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Occasionally people will introduce me as one who raises horses - a misleading introduction. I counter with the claim that I have raised two daughters, they raise the horses. And with that disclaimer I will stray from the rancher scenario that these pages generate and share with you, instead, a self-biased look at this irascible old codger. But before I take on that chore allow me to introduce Kile, the older sibling in the family. He carries the culture burden for the family and is a city dweller. He is a space physicist and until recently he was associated with the Applied Physics Lab of Johns Hopkins University. You can view something of his work while he was there by checking the Super-Darn web site. With a career change, you will now find him with the National Science Foundation where he is the Director of the Magnetospherics Program.  To get a private glimpse at him you may want to visit his personal web site.

So if not a rancher, what do I do? Well, I am nominally retired but prior to this year I managed to stay busy dabbling with my first professional love, teaching.  That involvement was with the Montana Science Institute where I had an opportunity to help field some of their programs where my past experience in chemistry could be used to some advantage.  MSI, as such, has now become the Montana Learning Center (MLC) along with a change of emphasis.  I will miss the close association that I enjoyed with MSI but will remain in contact with the new directors and I encourage one and all to get acquainted with the mission of this new venture.  So it is that the ten years with MSI becomes an added footnote to "Experience" that encompasses some forty years in the ranks - twenty years in the Department of Chemistry (joint appointment with the Agricultural Experiment Station) at Montana State University, MSU, followed by twenty years with the Department of Chemistry at the University of Central Florida, UCF.  "Retirement" came along with a return to Montana in 1988.  So be it -- having written this just as 2005 is about to dawn, you now have a "detailed account" of the last sixty years of my life -- which no doubt brings you to the reasonable assertion, "Who cares?"

In the unlikely event that somebody does, let me add that I am available (perhaps the word is, anxious) to share the expertise that those years have generated as a consultant for problems associated with the teaching of chemistry, understanding some of the ramifications of environmental chemistry, or dealing with industrial situations requiring some chemical acumen.

A growing post-retirement interest has been a perusal of the history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. I have, in the course of that study developed several presentations suited to audiences with a shared interest.  Elderhostels, L&C Heritage Trail Chapters, and history buffs in general seem to have found the programs acceptable.  Recently, the history of David Thompson has also captured my interest and I am now anxious to share this enthusiasm with others of a like mind. Should you care to touch base on either a professional level about chemistry or for just a quizzical look at Lewis and Clark and/or David Thompson as seen through the eyes of a curious layman, email provides a ready contact. oldbake@mirrorkbranch.com

Lest you think this brief expose' too stuffy, let me quote from a former professor of mine (Dr. Jimmy Pepper), "Those things that we don't understand we sit around and explain to one another .......... but be sure to call it research!"

Finally, some links that I have found useful in furthering my interests:

Chemistry:
Journal of Chem Educ. | ChemCenter

Montana & Library Resources:
State of Montana | Museum of the Rockies
MSU Library | Lincoln County Library

Lewis & Clark:
L&C Heritage | L&C Corps of Discovery | L&C Discovering
L&C Archives | L&C Gates of Mountains





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