Hello! Welcome to my Personal Website. And, make no mistake about it, this website is about me.
A large purpose of this website is to highlight and document my technical journey over the last 50 years, as well as to document my abilities for friends, associates, and even potential employers. However, along the way, I hope to not only make the stories interesting to read, but to provide insight and information about many of the specific technologies, pieces of equipment, gadgets and do-whickeys I have crossed paths with during those 50 years.
Being infatuated with Science, and especially technology since I was barely able to breath (Knee high to a bean stalk), I have covered a lot of ground. I have been blessed to live through an incredible period in the history of our technology. From the age of mechanical, to the age of information, I have not only experienced several generations of massive technical change, but I have been afforded the privilege of working with, tending to, and sometimes helping to create that technology.
Professionally, my work and job history is pretty concise. A number of “small” experiences while in school, A Mechanic’s “helper” at Clays Automotive for 3 years, a stint running my own repair shop during high school (which ended up being non-profit), 6 months repairing small engines, all led up to my graduation from High School (2-year vocational electronics), and my beginning an intense and thoroughly satisfying 6 year enlistment in the Navy. As a Fire Control technician (Missile), I joined the right program (advanced electronics) at just the right time, to enable my participation in some really cool stuff – which included lots of “expensive toys”, as we often called the Tartar Missile system.
Upon leaving the Navy, and spending a few months once again working in a repair shop – Cunningham’s Music Center in Athens, Oh – I joined the Associated Press. I spent the next 28 years of my life working as an AP Technician. Unfortunately technological change (which, up to that point had been wonderful to me), and, more importantly, a business change that saw AP getting out of the technology end of the business in the Mid – 2000′s, led to my loss of that position. I had thought I would retire from AP. Alas, that was not to be as the “internet explosion” changed forever the business models for the world of news. The restructuring of their business to maintaining far less equipment, and requiring far less technicians, combined with some physical challenges for me after major surgery, left me no other reasonable options but to leave the company. A regrettable, but unavoidable, choice, that was, naturally, after a nearly 30 year career, a much more involved decision than related here.
I am currently employed maintaining, repairing, and restoring machine tools and industrial machinery. I thoroughly enjoy this arena as it encompasses many of my skills and interests in one place. Most of my work involves restoring and rebuilding older machinery for resale. This requires a knowledge and understanding of the electrical, electronic, hydraulic, pneumatic and mechanical systems that comprise them, as well as the ability to creatively resolve numerous simultaneous problems and malfunctions. The machinery comprises lathes, mills, boring machines, fabrication tools, and CNC machining centers with a large diversity of technical generations. The work is fun, challenging, and, yes, often a dirty job. And, since a part of this machinery is rather old, we often deal with the lack of documentation and parts. We also modify the new equipment we sell, adding things such as digital readouts, power feeds and accessories and even complete retrofits to more modern control (CNC) systems. After nearly two years, I am the “go-to” person for milling machinery of all shapes and sizes, and because I have a natural understanding of all that is involved, I am heavily involved in the CNC machinery end of things.
However, my personal interests and avocations, coincided directly with my professional life. It was, indeed, hard to separate the two. While working my “Day job” (Often also a “night job”) with the Associated Press, my spare hours were filled with even more technology, technical pursuits, building things and experimenting. Yes, I was, and still am, obsessed with it.
Another Part of the purpose of this website is, as with most blogs, as a sounding board for my opinions – good and bad, on whatever.