How We Came to What We Love


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Hi Shane,

>...did you ever play the card game Mind Trap? That's another love of mine...puzzles.

Shane, I haven't heard of it. I used to play cards a lot in junior high and high school with my cronies - hearts mostly (and chess and "Go"). "Go" is the only game I miss. Right now my mother is in a nursing home - I moved to Florida to take care of her - and I've been doing crossword puzzles with her to try to fight off any mental decline. I don't enjoy them all that much, but they're ok. She likes it and her mind is much better than it was even six months ago because of the challenge.

I hope your mom is doing as well as expected and sorry to hear. Not an easy time I am sure.

> Do you still go on bike rides to revisit your childhood fun?

I've had a bike in several places I've lived as an adult and greatly enjoyed it. Maybe it's time again!

Oh, most DEFINITELY time to pick it up again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If it brings you joy and happiness and definitely healthy for you, also should help with mental faculties and thinking, DO IT, DO IT, DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

BTW, there is no greater joy than biking fast years ago through New York's Central Park and down Broadway from 59th street thru Times Square and down to work near Madison Square Garden (mid 30's?) when there is a transit strike and you are going faster than all the gridlocked taxis. Glory daze, glory daze, glory daze...

:) :) :) :) :)

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> my ID monster took over the controls--that's why Tokyo's burning. It's that damn radiation! [brant]

Omigod. See now, no smiley,,,, so I have to assume that's serious. :rolleyes:

> Unfortunately the watermark is still on the shot, doubled, because I got soooooo tired of people taking my work. [Angie]

Angie, you realize you could make a lot of money as a photographer, right?!?!

That photo of the dunes in Death Valley is probably professional quality....it is stunningly beautiful!...and it's unique. I've seen photos in galleries and I've seen that sort of thing done with light and shade from a tree, but not quite like that.

> we had to go see and explore and play. Sometimes got into trouble though.

Tell me about it, Angie! I didn't ever have to go to the hospital like your sister, since my bones seemed to have been made of titanium, but once I knelt down in the junkyard the wrong way and a sharp piece of broken glass poked about an inch into my knee. I still have the scar. There's the time I ran into a car on my bike and flipped completely over the bike, landing on my back. And the time (I liked to play with matches and see how much of the dry desert like grass and tumbleweed would burn) I almost started the neighborhood on fire...actually that happened TWICE: Did I mention ***I was a very stupid kid*** and never learned my lessons the first time? And then......well, that's enuff.

> crashed and broke the wood that was covered up with dirt and got lodged in what obviously was underground tunnel ways.

Any abandoned electric light bulbs from the Old Times? :blink:

> Yes, please do write more!!!

Ok. I'll continue (about my struggle toward life passions and what came after math).

Edited by Philip Coates
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> [bicycling] also should help with mental faculties and thinking

I'm sorry...say that again???

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> when it seems to happen it's either accidental or my ID monster took over the controls--that's why Tokyo's burning. It's that damn radiation! [brant]

Omigod. See now, no smiley,,,, so I have to assume that's serious. :rolleyes:

> Unfortunately the watermark is still on the shot, doubled, because I got soooooo tired of people taking my work. [Angie]

Angie, you realize you could make a lot of money as a photographer, right?!?!

Thank you very much, Phil. I've had many many offers to sell my work, have been published, etc. But I'm very protective of it for obvious reasons. I have tons of other shots but just haven't had much time to go through them. 99 percent are on my external hard drive. With the whole ordeal with my son, I had to put it on the back burner. I miss it desparately but that's okay. I'll pick it up again soon, not sure when but soon. A lot of these pictures I'm posting are shots taken years ago and still improving. When all of the stuff started to go down, I was beginning to dabble in street photography and photo journalism. I was at the train station and almost got arrested and only got a few shots off. The whole 9/11 thing really screwed things up, especially for photographers. There's so many ideas in my head that I want to play with but limited because of not being able to have access to my desired locations. I showed this shot to Mike about a week ago. I was just beginning to play with photo journalism and street photography (3rd day out on the streets of LA and learning and experimenting) and this is one of the few shots I got at the train station and it turned in to being one that I really really like. I love the lighting. This man was asleep with all the hustle and bustle around him. There was a bum sitting right behind him and asleep as well so adjusted the settings on the cam to completely blacken this area of the photograph out so it wouldn't distract from the main subject and that is the man slumped in his seat asleep. The lighting there also I just couldn't pass up. God, I do miss it so much!!!! Soon enough!!!

4634125120_d72cd02231.jpg

Tell me about it, Angie! I didn't ever have to go to the hospital like your sister, since my bones seemed to have been made of titanium, but once I knelt down in the junkyard the wrong way and a sharp piece of broken glass poked about an inch into my knee. I still have the scar. There's the time I ran into a car on my bike and flipped completely over the bike, landing on my back. And the time (I liked to play with matches and see how much of the dry desert like grass and tumbleweed would burn) I almost started the neighborhood on fire...actually that happened twice. Did I mention I was a very stupid kid and never learned my lessons the first time? And then......well, that's enuff.

Oh, my GOD, you almost set the neighborhood on fire?? DAYAMMM. We never did that. Wow, Phil. :) Thinking you were invincible. ;)

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> [bicycling] also should help with mental faculties and thinking

I'm sorry...say that again???

Yes, exercise helps keep the mind sharp and thinking. There's many different forms on how people learn and problem solving. I do my best thinking and learning when I am actively moving. I remember in college and studying human anatomy and thinking it through and if I had a block if you will, all I would do is get up and start pacing the floors or walking around the house while reading my anatomy books or what have you. Also I do this when thinking about other areas that I may find complex and difficult to figure out. I'll do some step aerobics and will get so deep in thought and thinking about the problem that by the time I am done I've figured it out and understand it. If I am struggling with this aspect of it and trying to solve the problem either what I am reading or another issue that I am thinking about, I will do the same and staying active and sometimes "thinking" out loud and verbalizing it. By the time I am done, problem solved. I know it sounds strange but it works. There's medical terms for these different forms of how people learn, understand, etc., and unfortunately the terminology is escaping me now because it's been so long.

They're finally doing research into this aspect of it and how exercise keeps your mental faculties sharp, thinking, problem solving, etc. It's been around a long long time but never any serious research into it until somewhat recently. Here is a quick article I just pulled up to give you an idea. I can go to the journal of medicine and look for the specific article but here is a bit of it.

Improve Brain Function -- exercise

Remember, I am the medical junkie over here and is a major passion of mine. There's things I know about medicine that I've been aware of for a long time (some right underneath their noses and so simple) but "they" haven't quite gotten it yet or haven't begun research into it.

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> Oh, my GOD, you almost set the neighborhood on fire?? DAYAMMM. We never did that. [Angie]

Actually, to give a bit more detail, I almost set the outskirts of San Diego on fire when I was about 8 and then I almost set a residential suburb in Massachussets on fire when I was about 12. Now, I've reformed. I just light the cardboard centers from my toilet paper rolls on fire whenever I go to the bathroom (don't ask why).

Angie: [bicycling] also should help with mental faculties and thinking

Phil: I'm sorry...say that again???

Gotcha! You took me seriously and explained the benefits of exercise...You had spoken about mental improvement and I pretended I already had Alzheimer's and couldn't understand you...I should have put in a smiley to be clear it was my twisted sense of humor... :D

> There was a bum sitting right behind him and asleep as well so adjusted the settings on the cam to completely blacken this area of the photograph out so it wouldn't distract from the main subject and that is the man slumped in his seat asleep. {Angie]

I really like the lighting too, and it was good judgment to isolate only him. I recognize Union Station. It's an amazingly empty place every time I've caught a train there. I have a title for that photo: "Long Hours at Union Station".

> Thinking you were invincible.

I am invincible.

Edited by Philip Coates
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4633308177_04ca187c97.jpg

I really like your photos. You have a good eye for nature ;)

I'm always very critical of anything that I produce and how it can be improved or not entirely happy with the results and wanting to learn and get better with it.

I empathize with you there. I have this habit of trying to get things done right the first time. I abhor rough drafts...lol.

Your idea for your book does sound quite interesting. Have you written anything at all, just for yourself, that you may want to consider posting here on OL? Or maybe you have already? I browse OL often and read but really taking the time to go through the site I don't do often. I will usually just scan real quick, looking for something that may perhaps interest me and then move on to the next.

Earlier in this thread, I linked my story summary. I was trying to come up with music lyrics and all of a sudden, ideas came streaming in and I scrapped it in favor of novel :) I don't actively sit down and try to come up with stories. Some little thing is usually the catalyst for the brainstorming that ensues. I might just pen a few of my ideas here. In light of O'ism, I've wanted to rethink them all. One of the reasons I hadn't really sat down to go all out on these stories is that I was missing philosophy as the foundation for them all.

Phil,

I ride my bike to work most days...10-min ride there so I get a daily workout. Coming home, I get a great view of Diamond Head. I really hate that <_< haha!

