Born in 1954, that makes me
old. I joined the Navy in 1972 (for a six year enlistment) in
spite of a college scholarship because of the Vietnam war. It seemed
like a good idea at the time. By the time I completed my two years of
electronics schooling, the war was over and I got my first assignment
aboard CVA-43, the attack aircraft carrier Coral Sea. My job was "Data
Transmission". I made sure the ship-to-ship and ship-to-air computer
links stayed up. There were only a few dozen people in the world who
did what we did. We had nowhere else to go but the carrier, so when a
problem came up, we worked on it until it was fixed. All day,all night,
all shifts. We slept together, ate together, and held each other up
when we were drunk. It was an ethic that stayed with me. Work hard.
Play hard. Never quit. Well, actually, I did quit (drinking) about
halfway through my enlistment when I realized I really didn't like
being drunk. I'd just been surrendering to peer pressure. I discovered
(to my surprise) that even in an environment like the Navy, "social
drinking", carousing, and peer acceptance didn't require alcohol. Who
knew? Eventually the Navy offered me a shore assignment and I traded it
to a married guy so he could stay with his wife. I got the CV-61, the
aircraft carrier Ranger. I loved being at sea, and when we pulled in, I
loved being ashore. Although I worked with some of the greatest guys
and served under good officers, I came to realize the Navy wasn't for
me. They offered me a position as an electronics instructor. I
turned them down.
I spent a few months working in Las Vegas repairing pagers, then
bummed around California for a while checking out the colleges and
universities. Eventually I settled on Sacramento. One day while
shopping at the mall, I decided I needed a job. My substantial savings
were running low. I stopped at a pay phone and three phone calls later
had an interview and a job. Virtually nobody teaches electronic
communications. I knew jobs would be easy to come by. Frontier Radio
was just what I was looking for. A small, aggressive, privately-held
communications company. We grew fast.
Eventually Frontier Radio got big enough to be bought out by Nextel
Communications. I changed from component-level troubleshooting to
system-level. It wasn't enough of a challenge, so I branched out into
web site maintenance and workgroup automation programming. Doing all
three jobs at Nextel was a stretch, but I loved it. I loved it even
though I was working nights and days and pulling multiple 24-hour
shifts every week.
Now I'm working at All
Weather and am doing the challenging component-level
troubleshooting I love. All Weather is small enough that
decisions are made close to the point of action. I have no commute traffic
jams and no night work.
I spread my time between my
work, and this computer. Life is good.
Lost? Look at the site map.
Bad links? Questions? Send me mail.