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Who are your favorite artists? What makes their work so compelling to you?

My favorite print, photographed by Gary Crandall, is an image of a male mallard duck floating on water.  I bought this years ago from a store in Park City, Utah during one of several skiing trips I took to the Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons southwest of Salt Lake City.  I had been searching for a lone duck print for years and when I spotted Crandell’s work, I immediately went to a store clerk and said I wanted it, without bothering to ask how much it cost.  I didn’t care, I was going to buy it no matter what.  The most compelling feature of this duck picture is the gently falling snow landing on the duck and surrounding water, adding to the story that a duck, as I’ve often thought of myself, is someone that is calm on the outside while paddling like crazy below the surface. My second favorite print, photographed by David Whitten, is a bright white picture of aspen trees standing in several feet of winter snow.  It reminds me of the several snowmobile excursions I’ve taken in the mou

You came of age during the Vietnam War. Share some of your impressions of the war from your teenage/young adulthood. Did you, your parents, or your siblings have strong opinions about the war and/or the draft?

The biggest concern I had was with the draft, as you might expect for teenagers at the time.  The actual reason for the “war” (not really, the U.S. never declared war) and why it was needed didn’t really concern me, I was focused on high school, getting ready for college, working, and camping.  Nobody I knew cared, at least not until 1969 when the first draft lottery took place.   My older brother, then seventeen years old, would face the draft in 1970 and while he probably would avoid the draft using a college deferment, it wasn’t a sure thing.  For the next couple of years, we would listen to the news as they selected the birthdates that would be chosen first, hoping for a high number and dreading getting a low number.  As I recall my brother was fortunate to have pretty high numbers, and we shared a sigh of relief each time. I turned eighteen in October 1973, nine months after the draft ended in January.  I never had to nervously sit and wait for October 8th to be called.   When the

Are you an extrovert or an introvert?

I think the actual question is how much time does one spend being extroverted versus introverted, as everyone is some of both.  According to my last Myers-Briggs personality profile, many years ago, I’m fifty-two percent extroverted and forty-eight percent introverted.  That made perfect sense to me as sometimes I need to interact with people and other times I just want to be left alone.  I know that if I’m scheduled to present to an audience for a few hours, I need to schedule some alone time afterward.  The reverse is also true.  If I spend a morning alone in the office working heads down, by the afternoon I’ll be wandering the halls looking for someone to talk to.  As long as I maintain a balance I’m good, but too much of either will cause me to feel tired and uneasy. My complete Myers-Briggs profile is ENTJ, having Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Judging attributes.  The direct opposite, ISTP, is characterized as Introverted, Observant, Feeling, and Prospecting. There are fou

What do you like most about each of your siblings?

 My only older sibling, by about three and a half years, Greg could have easily ignored me but instead included me when I’m sure others would not.  My second-floor bedroom, in an unairconditioned house, was pretty warm in the summer, so I asked Greg if I could move down to the basement with him, and he agreed.  The other major inclusion Greg allowed was to go camping with him and his friends at their Bus, which they bought and parked along the Stillwater River west of Troy, Ohio.  A little leary at first, the group accepted me and found that having someone to drive them into town for more beer Saturday night was very useful.  My sister Mary Rose was the only girl and just fifteen months younger than myself, so it was natural for us to grow up playing together and I remain closer to her than my other siblings.  Like our mother, Mary Rose is very sweet, kind, and giving of herself.  At one point when I suddenly needed a place to live, she opened her home to me and let me work through my

What is the most valuable thing you learned from being a parent?

I think I paid closer attention to my children than anyone else ever, in fact, I’ve told many people that the key to parenting is exactly that, paying attention.  When you know what’s going on and you know your children, the rest isn’t rocket science.  What that taught me that’s so valuable is how very different people are from each other and how they change over time.  My son and daughter are very different people, wonderful in their own unique ways, with their own set of challenges, skills, and preferences.  Maybe I should have known that’s how people are, but I never paid close enough attention to notice until it was my job to be a parent. I began really listening to people in order to find out how they viewed the world, their work, and their ideas of fun and happiness.  Not at just one point frozen in time, but how they changed as they grew older and wiser.  It was particularly useful at work and as I got a deeper understanding of each person, I developed a sense for what they were

Did you work while you were in college?

 I had at least one job the entire time I was in college, paid for all my own tuition and books, and took out only $1,200 in student loans.  I lived at home and my parents furnished me with room and board and paid for my car insurance.  Everything else, like a date pizza or a movie, was on me.  Between school and work, I had little time for anything else. I began college still working at the Sherer’s Ice Cream store on North Main street, which matched the busier summer ice cream season with having that time off from school, allowing me to work a lot of hours and bank money to help out during the school year.  It also allowed me to really focus on school since I had been at Sherer’s for a couple of years and everything was routine.   About a year into college my friend John Sloan made me aware of a weekend, third-shift computer operator job in the Third National Bank data center where he worked.  It was really appealing to get a job in my field of computer science, and while leaving She

Are you good at crafts or building things? What's something you've made and are proud of?

Since I’ve mainly been an I.T. guy, building things is sort of what we do, which I’ll demonstrate in a bit.  But for actual physical objects, there are two that come to mind.  First is a baby blanket I crocheted for my daughter.  No fancy stitching, just the basic one, and I used a multi-colored yarn to make it look interesting.  I spent hours and hours at night looping and pulling yarn and I’m quite proud of the result.  The second thing is the recent basement remodel, replacing almost everything including ceiling tiles, doors, and paneling, replacing the old shag carpeting with vinyl flooring, and applying a fresh coat of paint.  This was by far the biggest home project I’ve ever tackled, I learned a lot, and in the end, it’s a hell of an upgrade.  I also know my limits; I don’t tackle plumbing or major electrical projects.  Basically, anything that can ruin my house if done wrong I leave to the professionals.  But with YouTube videos as a resource, I take on many more tasks than I u