Ninja Arborist, Merge-Bot, Data Doctorer, Sourcerer's Apprentice and plugged in to the Connective Unconscious
I was born at St. Patrick's Hospital in Lake Charles, Louisiana (Calcasieu Parish) at 10:20 am on Oct 21, 1959. The name "Calcasieu" comes from the Native American Atakapa language katkosh, for "eagle", and yok, "to cry". My father was an Air Force pilot and was stationed at Lake Charles AFB, later renamed Chennault AFB after Claire Chennault. After about 8 months, the family moved to Michigan as my father was transferred to Selfridge AFB (named after Thomas Selfridge) in Mt. Clemens, near the shores of Lake St. Clair. The family moved to Abilene Texas in 1966 when my father was transferred to Dyess AFB (named after William Dyess). The summer of 1966 was spent in Springerville AZ where my uncle George Proctor worked for the US Forest Service. In 1967, we moved to Tucson AZ while my father was transferred to Phan Rang AB in Vietnam. Tucson is my father's ancestral home and I met my paternal grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins for the first time.
In 1968, we moved to the Philippines when my father was transferred to Clark AFB in Angeles City, PI (named after Harold Melville Clark). I went to 4th-6th grade at Gus Grissom Elementary School. We went on many adventures to Baguio, Hundred Islands, and La Union. I went snorkeling on the coral reefs and this formed my desire to study marine biology. My father was a botanist and I also started learning about botany and poisonous plants. My most intense experience with noxious plants was when I picked the magnificent flowers of the velvet bean or cowitch, Mucuna pruriens. On the way home, I was plagued with the most unbearable itching all over my body. But I could not abandon the flowers as I wanted to show them to Dad.
My father became more involved with flying C-130s in the Vietnam War and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Nevertheless, he was riffed after 17 years in the Air Force and re-enlisted as a sergeant to finish his 20 years. We moved back to Tucson AZ in 1972 and lived on the east side where I attended Sahuaro HS, graduating in 1977. I was on the chess team and the soccer team and also was involved in the ski club. I graduated 4th in my class.
I applied to MIT, Caltech and Harvey Mudd College and was accepted at all three. I decided to go to Mudd (named after Harvey Mudd) because of their emphasis on the humanities. I started as an engineering major but soon switched to chemistry. I graduated in 1981 with distinction with a B.S. in chemistry and a minor in literature. Ray Bradbury was our graduation speaker. Bradbury was my Dad's favorite science fiction author so I invited him to my graduation. He was living in the Philippines at the time. In his last letter to me, he said that he did not want to return to the US for any reason. He died in a bus crash in the Philippines in October 1981.
After graduation, I moved back to Tucson and got a job at the Environmental Research Lab by the airport. It was an aquaculture research facility and I worked in the analytical lab. In Tucson, I hooked up with the ultimate Frisbee team and this became a major part of my life for the next 20 years. I still loved soccer, so I went to Spain in the summer of 1982 to see the world cup. I saw one game live, which was the inaugural match in Barcelona between Belgium and Argentina. Maradona made his debut at 17 but everytime he got the ball, they just fouled him. All the other matches I watched on television while tasting numerous delicious beers in pubs across Europe. In the 2 months I was there, I went to London, Paris, Barcelona, Marbella, Tangier, Madrid, Geneva, Munich, Chur, Locarno and Montreux where I saw the Talking Heads perform at the Montreux New Music Festival. I continued on to Bari, Corfu, Athens, and Crete. One of my most memorable experiences was hiking the Samarian Gorge on Crete and seeing the Labyrinth of Knossos.
I returned to the US and moved to San Diego from Tucson. I was accepted into graduate school at Scripps Institution of Oceanography where I studied Marine Natural Products chemistry. I focused on the secondary metabolites of gorgonians. I went on two research/collecting expeditions to the Bahamas and experienced the best diving I have ever seen. There was one expedition to the Lesser Antilles and we went to St. Thomas, Nevis, St. Kitts, Antique, Guadeloupe and Martinique.
I moved in with some ultimate Frisbee (named after William Russell Frisbie's pie company) players in Solana Beach and we had an amazing party on November 11, 1985, the Entropic New Year Party. After 4 years of research, I became disenchanted with the world of science and quit the program, obtaining an M.S. in oceanography. I quit science and became a drummer. I studied African drumming with Najite Agindotan who was a drummer for Fela Kuti and also his godson. I moved to Hawaii and worked in the biotech industry. I lived briefly at an Anthroposophical commune in Waianae, Hawaii which focused on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner.
I joined the Peace Corps aquaculture program and was posted in Carnot, Central African Republic. I was able to learn the local style of drumming some of which was similar to Congolese drumming but some was very different. I used drumming to promote fish farming and it was very successful. While trying to teach break dancing to the kids, I dislocated my big toe and had to be medivacced back to the US.
I realized I had to make some big changes in my life. I moved back to Hawaii and got a job in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. I was able to use my aquaculture experience and starting working with Cyanotech, a company that grew Spirulina algae for a nutritional supplement. I continued my drumming studies and also explored the beautiful marine environment of the Kona coast, snorkeling, bodyboarding and SCUBA diving. But my mind was growing restless again as I started exploring the world of nutrition and alternative healing. I decided I wanted to study neuroscience so I applied to the University of Hawaii as a graduate student in the Department of Biochemistry. I started there in January 1992.
I studied neuroscience and anthropology and took classes toward certification as a science teacher. I got married in 1994 and my daughter was born in 1995. I realized I needed to get a job to support my family so I graduated from UH with a Master's degree in Biochemistry. I got a job teaching chemistry at James Campbell High School in Ewa Beach, Hawaii.
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