Things I’ve Been or Done in My Life

Things I’ve Been or Done in My Life:

(because my wife and daughter have been asking for a list . . . for years)
(Updated 5/5/13 – more jobs, descriptions added, clean up formatting).

Army Animal Lab Technician: (1-1/2 yrs, volunteer.) Animal care & euthanasia, lab techniques, learning about animal experimentation, operation & surgery technique, and more. The doctors took me under their wing – in the end I was helping in the operating room . . . and more. Lots of animal care and animal psychology (since I had to take care of them) as well as veterinarian’s assistant care.

University Lab Vivarium Tech. (6 mon.) – basic animal care and handling; even more diverse animal care, including highly contagious mice and other deadly things. Observing experiments. It was very interesting.

Janitor at a Cotton Mill: It was a sham. I carried around my broom – it was impossible to clean the place – my ‘wages’ were his rent, which he charged his company for, and whether I ‘worked’ or not was by choice, though there were instances when I did. Otherwise I spent my time exploring this huge old rambling 1800’s Cotton Mill (Kings Mill) – finding secret rooms, ringing the bell on the bell tower, seeing old equipment – it was cool. Lasted about six months.

Food Service Industry: Worked “in the back” mostly. Based on a hint from my more experienced peers, I worked only the finest restaurants in town. “You’ll eat better that way,” they said. They were right. I’m still sick of prime rib, snow crab and lobster. I never order them. Working in those kinds of places, I learned a lot about good cooking techniques, and came up with a few of my own. –

Years Volunteer at the VA (Community Service, Boy Scouts – 1 yr.) Think “pin stripper”. I was 15. This is where I learned to study old men and see what the differences were between the happy ones and the grouchy ones – what was it about their attitude? I took it upon me to take the chance: I wanted to attain the age and maturity of mind of the older, happy ones by the time I was 24.

Boy Scout. Order of the Arrow and all that. I had to submit my application for Eagle as I was leaving the country – and I was almost 18. I don’t know if I got the award. I suppose I did. I never came back for the pin.

Camp Counselor, Summer Camp: (Age 16, 2 months) – 12 each 8 year old boys, 24/6, paid $50 a week plus room & board. Plan activities, live with them, keep them occupied. Some were dropped off all summer (troubled or trouble kids), some just a one week visit. A lot of canoeing and swimming, and learning that each counselor gets at least one week of being the ‘Girl Cabins’ crush – and having to fend them off while you are swimming! (Lots of claw marks from that one!)

A Marine. A rifle Marksman. And a lot more. (6 yr ‘tour’ of duty, mostly Reserve. But I got injured bad enough that it disabled me 24 years later . . .)

Automotive Mechanic, Certified: 6 years training, 8 years experience, 2-cycle, 4-cycle, gas, diesel and multifuel, including component repair and replacement.
CASE Equipment Heavy Equipment Mechanic for about a year.
Contracted by the Army as a Mechanic; ended up running a parts store as well.

Parts Clerk, Inventory Specialist (and more): 8 years, working for the Army. Can’t tell you everything. Lets just say I had an unlimited budget and ran a uniquely equipped parts store . . . my capacity for retaining all things mechanical and technical in my head made me uniquely capable for the job. (I could read a parts manual, and memorize every part’s location, configuration, how it was assembled, and more.)

Machine Shop Class: I can make my own nuts and bolts, if need be.

Metalurgy: 1 quarter

Creative Writing:
Author, both short stories and novels, fiction.

Nanowrimo Winners Badge, 2011

Nanowrimo Winners Badge, 2011

Had a poem published in “Fragments”, a Time published magazine when I in 7th grade.
Wrote for the high school newspaper. Even won an award for my writing. (Fiction)
Technical Writing (2 Classes)
My technical term paper (How to Justify and Install A CAD System in Industry) won an unofficial ‘award’ as ‘Best Technical Document’ of the year, and the teacher said they were going to use it as a shining example to classes later on . . .
I’ve written enough dry technical ‘manuals’ to hate those dry stale things.

Technical Design Graphics (emphasis on mechanical). Dean’s List Graduate, top of the class (4 years, Augusta Tech College) only one of 2 (out of 90) students to graduate. Started out ‘on the boards’ learning how to do hand drawn blueprints. Then the school switched to CAD. So we learned how to set up and install CAD systems. Learned engineering, design, CAD, worked the various fields, a quarter at a time. Was one of the two teacher’s assistants during the last few quarters, during last quarter I was one of the only two teachers available for CAD and design help.

Engineering Designer: Civil, Mechanical, Architectural, EPA liaison and more.

Pneumatics, Hydraulics, Mechanical control systems theory & applications.

Interior Design: 2 yrs studying under my mom while she took courses in college.

I know how to sew, including with a machine. I used to make my own stuffed animals as a child.

6 yrs. Studying under my dad while he got his major / minor: Psychology & Sociology

24 yrs. (off and on) of survival training – desert, arctic, swamp – you name it. Including survival, evasion, escape, NBC training, basic training, and more.

