What I like
An interest in Severe Weather grew since I moved to Oklahoma. I don’t think you can live here and not be interested in severe weather – it impacts your life throughout the year.
I trained as a severe weather spotter and I actively monitor, track, spot and chase severe weather.
I love science. Primarily chemistry and physics. I don’t claim to have a great understanding of either, but I am on a constant learning curve.
Electronics has always been a love of mine, for as long as I can remember. I learned by disassembling almost everything my parents ever bought for me. My grandfather is responsible for putting a soldering iron in my hands before I was a teenager. He used to take the back off his old TV and vacuum it, along with the carpet as part of housework.
have always been in my life also. I started out with a Sinclair ZX Spectrum, and learned to program on it using its built-in basic interpreter.
From there I moved onto early PC‘s (8086 and 80286 based machines) and then onto the Atari ST, where I ran a BBS, got into networking on Fidonet and eventually realised the internet was taking over.
Before too long I was back into the PC realm, around the time when the first Intel Pentium processors came onto the market. I’ve been with the humble PC ever since, constantly upgrading and building new systems.
I can’t ever say that I live on the bleeding edge when it comes to PC specifications, since I can’t justify that amount of capital, but I don’t do too badly! The image on the right does require updating. More powerful graphics card and power supply were added.
Web design and programming are also things I like to keep my hand in. I am fairly proficient with HTML, PHP and MySQL.
I am a licensed Amateur Radio operator, General Class. I currently only get on 2m and 70cm bands, mobile. I am working on getting a home system up and running for 2m and 70cm, with an HF system to follow that. My callsign is N5GOR. Before that, I was K5GWH and before that I was KF5KWS.
I made a 144-148MHz and 420-450MHz dual-band dipole antenna out of some metal antenna rod (non-hardened) that I got from K&E Electronics in Oklahoma City. It is currently working wonders for me at home in my attic.
Trained Severe Weather Spotter, via the National Weather Service Skywarn program.
Trained Severe Weather Spotter, via the Spotter Network.
Volunteer for Oklahoma ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes.
Member of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).
I am a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and within that organization I am a member of the Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S).
I have played drums since 1988.
I am a complete music snob. I like everything from Classical and Blues through to Industrial and Metal. If it is good, I will appreciate it.
Music/Bands/Artists I like:
Soul Craft Black, Combichrist, Mr. Bungle, Ozric Tentacles, Prong, Poe, Levellers, Textures, Echofist, xotox, iVardensphere, Gary Numan, Massiv in Mensch, Euclid Crash, They Stay Dead, Ugly Seed, Acid Reign, Prodigy, Anthrax, Ministry, EVERYBODY PANIC!, Volbeat, Les Claypool, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Big Country, New Order, The Mission, Tool, Slayer, Primus, A lot of good 80′s Music, The Haunted, Weezer, Sublime, Pantera, No Doubt, Loreena McKennitt, Flaw, Chevelle, Nothingface, White Zombie, Sisters of Mercy, In Flames, Sepultura, Slipknot, Mike Patton, PIXIES, Asian Dub Foundation, Killswitch Engage, Xentrix, Machine Head, Soundisciples, Coal Chamber, DevilDriver, L7, Babes Toyland, Dry Kill Logic, Chemical Brothers, Die Krupps, Clawfinger, Static-X, Blotted Science, Periphery, Bulb, Fear Factory, Korn, Faithless, Faith No More, The Cult, Therapy?, Senser, Alkaline Trio, Rammstein, Ultraspank, Depeche Mode, Testament, Lacuna Coil, Elastica, Paradise Lost…. and much much more.
American Muscle Cars
I sometimes feel like I grew up in the wrong place. My memories of my Dad (who unfortunately died young) are of cars, engines, country music (Bellamy Brothers, Dolly Parton, John Denver, etc) driving big machinery and big trucks. My formative years in the UK were in the late 1970′s and early 1980′s, when you still got V6 and V8 cars in the UK… even some V10 and V12′s like Jaguar XJ12′s and the like. When those cars disappeared from the UK because of gas (petrol!) prices and other things, I could still find nice big engine’d cars on the TV in American movies and TV shows.
Fast forward 20-something years and when I moved to the US, I could get a lot closer to these cars I’d seen on TV.
I slowly graduated up the engine chain here, having 2.4L, 3.0L, 3.4L V6′s. Then I wanted a big rumbling V8, so I bought a pickup truck. That was practical, but also had a fun side. I bought a Hypertech Power Programmer for it, which allowed me to remove the top speed limiter, change the transmission shift points and shift firmness, the RPM redline limiter, etc, etc… This was great for a while, but I wanted more. I bought a new engine PCM computer (Powertrain Control Module) and a racing tune from Wheatley Performance Tuning in Houston, TX. This opened up a whole new side to the truck and I kept it that way until I sold it.
I was ready for my first real muscle car, and with the recent resurgence of big engine’d muscle cars in the US, I did some research on the Dodge Charger SRT8, Dodge Challenger SRT8, Chevrolet Camaro SS and Ford Mustang GT. The 2011 re-vamp of the iconic Ford Mustang was what I went for. This updated version of the ‘Stang GT included the 5.0L engine with Variable Independent Cam Timing and pretty much matches the performance of a BMW M3 on a track. Sure the live rear axle stays, but Ford have managed to make it work. Plus, it “keeps it real” as far as muscle car heritage goes. The combination of American muscle and European handling was hard to beat. The test drive won me over.