jack, and I soon was maintaining the multiple aquariums at the two Polynesian restaurants. I would add MANY aquariums and re-worked the filter systems on the remainder of the existing aquariums.
The Bahooka Restaurant would foster many other accounts such as the Lobster House (which fostered many itself in Pasadena), an account with Disney Studios and many more. Also during this time I picked up Coaster Co. (via my store though) which would eventually grow into my largest account up to the day I had to move to Oregon.
These multi aquarium accounts along with my own room of aquariums also allowed me to carry out many controlled experiments that helped me better understand many aspects aquarium care and improve my results. Some of these experiments and my research was also met with criticism by a few, despite the clarity of the results and research later that would both further explain and back up the results.
I would get to meet many interesting persons during my years of aquarium maintenance, design, & research. From Medical doctors would mentor me and correct me when wrong in certain “medical subject”, to persons of different cultures whether it be close by Mexico, or my many Asian customers.
This not only helped me grow in knowledge, but also in respect for others cultures/religions and differences since (as an example) I had to utilize Feng Shui in many of my Chinese customer aquariums/ponds. I also was often treated to gracious hospitality and many different foods such as a very polite older Egyptian lady who felt the need to feed me every time I came over to maintain her working daughter’s aquarium.
FOR MY FULL AQUARIUM/POND BUSINESS BIOGRAPHY, please follow this link: CARL STROHMEYER; MY AQUARIUM EXPERIENCE/BIO
In 1989 after a painful divorce from Tris (she left me for another man after an affair) I had to sell my first Local Fish Store. I kept my aquarium maintenance business and my brother in law, Gregg, continued with me. We are still good friends to this day and he still owns/runs part of my old service business.
Shortly thereafter, I chose to start training for a career that was my other passion, and that was flying. I did well mostly due to management skills which I applied to cockpit management. I know this as my many FAA examiners and instructors had told me this about my abilities.
Claire Walters, a historic lady of aviation issued my first pilot license certificate.
At the time I did know who she was and her accomplishments until I got back from my check ride and told my instructor who my examiner was (& he let me know that I just had a rare opportunity to fly with a true pioneer of aviation)!!
She made me feel very calm during this check ride, yet was very professional and obviously knowledgeable about flying.
What really impressed me (and my flight instructor when I told him later) is she took the time to also teach me a few things as well.
One maneuver she asked of me was a full power on stall under the hood; I told I had not been trained yet for this, but she assured me I could and I did!
The bottom line was/issue left quite an impression on me in my 1 hour time spent with next to me in the cockpit.
Aviation lost an incredible person with her death.
More about Claire Walters:
Claire L. Walters dies at 85; flight instructor co-founded Palms to Pines air race
During this time of flight further flight training I met and married my current sweet & beautiful wife, Jodie (we married in 1991). I got as far as my Multi-Engine license ($35,000 later) and was working on my commercial certificate when I canceled my largest maintenance account.
This was due to sexual comments directed at my employees working there. Canceling that account, coupled with my first child being born with neural-sensory dysfunction, caused a significant loss of income.
Thankfully the neural-sensory disorder is no longer a direct problem with her, although she has sense been diagnosed with Asberger’s syndrome and still suffer from psychological stress from events I will mention later in this bio.
This coupled with postpartum depression, which was worse with our second child and severe after our third child was born & multiple influences amplified it, then began a very difficult slide down hill for my wife with more problems to come that so many people did not understand nor see.
We were judged harshly & this, with many casual observers either making rude judgments on me or her or both. In fact this only amplified her depression and feeling of isolation.
This also forced me to drop out of flight school to help take care of my children and spouse.
I still really miss flying, in part because this was one of the few times in my life when I felt so accepted both by the flying community & by friends who saw this as a much more respectful endeavor than my aquarium work (not to mention the flying community is a vastly more honest and supportive of each other than the often very demanding/dishonest aquarium/pond community).
Either way I still have some good memories and would never give up or trade my family (wife and kids) for anything, even having this part of my life back!
My wife was still struggling to cope with Danielle’s feeding issues (resulting in hospitalization at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena) as well as her constant illnesses when she found out she was pregnant with our 3rd child Timothy, which her OBGYN said she could never get pregnant again without considerable medical help.
Since she was still suffering from severe postpartum stress, this only added to it, with her mom telling me she got counseling at “Planned Parenthood” that resulted in this organization suggesting she get an abortion before her mom prayed with her and made her realize this was not a good idea.
After our son was born in 1998, within short order he was diagnosed with meningitis (likely from exposure in the shared nursery after birth). While he did get over this, he later developed severe issues with not being able to feed along with dangerous aspiration while sleeping even if he did get food down.
This resulted in surgeries and special monitoring machines for the next 6 months. This also really “tanked” my wife’s postpartum depression with her totally giving up and requiring hospitalization of her own.
During a very difficult week in September of 1998 with my wife Jodie in the Hospital, and with me leaving Timothy in another hospital for more surgery, I also had a pilots medical whereby the examiner refused my license based on the emotional stress in the family (I got the medical back a few years later). As well we had persons actually telling me I was not doing enough, even though I was up all night with Timothy when he was home, often re-setting his aspiration monitor, taking care of the other two kids and running my business.
After Jodie got out, we had a social worker who claimed to be a Christian assigned to supposedly help Jodie, but instead was frankly a very evil person who clearly hated men and made several attempts to convince my wife I was controlling even though all I was doing was attempting to stem the constant outflow of money as this is one way she dealt with stress (and how the psychopathic predator was also taking advantage of her and would later harm my daughter in the process).
What was frustrating is most persons who knew me, from neighbors to even my very first girl friend many years ago said I was anything but controlling, rather I was a push over who needed to stand up for myself more.
Anyway, in the end, it took a Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy to physically remove this lady from my house after she got irate with me for daring to ask for a gasoline receipt from my wife.
MOVE TO OREGON (& REASON FOR MOVE)
We moved to Southern Oregon in December of 2002. Michelle, our oldest, had been sent ahead for her protection & mental health, in early November.
We moved to be near my sister Jan (along my brother in law Cary Cound) and to escape bad influences (IE a Psychopath who continued to stalk our family as of 2011) who took advantage of Jodie’s severe Postpartum depression that peaked after our 3rd child was born, which resulted in $80,000 debt.
We still owe $30,000 of this as the sale of our LA home could not pay it off. I did not declare bankruptcy, to protect my credit, keep jobs at my business, and other personal reasons.
Moving also provided more help with our special needs children, me and my wife.
What was so frustrating and embittering is that I said little (and still do since this bio barely scratches the surface) as to how much time I generally had to invest in taking care of my family as my wife was simply not able to at the time until she got better. YET many made critical statements that had no reality in the facts (although there were core persons that knew the truth such as Bob Mendoza).
Her (Jodie’s) family over time finally realized this as well.
Others, especially at our old Church, Bethany Baptist of West Covina, chose not to look below the surface. I constantly “picked up the pieces” so as to not drag her name through the gutter. Although they did know about her hospitalization for postpartum depression.
They chose only to listen to untruths and half-truths that I did not do enough, despite the fact that I fed, bought groceries, did ALL medical care of Timothy and in general performed 75% of most home care for my family during this time (although Bob Mendoza took note and attempted to help on several occasions).
All the while I had been working long hours including recycling cardboard and bottles/cans on the side (often starting at 4 am) to help pay for the constant bills that she and the bad influence ran up (IMO and a couple of Psychiatrists opinion, she did this to appease her depression, which she could not help, but this “bad influence encouraged).
One couple at this Church in particular were especially hurtful at the time (whether intentional or not, I will let God be the judge), they said very hurtful things about our children and in one meeting about my son, things were said in both me and my wife’s presence where I could literally see the life leave my wife’s eyes as she went into a very deep depression, and within the week, she had allowed this bad influence back into our life (after she had initially gotten away from him as she WAS doing better) and my daughter was also harmed during this time in ways I cannot share online.
For me, this added to my struggles with bitterness which did not help me be as understanding as I could have been, especially since I just buried these feelings rather than give them to God.
In most cases any other man would have taken the kids and left. I sought legal help that showed I could gain full custody if I desired, but this was and is not good enough for others that stood in judgment of me & her.
Sadly some people continue to judge me (& her) to this very day. In fact I read a very judgmental Facebook comment about me even though she clearly knows NOTHING about me, this by someone with a degree in Psychology none the less! As per FB, this seems to be common, where persons, even persons who think they know me (or others) will make comments about me or others without apparently knowing anything about me (or others) based on the comment.
