Showing posts from May, 2021

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-

What's a small decision you made that ended up having a big impact on your life?

I joined The Mead Corporation in 1981 as they expanded their Technical Services group.  My role for the first year-plus was mainly being a backup as all the major areas had senior people already in place.  That made me more easily available for other assignments and perhaps that helped as this story unfolds.   John Langenbahn had just become CIO and in 1982 he and the executive management decided to merge the Cincinnati data center, which housed three board-focused divisions, into the Dayton data center, instead of buying them a new million-dollar mainframe.  The project was announced on a Friday in Dayton with a follow-up meeting scheduled for the following Friday in Cincinnati. After the first meeting I mentioned to somebody that it would be cool to lead the project, so my small decision was to speak up.  But being the new kid, and all of 27 years old, I never thought anything would actually come of it.  The following week as we converged in Cincinnati, one of the managers congratula