This is my fifth semester in the MSTCO program, and I should be able to finish up next summer. I have a BA in history from the University of Mississippi (minor in mathematics) and I hope an engineering degree will make me more comfortable with my Senior Lead Engineer title.
I've been struggling along since the fall of 2005, using this program as a kind of stress test of myself. I've discovered some defects in the system that I am now in the middle of repairing. ("I've discovered" includes "I've had pointed out to me".) The MSTCO program is also acting as a test of my company's technical communication standards, and they have been found wanting.
I have a lot of experience programming IBM mainframe computers for both scientific and financial projects, and after fifteen years as an itinerant consultant, I now work for Citigroup.
I started off in scientific applications, which was the most interesting work I've done. More recently, my performance tuning and assembler language specialties enabled me work for myself for awhile, which let me live in some great cities during the week. I now work in a big insurance company, which is a stable job - with benefits. And I can be home every night.
I'm basically a computer programmer, but have worked off and on with my present employer long enough that I have the credibility to make the case that we take our technical communication as seriously as we do our software. So I'm starting to be able to put into practice what I've learned.
My wife Donna has given me three children - ages 26, 19 and 16. All three children either work or swim for Dynamo Swim Club while going to school.
The swim club is one of the best in the country - some of our swimmers will be at the next Olympic trials. Donna directs the Swim School operation, Rachel teaches part-time while going to college full-time, Christopher runs one of the swim school sites while going to college part-time, and Andrew swims 25 hours a week while going to high school. For his age, he's one of the fastest in Georgia in the distance events.
I enjoy backpacking in the Appalachians, reading, travel, and talking about my children. For the past two years I've said I'll finish hiking the Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail. Apart from finding the time, the biggest challenge is weight. I have a rule that my pack and I together can't weigh more than a fixed amount. Developments over the last few years have been such that I can no longer carry a tent nor stove nor sleeping bag (I'm now using a bivy sack), so my winter camping is limited.
firstname.lastname@example.org is the email address that forwards to wherever I am.
The Homepage assignment requires something about my interests, so here they are. My wife should be here, but I had to delete her picture for symmetry. She's in the skydive video, though.
日本 の マイケル
My father was career military, and so I grew up all over the place. Here I am in Japan, staring at a book.
Rachel at 14,500 feet on her 18th birthday. Her mom, as any mother would, jumped out first to see if everything was OK. Stayed up 'til Rachel was safely on the ground. If you don't mind downloading 120mb of mpeg, here's the link for the mid-air video.
Oldest son Christopher. Homeschooled Eagle Scout, sounding out words phonetically at age one. Hasn't been interesting in going to college until this year.
Andrew coming in from the ocean. He's our athlete, swims the 1500m freestyle in just over 17 minutes. He's in his second year of high school. We were worried - this was the first time any of our children went to school outside the house, but he's doing fine, even in Algebra and Latin. He hasn't come home with piercings and tattoos, either.