Graphics Artist: Visual & Computer Graphics

Professionally: Computer art, 3D AutoCAD, Blueprints and design; presentations using CorelDraw & AutoCAD, imported into Powerpoint and more.
3D animations
Desktop Publishing, including large format posters.
Creative Graphics Art: Industry, Sign work, logos, T-Shirt designs, promotional items, and more.

Created blueprints, both by hand and computer.

Technical illustration: (hand and computer graphics) for engineering manuals and designs.

3D rendering and photorealistic representations of ideas / blueprints and designs to look for interferences and improvements, for presentations and in blueprint design to aid in construction crews understanding.

Managed engineering libraries. 45,000 blueprints at one firm, over 38,000 blueprints, drawings, and documents at another. Responsible for keeping them up, including updating and creating searchable databases for the information

Art Awards.
Won AOL Weekly “Artist’s Pick” during Halloween week with an animated GIF . . .

for "The Pumpkin King", a short animation.

for “The Pumpkin King”, a short animation.

Voted one of the top 3 artists in my high school, and 2nd most creative out of 280 during a plant’s psychological survey of it’s employees.
Won an award for my art in first grade.

Pre-med Education:

Started college with the intent of getting a veterinary degree – wanted to be a veterinarian. Had to start with college. Started college in the spring quarter of my Senior year in High School. Went for approximately 7 quarters, ran out of money, and joined the Marine Corps – though I had considered joining as a Corpmans in the Navy as first choice. But they couldn’t guarantee me a school seat, so on a whim more or less, I joined the Marine Corps a week later – something my brother had been working hard to get out of.

And that started my military education with them. They gave me a lot of tests. That’s all I’ll say about that.


Custom Work Work: including cabinet work – all pine, country style, Habersham style stuff. Anything custom. Sign making as well (routered signs)

Computer Support, both software and hardware. I can build my own computer, or generally repair someone else’s, though my skills have gotten rather old.

Computer Tutoring: I have thank you notes from people, including corporations. AutoCAD gave me my own copy of their software in thanks for some work I did.
Microsoft Office Certified at one time. I have no problem using advanced features of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, or several other packages. I’ve used so much software that it’s all become alike by me, starting with general BASIC back in the ’70’s, and working my way through DOS.

I saved an IT department by ridding them of a ‘prank macro’ which was threatening every document they had, and in a FDA regulated environment, among other things. They made medicines. It was rewriting all their recipes and invalidating their validation files. I gave them a disk which identified every infected file, which they then could then isolate and clean up.

I used to be pretty good at tech support, putting together computers like mad. I still have the very first one I owned, and it runs, last I saw.

I’ve learned computer programming and more. I used to write some mean code in DOS, along with LISP routines and more . . . I’ve done a LOT of computer operator interfaces, including animated PLC screen routines for machine control (engineering).

Web Pages: I’ve done Web pages before, both for myself and others. I know some HTML. I know what an iframe is, LOL. But my knowledge has gotten rather old on this. (Not into Pearl or Oracle, tho’ the fact that I know the names means something!)

Online Auctioning: I sold on eBay for several years before the fees and charges became too much. I did very good. I turned .25 cents into $350 five times; in another instance $8.75 into $3,500.00 Then the fees started, and they changed the structure. You could no longer complain about a bad buyer. So I helped lead the Ebay Boycott after they changed everything. I sold an online document comparing all the other online auction sites on eBay. Ebay got mad. I knew we’d lose before I started, but to me it was an experiment in online social engineering. But I quit after a few months. I had a lot of ‘followers’ by then . . . but it was a hopeless cause. Corporations will do what they do best: keep on eye on the bottom line, and if they can, skim to improve it.

I was a professional retailer, self-employed, for awhile – me and the wife started fleamarketing, where is where I learned you could get things cheaper if you were willing to work with them – and sell them as well.

My wife continued in the business for years while I moved on back into engineering . . .

I’ve designed factories and such. I’ve designed machines – professionally. I’ve worked with artists and contractors. I’ve met with CEO’s and presidents. I’ve sat in on more than my share of meetings. I was known for my common sense, outrageous and sometimes uniquely objective thoughts and ideas – I became known as the “common sense check” that engineers had to submit their plans to for a ‘common sense’ check on things – like machine clearances, fitting machines in buildings, making sure you could work on them and stuff, and more . . .


I have helped in some way raise 9 kids at various points in my life.

I’ve been a meth addict before.

I’ve been a drug addict and a drug dealer.

I grew my own pot for awhile. And I was good at it.

A friend and I used to go for miles – through the woods and swamps, backpacks on our backs, making predawn excursions into the woods, planting dope. “Go into the worst looking spot around!” was our motto – “Go where nobody in their right mind would go!” And it worked sometimes. Though we found that outside, unprotected and pretty much untended during the growing season, for every 100 plants you would plant you might get ten – or even less than that. And half of them – maybe more – would be male, useless to your profits and/or your lungs; no use to smoke. And then there’d be the hauling them out and cleaning them up. If you were lucky you got a few ounces for your efforts. We had a lot of adventures there.