~ Shane

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Angie's photos are fascinating and beautiful. Her love of natural lighting results in her catching some incredible moments, which pass too quickly for most people to even notice them, let alone appreciate them. Her gift is holding an instant forever, so we can all revel in the beauty of that instant for as long as we like. Angie is a time-stretcher with a perfect eye for the selection of the time worthy of eternal appreciation.

I like the idea of this exercise Phil. I have to leave the lab now for a few winks and must return soon to finish a report on the surface chemistry of combustion-formed carbon particles as a function of post-combustion temperature processing, which is covered by one of my many loves in life, namely science and its applications. But, I will post something here later.

It is interesting how many here with active minds were also active in their childhood adventures. I have a few myself, though there was never a time I can remember when I did not know better than to be a pyromaniac. It's a good thing you grew out of that Phil! You probably would have become good at it with disastrous results!

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Subject: Passions - Part 2

Continued from Post #41:

With my grades and SAT's, I was told I could get into any college. I decided I would go to a university with one of the best pure math departments in the country and supposedly a 'well-rounded' education. I would become a theoretical mathematician and spend my life inventing and discovering new systems, branches, proofs, theorems. I went to Brown and then to Michigan for grad school. I was good at math at both schools, but it was easy and sometimes dull. It left me time to organize campus clubs, to be on the track team, write letters to the editor, have bull sessions. I got interested in Objectivism, got interested in politics, was a delegate to a college political convention and was elected to minor student offices, wrote for the humor mag. Mostly those things were undergrad, but I also had a great way of goofing off in grad school as well. Never been one for doing only one thing. "If you want an argument or a debate after midnight, go to Phil's room. It's down at the end of the hall, where you hear all the raised voices and shouting."

A few months into the first year of grad school, I found that I didn't like math as much when it was virtually the only set of courses I was taking. Too narrow. (I was too young to realize that part of it was that I didn't like high level abstractions which were purely theoretical, not applied, not connected to reality. Maybe I would have been happier in the Applied Math department?) I got my Masters and decided I did not want to continue toward a Ph.D. I did not want to be a mathematician. In those years, I temporarily lost my love not just for math, but for English - language and literature - in college. Uninspired pedantic and over-specialized professors, atrocious choices of what we were to read, bad humanities courses with maybe two exceptions. An ivy league education (as is that at many prestigious colleges) is highly overrated. Hard to get in and impresses people, but in terms of the base of a broad liberal arts education, I had a better one in high school (and a better start from the ten years of steady reading I had done before I was twenty).

Unlike h.s., I left first college and then grad school with no great passion and no clue any more what I wanted to do. I drifted into computers as a career. What else would I do with my theoretical math background? When I was allowed to do systems analysis or design, and completely create application systems, it was challenging and enjoyable. But after years and years working for a whole series of companies --- big banks in NYC, aerospace in L.A., software and computer companies in the San Francisco Bay Area - and getting less chance to have less say so in a large undertaking and some degree of repetition in types of work --- I began to burn out. Just as in college, I spent more and more energy and thought on 'extra-curricular' activities - studying Objectivism, studying psychology, some public speaking and lecturing. Sports, training for the marathon. Travel. Some teaching and tutoring opportunities. First in math and computers, and then in history, English, literature, etc.

It was hard to leave computers because I was extremely well-paid, especially as an independent consultant and I began to trade time for money. And I loved that lifestyle. To only work on contracts as long as they lasted and then, sometimes after a few months when they got tired of paying my exorbitant rates, don't even try to look for a job for the rest of the year. And maybe part of the year after that. And fill all the gaps in the education Brown should have given me. Work my way through endless books in history, literature, anthropology, psychology, fiction, science, economics..and finish my education in Objectivism.

When I say something is my passion in a career or hobby sense, I mean that I love to do some combination of three things in that area: To read, to teach, to write. I've steadily discovered year by year, step by step that my passion is for "the humanities" more than for math, computers, or the sciences. In my case, by the humanities I mean literature, history, the visual arts, and philosophy / psychology.

I've always loved science and technology and enjoyed the logic of math and computers. So what changed? What tidal sea-change or brain transplant turned me emphatically to the humanities?

In literature and history it was great and stirring books. Ones I discovered on my own and often half-forgotten in our culture and schools. In the arts: for me, painting, sculpture, and architecture -- it was two trips to Europe -- Vienna and Italy -- and seeing the great museums, the sculpture and paintings of Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello. Bernini, Brunelleschi and Fischer von Erlach in architecture and Bernini in both sculpture and architecture. (The movies played a role.)And the Dutch painters and the Impressionists. And SO many others. In philosophy, it was both Ayn Rand and what I learned about thinking skills, first as a (software) systems designer and then as an organizer and a teacher.

And in general, it is because the humanities is centrally about *man* - his nature, his glory, his skills, his stature, his complexity, all the varied things he can create in the realm of the spirit. This was always my passion from the days of my childhood heroes. It just dulled and it faded, weather-beaten and overlaid for a time, due to bad teachers and abysmally ignorant curriculum.

And what has "sealed the deal" for all of these four -- literature, history, the arts, and philosophy? Changing my career by becoming a teacher. Of the humanities, primarily.

,,,,,,,

(I soon expect to continue the parts of this which relate to teaching in the "Teaching Literature and Music" thread. It's a good example of how one can successfully build a paying career out of an interest or passion -- if anyone wants to do that -- and not necessarily having the right 'credentials' or degrees. In many ways this next part, discovering and starting late to implementing what someone was meant to do is the more lively and interesting -- See that thread tonight or tomorrow.)

Edited by Philip Coates
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And what has "sealed the deal" for all of these four -- literature, history, the arts, and philosophy? Changing my career by becoming a teacher. Of the humanities, primarily.

Might have to find you in online courses in the next few years. I'd like to pursue a masters in humanities. Have to get my bachelors first, but that will be in the IT-related field.

~ Shane

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Unlike you respondents, I loved school - from the get-go... as I was also a military brat, that meant many many schools in many states, and two years in Japan... as I was also a military brat, that also meant a growing [and, to me, healthy, dislike of authority]... my school problem, however, came from a slightly different way - while being smart was ok, it was so only up to a point, something I learned in the early years which began yes in a little red-brick one room school where grades one thru six or so were lined up in rows... that point meant to me that, from seeing how the openly brainy kids were treated, 'playing dumb', at least to the extent I fumblingly could [while, sort of on the sly, devoured books after books on all sundry subjects]... whether this was a good thing depends on how one perceives defensive measures - in later years, high school especially, it became a Pagliacci effect because of the psychological browbeating I had to take from my authoritarian father, and the consequence was that it took me many many years to finally overcome that 'protective cover' I had thrown over me... there was one other effect which influenced my life from an early age - I was, in a manner of speaking, a 'child of Rand' in that had seen the The Fountainhead movie when young, and over and over over the years on TV - where, of all the movies [and had seen loads back then, both in the theater and on TV], the courtroom speech remained 'engraved' in my memory like nothing else from any other movie... of course, living in an authoritarian household with that as my mindset explains the Pagliacci effect [and that it was a subconscious defensive reaction, why it took so many years to successfully pry off the mask]...

Passion? I was interested in everything, an intellectual omnivorous being, like a light bulb whose rays went everywhere seeking to soak up information like a never quenched sponge... in the sense of being an artist, my earliest recorded was of the owl clock my parents had, done in crayon on yellow construction paper... appreciated, well my memory does not record a negative of it - but at the same time not record a positive of it than it 'was nice'... in high school, I took art as a guaranteed 'A', not to learn anything, as knew more than the teachers [sadly, as would had loved being more familiar with certain techniques and compositional understandings] - and certainly had no interest in the 'remedial therapy' works they'd thrust on us in the name of 'diversifying'... and when learned from those sage ones that other than being a commercial artist, there was no making a living as an artist unless very 'lucky' [eg - knew someone to be a patron], I stopped doing art when finished high school, thus stifling for a time the closest to passion I had on any one subject...

[more later, maybe...]

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Angie's photos are fascinating and beautiful. Her love of natural lighting results in her catching some incredible moments, which pass too quickly for most people to even notice them, let alone appreciate them. Her gift is holding an instant forever, so we can all revel in the beauty of that instant for as long as we like. Angie is a time-stretcher with a perfect eye for the selection of the time worthy of eternal appreciation.

I like the idea of this exercise Phil. I have to leave the lab now for a few winks and must return soon to finish a report on the surface chemistry of combustion-formed carbon particles as a function of post-combustion temperature processing, which is covered by one of my many loves in life, namely science and its applications. But, I will post something here later.

It is interesting how many here with active minds were also active in their childhood adventures. I have a few myself, though there was never a time I can remember when I did not know better than to be a pyromaniac. It's a good thing you grew out of that Phil! You probably would have become good at it with disastrous results!

