I was born early in life and aged rapidly as I got older.
All right, a little more detail. I was born on January 8, 1955, the son of a Navy officer. I moved regularly through childhood, as is typical for military brats. I lived in Yokosuka, Japan for two years, but was really too young to appreciate it.
I married my lovely wife, Wanda, on July 22, 1978, after dating for 8 years. We have no children, our choice. We live on 73 acres of woods in the "big bend" area of Florida, just outside the capital, Tallahassee.
I attended Florida Technological University in Orlando. The day I graduated in 1977, they announced they were changing the name of the university to the University of Central Florida. Since that time, the school has grown from a very promising technological institution into a positively mediocre general studies university. And they have the gall to send me solicitations for alumni contributions.
I worked at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft -- since renamed simply Pratt & Whitney -- from 1978 to 1985. I was a test engineer, meaning I was involved in the parts procurement, assembly, testing, teardown, and analysis of experimental military jet aircraft engines. All of the work involved experimental components, of course, but the lion's share of the testing I was involved with was on testbed engines based on the F100 engine found in the F-15 and F-16 jet fighters. The F100 was already in production and in use by the Air Force at that time, but the F100 was still "State-of-the-Art" and therefore easily adapted to the testing of yet further advances. I even managed to get involved in some early classified stealth work while there.
After leaving P&WA and moving from South Florida to North Florida, I got myself licensed as a Professional Engineer in the State of Florida in Mechanical Engineering. I then did consulting work -- design of air conditioning systems for commercial buildings and the like. I switched employers a couple of times (consulting engineering is not the most stable of professions!), and eventually began doing independent consulting work out of my home. Meanwhile, the stock market was treating us so well that I ceased actively seeking clients, and by 1998 was actively encouraging my existing clientele to find other consultants to do their engineering work. The long and short of it is that I am now "retired" -- but it's hard to put a date on exactly when I retired, it was sort of a gradual thing.
My wife teaches Spanish at Raa Middle School in Tallahassee. She would retire as well, but the retirement scheme they've got cooked up there makes early retirement financially unwise. So, since it only seems fair, I occasionally clean the house.
If you have questions or comments, you are welcome to send e-mail to me
at "palmk at nettally dot com".