There is a Story afoot . . .



A story has attacked me . . . not sure where it's from, but I have been posting chapters as they come out of my fingers. Yes, I am still posting on firearms training and my new topic of basic prepping - all links are to the right of the blog, newest posts first on the lists. Feel free to ignore the story posts - they usually start with a chapter number. But, feel free to read the story as well and comment on it - I like how it's turning out so far! Links to the various chapters are at the right under . . .

The Story

Bill

Monday, August 6, 2012

Commentary – Acknowledging The Geek In Me . . . .

 

I am a true geek – in every sense of the word. I was the guy in high school with a pocket protector filled with multi-colored Bic pens, a protractor, compass, slide-rule and small spiral notebook. (I have a box of these little notebooks from 1966 or so to today, even as I stare at one next to the keyboard) I was the guy that belonged to the science club, the math club, the radio club. I got my first job in a TV repair store from Mel when I was 12 – and I thank him for caring enough to put a kid like me on such a great path.

I built my first stereo when I was 13 from scraps harvested from old TVs at Mel’s shop – all tube of course. I learned current flow, color codes, soldering, measuring voltage, reading schematics – all in his spare time on a back bench or my kitchen table.

I got my first CB radio kit as a Christmas present a year or so later – a Heathkit GW-22, my mom was amazed when it worked!

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I later worked for them in their Ham Radio department on radio frontends and transmit driver band pass filters for their new line of solid state transceivers.

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This gear is still in my shack and gets a workout every once-in-a-while.

The Air Force fed this hunger – a career in radio and avionics positioned me for degrees in Industrial Electronics and Computer Systems Engineering. I built my first home computer in 78 with my new born daughter in a seat on the workbench watching carefully as I soldered, tested and smiled.

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A life long passion for the space program started in Mrs. Atkins 5th grade class as I drew the flight path of Alan Shepard’s flight through sitting in a Taiwanese military academy’s class room with my conversational English students as we watch Apollo 17 touch down and the first foot prints made. I was proud of the fact that the attitude control rockets on the lunar lander were my Uncle Victor’s design.

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I was at my desk at Rockwell working on new communications gear I still can’t talk about as Enterprise was launched and recovered.

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I was installing fiber optic cable in a nearby power plant when Challenger exploded and our confidence was shaken.

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I dream of travel when I explore with my old Mead 2080 telescope and think perhaps its time for one of the new models, just because they are so cool!

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And last night I sat in my recliner, tears of joy streaming down my face as I watched Curiosity make its stunning landing.

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We have forgotten so much. We have allowed our natural spirit of exploration and discovery to become so clouded that we forget that we can do great and wonderful things. I watched in pure and utter joy and wonder at the engineering feet this team pulled off . . . .

And acknowledged . . . . .

I love being a geek!!

Congrats to everyone . . . .

3 comments:

  1. Yep, they done good! ALL measurements were in feet this time :-)

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  2. LOL - yep, got over that little software glitch! I'll be interested to watch as they unwrap Curiosity and test out the different components. It's a pretty potent package, should serve up some pretty good data.

    Why the heck aren't they packing up a half dozen more of these things? This one-at-a-time thing drives me nuts!

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  3. "We have forgotten so much. We have allowed our natural spirit of exploration and discovery to become so clouded that we forget that we can do great and wonderful things."

    I read that a few times. You are absolutely right.


    On another note: I wish I hadn't thrown away all of my old Heathkit catalogs. The pages were almost stained by drool :-P

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