One positive note during this time were LA Sheriff deputies that DID see through the lies and regularly checked in on my family and business, this included an attempt to make me look controlling when all I was doing was trying keep our family finances from totally going down the toilet.
This attempt by a social worker resulted in one of the Sheriff Deputies calling on our home, where my well documented collection of credit card receipts and more (compiled over a few years via my calls to credit card issuers, banks, etc.) was presented to him. He immediately realized that these charges were bogus & made note of this for “future problems”.
As I noted earlier, my son (my 3rd child) was very sick when he was young. He had Viral Meningitis, gastro-intestinal problems and more. He now has “high functioning” autism which unfortunately has caused us much rejection, even from our previous Church in West Covina, CA. In fact this rejection was the final nail in the coffin for Jodie.
My daughter Michelle still struggles with depression, in part due to her Asbergers and due to what happened in LA.
Jan, my sister, has been a blessing beyond words in helping my kids as well as me (with my struggles with bitterness) and my wife, Jodie, who is also doing much better at coping with life
Despite the ongoing difficulties, another light here in Grants Pass, besides my sister, has been my Church, in particular friends in the “Holy Rovers” group: Bethany Presbyterian , they have prayed, mentored, and helped with our children (especially Michelle). Special thanks goes to Roger and Bob from Stephen’s Ministries and the entire Holy Rovers group.
We were essentially homeless and lived in our 27 foot Class C Motor Home for over a year in Jan & Cary’s driveway (for which I appreciate them allowing this) while Jan also home temporarily schooled the two older kids. During this time I helped around their house by cutting wood and paying electric bills, etc.
To try and pay off the bills and hopefully get back on our own and re-establish my business, I went back to recycling during early morning hours (often while it was in the 20s), this was no where near as productive as it was in Southern California, but with a lot of hard work with often frozen fingers, this still slowly helped us get back on our feet.
Unfortunately during this time many rumors also circulated as to why we lived in their driveway, mostly stating that I had failed in business, was mooching off my sister/brother-in-law (not at all the case as this was probably the most humbling period in my life), and that I could not take control of my family. In fact one source of the rumors claimed to be Christians! (thankfully most Christians do not behave this way)
Within a couple of months of moving to Oregon, a couple (Paul & Trina) I intrusted to manage my aquarium store and some of my aquarium maintenance accounts and whom were part of the reason I did NOT declare bankruptcy so as to prevent their job loss would betray my trust resulting in the loss of most of my store business and the literal (& illegal) taking of many of my service accounts by telling customers false information.
Thankfully Gregg stepped in and told many of the customers the truth of why I left and what Paul and Trina were up to.
The loss still was in the tens of $1000s when both inventory and goodwill business is considered, but at least Gregg salvaged $10,000 of the business, and in the end there was some justice in that their poor business management and lack of any real knowledge as to this business resulted in the failure of what they stole.
Later (in 2004) after getting some of Jodie’s credit in order, we were able to get a small, 900 square foot home. We initially tried to rent, but no one would rent to us past 2 kids, the same problem was encountered with Mobile Home parks and space rental.
Sadly this home has devalued so much that it is worth $98,000 as of September 2011 while we owe $160,000 (this is about the same price as the first home I bought in 1981- $89,000).
On a positive note, that while this home is old and drafty with many issues, it also came with a large shed (900 square feet) that while in worse shape than the house, it provided me with an inexpensive place to re-start my business, so in the end, God was clearly looking out for us as a Rental likely would not have worked out in our favor.
Carys of Oregon
I went to work at Cary’s of Oregon English toffee as a factory worker and later production manager for about 3 years while re-starting my aquarium business on the side, which I now run full time.
I felt God had a purpose for me, to help my brother-in-law fulfill his dream! Especially since one of his strengths is being a dreamer of great ideas along with phenomenal engineering talents and making them a reality (as well as incredible mechanical/engineering skills), while one of my strengths is managing (as many who have known me over the years professionally in LA have stated and continue to state during my business trips and other professional contacts).
Unfortunately the rumor mill prevented this from happening.
However, I am very glad to have had the opportunity to help Cary, whom I love very much and thought much of long before I moved here.
