I spent three years in Thailand. I was at
Khon Kaen for the first two years and at Yala for the last one.
After Peace Corps, I stopped in Taipei for two months to brush up
my Chinese. Then I returned to Yale to finish my MA in East Asian
Studies. After that, I went to Northern Illinois University in DeKalb,
Illinois to work on a PhD in Southeast Asian History. It was a fairly
popular landing pad for Peace Corps volunteers returning from Southeast
Asia. I ran into Bill Muir there. I also met Kim, my wife-to-be,
there. Instead of finishing my PhD, I married her and went to work
for the US Army. We have two kids now. Megan, 18, is in her senior
year of high school (Class of 2007). Aaron, 14, is in his freshman
I worked in Civilian Personnel at the Tank-Automotive Command
in Warren, Michigan for two years. It was pretty dreadful. In
the fall of 1977, I was reassigned to Tooele Army Depot in Utah.
Utah was beautiful, but the work was still pretty dreadful. We
lived in Salt Lake City for about a year and a half. Then we quit
our jobs and moved to Austin, Texas. We arrived in May of 1979.
After about a year of unemployment, I went back to school at
the University of Texas to study computer science. One year later,
I quit school and took a job as a programmer at what was then
called the Texas Department of Water Resources.
I stayed with the state of Texas for 15 years. I left during
the heady days of Y2K to take a contracting job. I was frustrated
with state government. (This is what it was like ... ) That was
the main reason I left, but the money didn't hurt, either.
The contracting job was also located at a state agency, the Department
of Human Services. (Which was a bit like ...) Contracting made
me nervous, so I left after about another year to work for Dell
Computer Corporation. (Which went a little like this ...) I was
at Dell for four and a half years before being laid off in October
After Dell, I was unemployed for three months, worked for the
IRS as a tax examiner for three months, was unemployed for three
months, ... A pattern seemed to be emerging. Then I landed another
contracting gig: same contracting company, same state agency.
That lasted 13 months. After a brief interlude substitute teaching
at the Texas School for the Blind, I landed a clerical job with
the Department of Family & Protective Services. After a year
of that, I got moved to their IT department, so I am once again
a systems analyst for a Texas agency. And feeling extremely fortunate.
For extra-curricular, I volunteer a couple of hours a week at
the Austin Children's Shelter. Been doing that for nine years.
I also did a dozen or so years as a mentor for the Austin Independent
School District and another dozen or so teaching Sunday school
at the Unitarian Universalist Church. (Not doing any of that now,
though.) And, of course, I take out my frustrations by writing
scurrilous, incendiary tracts.