I grew up on or near U.S. Air Force bases in the South. I started working at the age of thirteen with a summer job on a tobacco farm in North Carolina, where I formed an appreciation for indoor work and a distaste for tobacco. I worked another summer in Missouri, moving a college science department to a new building. I developed an aversion to dead snakes after dropping two five-gallon glass jars of snake specimens preserved in formaldehyde. (not fond of formaldehyde either).
I resigned my commission from the US Air Force Academy (the Air Force version of the USMA at West Point) after one semester, when I found out the promised education was bogus. I scored 10% on a calculus final. Not only was that an "A", I was on the Dean's List! However, I did get to pilot a T-33 jet aircraft at 500 mph over Pike's Peak (from the back seat), have lunch with Charles Lindberg (with 5000 other cadets), learn how to get lost on a navigation exercise, and starve for a week in survival training. It was also fun technically out-ranking my father, a Chief Master Sergeant.
After five years at UC Santa Barbara, I graduated with separate B.A. degrees in Physics and Chemistry (should have picked one). During the riots of the early 70s, I was tear gassed while working at Taco Bell (Gov. Reagan thought the Revolution had started). Fortunately, I'd been tear gassed in the Air Force, so I knew how to handle it (mostly you cry and get on with your life). Years later I was accepted into the UC Santa Barbara Art program but financial reasons prohibited me from attending.
I've lived in Venice Beach, Santa Barbara, Isla Vista, Santa Cruz, Capitola, Mendocino, and for the last five years, Morro Bay, because I enjoy being near the ocean. I lived ten years in Marin County while working in San Francisco and Sausalito.
I'm still in touch with my first wife, although I haven't actually seen her in more than a decade. My second wife was 24 years older than I, but irresistible; I was only able to resist her for a year. We had ten good years together. She died seven years ago after three years of increasing paralysis, during which time I devoted my life to caring for her personally.
Since then I have been re-establishing my technical career and putting together a new life, in a new town.
While I make few friends, primarily women, I have known some of them for more than 20 years.
My favorites are: walking at sunrise in a foggy, coastal, tourist town in the dead of winter, waking up next to a woman's smile, and a heartfelt story well-told.
My ideal woman is somewhere between Scheherazade and the Muse Terpsichore (as portrayed by Rita Hayworth).