Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am pretty much the quintessential loner. But that’s not to say that I haven’t been or can not be social. At the age of 30 I did manage to find a woman and make her my wife. We were married for 15 years. From that relationship I am a father of a 25 year old Daughter. Outside of that I am a Mechanical/Machine Design Engineer. I currently work in the power industry providing design for the fabrication and construction of bio-fuel steam generator plants providing electricity to thousands of people. Not sure what it is about this industry, other than maybe, like most men, I tend to be a closet pyromaniac, just someone who loves to play with fire. My previous pyromaniac employment included being a major contributor to the world’s largest medical waste incineration system, located at the very edge of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Baltimore</st1:City> <st1:State w:st="on">Maryland</st1:State></st1:place>. This plant is capable of reducing 500 tons a day of medical waste into a pile of sterilized ash that will fit in the back of a dump truck and still have room for more before it is carted off to the landfill. I’ve been in other aspects of other mechanical engineering design as well; having provided the tooling design for a large eastern seaboard aluminum can manufacturer. Next time you pick up a cold one, (soda or beer) in an aluminum can, check out the construction of the neck and bottom of the can, I designed the tooling that does that. I also had a hand in the design of the current pop top on cans as well.Check some of your circuit boards from the 1980s and you’ll likely find something that I also was associated with. I have done “jig and fixturing” for microelectronic circuit cards from a major international manufacturer based on the east coast. Other than that, I’m just your no account cog in the wheel of the machinery of capitalism. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
How long have you been a flight simmer and what attracted you to it in the first place?
Oh geeze … I’ve always been a gamer, mostly science-fiction fantasy (AD&D stuff,) in 1980 my wife of the time had a TI 99-4A and I tricked that little computer for all it was worth, bought an expansion box and several other cards that fit in the box, and taught myself to program in Basic and Assembly. I tried writing my own game in those languages but after a while, the program got too big and the TI couldn’t handle it any more. In 1984, I bought my first PC (IBM XT Wooo!) There weren’t many games out at that time, however it wasn’t long before the gaming industry sprung up and I think my first true flight simulator was the DOS version of Battle of Britain by Lucas Arts back in the late 80s, the XT actually was capable of running the game. What attracted me to computer gaming was the ability to have visual capability of what was happening in game. For anyone who is a former table top gamer, I’m sure they can remember the maps and charts and graphs and scale figurines that were used in various games, I always wanted more, like to roam in a virtual 3D world like we can now.
Do you have any animal companions? If so, please describe them or say what you want about them.
Currently, I do not. Being a “loner” as I consider myself, having a pet at times could be a bit of an imposition in having to care for the thing, or an added expense in finding a kennel or something to care for the animal on times when I am not near the house for more than 3 days. Its not that I don’t like animals, I just haven’t made room in my life lately for them. At one time though I did have a pure bred pedigreed Old English Sheep dog I named Digby. Being a person who believes in allowing all things to run free, and not caging or tying down an animal such as a dog, (I’m also a firm believer that animals are out of house critters,) Digby one day decided to have an argument with an oncoming semi … naturally he lost. Since then I haven’t cared to include animals in my life. I don’t even have a pet rock.<o:p></o:p>
If you could have any special magic, what would it be?
Any magic eh? I’d love to be able to remember everything I’ve ever read … <o:p></o:p>
What are you most proud of?
Though she doesn’t know it, I’d have to say, my daughter. She just recently graduated from the San Francisco Le Gordon Bleu school of cooking and is finishing her internship at a local eatery near where she lives close to her mother in <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Virginia</st1:place></st1:State>.
If you could become anyone's friend that you want, who would you choose?
There are not many in this world, with its attitude and social decay that I’d like to call friend. There are one or two who I still do call friend, and those that are, are very near and dear to me and very close yet they are miles away. However, I try hard to live my life in a manner that would make me acceptable to the creator. I’d love to be closer to GOD if I could.
If you had to pick one place in your town to bring a tourist, where would you go?
This town? Are you kidding? There’s nothing exciting here … about the only thing that has impressed me since I’ve been here, (going on 8 years now,) is the fact that despite living on the ocean, the beaches seem pretty much ignored by the populace. I was very surprised on my visit to see so much sand unoccupied by any bodies. (My comparison beach is of course <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Virginia Beach</st1:place></st1:City>. Many times you can’t find an area at VAB to lay a towel.) You don’t have that problem here. So I guess the empty beaches would be the tourist attraction.
What are some of your family's traditions?
Once again, being single, I don’t have family per se, at least close to me. So there are no steeped family traditions in my life. My folks are still alive but they are living back home in <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">N.Y.</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">State</st1:PlaceType>, just south of <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Buffalo</st1:place></st1:City>. About the only tradition we have is we call each other about 3 times a week just to check up on the other.
What is your greatest strength?
I don’t know that I have such a thing. Some would probably say it is my ability to be able to live my life alone with no other companionship, human or otherwise, or other comforts, but to me that’s just the way I chose to live, there is nothing special in doing that. Beyond that, I’d have to say my daily struggle with trying to maintain my spirituality and closeness to the creator. This world makes if very difficult to hang tough on maintaining some form of morality.
Who is the one person that helped to make you who you are today?
I don’t know that I can narrow my life today down to one person. At the absolute minimum it would have to be two people. My Mother, and my Trades Drafting instructor. Mom was always after me telling me while I was in school that once learned something no one could take those things from me, and that I always needed to reach out for more knowledge of how the world functioned. My Trades Drafting Teacher, set me right one afternoon when he hauled my butt out of the classroom and told me he was going to fail me that semester if I “didn’t get my head out of my ass …” I loved the class and feared losing it to the point that by the time graduation came around, I was selected as the most qualified and gifted of all the students in the class, and I received Top of Class Awards as well as Honors on graduating. Both of the lessons from these folks are ingrained in me, to always strive to do my best at anything placed before me.<o:p></o:p>
What do you think is the best thing you ever did for someone else with no thought of reward? (This is the question that MOTW #11 wanted to be asked to the next MOTW).
I’ve been in position to assist a couple people, (on different occasions and locations,) from choking. Also since the folks live fairly close to a major highway, it wasn’t unusual to have accidents occurring in front of the house, I’ve always run from the house to help folks in accidents.
What question do you want to be asked to the next MOTW? <o:p></o:p>
Do you ever feel that ‘real’ peace on this planet is attainable?<o:p></o:p>