Centennial Broncos

Graduated 1980 from Centennial Public High School in Utica Nebraska with average grades and a well above average IQ.

I do not hold a degree in anything. My parents could not afford it, I could not afford it and in 1980, they did not just hand you a 30k student loan because you wanted one or felt entitled.

In retrospect, it is doubtful I would have attended college even had I been able to afford it. Being anxious to get into the workforce, I moved away from home half way through my senior year and had a full time job at a seed corn research company as well as a part time job as a machinist. Occasionally I ponder "what if" but then I usually consider myself fortunate that I did not mortgage myself for the indoctrination so prevalent within academia.

  Today I am a Ham

I'd like to say that I am self taught but that would be neither accurate nor fair. I am a knowledge sponge and have had the opportunity to learn from and work with many brilliant people throughout my life.

In 7th grade, a book about amateur radio (Today I am a Ham) peaked my interest. After exhausting all the ARRL books in the library, I sought out an old ham at the local radio club. He taught me morse code, radio theory and how to build my own equipment. Within a year, I passed the FCC exam for my license and had my own station, WN0RBQ.

That's how I obtain knowledge, through research and real time practice. Little has changed in that respect over the last forty seven years.


AutoCADMy first drafting experience was at a young age on my fathers drafting board. While under his critical eye, I designed my first firearm, a single shot, .22 cal. rolling block pistol. After which, I built that firearm in the shop. By high school mechanical drafting class many years later, I could have taught the course.

AutoCAD was a welcome and natural transition from the drafting machine and board in 1984. Version 2.17b did not yet have the trim or extend command and on an IBM 8088 machine, you could get a cup of coffee in the time a screen regen took. None the less, it was obviously the most powerful tool to hit drafting since the eraser and I never looked back. Since then, I have used every version to the current release, for over twenty years it was on a daily basis. With countless hours of experience, AutoCAD was a valuable tool to convey my ideas but I find myself using it very infrequently these days. 3D tools have advanced to the point where 2D is nearly obsolete although there are still some tasks that can be done more efficiently that way. Additionally, many customers still use it so if nothing else, it is a good platform for sharing drawings.

In 2006 I began using Inventor 8 to enhance design tasks in 3D and enjoyed it immensely. I learned Inventor the same way I learned AutoCAD... through the tutorials, books and most of all, by using it daily. I left Inventor at version 10, went to Solidworks 12 and used it up to version 18. Pro Systems (Lincoln Electric Automation) had me back on Inventor which is what I currently use daily although I am told that soon we are switching to Solidworks. Both are fine with me, they each have their own little quirks, pros and cons but I can be efficient using either one. I've had the opportunity to sample other 3D platforms over the years and have found all of them similar enough to learn quickly with the exception of Pro Engineer which seemed counter intuitive. I am confident that I could adapt to other 3D CAD programs with ease.