First, please note that based on the promotional artwork to the right, I could be Ringo Starr's stunt double. Seriously. I've also been compared (on my better days) with Shaggy (companion of Scooby).
I was born in South Dakota -- not a very populous state, but neither one whose population is in much hurry to crowd their neighborhoods.
I had a hybrid childhood -- living in town, though my father farmed a section of land rented from his parents and an aunt. His mother's health care expenses put us out of the farming business, and some time after his death my mother's health care needs put her out of the old family home in town. My home town is a ghost town to me now, pretty much.
Before all that, though, I had joined the Navy soon after finishing high school. Sailing west from San Diego during the first Reagan presidency was a lot of fun. I met my wife in San Diego -- she, a Montana neighbor trying something new in sunnier climes. We wed and the Navy sent me to South Carolina, where I served on two more ships. My job was to track Soviet subs -- a lot of blue ocean fun. But when our first son was born, I didn't want to be an absentee father.
I left the Navy with great memories, and headed to Chicago to enroll at the Moody Bible Institute. I heard that missionary pilots with avionics skills were in demand, and Moody's program was about the best. I was a pilot, and my Navy experience lent some talent on the electronics side of things. But after a year at college, I grew more interested in a BA than a BS.
Apparently I was interested in other things even more, though, and after our third child was born I abandoned a nearly finished college run for the job market. After 10 years I'm still working for a company that educates kids the public schools aren't equipped to handle -- mostly behavior problems. Our infrastructure's pretty substantial -- 12 WAN sites, 60 servers, including several intranet application servers and several SQL machines; Exchange, Sharepoint, Citrix, and so on and so forth.
I've diverted myself from the day-in, day-out lunacy of the IT world by hobbying with trebuchets and, most recently, coffee roasting. And I've dragged my kids through it all -- sometimes as enthusiastic participants, sometimes as squealing guinea pigs.
Where do I go from here? Well, after I figure how best to bulldoze our ramshackle house in some legal way, I reckon I'll try to get out of the city and back to an open sky somewhere. I'll be content to watch my kids write their own story on life's pages -- offering editorial counsel like your typical well-intentioned geezer. Aside from that, my sense of adventure leaves me to scribble only in the margins of my own story; I've learned I write far less of it than I'd once thought.
My favorite things in life:
Quality relationships -- with God, with wife, with children, with friends and colleagues. Sometimes an elusive hope.
Bright sun, an open sky, a far horizon and wind -- lots of wind. Preferably with some trees around to bend in it.
Storms and other phenomena beyond my control. My sense of adventure appreciates a world that reminds me that I'm really pretty small.
Redemption, resolution of conflict, wit, grace, cordial regard between adversaries, intelligence, modesty, honesty and courage.