MORE CURRENT BIO
I set up an internet “aquarium/pond information” business based on my experience and ongoing research in Aquarium maintenance and design as well as the vast amount of tests I performed over the years prior to moving to Oregon.
Initially this was to be an information driven website that pointed to ocean decor and similar to pay the bills, but it never quite worked out for a multitude of reasons, so we evolved into selling online much of what my research and experience had shown to be best.
As per the information gathered over the previous 3 decades, our sudden move made saving this impossible as I had no where to keep much of the documentation paper work. So in the end I had to painstakingly put together many of my articles from my memory.
I continued to run my business as I had before, treating employees with respect; selling customers only what they need and the products that my experience and research showed to be the best, which in years past meant even turning down potentially profitable contracts (despite rude & libelous comments).
Thankfully between the “Everything Aquatic Forum” (not the copycat website everythingaquatic.net that is using my legally registered .com name with a .net to get around the legal issues), many articles that have garnered compliments from pHd researchers from as far away as Pakistan.
As well as blogging and web site design improvements, and most of all I give credit to God for lifting business at a time when I had no choice but to let God take charge due to severe family issues once more; my Internet business has been successful enough to at least compliment my wife’s take home and provide employment for a few excellent individuals here in Grants Pass Oregon
This was done with some initial help from Rachel Owen Oliveri and now even MUCH more help from Tommy Butler (who has helped me both professionally and with just being there as a friend), Steven Wright (most of the picture art is his), Devon Trigg, and Misti King (who aided me in editing my articles for grammar, since this is weakness of mine).
Although the business is growing, the income is still rather marginal for the hours spent, partly because I sell products I know work, not just what have great mark-ups.
More importantly, much of my time is spent helping others at no charge as well in further research to keep my free information content up to date.
I spend probably 70-80 hours per week just answering email questions and writing/re-writing (updating) articles, as well as SEO work (Search Engine Optimization).
We are also concentrating on items such as these where I have considerable expertise:
*UV Sterilizer; for Aquarium or Pond
*UV Replacement Bulbs
*Aquarium LED Lights
*Wonder Shells Aquarium Mineral Blocks, only sold at AAP
I am cutting back on time spent in forums, and trying to answer emails and phone calls more efficiently without appearing to be rude in my attempts to be more efficient.
Often though this is difficult with many persons who have openly stated their time is more valuable than mine, even when I note that the 1 hour plus spent with them in email or a phone call does not make any business sense with the volume of inquiries I get based on article readership.
I currently only have a few aquariums (as compared to the literally hundreds under my care and the room of personal aquariums at my previous residence), however if space can be made (such as replacing my 60 year old rotting shed), and more income/time becomes available, I will add more.
I also have set up a few local ponds for friends here in Grants Pass.
I am getting better at Web Site Optimization. I have learned from staying up late reading and going to SEO groups on the Web and asking questions.
HOWEVER most of this credit goes to others such as Blaine Scheidegger for his incredible work on my web site in 2010, but also thanks go to Mitch Cohen, Tommy Butler, along with Steven Wright for his fantastic art work, pictures, etc. that have come up high in image searches due to their popularity.
I have achieved front page on many search engines for my keywords in Google, but especially with DuckDuckGo, Yahoo and Bing.
I do find time (and money) to go camping, often with the Holy Rovers of Bethany Presbyterian.
Besides my perennial favorites such as Yellowstone and much of Utah, I enjoy several spots here in Oregon including: Crater Lake, Newberry Volcanic Park, Wallowa State Park (one of my favorites), Diamond Lake, Seven Feathers RV, Indian Mary and Gold Beach, just to name a few.
Events of February, 2009
Although much of our families personal life was improving, in part due to close friends and family, which is the reason we moved in the first place, once again ghosts from the past came upon our family.
The unfathomable evil presence I and a couple close friends (such as Roger and Bob Mendoza) felt reared its ugly head once again. What is/was frightening were several evil communications were sent to me that were eerily similar to the false charges made.
Unfortunately an anxiety “melt down” by my oldest daughter at school (which has roots in the past and threatening correspondences that our local PD and Department of Human resources refused to address) combined with dishonest rumors from the past caused our local DHS/DCS to once more get involved without any investigation.
