To understand me you have to go back a few hundred years to my childhood…
I spent a lot of time in my own head growing up, which turned out to be quite a creative place to hang out. My mom often spoke about how she would be doing something around the house and would hear me talking in my bedroom so she would peak through the door to find me furiously engaged in battle between G.I. Joe’s and Transformers.
I never really needed anyone to entertain me, but as I grew up I found that real people aren’t so bad either. I took to a life where I still spend a lot of time in my own head, but now I also truly enjoy engaging with individuals whenever possible. I am lucky enough to have friends of all ages, and am able to somehow relate to people regardless of age, the younger ones because I was once in their shoes, the older ones because I respect where they’ve been and all the things that they have accomplished.

I’m a bit of an instigator and because of this I have had the great pleasure in being part of things such as Hoops for Hope, a charity basketball tournament that has risen over $200,000 for cancer research. My family and I have been running this tournament for 8 years now and we keep instigating others to join our cause. One very important thing I’ve learned from this endeavor is to not be discouraged if people doubt you right away or tell you no. This has served me kind of like playing with action figures when I was little; I’ve garnered a sense that anyone of us can accomplish anything as long as we engage in it with great enthusiasm.
The rest of my story surrounds itself with my family business, a tubing and camping establishment called Voyageur’s View, as well as all of the other random jobs I’ve taken on to fill the 8 or 9 months when we aren’t running the business.

I have done many, many odd jobs, and continue to do so.
I also really enjoy traveling and seeing the world and its people. I haven’t always been able to do so physically but my joy of reading has taken me many places and through that and my imagination there really aren’t too many places I’m not familiar with. The joy and magic of reading truly is amazing.

I, along with a few other friends started Banana Daiquiris& Life Lessons a few years ago and have really started to become more consistent with our posts this year. This bio is but a glimpse as to who I am, if you want to know more, simply read my posts.

Kari Gagner

Name's Gagner. Kari Gagner. Mother of two little wild men, wife of "Manny". Enjoy long walks on the beach, naps, and banana daiquiris. But the reality of my life mostly includes laundry, diapers, and dirt. Reporting from directly from the front lines of motherhood...

Mike Braget   

Mike Braget is the residual leftover of a cultural renaissance man. A veritable jack of so many trades that he hasn't bothered to master a single one and the older he gets the less he seems to care - other than the "respectable career with a status earning wage" that has eluded him through his first 30 years on planet earth. He is a writer, philosopher, sociologist, cultural critic, musician, gamer, reader, mortgage banker, statistician, race car driver, scuba diver, world traveler, brewer, wine-maker, whiskey-connoisseur, a damn good cook, an amazing lover, and quite possibly the world's best husband. His writing style can be described as "ambivalent self-criticism." He began writing for BD&LL because he owed Jason money.

A Man Named Barry Allen

Age: 28

Sex: Male

Likes: Friends, Movies, Sports, Running (I’m very fast) and Daiquiris

Loves: My wife and daiquiris (who doesn’t?)

Dislikes: Annoying Facebook statuses (you know who you are, stop it!); Selfies!!!!!; People who wear pant-suits to parties

About Me:  It is tough to sit down and type about oneself. I would like to think I am an outgoing, fun-loving kind of guy. I enjoy humor over anything, and it might be a curse, but I can find humor in just about anything…and I mean anything. I also love movies. I actually like blockbuster season over holidays or even wedding season…Yep, I said it. You could say I am a Die Hard Fan…but I don’t care for the new ones.

I am also a bit of a social butterfly and enjoy being around groups of people exchanging stories, laughs, and whatnots while enjoying a nice adult beverage (barley pop). Getting our group together is never a dull moment and I am sure you have read about some of our adventures.

When it comes to house work, I like to see myself as a DIYer. Right now, I am on a kick in which I buy other people’s trash and make it my trash. I think that’s how it works. Maybe I will blog about a few of my adventures. Who we kidding?...I will definitely do that.
Well, that’s me…

How we became: The Banana Crew started way back when, when a group of guys were watching Smallville. And on that wonderful show, there happened to be a quote about banana daiquiris. We sat around looking at each other thinking, “Mmm, that sounds nice.”  We then set out on an adventure to find the daiquiri. We made one stop – The Holiday Inn – and they made us some, even though they do not have it on the menu. Delicious. And so it began.

The blogging started one day when we were all lying on the floor at a friend’s place recovering from too many daiquiris (if there is such a thing) and barley pops. We decided that people need to hear about our wisdom, advice, and thoughts…A better way to describe it, our Life Lessons.

Kelly Cota (Mr. Dolores)

I write under the "pen name" Mr. Dolores. There is a story behind the name, but it's long and better told over a daiquiri. If you ever see me at T and J's buy me one and I will tell it to you. 

I'm not a very interesting, unique or exciting person. Generally, I spend as much time as possible with my son, watch some TV with my wife, sit on the patio (a 3 year project) and have a cocktail or two and try to workout regularly. Turns out the last one gets tougher all the time. Some days my body rejects the idea, or days my mind rejects the idea. So I guess and idea rejects the idea. Might be a good blog post. The more exciting things that I enjoy are fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, playing basketball, and golf. Those are in no particular order. In my professional, fancy pants, shirt and tie life I work in education. I believe that somehow I ended up working in my area of passion. I really believe that our education system has room for improvement and there are lots of people who are smart enough, talented enough, and forward thinking enough to make great lasting impact to our education system. Luckily my job as a "Secondary Math Specialist" for Pinal County (are you impressed or what) allows me to work with these people to improve learning for all kids in our county.

I have developed a rather selfish reason for wanting to contribute to this blog. BD and LL has developed into something that the contributors may or may not have intended it to be. Although not everyone may share my perspective, it has become a place for offering suggestions on how to improve oneself. Personally my writing may not help anyone other than myself, but it allows me a chance to reflect on the characteristics of a person that I want to become. I certainly am not perfect and other days are better than others. Call it maturing, mid-life crisis, or whatever, but at this point in my life I really am thinking about how to become a better person, husband, father, worker, etc. 

Suddenly this has become a blog post, so as a wise man once texted (spell check says that's wrong but what is the past tense of text) me - "Shut up and blog!"


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