Autobiographical articlesThe most formative events of my formative years was The Big Trip. In
1951, when I had just turned 10, my family piled into a 1950 Chevrolet
2-door sedan and hit the road for seven months. We went everywhere in
North America: all over the United States, most of Mexico, and the
was a very important part of the family I grew up in -- and the family
Honey and I raised. I hope that continues into future generations.
Here's who played what and why. It's part of an article with a message.
The larger message is why it is important for kids to learn to play an
Growing up in New York City was different from the suburbs. We had the city bus system and
especially the subway. By the time I
was twelve, I could go anywhere in the city by myself -- and did.
In 1967 I took the qualifying exam for a PhD. My study buddy loved
indulging in gamesmanship, and our intense preparation put us together
enough that a little rubbed off on me -- at least for the duration of
the exams. Not my usual style at all, but here's what happened.My
whole group of engineers got to play lawyer for a few months in 1983.
We were actually representing one of the biggest corporations in the
world as the "attorneys" negotiating some fairly complex contracts with
finally gave in and got a smartphone. Here's why it took me so long. It
was not that I was a Luddite or technophobe. (We all know better.) It
was a matter of principle. But I finally wore down.
Coincidences do happen, even outrageously unlikely ones. "Unlikely" is
definitely not the same as "impossible". Over the years I seem to have
attracted more than my fair share. Here's a narrative of some that I
remember; you decide whether it's more than my fair share.
is written as the whole country is preparing for a rare event, a
coast-to-coast total solar eclipse. A total eclipse is rare enough that
the media are referring to it as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Yes,
I have seen a total solar eclipse, in 1963 when I was in grad school.
Here is the story of that adventure.