Unfortunately a counselor at Grants Pass High played a role in attempting to destroy our family, even if unintentional (although my use of the word “unintentional” is rather generous on my part considering this counselor at the High School was warned/told of this potential issue by other myself, Jan, and even Michelle’s therapist).
Sadly my younger two kids were literally told what to say by these vile people which caused them much mental stress as they knew the truth.
This situation where morally corrupt persons form the Oregon DHS got involved and moved my family out while away on a business trip, although 100% wrong and evil at its core, has been used by God for good as the outpouring of support from several persons from our Church (mostly our ‘Holy rovers’ camping group) was “emotionally moving” beyond description.
Many honest persons talked with the kids and quickly saw through the obvious lies that were being used to manipulate the kids and this came out in court with the many persons and testimonials that came out.
This includes those who knew that I spend zero time or $$ for myself, as 99% of my waking time is spent either caring for my family or helping others with their aquatic problems as noted earlier.
Even this was used against me since I was often answering phone calls and emails at all hours attempting to answer customer (and mostly non customer) questions or similar by construing that I was more interested in others problems than my own family (of course our family history proves this to be a lie too).
Unfortunately, there are those that are upset that I have cut back on after hours emails/phone calls to answer questions that I generally already have provided the answer to in my dozens of updated articles and have taken to leaving messages on my personal email or even profane messages demanding more of my time.
Reference: Aquarium, Pond Information Articles
The support from Jan and Cary in the early hours (for which I cannot speak of here) were truly God sent and my thanks cannot be expressed enough.
We have also learned who our friends REALLY are and that unfortunately most government officials such as DHS/DCS simply are not interested in the truth (even when the court sees this and dozens of persons tell them the facts in testimonials, etc.).
Nor would the GPPD communicate even though they are well aware of our situation, the rather lazy (or possibly worse, corrupt) GPPD took the opposite approach of simply looking the other way when they could have helped prevent this with the copious amounts of threatening emails turned over to them over the years.
I too have learned (especially with very blunt but caring help from Roger S) that I have to give my bitterness to God, as I have attempted to deal with my bitterness from past issues by simply cramming it deep inside myself rather than letting it go with the Lord’s help.
CARL’S LIFE’S WORK:
Sadly though, while Carl’s article readership continues to grow, there is a small but vocal segment who half read and have no respect for his 1000s of controlled aquarium experience and think he or staff can answer their rude attacks via email or in forums. This is especially common in Reef Central and in PNWMAS forums as well as a certain individual from Asia who actually has little experience, but goes around Facebook making libelous charges. .
Most of these attacks are straw man and Ad hominem attacks. Even when some facts are disputed little or evidence is presented and references are never followed.
Using PNWMAS as an example; the PNWMAS forum is in our backyard of Portland & Eugene Oregon, yet even though we have financially supported this forum, there has been no support of my scientifically proven products or even my very in depth and unique articles, rather this forum has often rudely chosen to attack me indirectly or my employee (Devon) directly who manages forum sponsorships & simply attempted to defend me and my life’s work.
Rather than support my life’s work that I have received positive feedback internationally in the many articles I have written that appear on American Aquarium, Aquarium/Pond Answers, & Fish as Pets, this forum not only did not promote and say: “Wow, great cutting edge science based content, and it is all from a web site in our own back yard”, rather they made rather dishonest vile attacks, including in private messages
One of the most common attacks is that Carl is a shill or is using a marketing scheme of attempting to sell bogus products via his articles.
Let’s Look at these charges:
- Just based on Carl’s background;
Would a shill or similar dump a growing and profitable business just to move into near poverty in Oregon? Would such a person dump his largest, most prestigious & profitable customer just to show his staff that people are more important than profits? He continues to help many after hours, 7 days per week all while making $7 per hour when all this time is factored in.
- Carl is accused of bribing forums to get his products promoted.
Incorrect; with one exception, all forums have approached him first. One product line in particular, TMC does not sponsor forums and instead promotes products by getting them in the hands of professionals
- Bogus Products; while one can agree to disagree, the products sold are at least 80% product his maintenance companies have used over the years or meets the criteria laid out in his articles.
The Sponge filter line sold is USA made too, which cannot be made by most other sellers of similar products.
