last update: July, 2017

At the risk of tooting my own horn, there are a number of things that I am proud of, including building a house, graduating from graduate school, seeing the United States, becoming a college professor, being a father and a husband, etc.   But the fact is that some of the things I am most proud of are little things that seem trivial in retrospect and yet, mean a lot to me.

When I took the first course in calculus (a good treatise of this subject involves at least two courses, over a period of a year) at the University of Wisconsin many years ago, I scored a 100% on the final exam.   That meant a lot to me at the time and still remains one of my proudest moments.   (I hasten to add that I did not do nearly as well on the final for the second semester course.)

I love to play golf and one of my desired accomplishments was to make at least one eagle. You can see my golf results on a previous page.

I have always loved coins and have engaged in collecting them all of my life. While I have never had any particular goal in mind there, I am proud of my current collection, most of which you can see on other pages on this web site.

I have always loved models, and in particular, I have loved model trains. Once again, you can see pictures of my current layout on other pages on this web site.

I have always wanted to take pictures of the stars.   At one point in my life, this desire took the form of producing a photographic atlas of the heavens.   I no longer wish to create quite so complete a form of astronomical imaging but I am well on the way to succeeding in what I perceive as a notable substitute for this goal:  photographing the most interesting objects in the sky from an urban back yard.   At this time I have finished one of those goals: imaging all of the 110 Messier objects. And I must also say that I am nearly done with photographing what I consider to be the most interesting objects. See the web pages describing my current status in this regard --> astrophotography

I love to play games and always have.   While I cannot claim to be better at it than most of the people I play with and have played with, I am proud of one particular scoring record:  254 straight wins in Free Cell. And this was done years ago when there was NO BACKUP feature in the game. It was not possible to try a move or series of moves to see what would happen and then backup if necessary. Those wins were all done by making moves in pure sequence. I do admit that I spent a lot of time on some games; I remember one of them in particular that required about 45 minutes of my time. I used to think that there were a very small number of games that simply could not be won but I now believe that this is not true. Using one or more of the current games that allow backups, I have succeeded in winning every single one that I have tried playing for a number of years.

image taken summer, 2002, in my office

I built a house once, in Minnetonka, Minnesota, in 1968 and 1969.   It was a Capp Home, where the company provides all of the building materials for the structure, delivered to your site, and framed up on your basement.    I had a contractor dig my basement, put in a well, and hired a plumber to do all of the plumbing.  From there, I put on the shingles, the siding, and the insulation, did all of the wiring, including the service entrance, laid the oak flooring, did all the sheetrocking and painting, installed the trim around the doors and windows, and put in the kitchen cabinets, as well as the bathroom sink and cabinets.    It took me two years of my spare time to finish the house.   But I learned a lot and saved quite a bit of money.