Hello!! Welcome to Don's life!

I was born in Western Kansas where I was raised on a family farm. I'm in the middle of 6 kids. The days were sometimes long but I could not imagine growing up any other way - the freedom and the clarity of life. 

My parents house.

After high school I attended Kansas State University where the small town kid was exposed to the large campus of a state university. I grew both in knowledge and personality. I graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and went to work for Boeing Military Airplane. It quickly became apparent I was in the wrong job so back to K-State to I pick up a masters in Mechanical Engineering. I think I learned more in those two years then all of the previous years at school! On to Michigan to start work for Dow Corning Corp. After four years working in Michigan at a variety of places, I transferred to a project team based in Portsmouth, England. I lived for six years in Portsmouth where I enjoy the sailing and life on the Atlantic. After completing the construction of a plant in South Wales I took a leave of absence and went backpacking through Asia (Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Tibet, and China. I then boarded a plane back to Midland, Michigan to restart work with Dow Corning.  After some struggles with job direction I took a job with Sequencia Corp. in Cincinnati, Ohio.  After 2 years there, the company sold it's software and services division to Rockwell Automation.  I was now working in a huge company again!

I specialize in Batch Automation (to control kettles that make material in the chemical pharmaceutical industries, and food and beverage industries).  I also work in the field of integrating ERP systems to the Plant Floor.  The common integration involves SAP - PPPI passing business requirements through BatchERP where a batch is put on the batch list of an RSBatch Server (formerly OpenBatch).  The batch is then processed using a control system such as a DCS or a PLC.  The production information is then sent up to SAP.  The suite of products used to do the integration is Rockwell's RSBizware suite.  A couple of the key standards to get the job done is S88 and S95 standards from ISA.  The standards provide naming, data and structure for the batch and business integration.

What do I enjoy in life?  What would life be without racing a yacht? I'm not doing as much sailing as when I lived in England, but some time on the great lakes and some time in other places of the world playing on yachts when I can.

I also enjoy mountain biking.  This is my Specialized mountain bike, a big step forward in technology from the Trek I had sold before leaving England. But I have also discovered a big step forward in trail difficulty.

I bought a house.  It needs work in quite a few places, but it is a sound building.

with a flowering hibiscus bush

The living room.

The house has 2 upstairs rooms.  Classic to this style and period of house.


I've been working on the house.  Here are a couple of the recent projects:

First, a small retaining wall in front.  I ripped out the old bushes.  I just need to get plants in the beds now.

I've started a patio.  First, dig a 14x14 pit.

buy 3 cubic yards of crushed limestone (thatss 6 tons)

move it into the pit you dug.

that's all the further I am.  Now, cover the limestone with 1 inch of sand the place the bricks and compact into place.

next, a 1 inch layer of sand, wetted, lightly packed.  

You use wood or 1" electrical conduit to get the 1", using a 2x4 to scrape it level. 

This phase determines the final levelness of the bricks and is quite important.

I start laying bricks.  It's the basket weaver pattern, 2 horizontal, 2 vertical, 2 horizontal, etc. It should mean I won't be cutting any bricks.

1/3 of the way through.

2/3 of the way.

and the final patio, with table, umbrella and chairs!

Summer 2003 - The landscaping is starting to pay off.

I have a bush in full bloom (above on the left side, flowers below).

Summer 2004 - I added a walkway onto my patio.

that's all!