The AquaRay LED lighting line was not even available when the Lighting article was written nor after many updates. It was only sold after it met certain criteria that included he would use it for his own clients.
- His articles are rare in that most others are rarely updated. Carl or staff update these regularly, including when evidence that might contradict what he has stated (he has never been afraid to admit when he is wrong).
Examples include information in his Redox, Nitrogen Cycle article, & Lighting article.
With the Lighting article in particular while the long term accepted view (& still held as per a recent PBS Nova episode) is/was green light is useless. Newer evidence showed in a closed environment that green light can be used by plants, it is just much less efficient and can actually stunt growth when used at certain percentages.
Here is his most popular article, that has also been at the root of these dishonest and personal attacks
Reference: Aquarium Light Information
Here is a blog Carl wrote dealing with some of the contemptible persons who make false statements against him all the while they bully an employee who simply attempted to “set the record straight” over at Reef Central (sadly as per reading their own forum rules they perform very selective enforcement of their rules):
Reef Central Review; the Mr. Burns of Aquarium Forums
One article that he is very proud of the content has been totally dropped from Google Search in the summer of 2013 after Black Hat SEO practices by Amazon and copyright infringement by About.com is his UV Sterilization article.
He asks that readers please help get this one back out with shout-outs on Facebook, Google Plus, personal blogs, etc.
Reference: UVC Sterilization; Correct Level 1 UV Sterilizer Use
Please consider using DuckDuckGo search or Bing over Google.
Please re-post articles on Facebook, Google Plus, or private blogs.
A FEW EVENTS
I am also blessed in that we were able to replace our 20 year old motorhome in 2010 with a nicer trailer & vehicle to tow it (the motor home had broken down on almost every trip in the last 12 years and even had issues when brand new)
My article readership continues to grow, with many compliments from those they have helped, but also with the usual “straw man” attacks from the same few suspect forums (I only wish I could find a way to monetize them better or sell them so as to cease the need at all to sell products to pay bills).
My son is doing very well with school and became an exchange student to Germany for early summer 2015. We had to raise the funds for this as my wife’s actual take home has decreased due to considerable hikes in her insurance premiums (thanks to ObamaCare) and while my article readership continues to grow, a continuing higher and higher percentage of persons use these articles and our email/forum help to purchase at Amazon, eBay or similar..
We did however graciously get help from Bethany Presbyterian Church in sending Timothy to Germany
While Danielle struggles with learning, she was able to get her CNA license.
She is also very loving and charismatic, and often senses when others such as myself or Timmy are depressed and is quite the loving comforter.
Michelle is still often withdrawn and will not communicate fully what is wrong or what happened has happened in the past, however she is improving with her anger issues and really seems to understand the sufferings of others and is excellent at discerning good from evil.
She still struggles with taking things personally, especially when she tries to do the “right thing”. Often hurtful comments or actions by others that lack any remedial discernment (sadly even coming from church), even if not always intentional, hurt her very deeply.
Marriage in the last 8 years have been great with my increasingly beautiful wife Jodie, as both of us understand better what we need to contribute to help each other. God has really blessed us with great support too in the last decade
I still ask of others to support my business and the many articles I provide that often have information that can be found nowhere else by occasionally thanking us with a sale.
As of May 2010 & June 2011, my health, which has not been real good since a serious staph infection in 2004 and diagnosis of a hole in my heart arterial wall and problems with my heart rhythm. I have had multiple heart tachycardia events, numbness/ “pulsing” in the left side of my neck and left side in general, as well a halter monitor and other tests have shown a considerably elevated heart rate, even at rest (150-170 beats per minute resting). I underwent more nuclear stress tests and other tests to determine why. As well in October of 2010 I developed Kidney issues.
On positive note the Beta blockers I am taking have helped considerably with my heart, which to the most recent update of this bio is doing well!
In the late Spring of 2011, I was diagnosed with quickly advancing case of neuropathy with exact caused unknown since I am not diabetic (the most common and treatable cause), so it remains basically un-treatable but for medications to ease the pain. As well I have a couple of ruptured discs in my back the often add to the pain and may be part of the cause according to a therapist.
Besides a diagnosed couple of ruptured vertebrae, the doctor suspect stress as a factor for the neuropathy, especially since 80% of the symptoms (including heart issues) cleared up during a two week vacation in August of 2011, only to return within a couple of days of my return.
