|A self-portrait. (Click it for the larger version.) Hmm. Still bald and ugly (disclaimer: my wife and her mother disagree with my assessment. There's no accounting for taste, I guess. Oh well. :) There's also this one and this one.|
|Here's a picture of my blushing bride and myself, back when we were
just crazy kids (a few |
Who me? I'm a mild-mannered History major who just happens to work as a Senior Product Engineer for a Washington, D.C.-based software firm that markets a well-known piece of Internet software (note that I do not live in DC, I just telecommute there). I am married to my wife Sally, with whom I have no children and two cats. We are home owners. I like to think I'm gainfully employed, although like most people I could use a bit more dough at the end of the month...but who's complaining? I'm Jewish without an adjective in front of it. I used to drive a Deep Sapphire Blue Pearl Coat 2002 Dodge Intrepid that I got a great deal on because I refused to budge on price. My wife is so proud of me...normally that's her job in this family.
Detroit undoubtedly hates my guts, because I drove that car for nearly ten years, then traded it in just before Christmas 2011 on a 2009 Ford Escape Limited with 34K on the clock. Got another fabulous deal on that one, too.
In 2003 we joined Weight Watchers, because as you can see in the above photo, I am a fat boy. (Sally is gorgeous but claims she needs to lose weight. I humor her in this.) I lost about 40 pounds and fell off the wagon, and I'm pretty much back where I was then -- except that now I have diverticulitis and I need to get back on that damn wagon and lose it again.
I'll let you know how it goes on my blog (see link at top of page).
You can read about the honeymoon Sally and I took to Naples, Florida, by clicking on this link.
In 1999 I discovered the joys of home ownership (well, some of the joys of home ownership) by purchasing a condo. Since then, of course, I've found a wife to help me enjoy it (actually I liked her decorating job and I couldn't afford the bill, so I married her :) ).
Note: That story is not even figuratively true. Just to keep the record straight.
We have since moved, and are leasing the condo to a friend until he can buy it. Good luck in this lousy Democrat-engineered economy. (Don't even try to blame this crap on Bush, democrap congresscritters and seniltors sat there for years and said there was nothing wrong with Fannie and Freddie -- and now the same worthless bastards who ran Fan and Fred into the ground are going to be in charge of fixing the economy! How in hell do you get one of those sweet jobs? Oh, yeah. Become a 'crap. Not happening.)
In April 2013, I was first licensed as an Technician Class Amateur Radio operator by the FCC, call sign KC9YTJ. I'm now an Extra Class operator. You can follow some of my ham radio foibles at http://kc9ytj.com.
Here are our cats, Snoopy and Tiggr:
[Tigger at present is much, MUCH larger...as you can see from the "family shot" of the two of them. When I have time I'll update this section of the page.]
(June 2005) Snoopy is eleven years old, Tiggr just turned five. (You can click for a bigger version of the picture.) Tiggr was born on 31 May 2000 and we got him when he was 9 weeks old. Tiggr was literally about the size his head is now when we got him; he weighed 3-1/2 pounds when we first took him to the vet at 10 weeks, and he now weighs 19 pounds (no typo there). Snoopy on the other hand is all fur, and weighs 9 pounds.
(November 2008) Snoopy at 14 now has hyperthyroidism. He nearly starved to death before we realized what was happening, but with medication he's fine now, back to 7 pounds from his nadir weight of 6, and back to running and jumping all over the place.
Tiggr at 8 has bladder stones, but otherwise seems to be getting along OK. If that doesn't continue, it'll be back under the knife for him to get them removed -- something we are really trying to avoid, not because he's run up vet bills in his lifetime totalling well north of $4500 (the money is not an issue), but because we really don't want him cut again unless it's completely unavoidable.
(May 7, 2009) Snoopy at 15 and a few months crossed over the Rainbow Bridge today after a long battle with declining kidney function and hyperthyroidism. He was a lovable little brat and will be sorely missed by Sally and Tiggr and me. I wrote a bit of a eulogy for him at this link.