Thank you, sweetie!!! I too like the idea because it humanizes with whom we all interact to whatever degree here on OL rather than just black and white words on a screen. There is a human being on the other end!!!!! I am in anticipation of hearing or should say reading your stories, either adventures or tragedies with a ray of light that lead you to who you are today. We all have these. I know I do for sure but I am who I am today because of these tragedies and what I learned from them and ultimately turning these to my favor and making it work for me rather than against me. Choosing that of life or death....for a very long time have always chosen the first and making it work for me rather than against me. No matter how bad things seem to be at that time, there's always a light at the end of the tunnel....never giving up and pushing forward with fierce determination to get through it, knowing that this isn't my or your constant state and that you fight it tooth and nail no matter what. Hell no!!!!! The best revenge if you will is that of success and your achievement and showing them that you will not allow them to affect you the way they want you to be affected or for them to destroy you and they will NEVER get the best of you. You're too strong for it, too much of a fighter.

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I love the heroic, the history of man, science and its applications, conversations about ideas with intelligent people, and writing. Of these, I came to a love of writing only after computers and printers became available to me. Before that, the fact that I needed to edit what I wrote to achieve any satisfaction from it caused too much frustration. The result was that I did not practice writing enough and I was never good enough at it before computers to get much enjoyment from it. Writing well is hard work and takes a very sustained effort. I remember many years in school and college of really not liking writing assignments.

My first hero was my father, who was a naval aviator. He served two tours of duty in the Pacific Campaign of WWII, flying first a torpedo/attack plane and then an attack aircraft. At the end of the war, he was on Okinawa to participate in the invasion of the first Japanese home island, Kyushu. Dad served in the Navy for 22 years, during which he graduated from the Senior Naval War College and became an instructor at the Junior Naval War College. By the time I graduated from high school, I had lived in 17 states. The longest I had lived anywhere was Middletown, RI, near Newport, where we lived 4 years. Every move was a great new adventure.

My first memories were of living in the Norfolk, VA area. I remember finding snakes. I remember two bulldogs knocked my little sister down and I ran to drive the two dogs away from her, only to wind up under one of the dogs and slamming my fists into its chest furiously. Then there was the time two boys were throwing rocks at my little sister and I charged them, pausing in a ditch to pick up some stones, which I threw so fast and accurately that the two boys ran away as I renewed my charge against them. We had a woman come in to help with the cleaning named Virginia Baker. We called her Gina. She was a woman of great strength and character. We all loved her. She was black, so I was never able to understand why anyone would not judge anyone else on the basis of anything except their character.

We moved to Rod Field in the Corpus Christi, TX area. The field had been a training field during WWII, but only the officers quarters were still in use. There were several large, abandoned swimming pools on the base and one smaller one in use. There were many unused barracks and hangars. Most of the base was leased out to cotton farmers, who stored their baled cotton in the hangars part of the year. My friend Rusty and I used to ride our bikes all over the base, with my little sister sometimes tagging along. We hunted water moccasins in the cotton field irrigation ditches and played cowboys and Indians running through the barracks and over the stacked cotton bales. We used to jump off the back side of the seats at the abandoned baseball field. We hunted for horned toads, tarantulas, and scorpions. When the fields were freshly plowed, we made forts out of the large dirt clods and threw the smaller dirt clods at one another in wars. For a 6 and 7 year old boy, Rod Field was just about paradise. But, the schools were very bad.

We moved to Brigantine, NJ on the island just north of the very run-down Atlantic City. I started playing baseball and swimming on the beaches. I entered 3rd grade and Mrs. Cobb, an elderly teacher with strict standards, learned that I could not read. I was also getting all of my math problems wrong. My Mom discovered that this was because all of the math problems were written down from the board and I was writing them all down incorrectly, but then doing the math correctly. Soon, I was fitted out with glasses and math was a breeze. Reading was still a problem, however, and Mrs. Cobb told my Mom that if I did not learn to read before the end of the year, I would have to repeat 3rd grade. For a few months, I was tortured by having to read Dick, Jane, and Spot at home every night. But, in the end, I was passed on to fourth grade. Mrs. Leeds, another elderly teacher with strict standards, took over. We had to read a book and write a book report. I decided to read a book on John Paul Jones and for the first time, I found that I loved to read. This was the first book I ever read that was interesting to me. I still own the book. Of course, it was about a heroic man. I then read a Landmark book about Chief Black Hawk of the Sauk and Fox Indians. I started reading just about every book in the Landmark series, the We Were There series, and all sorts of other biographies of historical people. I found I loved history. I branched out into mysteries and science fiction also, but mostly I kept returning to history because it was just as interesting and there was so much more to learn from it. Other than reading, I played in the dense thickets or the top soil piles of a construction company with friends. In baseball, I played shortstop, second base, left field, and right field at various times, but mostly shortstop or second base. I remember that I loved going to the beach whenever we had a heavy storm. We had a few hurricanes that passed by out to sea, but the waves on the beach were great fun to watch. Dad was away on cruises leading a detachment of all-weather, low-flying attack planes for a long stretch in a Pacific Ocean cruise.

We moved back to Virginia, this time closer to Virginia Beach. Gina rejoined us for awhile, but she had left a better job to do so and she really could not afford to. She returned to it, but she helped my Mom to get through some difficult times when Dad was away on cruise. My fifth grade teacher was Mrs. Sochek (phonetic spelling). She was young, fun, intelligent, and beautiful. Her husband was a Navy officer. She made up great math problems involving such things as calculating the area of an aircraft carrier's deck. Oftentimes, I was the only one who could solve her problems, so she would frequently call on me to explain how to do the problems to the rest of the class. She had us write lots of book reports. My Dad was taking extension courses in Business Management with Cornell University at the time, so he was subscribing to BusinessWeek and the Cornell School of Management Review (or similar), so I started reading them. I was also reading the newspaper, Time magazine, and Compton's Encyclopedia regularly by then. I continued reading history. My best friend was Doug Pauley, who was a jock. We played baseball about 3 hours every summer day and most Saturdays any time of the year, except a few in the Fall when we played football. At home, I talked about politics, foreign affairs, defense policy, and history all the time with my Dad and Mom, when Dad was home from cruises. Dad was the skipper of an attack squadron and had two cruises, one to the Caribbean and one to the Mediterranean while we were here. In 1957, when I was ten, Sputnik was launched and I told Doug Pauley I was going to be a physicist. We were in his garage at the time. He did not believe me. He kept insisting that some girl in his class was more intelligent than I was. For some reason, that was important to him. I told him it was fine with me if she were. My 6th grade teacher was Mr. Duggan. He was an interesting teacher for social studies. I won an American History book for being the only student to list all 50 states with their state capitals and spelling them all correctly.

We moved to Middletown, RI. The high school had been 7 - 12 grades, but there was no longer room for the 7th grade. We were bussed to a barracks on the Naval Base at Melville overlooking acre upon acre of stored mines. My teacher was Miss Jolivet, who had been a nun, but left. She was intelligent and strict. But, she liked True/False questions and I had occasional problems with her because I knew the exception that often made what most people thought was true to be actually false. Jerry Wells was my best friend in the 7th and 8th grades in the neighborhood. His father was a warrant officer who did not think much of book learning, so Jerry was an under-performer at school, but he was really very bright. We used to go to the Naval Base Library and we soon read all of the science fiction books there. He moved away, so I started playing a lot of one-on-one basketball with Paul Larkin who moved in and was a year older. The summer before the 9th grade, I read the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and concluded that fascism and communism were very similar and both forms of socialism. In the 9th grade, I was in the first algebra class offered for advanced students at that grade level. A schedule conflict kept me out of the advanced science course, so Mr. Rezendes, who taught General Science, allowed me to read science books while he taught the class. I read books on particle physics and nuclear physics and many other topics with an ear cocked to pick up anything new he might get into. He was a good teacher. Katie Webb, a redhead, sat behind me in his class and used to play with the label of my shirts. She became my first girlfriend, though I also became good friends that year with Mary Hutchinson, who was the most intelligent girl in my grade, at least barring the really screwed-up and dark Leslie Michaels, who later showed up as a Pembroker in my class at Brown University. Dad received orders to a new station so we put our house up for sale. Dad shook hands on a deal with a buyer and the Navy changed his orders to have us stay. No papers had been signed on the house, but Dad said he had given his word, so we were homeless. Dad, Mom, myself, Karen, Betsy, Scott, and the newborn Peggy all packed up and went on a camping trip through New Hampshire, Maine, Quebec, Ontario, to Niagara Falls and back. We then spent six weeks in a small duplex at Ft. Adams before moving into a small Navy house near the Marine Corps Base area, so we could return to Middletown schools. That house was small. Scott and I shared a small bedroom. Karen slept in a closet. Betsy and Peggy shared a room. Dad was taking an University of Rhode Island extension course on International Law and used to study in the bathroom to have some quiet. This neighborhood had many more guys my age and we went to the Marine gym most Fridays to play basketball. In the Fall, there was usually a game of tackle football on a field nearby on Saturdays, so I was usually there. While living in Middletown, I cut lawns in the summer and delivered newspapers the last two years. I was on the debate team in the 9th grade. I ran cross country in the 10th grade, the year the new high school opened. That was the year I took geometry, which I loved. I had a fairly good English teacher, Mr. North. The best course was Honors American History, in which we had a surprisingly good book and we had many classroom discussions. Mr. Anthony was magnificent. He also organized a class trip to New Hampshire to go skiing. That was my first skiing experience. Some kids did some drinking, so that was the last of the larger group trips, but Mr. Anthony took a few of us from the Honors History class on two more ski trips. Mr. Anthony was a retired Army major who had fought in the Korean War.