What is still painful to this day and admittedly a struggle, is that somehow I am portrayed as a failure and worse (mostly by those who know very little other than “surface observations”), rarely getting praise for how much time I spend helping others in the aquatic community as well personally with persons I have often come in contact with via my business.
All the while, those around me in my community get praise heaped upon them, yet I have many times shown Christ’s kindness and forgiveness while others look past me like I do not exist. I still spend 99.9% of my time helping others or my family with basically no “me time” or even “me money” spent on myself, yet my critics would have me spending even more time answering persons questions by phone!!??
As of 2013, I am continuing to learn to work through my constant pain from neuropathy (as well as my struggles with bitterness from the past), and in fact I am doing MUCH better with the neuropathy.
I am coming to realize how God has blessed me in so many ways with both children, my wife, my friends, even my business (since I have to trust God through all the terrible Google algorithm changes). I also now realize that though my previous home that I had to give up to protect my family was much nicer, I can make this a reasonably nice home and be thankful that God has given me a home in the first place!
I am also blessed in that my heart in general is doing better (this includes no problems with a diagnosed hole in my heart atrial wall) and part of the cause of neuropathy has now been traced back via a MRI to two ruptured discs in my spine.
As of 2015, I am actually getting better with the ruptured vertebrae in my back my back (via regular exercises)
In the summer of 2014 I had a bout with viral meningitis, followed by severe loss of weight, and gastrointestinal issues (at one point I had a false positive for stomach cancer resulting in an emergency Endoscopy). After multiple tests it was determined in the Spring of 2015 that I had a severe middle gut bacterial over-growth issue also known as SIBO, which as of late 2015, the SIBO infection is not responding to traditional treatment in any permanent way.
Thankfully, as of 2016 the SIBO has done better via multiple herbal treatments, which includes anti-inflammatory therapies/treatments since chromic inflammation (possibly auto-immune issues too) seem to be the cause for this as well as the Neuropathy.
However eating can still be a negative experience, no matter what I eat. Eating makes me very tired and I have almost an allergic type reaction to a meal that the best I can describe as feeling like one feels with the aches/cramps one would get with the flu. This said, I have found that a Vodka screw-driver shortly after dinner helps alleviate this.
This quote from John Chapter 8 helps but also perplexes me as I have shown this mercy (as I feel is asked us all by God) under the darkest of circumstances yet it is I who is often judged by others to this very day?
2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
SUMMARY(or what I have learned to this date):
While this autobiography may not read as a very “happy story”, I can say that I have grown in my love of family and God through all the many trials and set backs and realize that this has also allowed me to relate to many others that have gone through similar trials (such as my friend Misti King).
Also to take this less than happy autobiography in context, a reader should spend time in my 100s of articles and then realize that this often dark but honest telling of my life experience is but just a part of me; easily more time is spent in maintaining these articles to keep the content as fresh as possible, such as my Aquarium/Pond UV Sterilization article.
As well, the rest of my free time is spent in forums and email helping others in a positive manner!!!
A Few References:
*Aquarium and Pond Information
*Aquarium/ Pond UV Sterilization; Sterilizer Use
*Aquarium & Pond Answers
Finally, while we got judged often for my autistic son’s behavior in his younger years, often by persons that should know better (although many men seem to understand him much better), I would never trade him for anything in the world!
I am also learning from my true friends (such as Bob Mendoza), that despite the many judgments heaped upon me, especially since moving to Grants Pass, that I am doing the best I can to follow God’s will and that includes still using my God given talents of management, which many of my articles reflect since much of the content is gleaned from my understanding other’s talents and research and applying their research to my own knowledge/experience and research.
Another major positive is (via the Lord’s and friends help), is Michelle is doing better, Jodie has really blossomed and I have been much better at giving up my bitterness and hurt from the past!
*Thanks also go to my long time friend Bob Mendoza, and friends Bob Krause and Roger Stewart for their encouragement and support, often during the most difficult times.
LUCIA MICARELLI –
KANSAS; CARRY ON WAYWARD SON
JOURNEY; OPEN ARMS (Live)
Go-GOs; Head Over Heals
Unchained Melody Les Baxter Orchestra 1955