Sunday, October 31, 2004
Personal Horn Blowing
52 years old, married with one son at home and a daughter and son on their own. My wife Linda is from the Philippines (Sindol, San Felipe, Zambales). Eric is 14, Sharon is 21, and Keith (from my first marriage) is now 28.
I'm from the Seattle area, graduated from Renton High School. My dad worked for Boeing before retiring in 1995. He also worked for Lockheed, LTV, and McDonnell-Douglas in the lean years of the '60s. As the eldest of four boys, I went with him during those job-shopping years, living in Los Angeles and Dallas. I returned home to graduate from high school in 1970.
I devoted 23 years to the U.S. Navy as a paralegal, retiring as a Chief Legalman. I was fortunate to be stationed in the State of Washington four times during my career, the last at the Submarine Base Bangor working with the Staff Judge Advocate for Commander, Submarine Group 9. We now live near Silverdale, Washington.
After retirement I taught technology, first at Computer City and then at CompUSA and also at North Seattle Community College. I struck out on my own in 1996 to form Olympic Computer Training. My partner and I sold the company in 2000 and then I worked for North Sound Bank as a technical support guy. In October 2000 I moved to Pacific Northwest Bank which was bought out by Wells Fargo in May 2004. Since WF doesn't have an IT department except at two centralized network administration locations, IT work is farmed out to local vendors. That doesn't appeal to me so, as of this writing, I'm looking for work. Resume available upon request.
What's this "World Phamous" stuff?
My first unit in the U.S. Navy, assigned in 1971, was Attack Squadron 192 (VA-192). We were "homeported" at the Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, "deploying" aboard USS Kitty Hawk (at that time CVA-63). The Kitty Hawk, by the way, now homeported in Yokosuka, Japan, is designated CV-63 and my old squadron is back aboard the Kitty Hawk. The squadron is now also redesignated as VFA-192 (attack-fighter squadron). Anyhow, in Naval Aviation each squadron has their own "name" and creative logo. VA-192 was known as the World Famous Golden Dragons and the squadron history dates back to the Korean War. My first cruise with VA-192 aboard Kitty Hawk was to Yankee Station off the coast of Viet Nam in 1972 and it was during this cruise that I was able to talk my way off the flight deck and into a desk job (read: safer location).
At my next duty station (VA-128, NAS Whidbey Island, training squadron), I found my way from a safe (but boring) desk job in the Admin Office to the always hopping Legal Office. That determined my professional life for the next 19 years as a paralegal. One day a friend and I were shooting the breeze and he suggested that I take the moniker of "World Famous Legal Beagle." I liked it, modified it slightly and have used it in a variety of ways over the years. I am the World Phamous Disk Jockey, the World Phamous Baker (a hobby), the World Phamous Computer Geek, World Phamous Instructor, etc.
You cook, too?
You Bet! Some of you may smirk, thinking that the average American male just doesn't know how to navigate and operate in a kitchen - even more so when it comes to baking, and canning. Well, I am not your average American male. Of course.
A long time ago in 1979 I went through a divorce. I was stationed on Midway Island. It was considered isolated duty because I could not bring my wife and three-year-old son, Keith. The tour was only one year but when I came back, I was single. And my ex had several surprises for me, including the announcements that she had remarried, that her new husband - also in the Navy - was to be stationed in Hawaii, and that she couldn't bring Keith with them. So I became a single father while stationed at Legal Services at the shipyard in Bremerton, Washington. At that time, it was common for the wife in a divorce to clean out the husband. That was also true for me. Not only was our savings gone, but I had to pay many of the bills that she and her new boyfriend/husband ran up in my name long after the divorce was final.
So money was tight. One day while carefully shopping in the commissary, I pondered the price of a loaf of bread (30 cents) as compared to the cost of flour, yeast, milk, and eggs. And I realized I could make it cheaper - and probably better. So I called my mother for help and she sent me a Betty Crocker cookbook. I learned how to cook real fast. I have fond memories of my time in Bremerton as a single father experimenting in the kitchen with my son. My ex eventually regained custody of Keith and he's now a full-time cook living in Burlington, Washington. I still have that Betty Crocker cookbook - and many others as well, including four of the late James Beard's works. I've since remarried and I occasionally take command of my kitchen.
I now enjoy bragging that the only time we've purchased bread in over 20 years is when we were between duty stations and the kitchen was in a moving van some place.
When I was growing up, my mother made cinnamon rolls on a regular basis. Her recipe, however, resulted in rolls that hardened after they cooled. My late step-father, Harold "Sub" Moody, called them "hockey pucks." My mother finally took offense to the moniker one day and threatened never to make them again if they were maligned just once more. We couldn't resist! We did and she did. It wasn't until I was learning how to cook many years later that she gave in and made hockey pucks one more time for me to observe and document. I modified her recipe somewhat but kept the name.
My step-dad was a unique character. He was known as "Hal" to all with whom he worked, but he was "Sub" at home. He was large, hence the nickname (mom was BRIEFLY known as "Shanks"). He didn't hesitate to comment on his size, including "I'm built for comfort, not for speed" and "I'm warmth in the winter and shade in the summer."
Sub worked for Seattle Transit -> Seattle Metro. He started after World War II (Army, infantry, Europe) as a bus driver and advanced to supervisor. He was a typical, cranky, guy and I was a rebellious teenager of the late sixties. We had our moments that tested the limits of each other. But he had several gems of advice that I heeded, including joining the Navy instead of the Marines or Army ("It's better tp sleep in a bunk instead of a foxhole") or the Air Force ("Those primadonnas are the joke of all the services"). So I joined the Navy and ended up in Naval Aviation. I now know that military aviation in any form is occupied by primadonnas.
What's with the jokes?
I've always enjoyed a good laugh. As I get older, I find I must have a joke to make my day whole. Ray Owens' site, Joke of the Day, fits my bill. He offers several types of jokes, including clean jokes. I try to have a Joke of the Day ready for smile creations.
Tastes in music
My work as a DJ while in the Navy was always for one sole and selfish reason: to listen to the music that I enjoy. Since I don't know how to play an instrument and can't sing with a tinker's damn, listening is my only outlet for musical curiosity.
The DJ gigs were perfect - I got to play the music I liked, explored new stuff and dug out my favorites from a long time ago. I got to hear stuff that didn't make typical play lists. Also, my ego is sufficiently large and I have the ability to maintain a one-sided dialog that sounds good from the other side of the mic. My tastes were somewhat eclectic by the standards of 20 years ago and that just grew almost exponentially. And if someone didn't like it, they could turn off the radio.
I like rock and blues and jazz. I really started learning about jazz when stationed on Midway Island (thanks, Major "The Navy's Only Major" King) and have long been fascinated by blues. I've played John Lee Hooker tunes and people have called to ask who's on the air. I discovered Mississippi Fred McDowell, thanks to AFRTS! While on Midway Island, I think it certainly saved my sanity. I've since discovered Miles Davis and an entire genre of jazz that I somehow missed.
And what was Thelonious Monk's middle name? Does anyone know?
Nope. No cable, no TV reception in this area. It's been about eight years since we dumped that service.
There's a saying: "As long as there are Microsoft users, tech support personnel will always have a job." As a friend and I start a technical consulting business for Kitsap County, I'm trusting that old adage will hold true.