Retired and happily married to a wonderful girl, enjoying life and the luckiest guy around.
ROCKET SCIENTIST (RETIRED)
Well, I was an engineering scientist working on military and spacecraft systems, but not on actual rockets. I could tell you about what I used to do, but — well, you know . . .
I’ve also designed software and circuits for commercial and military aircraft, military vehicles and vessels, military ground systems, guided missiles and — believe it or not — Mattel’s Barbie and Hot Wheels — I designed the prototype electronics for Barbie’s Piano and the Airborne Hot Wheels Carrier. I still have a Barbie Piano in the original (1980) package.
AIRPLANE AND HELICOPTER PILOT
I’ve been flying since just after high school (1961). I worked full-time, went to college part-time and paid for school and flying lessons. Thanks to Mom and Dad for the free rent those days.
After military service, I continued with work, school and more flying. I eventually got most advanced ratings including Certified Flight Instructor, Advanced and Instrument Ground Instructor and an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate.
I have piloted airplanes and helicopters coast to coast and into most of the 48 Contiguous States. I love flying and enjoyed training many pilots.
I have been involved in computers since the late 1960’s; my involvement has been both professionally and in the hobby sense. From the days of mainframe programming to multiple processor embedded applications, it all has been fun and interesting.
Before I retired, I was involved in professional software systems engineering. I maintain several websites, doing everything from editorial work to writing special purpose scripts to creating graphics.
HAM RADIO NERD
I earned my amateur radio license when I was in high school, about 1958 or so. At one time, I was fairly proficient with Morse Code and used it to communicate with over 100 different countries. I’m not currently on-the-air having disconnected the antennas when we had our house re-roofed. One of these days, I may hook everything up again, but we always seem to find other things to do.
VIETNAM ERA VETERAN
I’m proud to say that I served in the United States Navy in the early 1960’s. When I joined, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was in the Oval Office. When I mustered out, it was after the Cuban Missile Crisis, after JFK had been assassinated, and while President Lyndon B. Johnson was busily escalating the war in Vietnam.
I went to Navy ‘A’ School in Memphis, Tennessee to be an avionics technician; after completion of school (I was first in my graduating class), I reported for duty to the U.S. Naval Missile Center, Point Mugu, California. When I first reported to the air station, I was assigned to a security infantry detail on the base - NEGDF (Naval Emergency Ground Defense Force). It was half intensive training and half security guard duty, complete with hard helmets, leggings and sidearms or rifles.
After my security assignment was over, I was an air crew member, primarily as radar and radio operator for transport and patrol aircraft. I flew on missile test launch aircraft and also domestic electronics evaluation and coordination missions. When not on a mission, I worked in the avionics shop, maintaining the command’s aircraft communications and navigation gear.
I left active duty to work in aerospace and defense, but remained in the Naval Reserve for a couple years afterward.
The second amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right of citizens to own and bear arms for self protection and for protection of state. What they mean by that is each gun owner is part of the greater militia that the Founding Fathers saw as a vital necessity for liberty and justice in our country.
I still own the first firearm that I bought back in 1966. Between us, we have several pistols, revolvers and shotguns. We generally go to our local shooting range weekly. You can see a few of my shooters here.
I love most classical music and I enjoy country western and some classic jazz. I’m into many other genres as well. I can sorta play keyboard instruments and used to be OK with a guitar or a ukulele before I broke a couple of fingers and have trouble making frets. Fun to play, but I never expect to do any of it vocationally. For fun, however, I wrote and performed a little ditty called “Visioni di Roma” as background music for a slideshow of our trip to Italy.