About me is a world, busy with it's day, as I sit at the PC and piddle the time away.
I'm just a guy who's lived a blessed, interesting life, sometimes fun, sometimes not,
that's just life. Now, I'm retired and taking it easy, finally.
I've been around, and worked on, or in a field related to electronics ever since I first helped my Dad install Executone nurse call & paging systems in hospitals in Phoenix in 1961 and '62, when I was 8 & 9.
The following gives a general idea, but is not everything I've done since 1968.
Foodservice & hospitality as busboy & waiter(1968); Board/component-level bench repair tech on tubed & solid state electronics of radios, TV's, consumer electronics (1971);Telephone company repairman and special orders bench technician (1971-1972); Made, bottled, sold & delivered 100% Pure Fresh juices to local and chain grocery stores in Las Vegas (1972-1974); Managed the Floating Bridge Exxon and the Aurora Ave Exxon stations in Seattle (1973-1974); Welders' helper in Seattle shipyards and Welder/Fitter in scenery shops(1974-1982);
21 years in the entertainment industry as a technician, I joined the Stagehands as a Stage Electrician & Spotlight Operator; then as a Stage Carpenter, Prop Man, Flyman & Rigger, 16mm & 35mm Motion Picture Machine Operator, Multi-media Programmer/Operator; Live Audio mixer, FOH and onstage Monitor mixer.
In 1975 at the Las Vegas Hilton, I assisted in the installation of the first state-of-the-art lighting control board in Las Vegas since the Hilton (as the International) opened in 1969. The following year was spent working with Jerry Swaney, Head Electrician & board operator of the Aladdin Hotel's Baghdad Theatre. Jerry & I worked 6 nights a week doing shows, and 6 days a week with technicians from Century Strand Lighting to install the first computer-programmable lighting control board ANYWHERE. How cool do you think that was, huh? Way ,dude!
Years later at the Desert Inn in 1989, I was tasked to design & install an Audio/Video system for the Lounge; spec'd, then oversaw the paging system overhaul; revamped the 5 FM radio repeaters onsite; we negotiated new contracts with Motorola for more than 650 radios, 400 LCD display beepers, and close to 200 Motorola "Brick" cellphones, batteries, chargers, etc.; then assisted with upgrading the showroom Audio reinforcement systems.
I left the D.I to join Encore Production in late 1989.
At Encore Productions in 1992, in addition to the responsibilities of managing our in-house delivery & setup crews; oversee the warehousing, inventorying, maintenance and repair of all our systems and equipment; expansion, maintenance and administration of our PC network, to provide file and printer sharing, and end-user support to a growing cadre of sales, technical and support staff, and teach them how to use, or not use the network and resources; produce quotes for various systems for rent by our clients; keep tabs on rentals and/or crews at remote convention venues from New York City to Anaheim & Orlando to San Jose, ALL this, whether I was in Las Vegas, or AT one of the jobs out of town myself, while I tried to keep up with technology, and personally handle all VideoWall Systems design, install, setup & programming and on-site operating, and designed several systems for permanent installs; a cool example was the dual-wall system, with real-time video camera feeds operated by the performers onstage, of the Lounge at the Stardust.
Oh Darn! I forgot to mention in the midst of all this excitement, I married my 2nd wife , June 7th, 1987, then blessed with the arrival of "The Perfect Child" April 7th, 1988. Really, we tried living like a normal family. Seriously, you have to be normal in the first place.
In addition to the Stagehand work, until Encore I also worked with my Dad who owned and operated Garland Construction, he was also a General Contractor, and Head Soundman for the Tropicana Hotel, where he retired in 2003 after 25 years in the same position, 30 years as a Stagehand. That he could keep that position 25 years, is amazing. Nobody lasts that long as a soundman, anywhere. He's the only man besides David Rogers of Caesars Palace to hold a Head Audio position for that length of time.
So, thanks to Garland Construction, between (1968-2009) I also did residential & commercial construction.
In the late 80's, computers became my hobby, but work didn't allow the time I wished to spend experimenting with and learning about them. Then in 1994, I decided 21 years was long enough to work backstage and began thinking about a new career. One day it dawned on me, I'd been training for the perfect job more than 8 or 9 years.
Information Technology. Computers!
In 1995, after leaving the Stagehands, I was hired as a Systems Tech for the Government Center of Clark County, Nevada in Las Vegas. For three years, in addition to working and raising "The Perfect Child" (she really was and still is), I studied for, tested as, then became a certified Novell NetWare 4.x Admin and certified Novell GroupWise 4.x/5.x admin.
September 21st, 1998 our family left Las Vegas for greener pastures and change of pace in Missouri.
For the first year, I was so busy creating two homesteads on 27 acres we bought with Dad, I didn't have a job or business, other than the occasional garden to till, pasture to bushhog, or tree to fell and cut for firewood. I entered a class in Sept of 1999 to prepare for the CDL exam, and become a truck driver. I won't drag this out much more, but suffice it to say, trucking ain't nothing like renting slide projectors, and darned sure ain't for sissies.
Owned & Operated an 18-wheeler hauling specialized freight in the US & Canada (2000-2009)
When the economy tanked in late 2008, myself and several hundred thousand, small business operators found ourselves struggling to stay in business, while the potential for economic recovery was rapidly disappearing. I closed the business April 1st, 2009 and began to earnestly look for a job. 6 months later, I found a position as an Inbound Call-Center, Customer Service Representative, or Credit Card Advisor, for a major league bank and credit card company (2009-2012).
When I left there in 2012, I retired.
Since leaving Nevada, I've tried to keep up with technology, but I find myself hard pressed to do today, what my job as the Asst. Technical Director of Encore Productions required between 1990 & 1994.
I literally walked on the bleeding edge of the expansion of the internet, cellular communications, video graphics displays, and peripheral hardware, squeezing every source for news, researching anything related exhaustively. It was a harried and exciting time, but could have been more fun, if better planning were involved and flying by the seat of your pants was kept to a minimum. It might have been much less stressful, maybe not. For a Type-A like me, knowing we had actually had a plan, and tried to follow it, would make it easier to accept the chaos. Knowing all along we never had a plan at all, while expecting catastrophe at any moment, drove me to distraction at times. The stress and pressure to excel and perform above all the rest, 100% of the time, is what really drove me away from the business. It wasn't not liking what I did. I loved it! and had a position that was the envy of many guys I'd worked with for years.
Phil C. & Larry L. were the best men I ever worked for, or anyone else could want to. Besides, name a place where; you can be yourself, act & dress casual, do something you really enjoy, and have the Tech. Dir., your immediate chain of command, basically give you a blank check and send you shopping for more than two years to get high-tech Audio & Video gear? 1992 & 1993 I purchased over $5 million dollars in inventory alone, not to mention a delivery van, PC's and a lot of A/V equipment bought simply to sell, not to inventory.
In case you weren't sure, It's way more fun to spend THEIRS than ours.
I loved the work I did, I just didn't like doing it under such intense pressure ALL the time. It was just too demanding doing it like we did. Our company motto was an understatement of the way we actually functioned.
"Doing it the way it SHOULD be done."
It meant, above all the competition, we did it better, looked better, sounded better, at a better price than anyone else, making certain it looked easy to do. Amazingly, we did. Another saying Stagehands have is;
"if it was easy......anybody could do it." Anybody would be, too. And then we just might be out of work.
Here I go, exiting Staaaaaaage Left!