Dad retired after 22 years of service and we moved to Tulsa, OK, where Dad intended to get a job with American Airlines, though he had no offer from them until after we had already moved there. I went out with Dad on the trip to buy a house. We found a great stone house. I helped Dad make the down-payment by giving him the $1500 I had saved cutting lawns and delivering newspapers. The cost of the beautiful house was $36,000, in 1963. Leslie had been born shortly before we left RI. The new house was short a bedroom, so I slept in what was meant to be a small study off the large family room. It was often a noisy place to try to study. I took Honors English, Honors Algebra II and Advanced Geometry, and Honors Chemistry. Mr. Dikes was a good English teacher, Mrs. Matthews was a good math teacher, and Mr. Bernard was a good chemistry teacher. Mr. Hickman was pretty good for Oklahoma History and Civics. Soon, I had a new group of friends, generally from the advanced classes, and we had a group that played tackle football most Saturdays for about 3 hours. We had serious discussions, with a number of us being Goldwater supporters, and we played bridge fairly often. We were not party-goers, though the school had a strong contingent who were. Of my group of friends, three became doctors, one a mathematician, one a dentist, two became lawyers, one an Economics professor at Northwestern University, and one a successful businessman. Another, very unacademically inclined, became the much acclaimed future principal of our high school! He was always very funny and always talking about how stupid he was. I used to tell him that no one so humorous could possibly be stupid. He was a character. The summer between 11th and 12th grades, my counselor, Mrs. Stansberry, helped me get into a summer program at Brown University, where we studied calculus, computer programming, and materials science and engineering. I loved it. Especially the calculus and the materials science. I did well and that helped me to get acceptance into Brown University when I applied. In my senior year, I flew through the calculus course and took physics, which was taught with the greatest imaginable incompetence. I took Honors English, but old Mrs. Higgins was awful, so at the end of the semester, I transferred to a Creative Writing class. A couple of the girls in that class were really very good writers. That class was an interesting challenge, though the teacher was more enthusiastic than intelligent or knowledgeable. I was on the debate club team. About December, a friend told me he had read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I had never heard of her, but I got the book and read it early in 1965. Then I read Atlas Shrugged about April. That summer, I had a job as a geophone placement technician for oil exploration crews and I got all of the back issues of the Objectivist Newsletter and read them. I went off to college as an Objectivist.

The next adventure was going to Brown University. I was a physics major who had never had a decent course in physics. There were 52 people in the physics course for physics majors that year. A number of them were actually Applied Math majors, with a median Math SAT score of 800. Others were graduates of the Bronx School of Science. In any case, my Oklahoma high school was definitely in the minor division compared to the schools that many of the Brown students had gone to. I studied 16 hours a day and pulled off an A- that first semester. I pulled the A- up to an A the second semester. That was back in the day when few A's were given in any class, especially in math or science classes. Sophomore year, the number of physics majors was half what it had been at the start of the Freshman year. Junior year, the number was half what it had been the sophomore year. I took a lot of math course as well as physics. Through the mid-term, I did well in each math course, but in the late semester I turned all my concentration to physics and did well in it, at considerable expense to my math courses. But, I figured that I learned enough in each math course to have an idea of what I could do with various math techniques and I could always read up again on it as I needed it as a tool. That approach has always worked fairly well for me. Other courses tended to get my attention or not depending on whether anything useful was being taught. About half the time the teacher was doing something worthwhile and about half the time it was a waste of time. But, I loved solving physics problems. While at Brown, I also became involved in many a bull session, of which there were many due to the Vietnam War. Commonly, I was one side of the debate and several socialists were the other side. I met Larry Bellows from Dallas who was an Applied Math major and an Objectivist. He met Roger Donway and introduced me to him. When we were Juniors, David Kelley was a freshman and Roger brought him around to meet Larry and I. Earlier, Roger had introduced us to his older brother Walter Donway who was two years ahead of us at Brown. Larry, Roger, and David were my best friends at Brown, though there were a couple of physics majors who were also friends.

Well, that was long-winded! But it was good to force myself to remember the names of many of my teachers. I was fortunate that at least some of them had not been brought down from the professional level to the blue collar level by socialist labor unions at that time. Also, living near Navy bases also meant one was in a somewhat more cosmopolitan environment that that of the average town. Even Tulsa, now relatively parochial, was less so then. It had been an oil capital and it still retained that world-traveler influence back then.

Edited by Charles R. Anderson
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Subject: Passions - Part 2

Continued from Post #41:

"If you want an argument or a debate after midnight, go to Phil's room. It's down at the end of the hall, where you hear all the raised voices and shouting."

Interesting, Phil. So many that are into heavy debating and getting panties all tied up in a knot. In the 10th grade, myself and this other guy got into it if you will in the middle of class -- for the life of me, I can't remember what all was said but it revolved around the US going into another country, oil, gas prices here, shortages, etc., and he was supportive of our not becoming involved even though it would hurt us and we all would suffer to some degree here in the US and would be reminiscent of the crap in the 70s. For the life of me, I can't remember exactly what was said or what specific event it revolved around. It was something that was brought up by the teacher to get the students' views on it and he was very vociferous with it and he irritated the hell out of me. No one else in the class had voiced an opinion, assuming didn't care or whatever or just not smart enough to possess a view of it.

This guy and myself had been friends in junior high so when my irritation became too much I spoke up (my always being so vocal anyway at least then and still this way to an extent now but only if you tick me off and my bitch side will come out and will be brutal and will put the person in their place, not often that this happens though) But when this went down in 10th grade and my irritation, there wasn't this little tiny, timidm fragile little flower voice. Very much in your face and no backing down with raised voice. He attempted to defend his view and I'd shut him down every time and bringing up the consequences of our not becoming involved and a repeat of past events and how it would affect us and how we would suffer.

One of the other students had said something and tried to cut it short because it was getting heated and the teacher said no, I want to hear this, keep it going. The bell rang to go to the next class and we still continued at it and continued to shut him down. I have to admit it was nice to see him begin to cower and his realizing he chose the wrong person to battle with. The teacher just stared at me.

After all was said and done, the teacher and many of the students had said that I needed to join the debate team. The teacher pushed it hard but nah, no interest. It's not my job to convince others that they are wrong and that I am right. Or I perhaps may be wrong. BUT if I am wrong, it is MY JOB to fix it based on my own further thinking, firsthand knowledge, experience and understanding because it is MY error and it is not their job to convince me otherwise. I'm extremely stubborn this way, I want to figure it out on my own through my own understanding, thinking, experience, firsthand knowledge, etc., thereby it truly becomes MY OWN KNOWLEDGE and not that of another's.

For me, no need to get my panties all tied up in a bunch and angry and upset and early heart attack or whatever or allowing others to push my buttons. I've been through enough drama and arguments and shouting matches if you will and my fighting for what was right for me when I was younger and all the shit I went through to get to where I am now ....been there done that with so much DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA when I was a kid....nope, I like my peace and quiet now and sitting back and relaxing and enjoying what I've found!!! pursuing my interests, my happiness, my money and all the other goodies!!!!!! LOL ;)

Of course, there are those that really enjoy this aspect and no problems here. Whatever floats yer boat!!! For me, doesn't float my boat at all. After everything that I have been through and this point in my life, peace and quiet is what I am after!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don't get me wrong, there can be disagreements, etc., etc., with those that I am friends with but it's not pursued and I recognize very quickly as do they I think when there is not much to keep pursuing other than we can agree to disagree type thing. ;) :) Or I'll put a stop to it before it gets to that point. I'm here for fun and entertainment and no more drama and getting my panties all tied up in a bunch and why I stay to threads that interest me where I can have some laughs and fun and ENTERTAINMENT in whatever form!!!!!! LOL

Have you picked up your interests though in mathematics, etc., that you lost an interest in but that in private????

Just as in college, I spent more and more energy and thought on 'extra-curricular' activities - studying Objectivism, studying psychology, some public speaking and lecturing. Sports, training for the marathon. Travel. Some teaching and tutoring opportunities. First in math and computers, and then in history, English, literature, etc.

Aw!!!! it sounds like you started to pursue which you truly enjoyed the most??!!

When I say something is my passion in a career or hobby sense, I mean that I love to do some combination of three things in that area: To read, to teach, to write. I've steadily discovered year by year, step by step that my passion is for "the humanities" more than for math, computers, or the sciences. In my case, by the humanities I mean literature, history, the visual arts, and philosophy / psychology.

I've always loved science and technology and enjoyed the logic of math and computers. So what changed? What tidal sea-change or brain transplant turned me emphatically to the humanities?