Tiggr at almost 9 (his birthday is during Memorial Day week) is still hanging in there and doing just fine. I'm convinced that getting into Snoopy's special food (which was specific for his kidney issues) is what got Tiggr into trouble last year. He hasn't had a relapse since we made sure he stayed out of Snoopy's food, and knock on wood, he won't have any more trouble.
There are more kitty pictures here. These still are primarily from mid-2000. However, there are more pictures on the blog, just find the "Cat Blogging" category and page away.
We also keep Reges. For instance here is Fuzzball, my original Rex: He's actually a full Reges Professor of History at the University of Rexengeti, that's why he's reading about American Diplomatic History. *grin* He was kidnapped shortly after his marriage to the fair Juliana by cyberspace pirates, and ended up sold to a Toys 'R' Us in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, where he was ransomed right after Christmas, 1994. His wife Juliana (a Yellow Rex) was discovered in a Toys 'R' Us in Vermont back in February 1996, and his drinking buddy Alexander (a Purple Rex) was found in another Toys 'R' Us in Indianapolis in March 1996.
Here is a family portrait: Alexander, Juliana, and a considerably older and greyer Fuzzball.
Fuzzball is getting grey because he's been on the road a LOT in the past few years with me, driving to Washington DC and startling other people on the road who look over and see him sitting up on top of my cooler in the passenger seat. This is fuel for unending amusement -- on my part. Fuzzball is, by the way, unofficially an honorary member of the Zeta Mu chapter of Alpha Phi Omega (see below). He and I always used to go to APO meetings in Maryland when I lived there and when I travelled back to visit. (This prompted stares on the Metro as well.)
There used to be Rex Pages on the Internet but I have no idea what's happened to them or who is keeping them these days. Fuzzball is Rex #53 and his Big Rex is Eliza, whose number I don't know anymore...
Tau Omicron Chapter
National Alumni Association Charter Sustaining Member
I am a life member of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity.
My home chapter is Tau Omicron, which is located at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. I was not an undergraduate member; I was recruited to be a chapter advisor when I worked for the university, a position I held for nearly 10 years. I also used to serve on the Section 52 staff. I guess now we are Section 31.
And while living in Maryland for a year, I spent time with the Epsilon Mu chapter at the University of Maryland-College Park and the Zeta Mu chapter at The Catholic University of America, while also serving on the Section 84 staff. (Apparently this is now Section 85.)
And in what spare time I have left, I am an adult Scouter in the North Star District, Crossroads of America Council (Indianapolis Metro Area), Boy Scouts of America.
- Alumni Member, North Star District
- Former District Committee Member at Large, North Star District
- Former Unit Commissioner, North Star District
- Former Boy Scout Outdoor Activities Chairman, North Star District (1999-2000)
- Former Scoutmaster, Troop 18, North Star District
- Former Assistant Scoutmaster, Troops 50 and 18, North Star District
- Former Chapter Advisor, Lowaneu Allanque Chapter, Wulakamike (now Jacos Towne) Lodge 21, Order of the Arrow
- Member of the Egalitarian Eagle Patrol, Wood Badge Course C-28W-93 (received my beads in January 1995)
- Vigil Member of the Order of the Arrow (September 1994). My Lenape name is Sachgachtoon Witschindin.
I also have the honour of being a member of the Stratford-Perth Contingent of the Blue Springs Gilwell Reunion (Ontario, Canada) since 1996. Someday I'll get back to Gilwell...
Mostly these days I am just an alumni member of the District Committee who keeps paying dues to support the program. In recent months, since I received my amateur radio license in April 2013, I have started to work with the WD9BSA amateur radio group out at Camp Belzer. The group hopes eventually to sponsor a Venture Crew that will be composed of FCC-licensed youth amateur radio operators who will actually run the radio station.
After getting deeply involved with L-Soft's LISTSERV® product in 1986, so many years ago that I predate the company's existence as a user (yes--this is possible), I decided to join up as a documentor back in 1994 and since then have become a Senior Product Engineer. Other than Eric Thomas himself, I am the most senior employee :)
I own far too many mailing lists and I'm a postmaster on far too many LISTSERV nodes.
