last updated 5/30/01
Occupation: Mainframe Programmer (see Resumé)
Residence: San Francisco, California, USA
You can find out more about me by checking the
other links back at my place,
but for those of you bent on the tedious,
I'll try to fill in some details here.
A gemini, I was born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1963. My family soon moved to southern California. (Yes, they took me along.) We then moved to Seattle, Washington when I was 3. We lived there until I was 10. What a gorgeous place to live! We then moved to upstate New York (Whitesboro, near Utica/ Rome). (Not so gorgeous.)
My mother died in November 1977 when I was 14. My father started dating within a month of her death and got married the following summer. My father still lives in upstate New York with that woman.
After graduating in 1981 from Maranatha Christian Academy in New Hartford, NY, I went to Cedarville College that fall in Cedarville, Ohio. I loved college. Unfortunately, I lost my job that next summer due to a union strike. (The union agreement required all summer help to be let go.) Without a job, I couldn't afford to go back to school for my sophomore year.
Jobs were scarce in 1982. I couldn't even find a job at a McDonald's. I moved to Boise, Idaho, to live with my sister, Diane, and her husband. Well, jobs were scarce there, too. Not returning to school, I was going to have to start making payments on my student loan. Not having a job, repaying the loan would be tough!
|In order to "get a job," I enlisted in the United States Army in February, 1983. I didn't have to report to bootcamp until May. I went back to upstate New York to visit with my family and friends before leaving for bootcamp. I stayed with my sister, Kathie, who lived about 5 miles away from my father at the time.|
I went to bootcamp at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. I
should have figured out then that Missouri was no
place to live. Bootcamp was hard, but it was a very
good experience that I needed. I'd never do it again,
but I'm glad I did it once.
After bootcamp, I went to the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California. I studied Russian language for one year. That was a great time. It was similar to being in college. Our barracks were about a mile from the ocean (Monterey Bay). Being on a hill overlooking the bay, we were able to hear the sea lions from our barracks.
I fell in love with the Monterey weather. Not too hot, not too cold. Similar to Seattle or London. I can remember morning platoon formations where the fog was so thick that we couldn't see the company commander 20 feet in front of us. The beauty was that he couldn't see us either.
After a wonderful year in Monterey, I spent the next 4 months in San Angelo, Texas, at Goodfellow Air Force Base. It was hell. We were there to learn military intelligience techniques in handling intercepted military radio traffic. The learning part was fine. The off-duty time was the bad part. The first two weeks we had to wear uniforms 24 hours a day except when sleeping. It was like bootcamp all over again. We had 5-mile "fun runs" at 5am every other Saturday. We had to march in formation to class. A couple Air Force guys committed suicide while we were there. Being the twisted individual I am, when it was my turn to lead cadence as we marched to class, I penned a cadence to the tune of "Around her neck she wore a yellow ribbon":
He wore it in the nighttime, when his roommate was asleep.
And if you ask him why the hell he wore it,
"Cuz in this small hick town there ain't no bridge from which to leap."
I guess you had to be there.
|After the hell of San Angelo, I left in December 1984 for my permanent tour of duty in Augsburg, West Germany. (Before reunification.) The Cold War was still going strong, with Nancy Reagan still in the Whitehouse. My job was to eavesdrop on Soviet military radio signals and report the information to Washington. It was a fun job. I truly loved it.|
Living in Germany was fantastic. I loved those
Bavarian Bierfests. From early spring until
late fall, it seemed like Augsburg had a different
beer fest every other week. I developed a penchant
for a drink called Geiss (rhymes with ice). It's a
half liter of dark beer, half liter of Coke, and a
shot of Asbach (a type of brandy). I still whip up
a Geiss for myself every now and then, although it's
not quite the same without having the beer from one
of Augsburg's six breweries. You could typically
only order this drink at Bierfests or at a Gasthaus
(similar to a pub). At other bars, I drank rum &
cokes, mostly because "Bacardi mit cola" was the
easiest cocktail for me to order in German! That is
still my drink of choice.
Having served my 4 years, it came time to leave the Army in early 1987. I needed to find someplace to live. There was nothing for me back in New York. My younger sister, Judy, lived in Kansas City then. She convinced me to move out there for the time being. I told myself I'd live there a year before moving on to somewhere else, probably Seattle. That was in 1987, and it took me until the end of April 2000 to finally move on to San Francisco. That's a story in itself that I'll save for a future webpage.
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