In literature and history it was great and stirring books. Ones I discovered on my own and often half-forgotten in our culture and schools. In the arts: for me, painting, sculpture, and architecture -- it was two trips to Europe -- Vienna and Italy -- and seeing the great museums, the sculpture and paintings of Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello. Bernini, Brunelleschi and Fischer von Erlach in architecture and Bernini in both sculpture and architecture. (The movies played a role.)And the Dutch painters and the Impressionists. And SO many others. In philosophy, it was both Ayn Rand and what I learned about thinking skills, first as a (software) systems designer and then as an organizer and a teacher.

And in general, it is because the humanities is centrally about *man* - his nature, his glory, his skills, his stature, his complexity, all the varied things he can create in the realm of the spirit. This was always my passion from the days of my childhood heroes. It just dulled and it faded, weather-beaten and overlaid for a time, due to bad teachers and abysmally ignorant curriculum.

Not much to say here other than :) :) :) :) I wonder if I can throw in another smiley? What the hell, might as well :) ;)

(I soon expect to continue the parts of this which relate to teaching in the "Teaching Literature and Music" thread. It's a good example of how one can successfully build a paying career out of an interest or passion -- if anyone wants to do that -- and not necessarily having the right 'credentials' or degrees. In many ways this next part, discovering and starting late to implementing what someone was meant to do is the more lively and interesting -- See that thread tonight or tomorrow.)

You are most correct and totally agree in that you don't always have to have credentials and/or degrees to be well paid or to set new ground or to be a great man or great woman. I know many many men and women as well that don't have degrees or haven't finished high school that are absolutely phenomenal. There are a number of these people that lurk or on OL now that are this way and they know who they are.

I had a neighbor a long time ago and ultiamtely turned into friends. Haven't spoken to him in quite a while though. His not familiar with O'ism at all but pretty much is in hiding if you will. He's an inventor. As I got to know him better, he let me in on his little secret and took me down into his little area of his house where he creates his passions and loves. So many inventions of his that would do absolute wonders for everyone. I asked him why he hadn't pursued it, patents, etc., and started to make money off of it and to my surprise, he said, "Why should I? It will only be taken from me. These are mine." This response surprised me considering the circumstances but also brought a smile to my face because I understood him perfectly and his whys. He took me through each invention hanging from his walls, laying on his work bench, pulled some out of the drawers. I'd pick something up and ask him, "What is this and what does it do?" His face would light up with enthusiasm and would start explaining what it was for. Despite his inventions and tremendous amount of potential, he works menial jobs, enough to survive and that's it. I see absolutely nothing wrong with this and his choices. Of course, there are those that would look down on this, but hey, to each their own!!!!!!

There are truly so many men and women out there that are John Galts or Howard Roarks?? and these individuals not being familiar with O'ism or who Ayn Rand is and carry these values or came to these values beforehand and without ever knowing who Ayn was. I haven't read the Fountainhead or any other books from Ayn Rand and her fiction novels aside from Atlas but I think the other person that I am familiar with as I have read it here on OL is that of Howard Roark?? I think it is. These men and women are truly out there. I've known a few, my neighbor being one of them and quite honestly it's truly interesting to think about when it comes to Ayn Rand and what she wrote about.

Edited by CNA
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There are other posts I still would like to read and reply to but I'm way tired, worked all day and throughout most of the night and wanted to reply before going to bed BUT wooohooo have kinda sorta a day off today so hopefully will have a bit more time to reply to the other posts. I see Charles has posted and I look forward to reading his very much!!!

I re-read my last post to Phil and it's kinda all over the place. Sorry you guys and it possibly being tortuous for you all to get through. Oi There's some repetitive shit but I'm not going to mess with it again. I gotta go to sleep badly. Burning the candle at both ends.

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> I've been through enough drama and arguments and shouting matches [Angie]

I agree. I liked those long debates which could get heated sometimes in college. But now a thoughtful discussion works much better for me. Plus, I'm able to untwist my panties :) I'm in several great books discussion groups and they use something called the 'shared inquiry' method. People build on each others remarks, disagree politely, emerge with greater knowledge of the novel or short story or play or essay.

> I re-read my last post to Phil and it's kinda all over the place.

No problem at all. I like your quirky, spontaneous posting style and I find you interesting - the things you have to say, your experiences.

> Have you picked up your interests though in mathematics, etc., that you lost an interest in but that in private????

A tiny bit. Every few years I teach or tutor it. That's the right amount for me--math's easy to forget if you don't stretch the muscle occasionally. It's only fun if it's a bit new or hard and half-forgotten so I have to relearn: Differential equations rather than algebra one. (Because to do DE'syou have to be really strong in both branches of the calculus, which in turn requires you to remember algebra two and trig and analytic geometry.) Once in a while I see an interesting problem in a magazine and I'll take it on. I recently bought some books on subjects I never got to in graduate school or only took one course on - topology, differential geometry. Maybe some day I'll crack them open? Or I'll hit myself over the head with them when I'm trying to get to sleep?

> I know many many men and women as well that don't have degrees or haven't finished high school that are absolutely phenomenal.

Me too. Analogy: In the military, the officers often went to the right schools, service and non-service, and got promoted that way while the master sergeant (or just plain sergeant) didn't do well in school and knew he had to work his butt off to get anywhere. He worked his way up from private and often is the one who is really practical, knows how things get done, really runs things on a day to day basis, is the one you'd like to have beside you if you get neck deep in it. An excellent example of this is Master Sergeant Blaine in the great tv series, "The Unit".

> Not much to say here other than :) :) :) :) I wonder if I can throw in another smiley? What the hell, might as well :) ;)

Angie, you know that you can never have too many smileys, right? :) :) :):lol: ;) B) :huh::lol::):P:blink::D (i see your six and raise you six)

Edited by Philip Coates
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I just got to look into this thread today. Very interesting. Great photography, Angie!

I decided to pursue physics during my chemistry class junior year of high school. There I was exposed to some current knowledge about the atom and what was inside it. I was totally captivated. Senior year I took physics and just loved it. One day a fellow worker of my father’s at Tinker AFB outside Oklahoma City was visiting our home (which we built ourselves). I was at work on one of the futuristic model cars I designed in those days. As he and my father came by, he said to me, “and how is the professor?” He asked what I wanted to pursue as a career. I said nuclear physics. He asked what I would pursue if that did not work out. I said just plain physics. That got a laugh.

I became hooked on philosophy my second semester in college at Norman. It was an introductory honors course taught by a Thomist. He had a heavy Bulgarian accent. He and his wife had emigrated (escaped?) from there. Sometimes we could not figure out what he was saying. He would write it on the board, but his handwriting was illegible. For his course, you tried to write down in your notes exactly what he had said in the lecture part of the class. On the midterm and final exam, each student would be given a question on which he or she was to write THE answer. For the second half of their exam, they were given three questions from which to choose. This answer, too, was to be THE answer, as given in the lectures. Hey, I loved it. We also had a term paper for this course. This was my first philosophy paper. Its topic was “Change and Consciousness in the Experience of Time.” My writing was atrocious, but the Prof. looked past that to the ideas. His red markings were good. I remember one place he underlined my use of the word involves in some assertion “A involves B.” Then he put a wavy line in the margin. Way cool. I had learned to avoid that vagueness.

There was little writing in my philosophy courses and none in my other courses. I did not begin to improve my writing until a decade later, when I began to write on political issues and political philosophy. My partner Jerry was a great writer. We loved to talk about grammar and style issues. When I graduated from college the second time, adding engineering (’83) to my earlier physics degree (’71), a friend gave me the Chicago Manual of Style. She knew which way I was tending.

I always liked all of my schooling, including at church. My interest in philosophical issues had already begun in the latter, in theology and ethics. Our pastor during my catechism years was just out of seminary, I think. He was very intellectual. Some of my enduring values were from him. And from my parents.

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I have to admit, I genuinely enjoy this thread...a lot. If only we could have a get-together and hash this stuff out in person, that would be grand :)

Charles, something tells me you dug out a diary, or have a photographic memory :blink:! What surprises me most is that a lot of us have a military brat background...haha! Great entry btw.

Stephen, so you're a car buff to boot with physics? Are you still doing any work on cars after all these years?

Angie, it doesn't surprise me about your confrontation. I bet he still has scars...haha!

~ Shane

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Passion, tho cast aside for erroneous information, has a way of coming back - especially if there remains the 'lust for life' of a normal person... for me, it came several years later, after being in a multitude of jobs, experiencing all manner of livings from helping surveying in Indian territory to working in a circus to playing Tarzan for three summers in a Y camp - then while being a cook asked what it was I really wanted to do with my life, what laser focus was it that would fuel my passion, instead of the light-bulb radiating everywhere... it was then I realize that being an artist was always what interested me most - but there was a catch... I never was interested in doing just scenes or portraits or studies of unrelated object flung together... it was then, on reading Rand's essays on aesthetics, that I discovered the importance of THEMES, and how that was the means of utilizing whatever was visualized to the greatest extent... I still kept a job cooking or baking, even doing display decorating for banquets [which always was for me a form of art, even if it not last long] - but my mind even then was always thinking of compositions which would be more than the usual, which would encourage thinking, which would be the kind of work which would be welcomed on a wall to look at and contemplate day after day after day, each time being able to garner something in the way of new insights... and when circumstances forced me to be disabled, to no longer be able to bake, to retire instead - it also gave me the means to spend all my time rendering, slowly trying to detail this theming idea, trying to take it to new directions in terms of visualizing universals... and so it has been ever since, all my other interests now channeled to serving my muses...

