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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

What is the best job you've ever had? What made it such a good experience?

In the early 1990s, I was promoted to Mead Corporation’s Manager of Network Services, part of an organizational realignment as personal computers had become a predominant technology.  I had global responsibility for the corporation’s voice and data networks and quite a large budget.  There were about a dozen people on the team and we were living through some of the biggest technology changes ever including the Internet, local-area-networks, and mobile phones.  In addition to all the new stuff, we had to maintain the legacy technologies including coax-connected mainframes, multi-point AT&T wide-area networks, and voicemail systems.  While there was a lot of new technology to absorb, I enjoyed the bigger challenges of getting the group to embrace new ways to approach their work.   A few examples, really smaller in scale, demonstrate the type of challenges that made this my all-time favorite job. Our CIO gave us the assignment of correcting, and then owning, the company’s pocket phone

What is one of the most expensive things that you've ever bought for yourself?

There really are not all that many things that I would consider expensive that I’ve bought solely for myself; most of those I’ve either shared with someone or bought for someone else.  But I think the purchase that best answers the question was my 1997 Pontiac Firebird.  It was just the base model with a 200 horsepower V-6 engine, 5-speed manual transmission and silver paint job.  I bought it from the now-closed Rodgers Pontiac on South Main Street in Dayton, Ohio, and the test drive was memorable, at least for the salesman.  We took it out and I headed over to I-75 to feel how it handled on the highway.  But instead of gunning the engine as the salesman expected, I just smoothly merged and went a few miles at the speed limit.  I really just wanted to test the car for comfort, but I guess most forty-year-old men looking at buying a sports car are having a midlife crisis and want to feel the power.  That wasn’t me.  I found the Firebird’s seats to be extremely comfortable and that sold

Thinking back, what do you admire most about your mother?

My mother grew up in a family with three sisters, two older and one younger, and a brother four years her senior.  She lost her Mom when she was just twenty-four years old, still three years away from marrying my Dad.  They would have four boys and one girl over a ten-year period, which included two miscarriages.  She was an accountant and an aspiring actress and gave up both to raise her family.  Being way more familiar with being around girls, I imagine raising four boys was so very different and I’m glad she had at least my sister as a female companion.  She passed away a few months after my two youngest brothers graduated college and Dad retired from General Motors.  We had Christmas in 1985 together, never imagining it would be our last, and she slipped into a coma before New Year's Eve.  We stayed with her in the hospital and she never woke up.  Late on Sunday, January 5th we left, needing to get ready for work on Monday.  It was so like Mom not to want to be a bother to anyo

Tell me about your college graduation. Did you attend? What do you remember about the setting, the people, and the experience?

I graduated from college, Summa Cum Laude, at the end of the Summer quarter of 1980, or six years after my start in September of 1974.  I did not attend the graduation ceremony for a number of reasons.   First, I really don’t like graduations or other similar celebrations.  I had to attend my high school graduation for the sake of my parents but skipped the party afterward in favor of going to the “Bus” campsite.  School was not where most of my social interaction occurred and I never developed an affinity to high school.  It was simply, for the most part, a place to get an education.  Running track was the only sport I played and even as people may view it as a team sport, it’s really a group of unrelated events, except a few relays, so if a couple of other teammates also ran my event, the two-mile, we only saw each other at the beginning and end of the race.   High school was also complicated by the 1973 merger of my all-male Chaminade and the all-female Julienne, replacing the laid-