I am native to Oklahoma. After a brief stint in college, I left the state to see if the rest of the world existed. Along the way, I picked cotton, made fiberglass and, in hazmat suit, cleaned filters inside a nuclear laundry. I was an M-60 machine gunner in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, company clerk at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, (NATO/SHAPE), bartender in South Carolina, bricklayer in Oklahoma, oil field chainhand in Louisiana, roustabout in the Gulf of Mexico, English instructor in North Carolina, and Director of Computer-Aided Instruction at the University of Illinois in Chicago.
Academically, I hold a Master's of Arts in English degree in Creative Writing - Poetry, have been honored for outstanding teaching, and presented at national and international conferences on the subject of computer pedagogy. In addition, I earned both Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Advanced Certified Novell Administrator computer certifications.
I have steamed down the Amazon and up the Nile, hiked the Sonoran Desert, climbed the Pyramid of Cheops, sailed the Atlantic in a storm, skydived in Oklahoma, scuba dived in the Pacific, and snowshoed in Canada. Besides my time in Vietnam, I have lived in a tenth-century Cistercian Monastery in Belgium, the Piedmont of the Carolinas, a protected heron rookery beside the Great Lakes, the Acadian bayous of Louisiana, the shortgrass prairie of the Great Plains, and on the side of a volcano in the rain and cloud forests of the Republic of Panamá.