An easy road - no... too many not recognize that an artist is in some respects never a capitalist, that while there is certainly nothing wrong, and indeed a moral joyfulness in the selling of a merchandise [the works of art], that does not mean the work was done for the pandering to the buyer, but instead from the vision of the artist.... or worse, that it is a nice thing as a hobby, but other things in life are or ought to be much more important... I lost both wives to those notions - the first for refusing to prostitute my art, for refusing to do any form, from window decorating to portraits or flowers or dogs or horses in order to sell my 'craft' of artistic ability [not that there is anything as such wrong in doing these, just that it was not how I wanted to do art] - the second for finding out there was not a caring of my works, that in doing them, as was with my library, 'out of sight, out of mind'[in other words, out of loneliness, poor choosing in a companion]...

An easy road - no... many deride realism, claiming falsely it merely 'copies' [even as most came from my head, far less that there is a difference between imitating and re-presenting], or were 'pollyannaish' [as if the dung and crippled and decayed [mentally as well as physically] were the essence of existence, and overcoming resistance was the real fantasy], or more absurdly, that grasping reality thru the human means of concepts founded on percepts was an evasion of 'seeing'[translation - 'feeling'] the essence of the world [as if mere sensations of colors or blobs of amorphously melding shapes created those 'feelings']... yet, there were many who did/do see and enjoy what I had/have to show, giving the psychological visibility that helps refuel and keeps the passion going - and it is enough that every so often am told my works 'make one think', which is why show in the first place...

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I have to admit, I genuinely enjoy this thread...a lot. If only we could have a get-together and hash this stuff out in person, that would be grand :)

Charles, something tells me you dug out a diary, or have a photographic memory :blink:! What surprises me most is that a lot of us have a military brat background...haha! Great entry btw.

Stephen, so you're a car buff to boot with physics? Are you still doing any work on cars after all these years?

Angie, it doesn't surprise me about your confrontation. I bet he still has scars...haha!

~ Shane

Shane,

Charles can do some very very serious output. I can also do some very serious output with my own writing, but man, he can also do it as well and can be quite impressive. He is amazing. I'm astounded that he remembers so many teachers' names. I have always been horrendous with names but great with remembering faces, etc. I'm very visual and to an extent photographic memory. I "think" in pictures and replaying it in my head and can go into tremendous amounts of detail because it's like "watching" a movie, remembering almost verbatim what was said, etc. I remember people's names in some circumstances and they are the ones that have made some sort of impact on my life or someone that I got into it with.

You're probably going to laugh at this one. In college, I had or should say have a great friend who now lives in Florida though :( and so far away from me but that's okay. I've always gotten along better with those that were older than me. She had 25 years on me and I love her dearly. I saw this woman almost everday for 3 years before I remembered her name. D'oh. :blink: Arlene Rubenstein!!!!! Once we became better and better friends, I didn't want to offend her and ask her what her name was because I had forgotten it. Yikes. But you know, that changed. For those here on OL, I see your names in black and white when I read so it reinforces who everyone is. LOL

As for the scarred fallen for a brief moment comrade in my high school days, I don't think it would have scarred him but perhaps. I know after it was done he approached me in the hallway and said, "We're still friends; right?" I said, "Of course." We were more acquaintances than anything else but hung out on ocassion in junior high. Plus his liking me that way didn't help much either. LOL But do have other stories though that even I have to laugh at and scaring people off and no doubt made them taken inventory of themselves. Where I lived in Signal Hill a number of years ago and Steve's son's girlfriend had come over. Sweet but very naive girl, very young. Someone had come over that was friend's with her boyfriend and this friend she did not like in the least bit. She gave me a bit of a run down on him real quick and how he was. Unearned cocky arrogant asshole, disrespectful.

After talking with her a bit in the kitchen and his sitting in the living room on the couch, I told her let's go in there and watch this. My "evil" little plan went into effect and putting him into his place. We both walked into the room and sat down on the couch. He was directly across from me and I said nothing, just observed him for a while, getting a bit more of an understanding of how he operates, what he says and body language, etc., and how to approach him hehehehehe, she started to talk to him a bit. I only had her information of what she told me and then what little observations I had of him for that time sitting in front of him to go on so better for me to watch him more closely to get a better idea. Once she got him talking, I then started in on the convo. Nonchalantly and being friendly but knowing full well what I was about to do to him. *evil laugh here* After all was said and done, he ultimately said, "How do you know all this stuff about me. I don't even know you," he took off out the front door and never came back again. LMAO ooooo, freaky, freaky. LOL Nah, been around these types more than my share and know how they operate and did quite a number on him....definitely scared him though.

Even the girl that was there and playing along with me, she was like, wow, how did you know all that about him. We both had a great laugh with it though!!!!! I did something kinda sorta similar (different circumstances) with a guy that was very similar, gorgeous man but soooo disrespectful to women. It was my first job and I was working at Subway so long ago. He would come in for lunch or dinner and of course all the girls in the shop would drool over him and he knew it. It bugged me that he treated women so nastily and that we were inferior to him in all respects and that we were deserving of so little. I couldn't resist and bursting his bubble one night and do have to admit took great satisfaction in doing what I did to him. Even the girls that I worked with were surprised in that there was full blown in your face rejection on so many levels when he tried it with me and had to rub it in even more. He avoided me as much as he could thereafter. Oh, wow, also have an English professer in college that I did the same thing to, Mr. Burris. Different circumstances but similar in that he was a woman hater, extremely controlling. Oh, I gotta tell this story but later and needing to remember it all and what happened and getting it down. After finally getting into the other English professor's class, even she came up to me and said, "I am so glad you did what you did. He had it coming." Everyone was terrified to speak up to him because he was so well respected in that college. So many of women at that school and was the hot topic and what happened with him out in the hallway when we got into it. Interesting enough though, he quit his position about 6 months later and a lot of the students and teachers believed it was because of what happened out in the hallway between us.

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I love the heroic, the history of man, science and its applications, conversations about ideas with intelligent people, and writing. Of these, I came to a love of writing only after computers and printers became available to me. Before that, the fact that I needed to edit what I wrote to achieve any satisfaction from it caused too much frustration. The result was that I did not practice writing enough and I was never good enough at it before computers to get much enjoyment from it. Writing well is hard work and takes a very sustained effort. I remember many years in school and college of really not liking writing assignments.

My first hero was my father, who was a naval aviator. He served two tours of duty in the Pacific Campaign of WWII, flying first a torpedo/attack plane and then an attack aircraft. At the end of the war, he was on Okinawa to participate in the invasion of the first Japanese home island, Kyushu. Dad served in the Navy for 22 years, during which he graduated from the Senior Naval War College and became an instructor at the Junior Naval War College. By the time I graduated from high school, I had lived in 17 states. The longest I had lived anywhere was Middletown, RI, near Newport, where we lived 4 years. Every move was a great new adventure.

My first memories were of living in the Norfolk, VA area. I remember finding snakes. I remember two bulldogs knocked my little sister down and I ran to drive the two dogs away from her, only to wind up under one of the dogs and slamming my fists into its chest furiously. Then there was the time two boys were throwing rocks at my little sister and I charged them, pausing in a ditch to pick up some stones, which I threw so fast and accurately that the two boys ran away as I renewed my charge against them. We had a woman come in to help with the cleaning named Virginia Baker. We called her Gina. She was a woman of great strength and character. We all loved her. She was black, so I was never able to understand why anyone would not judge anyone else on the basis of anything except their character.

We moved to Rod Field in the Corpus Christi, TX area. The field had been a training field during WWII, but only the officers quarters were still in use. There were several large, abandoned swimming pools on the base and one smaller one in use. There were many unused barracks and hangars. Most of the base was leased out to cotton farmers, who stored their baled cotton in the hangars part of the year. My friend Rusty and I used to ride our bikes all over the base, with my little sister sometimes tagging along. We hunted water moccasins in the cotton field irrigation ditches and played cowboys and Indians running through the barracks and over the stacked cotton bales. We used to jump off the back side of the seats at the abandoned baseball field. We hunted for horned toads, tarantulas, and scorpions. When the fields were freshly plowed, we made forts out of the large dirt clods and threw the smaller dirt clods at one another in wars. For a 6 and 7 year old boy, Rod Field was just about paradise. But, the schools were very bad.

