My Life Story
Or at least the interesting bits!
First, I'm a single father of 6 children, 7 if you count my ex-wife, who is currently sleeping on my couch.
Long story. Don't ask.
I wasn't born a single father, nor did I plan on becoming one, but life has a way of throwing you a curveball every now and then, and if you don't learn to hit them, you spend a lot of time on the bench. And that about does it for my store of baseball metaphors. I'm more of a gridiron kind of guy myself anyway.
I've had a couple of careers so far, and just started on a third.
I was a sailor in the US Navy for almost 9 years, working as a nuclear reactor operator on the USS Nimitz
and a Radiation Controls Shift Supervisor on the USS Shenandoah.
After my military career, I went into radiological remediation work, cleaning up and disposing of nuclear materials. This work sent me out to a plutonium clean up on Johnston Island in the Pacific, about 800 miles southwest of Hawaii. The island was used to launch rockets for atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. One of the missiles misfired, and had to be destroyed on the pad, which resulted in the warhead being spread all over the island. At the time, they cleaned up most of the island, excluding the 5 acres closest to the test pad. This they fenced off, and left for a later day, which was where I came in.
We went out there and basically dug in the sand, and tested every flippin grain for radioactive contamination. The clean stuff went into one pile and the hot stuff went into another pile to be washed.
Of course, we had conveyor belts and detector arrays and automatic diverters to do the sorting, but it was really that simple. The washed soil was reinspected, and sorted again, but this time the hot stuff was bagged for transport and disposal. Our methods were pretty straight forward, but we achieved a significant volume reduction of the soil, saving millions in disposal costs.
From there, I went to another waste handling position, this time in Oak Ridge. I worked for a company called Molten Metal Inc, which used a thermal process to reduce the volume of radioactive waste. The process was bold, visionary, and a complete disaster.
Al Gore liked it though, naming it a "visionary technology or something like that.
The process bankrupted 2 companies, leaving me looking for a new job, which I found at Nuclear Fuels Services, the company that makes the fuel for the Navy's nuclear reactors.
I had come full circle.
So of course, I had to do something different.
Now, I'm an independant publisher, trying my best to build a company that actually helps create something. It's slow going, and a lot of work, but at least I'm not out on some island in the middle of nowhere, or soaking up radiation at an ungodly rate (For those of you who know what this means, I picked up in excess of 4 Rem per year for 3 years, including a couple of shots at 300-450mrem in 20-30 minutes. For the rest of you, by comparison, while operating and living next to a reactor for 5 years, I picked up a total of .5 Rem)
But this is not who I am; this is what I do, and that's not what I started to write.
Like I said at the beginning, I am a father. That's the alpha and the omega of who I am, but there's lots of other things that define me. (There better be; my youngest will be out of high school in 5 years. If I don't have anything else to define me, what will I be then?(Probably a grandfather, but I really don't want to think about that just yet!)) I'm a writer (duh), a singer, a woodworker, an aquarist, a musician (that one is a stretch; I play the hammered dulcimer, the piano, and the banjo, all badly), a dancer (seemusician
above), and occasionally I do enjoy a good political discussion or debate. I aspire to be a cross between Leonardo Da Vinci and Mark Twain; I'll settle for Caractacus Potts and Lewis Grizzard, although I still may be aiming too high.
Politically, I fall somewhere in the large wasteland between moonbats and wingnuts, and would call myself a Libertarian if they weren't so dominated by lunatics. I favor a limited role for government, a strict reading of the Constitution, and eating ice cream at least once a week. I voted for Reagan, Bush I and II, and Ross Perot.
We all have our skeletons.
Socially, I'm conservative for myself, but libertarian for everyone else. In other words, although I'm a straight, non-smoking, non-drinking non-drug-using male, I'm for gay marriage, drug legalization, and the eradication of all blue laws not based on the age of consent. If you are an adult, then what you do is your business, not the government's. On the other hand, I'm pro-life, because I believe life begins at conception, not some ill-defined or randomly assigned point afterward. That belief is based not on religion or some concept of soul
but on the simple fact that a new and unique organism is created at the moment of fertilization.
Religiously, I've been called a seeker. I believe in a Creator; I haven't the faintest idea who or what s/he is. (That's not actually true; I do have some ideas. But I won't discuss them as they are incomplete.) I see no conflict between religion and science since science is deliberately set up to exclude matters of religion. They are working to answer very different questions using very different assumptions.
OK. Enough about me. Besides, everything you read on the main pages will more or less be about me anyway. So why waste any more time here?