And by the way -- they're not "listservs". They're "mailing lists". If you think otherwise, go visit L-Soft's legal page.
I am Past Master of Broad Ripple Lodge No. 643, having served in the chair in 2002 as its 100th Worshipful Master, and was also Secretary there from 2002-2007. It was also my great honor to serve as Secretary of Lodge Vitruvian No. 767 F. & A. M., Indianapolis, IN, USA, from before we began Under Dispensation in 2001 until January 28, 2015, when I finally laid down my crossed quills. (I have since demitted from Lodge Vitruvian.)
I am also a member of the Dwight L. Smith Lodge of Research U.D., Franklin, Indiana, where I was Worshipful Master for two years.Broad Ripple Lodge No. 643 F. & A. M.
Lodge Vitruvian No. 767 F. & A. M. -- an American Lodge in the European Tradition
Dwight L. Smith Lodge of Research U.D., F. & A. M.
Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of Indiana
To be one...ask one.
I joined the Masonic Fraternity in January 1999 and was raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason on March 13, 1999.
I served on the Technology Committee of the Grand Lodge of Indiana until December 2003, and was honored to serve as a member of Grand Lodge in 2000 as proxy for my Worshipful Master (who was also Junior Grand Warden at the time), and again in 2002 as Worshipful Master of my Lodge when Most Worshipful Brother Roger S. VanGorden was installed as Grand Master of Masons in the State of Indiana, and once again as proxy in 2003 as Roger's year came to an end. I am currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Grand Lodge Library and Museum, and a member of the Grand Lodge 200th Anniversary Committee.
Craft Lodge Affiliations
- Broad Ripple Lodge No. 643, F&AM, Indianapolis, Indiana
- Initiated January 1999
- Passed March 1999
- Raised March 1999
- Appointed Junior Steward April 1999
- Junior Warden, 2000
- Senior Warden, 2001
- Master, 2002
- Secretary, 2003-2007
- Lodge Vitruvian No. 767, F&AM, Indianapolis, Indiana (2001-2016)
- Charter Member
- Charter Secretary, 2001-2015
- (Demitted 2016)
- Gen. John A. Logan Lodge No. 575, F&AM, Indianapolis, Indiana (2004-2012)
- Tyler, 2005-2007
- (Demitted 2012)
- Dwight L. Smith Lodge of Research U.D., F&AM, Franklin, Indiana (2004-)
- Junior Warden, 2007-2010
- Worshipful Master, 2010-2012
Indianapolis York Rite Bodies
- Member of:
- Indianapolis Chapter No. 5, Royal Arch Masons (2003)
- Secretary, Sept. 2012 - 2016
- Indianapolis Council No. 2, Cryptic Masons (2003)
- Recorder, Sept. 2012 - 2016
- Grand Council Cryptic Masons of Indiana Recorder of the Year 2015 >>
- Raper Commandery No. 1, Knights Templar (2004)
- Temple Board Representative, 2007-2014
- Recorder, Sept. 2012 - 2016
- Grand Commandery of Indiana Distinguished Service Award, May 1, 2015; presented June 16, 2015
- Indianapolis Chapter No. 5, Royal Arch Masons (2003)
Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction
- Valley of Indianapolis
Since April 28, 2000, member of:
- Adoniram Lodge of Perfection, 14°
- Captain of the Guard, 2006-2007
- Master of Ceremonies, 2007-2008
- Junior Warden, 2008-2009
- Senior Warden, 2009-2010
- Deputy Master and Member of the Executive Committee, 2010-2011
- Thrice-Potent Master and Chairman of the Executive Committee, 2011-2012
- Orator, 2014-2016
- Trustee and Member of the Executive Committee, 2015-2017
- Sariaiah Council Princes of Jerusalem, 16°
- Indianapolis Chapter of Rose Croix, 18°
- Indiana Consistory S.P.R.S., 32°
- Adoniram Lodge of Perfection, 14°
- Elected by the Supreme Council, NMJ, on August 28, 2012 to receive the 33° at Washington, DC, in August 2013
- Coroneted a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33°, Honorary Member of the Supreme Council, 33°, AASR-NMJ, at Washington, DC, on August 20, 2013
Allied Masonic Degrees
- St. Bernard de Clairvaux Council No. 256 (2004; received/invested 2005)
- Sovereign Master, 2013-2014
- Scottish Rite Research Society (2003)
- The Masonic Society (2008)
- Secretary-Treasurer and Founding Fellow
- Treasurer, Indianapolis Masonic Temple Association (2007-2008)
- Secretary, Indianapolis Masonic Temple Association (2008-2014)
- Secretary-Treasurer, Freemasons' Hall, Inc. (2008-2014)
