Biography - July 2006
After coasting through high school, I spent a
semester at Knox College in Illinois, enjoying six months of nonstop
partying without benefit of attending classes before they threw me out.
I had a draft number that pretty much made me immune unless the
communists decided to invade Hoboken, but I didnít know what else to do
so I joined the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman.
The Navy, in their infinite wisdom, sent me to Great Lakes for boot
camp in the dead of winter, but then made up for it by sending me to San
Diego for the summer.
I may owe my life to ping-pong. Something I didnít realize when I signed up to be a
Hospital Corpsman was that the Navy supplies the medics for the Marine
Corps. When I got to Hospital
Corps School I found the school graduated a class every week, and every
graduate of the school was going directly to Field Medical School, into
the Marine Corps, and over to Vietnam.
Marine Corps medics had a high casualty rate in Vietnam.
About half way through the four-month school, I was
playing ping-pong and dislocated my knee.
They took me to the base hospital, put me in a full leg cast, and
then sent me back to the barracks. During
the night my knee started to swell, my temperature spiked, and I wandered
the base, delirious and dragging my casted leg behind me. They put me back in the hospital, which set my graduation
back a week. And that week,
for the first time in the four months I had been at Hospital Corps school,
all of the graduates were sent to stateside bases.
I still have a ping-pong table in the basement, just in case. I ended up spending my entire Navy career at the Newport
Naval Hospital changing diapers in the newborn nursery. It turned out to be good practice.
While I was in San Diego I visited San Francisco and
vowed that I would return there some day to live, which I did when my tour
of (diaper) duty was up. San
Francisco is a golden city and I highly recommend that you move there and
live there or at least visit it. I
worked at the VA Hospital where I met my wife Mary.
I went back to school, pursuing a degree in English, this time with
the government footing the bill. I
found school more to my liking this time (actually, I liked it a lot the
first time, I just didnít do any of the work part).
When Mary and I were ready to have a family, we wanted to live
someplace a little more normal (golden city, but a little weird).
She started looking for openings in other VA hospitals while I
worked to finish up school. On
the day I turned in my last paper, the Associate Chiefís job opened in
Madison, Wisconsin and we decided it was fate.
I may be one of the few people on Earth who owe their
jobs to a degree in English. I
applied for a Research Assistant position at Christensen Associates, an
econometric research firm. The
company had just finished a long-term project for an electric utility and
had a large report in the works; the idea of having an English major edit
the report appealed to them. The
company used Data General hardware for most things, but when they bought
their first PC, I found myself drawn to it, and when the person who
babysat the Data General box left, he recommended me to replace him.
Iíve been with them ever since.
Theyíre great to work for, value family, dress casually, and pay
me enough to keep me from looking elsewhere.
I manage the computer system, do all the user support, and still
edit their technical papers.
We live in an unincorporated area west of Madison,
Wisconsin. Itís beautiful
farmland - corn fields and
rolling hills. We have three
children, two dogs, and a cat. Nick,
our oldest child, loves cars and just graduated from a technical college
with an automotive technician certificate.
He wants to work in a garage until he knows what heís doing
enough to move in to racing. Chris,
our middle child, is just about to start college after taking a year off
after high school. Heís an
Eagle Scout and loves the outdoors. He
hopes to work in computer animation.
Kathryn, our youngest, will graduate from high school in a year.
Sheís hoping to attend the U of M in Minneapolis; she wants a big
school in a big city, but one that isnít too far from home.
At various times in the past year sheís decided to become a
doctor, a lawyer, a forensic pathologist, a botanist and one or two others
that Iíve forgotten. Weíre hoping sheíll pin it down a little during her
freshman year. The dogs are
English Springer Spaniels, female littermates.
The cat is a stray that showed up one day and decided to stay.
With three children, two dogs, and a cat, we find life busy, but
Hello to everyone and I hope life has been good to