A Nomadic Childhood
My father spent the first half of his career in the United States Air Force. I was born in Japan and we moved around a lot. We lived in California, Texas, Maine, Iowa, Italy, France, and an air force base in Idaho before I started eighth grade in Boise, Idaho, when my father retired from the Air Force.
I graduated from Boise High School, received a BS in chemistry from Boise State College and then an MS and PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Following a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor and a year of postdoctoral research at Illinois, I went to work as a photographic research scientist at Eastman Kodak Company in snowy Rochester, NY. My wife and I moved to not-snowy Portland, Oregon, in 2000.
From Chemistry to Computers
I've enjoyed programming computers since learning FORTRAN in college in 1970. I was an Atari hobbyist in the 1980s,
and wrote many articles for personal computer magazines. I moved into software development full-time at Kodak in 1983 and worked
there as a software developer, manager, quality engineer,
and process improvement specialist. In 1997, I launched my software development training and consulting company,
Process Impact. I've written eight technical books, most recently
The Thoughtless Design of Everyday Things, and about 240 articles on
computing, chemistry, and military history.
Writing Sometimes, I just feel like writing something. My first nontechnical book was a memoir of life lessons titled Pearls from Sand: How Small Encounters Lead to Powerful Lessons. From software to self-help? Maybe it's not that big a stretch. In 2016 I had a really cool idea for a forensic mystery novel, which led to The Reconstruction, the most fun I ever had writing something. What next? I think I feel a sequel coming on.
Music Like everybody else, I picked up the electric guitar when I was 12. Unlike a lot of people, I still play. I enjoy recording songs, both covers and originals I wrote, just for fun. I play Gibson Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster, Taylor acoustic-electric, Rodriguez classical, and Schecter bass guitars. Yes, I already know I can't sing; thanks for noticing.
Military History Growing up on Air Force bases, military history became one of my major reading interests. Visiting military museums, memorial ships, and battlefields is also fascinating. I've flown in World War II-era B-17 and B-24 bombers, amazing experiences.
Volunteering It's rewarding to perform volunteer work, a value learned from my parents. I volunteer at the Happy Valley Library in Happy Valley, Oregon. I'm a delivery driver for Clackamas County Meals on Wheels and also a strong supporter of the Oregon Food Bank. Here's an essay I wrote describing why I drive for Meals on Wheels.
Wine Wine tasting (okay, wine drinking) is one my favorite pastimes. I like to visit wine areas in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia, California, Virginia, and anywhere else. My favorite wine shop in Portland is Vino. Two of my favorite T-shirts: