A little about me (revised 27 February 2011):

For the curious, here are some links to family pictures.

Here is my Florida Trip Report, from January 2000.

I'm a Software Engineer for a "Large Aerospace Concern", as we say, once McDonnell Douglas, but following one of the endless wave of Aerospace Industry mergers, it is now Boeing. I'm 51 years old, married to the former Mary Ann Davidson, with two children (Melissa, 21, and Geoff, 18). I was born in Naperville, IL, a suburb of Chicago, and attended the University of Illinois in Urbana, IL, receiving a B.S. in Physics in 1981. By that time I had decided that I wasn't really cut out to be a Physics Professor (my original plan), and I took a job with McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company in St. Louis, using my summer work experience as a computer programmer at Argonne and Fermi National Laboratories to wangle a job as a Software Engineer. I assumed that working for an Astronautics company meant I would eventually be working on space projects. (After all, the first astronaut from a commercial concern (Charlie Walker) worked for us, and to this day I work closely with the man who was scheduled to be second. (His flight was scheduled for Summer 1986, six months after Challenger, so never happened.)) However, space work (for me) was not to be (and the company's name has changed several times). I've been programming guidance systems for a variety of projects for my entire 30 years. I am now an Associate Technical Fellow in Software Engineering for the company.

Mary Ann and I were married in 1985, we bought a house in 1987, Melissa Caitlin was born in 1989, and Geoffrey Thomas was born in 1992. We also had a cat (Mickey, since deceased), and a dog (Dipsy, also deceased), both pets acquired on the same day in 1987 that we moved into our house. (We had arranged to take both of them off their previous owners' hands, but had to wait until we were in a house.) We bought a larger house in 1994, and live what might be called typical midwestern suburban lives (assuming there is any such thing.) Two subsequent dogs have passed on, but we do have one dog remaining, Reggie, a blond lab mix (emphasis on the mix), who is five or six years old, and weighs about 50 lbs.

Mary Ann is a Science Coordinator's Assistant for the Webster Groves School District. She's my age and a lifelong St. Louisan. She has a degree in Physical Education from the University of Missouri at St. Louis. She likes softball and volleyball, both of which we play together, and as a spectator is a ferocious ice hockey fan, and generally a fan of most other sports (pro basketball and college football excepted). She is a regular reader, though dare I say not to the degree I am, and is fond of mysteries, in particular those of Anne Perry, Sue Grafton, and Sara Paretsky, as well as such contemporary writers as Jodi Picoult. The only SF/Fantasy books I've had success in introducing to her are rather borderline: Replay by Ken Grimwood, Flying in Place by Susan Palwick, Portrait of Jennie by Robert Nathan, Jasper Fforde's books are the only ones that come to mind. And also Karen Joy Fowler.

Melissa is now a junior at Clemson University in Northeastern South Carolina, about two hours from Atlanta. She is majoring in Early Childhood Education (emphasis on early intervention for special needs kids).

Geoff is now a freshman at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, MO (which is rather to the west, only 50 miles or so from Kansas City). His major is undeclared, though he is leaning towards Political Science or Journalism.

My sister found this page, and twitted me about not mentioning her or my other siblings. There are quite a few. Jim is a computer consultant, and is married to Cheri, and lives in Naperville (our home town) with his children, Alex, Megan, and Carlie. Bill is an architect (or more precisely, a structural engineer), in Indianapolis, IN. His wife is Karen, and they have two children of an age with ours: Claire and Wesley. (Claire is now a junior at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO, while Wes is pursuing a gap year in Chile prior to entering college -- perhaps at Oregon, perhaps USC, perhaps who knows where?) Paul is one of the peripatetic ones, having lived in Detroit, Lansing, Dallas, Santa Barbara, London, England, Rochester, NY, and Rochester Hills, Michigan. He now lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He was a high financial muckety-muck for EDS, which has since been acquired by HP if I recall, and he and his wife Dianne have four boys, Benjamin, Thomas, and a pair of twins, David and Christopher. Ann is my only living sister, and the other peripatetic sibling. She is the only one to have lived in St. Louis besides me, and she has also lived in Kansas City, Chicago, Baltimore, and now she and her husband Marc Lucas live near Atlanta. She has been a pharmaceutical salesperson, and a real estate agent, and now she is raising her girls, Katie, Jennifer, and Madeleine, while she and Marc run a window installation company. My youngest brother is Pat, who is a Production Manager for an electronics company, and lives in the city of Chicago. He is the only one who shares my interest in SF, and we trade recommendations. He's also something of a music geek, and I can never mention a band I've discovered, no matter how obscure, without he recognizes them.

My parents are both mostly retired, and split time between condos near Naperville and in Port Charlotte, Florida. (Though they may well soon sell the Florida condo.) My mother was a schoolteacher, though she worked part time at a bank for many years, and my father worked in Cafeteria Management (and related areas), mostly at Argonne National Laboratory.

I've added a whole page of pictures of me and family members and so on. Some other pictures: fellow SFF-Netter Harold Chester has posted a picture which he took at ConQuest 29, a science fiction convention in Kansas City, in May 1998. Harold's pictures are here. There are some more pictures from ConQuest 30, at Dave Truesdale's page, and elsewhere, too, including Keith Stokes Midwest Fan photo page, which I am too lazy just now to post a link to ....

In addition, there is a picture of the family at the Saint Louis Galleria Web Site, and there is a story to go with the picture. Basically, we won a trip to Universal Studios in Florida, which we took in January 2000. A fairly detailed trip report is here.

I've taken the opportunity to add a couple more pictures to this page. Here are two taken at the Galleria, , and . Click on the small images to see larger ones (the larger files are about 100k).

(And many thanks to Richard and Melisa Michaels for the Thumbnailer program which allowed me to reduce these images.)

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