I used to run an underground factory. I kept that thing going for a number of years, then I met my wife. For that reason and for the love of my life I gave it up; no sense in risking that much, no reason. Especially when you’ve got three kids all of a sudden. I went from bachelor to a family of 4 within a year, age 1, 4, 8 and 12 – the dream of my life.

When I was a meth addict, I lived with some friends. They had two kids. We were heavy into drugs, intravenous injection – that kind of stuff. Their kids were 4 and 7. We got rather poor during that lifestyle, and it suddenly erupted and ended with an automobile accident, a bankruptcy to evade the law which changed the regulations (albeit just a little bit) here in Georgia (because it seems my fate to do and be everything strange).

I’ve been trained in war and war crafts, both modern and primitive, including weapons, since I was born.

My mom taught a Spirituality based religion, though she professed to be Christian as well, believing everything had a life and a soul within it, and claimed she could see auras around trees, while my dad believed in everything Christian, having been “Born Again” into religion during his tour in Thailand. As a result of his studies and books I learned a lot of things. But I have my own opinion about religions in the world.

IOOF: One of my friends begged me to join a father and he belonged to: the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Hey, what can I say: it fit. I joined when I was 17 and stayed with them until 2007 – about forty years. I stayed and buried them – over 50 men and friends, some like grandparents to me – and then due to lack of membership, the Lodge finally closed, after 150 years of its establishment. I “inherited” a lot of the gear and whatnot – what the Grand Lodge refused to take. I still keep it down in my barn: records going back over 120 years, back before the Civil War . . . old stuff, tightly stored, and protected in a metal container.

I’ve been a professional writer, blogger and more; been on the internet off and on since 1984. (I first started on it in 1976, when all they were using was UNIX and little green screens for displays.)

By 17 I’d read every science fiction book I could get my hands on, and then I gave it up when I could find nothing ‘new’ to read (except on the new release shelf).

I’ve got a National Geographic collection that goes back to 1964. I’ve read every one of them. I tend to retain what I saw. Not that I can remember every one of them. But most of them. And some pictures I saw as a kid.

I’ve also read all the Popular Science and Smithsonian’s for the past 25 years or so, along with a few other magazine subscriptions, most of them science or technical based. I like learning how to do new things, about new things, and new discoveries and new projections, theories and the like.

I’ve done murals, with 2 quarters of continuing education classes with professional artists on how it’s done.

I do photography. I had about two quarters of dark room photography and professional photography training by an Army hired Austrian who was a famous photographer of sorts. I learned a lot about composing, and that was in the day of the 35mm SLR. I earned mine working as a KP for .75 cents an hour besides Turkish women who earned $14 an hour or more. And they got onto me for working too hard – I put them to shame, and shamed them in front of their boss. All they wanted to do was sit around and drink coffee, doing the very minimum amount of work possible. Plus I was bored. What else is there to do in a kitchen but wash it? And what else in an Army cafeteria but get the food ready for the next meal? There was a lot of work but I got my camera. It was a good one.

I’ve sat and listened in the midnight desert while cannons thundered in the distance . . . and the shells softly swished like tumbling trashcans through the air overhead . . . and exploded in the distance of the desert, lighting up the whole Corridor.

I’ve felt the anguish of falling on my face and more. I’ve been knocked out a few times, once by a sparring partner . . .

I’ve had my share of martial training. I’m a dirty fighter. I don’t waste time. I don’t want to. I’m an old man. I’m just gonna take you down, that’s all.

I’ve lived on the islands of Clark Hill (lake Strom Thurmond), using a canoe sometimes. I lived on the lake for a week once, with the Boy Scouts. We started at what we called “Thunder Island” at the head of the dam and went to the head waters of Little River and more.

I learned about gold mining and how to prospect for gold in the canyons of Arizona with an old man who Towards The Claimknew about this stuff, living there for about a week during two trips during various summers. He had a claim there, up near Copper Canyon . . . we had to sort of rappel down a slope to his claim. It was a long adventure – and a hard and a fun one.

I used to build models as a small child – the military 1:32 type plastic stuff, and paint them. I was very good at the thing, and had about 50 of them by the time I was a teen.

I’ve been in more than 18 car wrecks in my life. At 18 of them I stopped counting. It’s not that I’m a bad driver. I just pick bad drivers to ride with.

I know a lot about DID and child abuse because I’ve been there. I’ve helped and been helped by others survivors and people in kind.

There’s more, of course – but that’s enough for now. I am tired of writing.

(*added May 5, 2013)
(and yes – some of the things were done concurrently, e.g. some of the Army Contracting overlapped with my Marine Corps career while in the reserves. Many a time I worked more than one job, sometimes two full time – and went to school at night. No wonder I became a meth head! Sometimes I went months at a time, only getting four or five hours sleep a night.)


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