Raised in rural east-central Illinois, I appreciate nature and the environment. I'm a father, grandfather, professional engineer, leader, researcher, coach, scouts leader, stoic, minimalist, costumer, historian, traveler, and writer.
Vision. It's more than simply the ability to view the world through a set of eyes. It is also what you see when your eyes are closed. It's a view not blinded by hype or myth or preconceived notions. It’s the ability to dream, to imagine, and to create.
Quest for Equity
Passion and fulfillment. Two key aspects of life. Each sought along varied paths among a myriad of possibilities. The answers are unique to each individual. Some serve the dual purpose of making a positive impact on society and others simply give the individual a sense of meaning and accomplishment.
Launch from 14C
The basis for this story is this setting from the originators of an xprize contest. "THE ORIGIN STORY: At 4:58am on June 28th, 2017, the passengers on board ANA Flight 008, en route from Tokyo to San Francisco, are cruising at an altitude of 37,000 feet, approximately 1,500 nautical miles off the West Coast of the United States. A small bump, otherwise noted as a barely perceptible bout of turbulence, passes Flight 008 through a temporary wrinkle in the local region of space-time. What these passengers will soon find out as they descend into SFO is that the wrinkle has transported them 20 years in the future, and the year is now 2037."
I was walking along the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River one sunny afternoon and happened to see an old oil lamp half buried in a sand bar. I dug around the lamp and washed most of the river mud and sand off of it in the river. I mused about the possibilities of who had owned the lamp, whether or not it had lit the way for one of my ancestors who had lived in the area, where it had been, and how long it had been lost. It was tarnished and the river had partially sand-blasted it, but it was still a nice relic. I used the sleeve of my shirt to try to remove more of the sand and mud and shine it. The lamp shook and smoked in my hands and the strangest being I'd ever seen appeared before me. The old cuss looked like a cross between a coal miner and a rancher; a mix of the ancestors of us local folk. He wheezed a bit, said "Howdy", tipped his tattered hat, and smiled. He said many people had held that lamp along the river over the years, but only a certain person could release him from the lamp. I asked him what that meant, but he only said, "Though many are capable, truly great things are done by few, stay the course, you will be needed." He turned his eyes to follow a hawk searching the nearby lea for prey and then stooped and drank slowly from the river, as I had done many times. He cleared his throat and spoke again, "Try to think of all the things you want, what you truly feel in your heart and soul, tell me about them, but be brief, for I have not much time to spare here. I shall be free after granting you one wish, but it must be the right one. So, tell me what brings you here."
Grandpa's Old Barn
Grandpa’s Old Barn The old red barn was one of their favorite places to play and explore. Something new surfaced every time they spent an afternoon in the loft. They often found themselves playing pirates or gladiators or jet pilots. Fantasies sparked by the things Grandpa had left behind. Swords, chain mail, armor, and hand-made fighter planes were among the unique curiosities he had amassed during his life. Each item was carefully selected for preservation during his later days when he most tightly embraced minimizing and became one of the new band of stoics. Grandma thought the old barn was weak and dangerous as it leaned a bit east from long winters enduring westerly winds, but she couldn't keep them out of the loft.