- Member, Cumberland Road Order #122, Grand Order of the Sword of Bunker Hill (2009-)
- Member, Marvin L. Isley College No. 129, York Rite Sovereign College of North America, Shelbyville (2010-)
- Member, St. James Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine, Indianapolis (2011-)
- Life Member, Indiana Council No. 15, Knight Masons, Muncie (2012-)
In addition, I am a member of the Knights of the North, a group dedicated to a return to traditional Masonic practices, and which endorses European Concept lodges or Traditional Observance lodges. Membership in KOTN is by invitation only, and is not limited to members of recognized Masonic groups. The organization is not established along the lines of traditional Masonic appendant bodies such as the York Rite (or Royal Arch), Scottish Rite or the Shriners, but as a loosely governed Masonic think tank. The group sponsors several educational websites, discussion forums and publications, and its members are active in research lodges and Internet Masonry.
Have you heard bad things about Freemasonry?
This site debunks most if not all of the "secret society" nonsense fed to the general public by people who frankly don't have a clue about what they're running down (or if they do, they run it down because they feel they've been slighted in some way by our gentle Craft). Naturally if you have a closed mind and you think Freemasons == Illuminati or that they have some sort of evil plan to join the Trilateral Commission in taking over the world after Y2K [Ed. note: Interestingly, this didn't seem to happen...hmm.], this site probably isn't going to do you a heck of a lot of good. But if you have an open mind and would just like to know the truth, click on the image and check it out.
You can also read John J. Robinson's A Pilgrim's Path: Freemasonry and the Religious Right if you want the truth about how the fundamentalist movement in America regularly attacks Freemasonry. (This is a pretty sad comment on the fundamentalist movement, given that Masons were very deeply involved in the Revolution and the subsequent formation of the American Republic these selfsame fundamentalists claim to love so much.) The book is still in print and available from the usual places, eg, Amazon. If you prefer not to order online, here is the citation:
Robinson, John J. A Pilgrim's Path: Freemasonry and the Religious Right. New York: M. Evans and Company, Inc., 1993. ISBN 0-871-31732-X
It is sometimes more important to think about what you are going to say (and perhaps refrain from saying it) than to say it without thinking about it first. This is particularly important in political speech. Not that our "modern" politicians understand the concept. At any rate that is why this site flies a green ribbon rather than the more commonly-viewed blue one that a lot of techie sites display these days.
Note that the Founders did not intend the First Amendment to mean that you had a God-given right to say anything you wanted without limitation. (Or "express" yourself any way you wanted, which is a completely different misinterpretation.) They meant that you had a God-given right to stand up in the town square and say that the King was a bloody-handed tyrant without worrying about the Redcoats hustling you off to jail. As long as the Republicans are running things, it's unlikely that we'll have to worry about, for instance, Bill Clinton's SS (Secret Service) goons doing that to us anymore. On the other hand, Barack the Messiah has already made noise about a new civilian group that sounds like a bunch of brownshirts to me. History will record if I'm right.
Anyway, most intelligent people today are fairly certain that the Founders did NOT intend to protect profanity, pornography, performance art, or Presidents when they wrote the First Amendment -- much as they did not mean that only the Army could bear weapons when they wrote the Second. Then of course there's the unreasonable search and seizure bit in the Fourth Amendment that OSHA seems recently to have had a hard time understanding...and I won't even start on McCain-Feingold and the danger it poses to our political system.
The problem, of course, is finding these intelligent people :)