My father was an Air Force officer while I was growing up. I was born in Washington, D.C. shortly after WWII - I am on the leading edge of the Baby Boom. We moved to the following places in the years shown:
I graduated from high school in Mascoutah, Illinois in 1964. Following 4 years at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, drinking beer, chasing girls, and putatively studying political science, I spent several years in government service, including a tour of duty with the United States Marine Corps. I returned to school at the University of Texas at Austin, obtaining degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, finishing in 1977, following which I accepted a position as an Electrical Engineer with the Bellaire Research Laboratory of Texaco Inc. in Bellaire, Texas. (Houston is a bedroom community of Bellaire.)
I always listed my degree as being in Electrical Engineering, and if you want to know why, see The Difference.
If you're not interested in the boring details of what I did for Texaco, skip down to below the next horizontal line on your screen. I won't be offended, believe me.
For the first decade and a half, I developed instrumentation and control systems, primarily for seismic data acquisition applications, but also for some utility applications. During the first part of that period, we did a lot of our own hardware system design based on Intel microprocessors. Then Intel developed Single Board Computer Systems based first on the 8080, and subsequently on more complex processors, so our hardware design tended to be limited to interface boards to work with the SBCs, and then we wrote the software to make it work. Eventually, after the introduction of the IBM PC, we started using that or clones of it as system platforms.
I used to have a resume on this server which detailed a lot of that, but I can't imagine why anyone would want to read it.
Then Texaco decided we didn't need to be in the business of designing and building our own seismic exploration ships, so we did gas plant control systems and some other stuff. Then Texaco decided we didn't need to be in that business - do you see a pattern here? - and I transferred to the Information Technology Department, where I did some minor hardware and software design work.
Eventually, since some of the work I did involved data communications, I wound up in a group which managed the routers and network circuits which connected Texaco to the Internet, so, unlike Al Gore, I actually had something to do with the Internet. We also managed the Texaco global network, which, at the time, consisted of some 350 Cisco routers connected by digital communication circuits as well as a variety of digital switches.
I retired from Texaco in May of 1999, just shy of my 53rd birthday. So, I now had to find some other field of endeavor in which to apply my geekness.
Since my retirement, I've become active in long-distance precision rifle shooting, as well as carbine (AR15/M4-type rifles) and pistol shooting. I do contract work as a pistol, carbine, and precision rifle instructor, primarily at Rifles Only, near Kingsville, TX. Most of our clients are military and law enforcement personnel. My business card says, “Training Freedom’s Defenders to Take Out the Trash.”
I do not regard that as work, but as a vocation. I can think of no better use of my time than training young men and women who will go in harm’s way in defense of our freedoms. It is my privilege to work with them.
About the only thing I do which I regard as work is the minimal amount of work I do in managing my investments and paying taxes.
Daughter Sarah has graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with an honor’s degree in finance, and is currently living in Los Angeles with her husband, Chris Shaheen. Daughter Emily has graduated from Texas Tech University in Lubbock with a degree in advertising, and is living in Austin, with her husband Keith Smith. Both women are lovely, self-supporting adults.
I reside with my beautiful wife, Kathryn (Kaci) Sisk in Spring Branch, Texas. I serve on the Bulverde Planning and Zoning Commission, and Chair the Architectural Control Committee of our 489-lot subdivision, when I am not down at Rifles Only training shooters.
I am blessed with wonderful friends and family. Actually, my entire life is blessed by God way beyond anything I deserve, for which I am profoundly grateful, and occasionally suspicious.
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