We moved to Brigantine, NJ on the island just north of the very run-down Atlantic City. I started playing baseball and swimming on the beaches. I entered 3rd grade and Mrs. Cobb, an elderly teacher with strict standards, learned that I could not read. I was also getting all of my math problems wrong. My Mom discovered that this was because all of the math problems were written down from the board and I was writing them all down incorrectly, but then doing the math correctly. Soon, I was fitted out with glasses and math was a breeze. Reading was still a problem, however, and Mrs. Cobb told my Mom that if I did not learn to read before the end of the year, I would have to repeat 3rd grade. For a few months, I was tortured by having to read Dick, Jane, and Spot at home every night. But, in the end, I was passed on to fourth grade. Mrs. Leeds, another elderly teacher with strict standards, took over. We had to read a book and write a book report. I decided to read a book on John Paul Jones and for the first time, I found that I loved to read. This was the first book I ever read that was interesting to me. I still own the book. Of course, it was about a heroic man. I then read a Landmark book about Chief Black Hawk of the Sauk and Fox Indians. I started reading just about every book in the Landmark series, the We Were There series, and all sorts of other biographies of historical people. I found I loved history. I branched out into mysteries and science fiction also, but mostly I kept returning to history because it was just as interesting and there was so much more to learn from it. Other than reading, I played in the dense thickets or the top soil piles of a construction company with friends. In baseball, I played shortstop, second base, left field, and right field at various times, but mostly shortstop or second base. I remember that I loved going to the beach whenever we had a heavy storm. We had a few hurricanes that passed by out to sea, but the waves on the beach were great fun to watch. Dad was away on cruises leading a detachment of all-weather, low-flying attack planes for a long stretch in a Pacific Ocean cruise.

We moved back to Virginia, this time closer to Virginia Beach. Gina rejoined us for awhile, but she had left a better job to do so and she really could not afford to. She returned to it, but she helped my Mom to get through some difficult times when Dad was away on cruise. My fifth grade teacher was Mrs. Sochek (phonetic spelling). She was young, fun, intelligent, and beautiful. Her husband was a Navy officer. She made up great math problems involving such things as calculating the area of an aircraft carrier's deck. Oftentimes, I was the only one who could solve her problems, so she would frequently call on me to explain how to do the problems to the rest of the class. She had us write lots of book reports. My Dad was taking extension courses in Business Management with Cornell University at the time, so he was subscribing to BusinessWeek and the Cornell School of Management Review (or similar), so I started reading them. I was also reading the newspaper, Time magazine, and Compton's Encyclopedia regularly by then. I continued reading history. My best friend was Doug Pauley, who was a jock. We played baseball about 3 hours every summer day and most Saturdays any time of the year, except a few in the Fall when we played football. At home, I talked about politics, foreign affairs, defense policy, and history all the time with my Dad and Mom, when Dad was home from cruises. Dad was the skipper of an attack squadron and had two cruises, one to the Caribbean and one to the Mediterranean while we were here. In 1957, when I was ten, Sputnik was launched and I told Doug Pauley I was going to be a physicist. We were in his garage at the time. He did not believe me. He kept insisting that some girl in his class was more intelligent than I was. For some reason, that was important to him. I told him it was fine with me if she were. My 6th grade teacher was Mr. Duggan. He was an interesting teacher for social studies. I won an American History book for being the only student to list all 50 states with their state capitals and spelling them all correctly.

We moved to Middletown, RI. The high school had been 7 - 12 grades, but there was no longer room for the 7th grade. We were bussed to a barracks on the Naval Base at Melville overlooking acre upon acre of stored mines. My teacher was Miss Jolivet, who had been a nun, but left. She was intelligent and strict. But, she liked True/False questions and I had occasional problems with her because I knew the exception that often made what most people thought was true to be actually false. Jerry Wells was my best friend in the 7th and 8th grades in the neighborhood. His father was a warrant officer who did not think much of book learning, so Jerry was an under-performer at school, but he was really very bright. We used to go to the Naval Base Library and we soon read all of the science fiction books there. He moved away, so I started playing a lot of one-on-one basketball with Paul Larkin who moved in and was a year older. The summer before the 9th grade, I read the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and concluded that fascism and communism were very similar and both forms of socialism. In the 9th grade, I was in the first algebra class offered for advanced students at that grade level. A schedule conflict kept me out of the advanced science course, so Mr. Rezendes, who taught General Science, allowed me to read science books while he taught the class. I read books on particle physics and nuclear physics and many other topics with an ear cocked to pick up anything new he might get into. He was a good teacher. Katie Webb, a redhead, sat behind me in his class and used to play with the label of my shirts. She became my first girlfriend, though I also became good friends that year with Mary Hutchinson, who was the most intelligent girl in my grade, at least barring the really screwed-up and dark Leslie Michaels, who later showed up as a Pembroker in my class at Brown University. Dad received orders to a new station so we put our house up for sale. Dad shook hands on a deal with a buyer and the Navy changed his orders to have us stay. No papers had been signed on the house, but Dad said he had given his word, so we were homeless. Dad, Mom, myself, Karen, Betsy, Scott, and the newborn Peggy all packed up and went on a camping trip through New Hampshire, Maine, Quebec, Ontario, to Niagara Falls and back. We then spent six weeks in a small duplex at Ft. Adams before moving into a small Navy house near the Marine Corps Base area, so we could return to Middletown schools. That house was small. Scott and I shared a small bedroom. Karen slept in a closet. Betsy and Peggy shared a room. Dad was taking an University of Rhode Island extension course on International Law and used to study in the bathroom to have some quiet. This neighborhood had many more guys my age and we went to the Marine gym most Fridays to play basketball. In the Fall, there was usually a game of tackle football on a field nearby on Saturdays, so I was usually there. While living in Middletown, I cut lawns in the summer and delivered newspapers the last two years. I was on the debate team in the 9th grade. I ran cross country in the 10th grade, the year the new high school opened. That was the year I took geometry, which I loved. I had a fairly good English teacher, Mr. North. The best course was Honors American History, in which we had a surprisingly good book and we had many classroom discussions. Mr. Anthony was magnificent. He also organized a class trip to New Hampshire to go skiing. That was my first skiing experience. Some kids did some drinking, so that was the last of the larger group trips, but Mr. Anthony took a few of us from the Honors History class on two more ski trips. Mr. Anthony was a retired Army major who had fought in the Korean War.

Dad retired after 22 years of service and we moved to Tulsa, OK, where Dad intended to get a job with American Airlines, though he had no offer from them until after we had already moved there. I went out with Dad on the trip to buy a house. We found a great stone house. I helped Dad make the down-payment by giving him the $1500 I had saved cutting lawns and delivering newspapers. The cost of the beautiful house was $36,000, in 1963. Leslie had been born shortly before we left RI. The new house was short a bedroom, so I slept in what was meant to be a small study off the large family room. It was often a noisy place to try to study. I took Honors English, Honors Algebra II and Advanced Geometry, and Honors Chemistry. Mr. Dikes was a good English teacher, Mrs. Matthews was a good math teacher, and Mr. Bernard was a good chemistry teacher. Mr. Hickman was pretty good for Oklahoma History and Civics. Soon, I had a new group of friends, generally from the advanced classes, and we had a group that played tackle football most Saturdays for about 3 hours. We had serious discussions, with a number of us being Goldwater supporters, and we played bridge fairly often. We were not party-goers, though the school had a strong contingent who were. Of my group of friends, three became doctors, one a mathematician, one a dentist, two became lawyers, one an Economics professor at Northwestern University, and one a successful businessman. Another, very unacademically inclined, became the much acclaimed future principal of our high school! He was always very funny and always talking about how stupid he was. I used to tell him that no one so humorous could possibly be stupid. He was a character. The summer between 11th and 12th grades, my counselor, Mrs. Stansberry, helped me get into a summer program at Brown University, where we studied calculus, computer programming, and materials science and engineering. I loved it. Especially the calculus and the materials science. I did well and that helped me to get acceptance into Brown University when I applied. In my senior year, I flew through the calculus course and took physics, which was taught with the greatest imaginable incompetence. I took Honors English, but old Mrs. Higgins was awful, so at the end of the semester, I transferred to a Creative Writing class. A couple of the girls in that class were really very good writers. That class was an interesting challenge, though the teacher was more enthusiastic than intelligent or knowledgeable. I was on the debate club team. About December, a friend told me he had read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I had never heard of her, but I got the book and read it early in 1965. Then I read Atlas Shrugged about April. That summer, I had a job as a geophone placement technician for oil exploration crews and I got all of the back issues of the Objectivist Newsletter and read them. I went off to college as an Objectivist.

