Cooking Up Plutonium-238

Somewhere between 1995 and 2000, I was sent to teach a pSOS+ class to Westinghouse engineers in Savannah, Georgia. At the time, the debate between Assembler-language versus C for application programming was still hot and heavy. Programs written in Assembler took longer to develop and had more bugs to detect, ferret out, and correct, but […]


Work days remaining: Today, Friday, and then next Monday and Tuesday Professional History 1968-1972, American Express, Programmer – This is stint #1 of 2 with American Express. It started as “Space Bank” and did computerized hotel and motel reservations. I started in the technical support center and was responsible for keeping the communications circuits between the […]

Ten Work Days To Go

Since the 31st is a holiday, the 30th will be my last day “in the harness.” For the past several months we’ve been amazingly busy getting everything ready. Social security and Medicare B had to be started, there were supplemental medical policies to evaluate, choose and apply for coverage, as well as dozens of other […]

Engineering 101

“What does this have to do with Bullsye?” you might ask. Well, this process is what Bullseye shooters do to develop a successful shot plan: We write the steps down, follow those steps and, when something doesn’t work, we figure out how to change that shot plan so we do it right. And then we […]

Chapter End

Today ends a chapter in my life. I’m done with the travel and teaching. It was surprising to recently get a rental car with the license, “653 YRS” because, while I haven’t been teaching for that long, the last decade has definitely been the “ARINC 653” years. ARINC 653 is an aviation standard for, among […]


For a short period of time, this man was a High School teacher. Sounds rather mundane. Of course, he is and has been other things. For example, he is a World War II Navy veteran. He served on Guadalcanal as an aircraft mechanic taking care of F-4F Wildcats, P-38 Lightnings, P-39 Airacobras and P-40 Warhawks. […]

Global Hawk

I recently taught a class to some of the software engineers who write the in-flight software for the Global Hawk. The UAV flies at up to 60,000 feet and can “loiter” over an interesting location for 23 hours beaming live surveillance information to observers via satellite – the bulbous nose houses the steerable dish antenna […]

My Small Part

Today I am, hopefully, boosting the knowledge and abilities of engineers at Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. If you’re not familiar with them, you can Google-up their web-sites to see what kinds of things they make. More people died on September 11th than on December 7th. In my own small way, I hope I am […]


As near as I can translate it, God said, There’s a whole Universe for you to explore and enjoy. You have the necessary abilities. You have each other for solace, comfort, companionship and help. It’s real, it’s big, it’s exciting. There are dangers and beauties at every place of every size and subtlety. Use everything […]

Back in the Virtual Saddle

Four days this week and then the same next week, I’ll be teaching via laptop and headset. This week it’s hard real-time and next week it’ll be harder real-time – avionics. The difference is in dealing with the inevitable “Oops!” What do you do when the computer program that’s been working for ten years suddenly […]