The next adventure was going to Brown University. I was a physics major who had never had a decent course in physics. There were 52 people in the physics course for physics majors that year. A number of them were actually Applied Math majors, with a median Math SAT score of 800. Others were graduates of the Bronx School of Science. In any case, my Oklahoma high school was definitely in the minor division compared to the schools that many of the Brown students had gone to. I studied 16 hours a day and pulled off an A- that first semester. I pulled the A- up to an A the second semester. That was back in the day when few A's were given in any class, especially in math or science classes. Sophomore year, the number of physics majors was half what it had been at the start of the Freshman year. Junior year, the number was half what it had been the sophomore year. I took a lot of math course as well as physics. Through the mid-term, I did well in each math course, but in the late semester I turned all my concentration to physics and did well in it, at considerable expense to my math courses. But, I figured that I learned enough in each math course to have an idea of what I could do with various math techniques and I could always read up again on it as I needed it as a tool. That approach has always worked fairly well for me. Other courses tended to get my attention or not depending on whether anything useful was being taught. About half the time the teacher was doing something worthwhile and about half the time it was a waste of time. But, I loved solving physics problems. While at Brown, I also became involved in many a bull session, of which there were many due to the Vietnam War. Commonly, I was one side of the debate and several socialists were the other side. I met Larry Bellows from Dallas who was an Applied Math major and an Objectivist. He met Roger Donway and introduced me to him. When we were Juniors, David Kelley was a freshman and Roger brought him around to meet Larry and I. Earlier, Roger had introduced us to his older brother Walter Donway who was two years ahead of us at Brown. Larry, Roger, and David were my best friends at Brown, though there were a couple of physics majors who were also friends.

Well, that was long-winded! But it was good to force myself to remember the names of many of my teachers. I was fortunate that at least some of them had not been brought down from the professional level to the blue collar level by socialist labor unions at that time. Also, living near Navy bases also meant one was in a somewhat more cosmopolitan environment that that of the average town. Even Tulsa, now relatively parochial, was less so then. It had been an oil capital and it still retained that world-traveler influence back then.

Wow, hon, that was seriously long winded. :) ;) I'm seriously impressed but not surprised in the least bit by your remembering so many of your teachers' names and others in your life. There are a number of areas in what you wrote. But I am most curious do you have any more specific adventures with details that I can revel in, how it made you feel, what you observed and your perception of it, and my being able to relive part of your life as if I was there with you?

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Hi Shane,

>...did you ever play the card game Mind Trap? That's another love of mine...puzzles.

Shane, I haven't heard of it. I used to play cards a lot in junior high and high school with my cronies - hearts mostly (and chess and "Go"). "Go" is the only game I miss. Right now my mother is in a nursing home - I moved to Florida to take care of her - and I've been doing crossword puzzles with her to try to fight off any mental decline. I don't enjoy them all that much, but they're ok. She likes it and her mind is much better than it was even six months ago because of the challenge.

> Do you still go on bike rides to revisit your childhood fun?

I've had a bike in several places I've lived as an adult and greatly enjoyed it. Maybe it's time again!

BTW, there is no greater joy than biking fast years ago through New York's Central Park and down Broadway from 59th street thru Times Square and down to work near Madison Square Garden (mid 30's?) when there is a transit strike and you are going faster than all the gridlocked taxis. Glory daze, glory daze, glory daze...

Phil, I keep being drawn to this passage of yours that I put in bold. I love the joy you took in your knowing and utilizing efficiency, ingenuity, and making your life that much easier rather than being caught up in the rat race!!!!! This efficiency, ingenuity, overcoming obstacles and standing out from the rest and how much pride you took in it, how much by doing this made you so happy and gave you such a tremendous RUSH!!!!! Always the way it should be !!!!!! and I really like this passage of yours!!!! :):):):)

:):):):) :):):) :):)

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4633308177_04ca187c97.jpg

I really like your photos. You have a good eye for nature ;)

I'm always very critical of anything that I produce and how it can be improved or not entirely happy with the results and wanting to learn and get better with it.

I empathize with you there. I have this habit of trying to get things done right the first time. I abhor rough drafts...lol.

Your idea for your book does sound quite interesting. Have you written anything at all, just for yourself, that you may want to consider posting here on OL? Or maybe you have already? I browse OL often and read but really taking the time to go through the site I don't do often. I will usually just scan real quick, looking for something that may perhaps interest me and then move on to the next.

Earlier in this thread, I linked my story summary. I was trying to come up with music lyrics and all of a sudden, ideas came streaming in and I scrapped it in favor of novel :) I don't actively sit down and try to come up with stories. Some little thing is usually the catalyst for the brainstorming that ensues. I might just pen a few of my ideas here. In light of O'ism, I've wanted to rethink them all. One of the reasons I hadn't really sat down to go all out on these stories is that I was missing philosophy as the foundation for them all.

Phil,

I ride my bike to work most days...10-min ride there so I get a daily workout. Coming home, I get a great view of Diamond Head. I really hate that <_< haha!

~ Shane

I really would like to see you put some of your ideas onto paper and written down and posted onto OL and for you to start dabbling in it. It seems like you have some great ideas for stories!!!! Constructive criticism if there is any is always a good thing because it will help you improve and refine it even more. I know a lot of people don't like constructive criticism because they take it as an attack on them and they percieve it as a threat but always keep an open mind when you are wanting to improve. I don't like to be criticized either but I am always open to constructive criticsm from others. Although I am very very very very stubborn and wanting to learn on my own and perfecting whatever I am working on, if I am a newbie, I welcome it. They can help but it's my job to make it better, to either accept their criticsm and take it into consideration or reject it because it's not my style and I'm wanting to find MY STYLE rather than emulating someone else's style. My photography is a good example. I very much enjoyed the critiscm from the more seasoned photographers and their criticizing my work. It always made me want to improve and get better, to learn, etc. I'm this way anyway but it does help and I know you know this. But of course, compliments are always always welcome even if mixed in with that criticsm. Hmmm..I wonder if I can misspell the word criticism more.....LOL Ah, screw it. LOL :mellow::mellow::unsure::unsure::lol::lol::lol:

Time to get back to some work. More later

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Angie,

I'm very visual myself. Suck at names, but faces...those I remember. When it comes to movies, I'm pretty good with recalling them. I've won a few bets. Someone would say "Mel Gibson was in this movie," and I'd say "No, not him."

I hate textbooks and work best with learning hands-on. Visual again.

With confrontations, I've never been good at that. Those moments can be stressful, and I veer around stress as much as possible. But if backed into a corner, I unleash an arsenal...or a well-placed shot (depending on the person and to what extent I wish to further distance myself from them).

Two examples:

1. At my first assignment in Korea, I worked in a shop where 70% of our members were Airmen. One of them had a superiority complex because his father was a Chief Master Sergeant (highest enlisted rank). We aptly named him Chief Master Airman. Well, he would go on these tirades of insulting and belittling my co-workers and I'd had enough. I was vacuuming the office and he made some off-handed remark about my cleaning skills. I told him flat out, "If you don't shut your mouth, I'm going to shove this hose up your ass and vacuum the floor with your face." :lol: Never heard peep out of him for the rest of our tour. I would have had an intellectual battle with him, but he was always ready for that venue and nothing said in that area would affect him. He was pretty narcissistic. I was happy my one sentence kept his trap shut.

2. I hate power-mongers. One cancer in the military is young senior NCOs. Most do well and mean well. But there are a few that haven't got the slightest clue on how to handle their troops. On several occasions, I was made to feel like an ass in front of my peers. One was an arguement I had with Chief Master Airman and our boss took his side (birds of a feather anyone...haha!). Another instance was an Army officer looking for directions to our commander's office. Very simple task. My boss butted in and said he'd show him (after I gave concise directions...in that door, first office on your left). The straw that broke the camel's back came after an exercise. I had the task to develop circuit diagrams and became intimately familiar with the entire communications layout for two countries. After the exercise ended, one of our satcom troops asked a question regarding the location of the entry hub into the other country. I gave him the name of the city. At this point, my boss stood up and said, "Let me check the history folder to verify the info." I assured him that the information was correct...after all, I had drawn the diagram and worked these circuits for a month. He kept pushing the issue, at which point he yelled out, "Sit down and shut up!" I was furious! I told him I would not and that I had had enough of his demeaning me in front of my peers. I went to the super to state my case. I advised the superintendent that as a senior NCO, he "must" have gone through military education classes where they specifically deal with interpersonal communication skills, which must have failed. After a few hours, my boss came up to me and apologized. We had a decent working relationship from that point on. I told him that I don't mind getting my ass chewed if I deserve it, but it should have been done behind closed doors. That was an important victory for me :)

~ Shane

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My earliest passion was music.

In 1954, when I was five and while my Air Force family was stationed in the Azores, my parents took my brother and me to see "The High and the Mighty," starring John Wayne. It was the first movie I had ever seen, or at least the first one I can remember.

We got to the theater a little late, and as we were walking down a darkened aisle, the lush intro music filled the room. The theme sent chills down my spine. I liked the movie okay, but it was the music that imprinted my soul. After that, I often bugged my parents to take me to the movies just so I could hear the music.

This early experience probably had much to do with my lifelong love of music, especially highly melodic pieces.

Here is the gorgeous theme by Dimitri Tiomkin:

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOXhriapdgs&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0"></param><param'>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOXhriapdgs&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOXhriapdgs&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

Ghs

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