About Me

Contemplating my future.

I was born early in the decade of the 60s. It was the age of Camelot and the space race to the moon. It was the time of the construction of the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs Invasion.  It was a time of great rock’n’roll music, of the Beatles and the British musical invasion.  A time of painful assassinations of President Kennedy, of RFK and of civil rights leader MLK.  The time of the social revolution and achievements like the Civil Rights Act.  In China, it was the time of start of the Cultural Revolution.  A time of the Vietnam War and the Six Days War. A time of colorful silk shirts and wide bell-bottom pants, long haired hippies, and peace and love.  And on July 20, 1969, when I was nine, I watched on a small black and white TV set as Apollo 11’s Eagle landed in the Sea of Tranquility and the first man walked on the moon.

I’m the first kid on the left in the first row.

A Hoosier, I was born and raised in Anderson, Indiana. Indiana, the land of corn fields and the home of the Indianapolis 500.  Basketball is big in Indiana, very big.  They call it Hoosier Hysteria. Anderson is the home of the Anderson High School Wigwam basketball gym. At the time the second largest high school gym in the United States. So, of course, basketball is in my blood. I attended 10th Street Elementary where I made passing grades and played basketball, but not very good basketball. If memory serves, we lost nearly all of our games when I was in 6th grade. I remember playing against one school in particular, they were in white and green uniforms, I think 7th Street was the name.  They were all like a foot taller than us, so much more athletic and graceful on the court.  I just wanted to stand there in awe.  They wiped us off the court.  I still remember that feeling of awe, though. Next, I attended South Side Junior High. There, I gave up on embarrassing myself in sports and instead focused all my energies on my studies. That worked out better and I made all A’s for three years, before moving on to Madison Heights High School and trying to coast to a diploma.

That’s me after being selected to go to Hoosier Boys State sponsored by the American Legion.

If you were at MHHS, do you remember a stack of books walking down the hallway with a skinny beanpole of a kid behind them, wearing thick glasses? That was probably me. You may not remember me, I was basically just a quiet geek. I would have been a computer nerd, if we had personal computers in those days. I took a lot of Honors courses, but I wasn’t involved in any more athletics and only a few extracurricular activities/clubs. One of my favorite High School activities was watching MHHS basketball games and then going out for pizza afterwards with a few friends. I was always very shy around girls, so I didn’t date or attend any dances or proms.

Me with my sisters.

I came from a middle class family. I grew up with two sisters that I love dearly, one older and one younger. I’m not sure how they got stuck with a geek like me for a brother. My older sister was very important when I was young since she translated for me so that my parents could understand what I was saying. I guess I was speaking my own language. I had to take special speech classes in Elementary School for years to overcome my speech issues. My younger sister probably still gets an allergic reaction to the sight of Hot Wheels after I forced her to play cars with me for hours without end. My dad worked hard on multiple jobs to take care of the family, but his main job was at Delco Remy where he was an inventor/Engineer responsible for many patents. My mom mostly stayed home when we were young but started working some as we got older. I remember she got a job at Dunkin’ Donuts for awhile and would bring home donuts all the time. That’s the kind of job a kid likes.

Me and my Chevy Nova.

After High School graduation, I attended Purdue for a couple of years studying Engineering and Physics. After my first year, I got a co-op job in Oak Ridge TN working for the contractor (at that time Union Carbide Nuclear Division) operating the K-25 Department of Energy (DOE) facility. My co-op job was really a great learning experience.  I was part of a small research team working on Molecular Laser Isotope Separation (MLIS) experiments and spent most of my time learning about computers and instrumentation and control.  I then transfered to Indiana State to study Computer Science and earned a BS Cum Laude in 1984. Since college, I have worked at the K-25 and Y-12 DOE facilities (operated by Martin Marietta Energy Systems and later Lockheed Martin Energy Systems) in Oak Ridge, TN , and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) DOE facility (operated by University of California) in Livermore, CA.

At 29, still basically a shy geek, I somehow got lucky and got married to a fellow Hoosier, five years younger. My wife had graduated from Ball State and moved down to Knoxville TN looking for a teaching job. We were introduced by my grandmother who knew her grandmother living up in Elwood, IN. We have two wonderful children, a boy Jon and a girl Keri, that really give my life meaning. Not that my life is all a storybook or anything. My wife and daughter both suffer from bipolar disorder which has been a real hardship for them and for the family, at times.

PEREGRINE Team. I’m second in the back row.

Although I never had any confidence around girls, I’ve always had confidence working with computers. Over the years, I have worked on software development in many different specializations, including concurrent and multi-threaded programming, networking and distributed programming, scientific modeling, real-time controls, and database modeling. Perhaps my favorite project was working as lead software analyst for the team that designed the PEREGRINE 3D Monte Carlo radiation therapy treatment planning software, a technology that won a 1999 R&D 100 Award.

At present, I’m a computer scientist at LLNL (now operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC) working on the Laser Performance Operations Model, a high performance cluster used to determine how to optimally setup the 192 Lasers of the National Ignition Facility to match the goals of any experiment and to verify the operation of the Lasers. In my evenings, I’ve been uploading poetry and songs that I wrote back in college to this blog.I love science fiction, power pop music, beautiful women, computers, technology and gadgets. My latest favorite gadget is my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone running Android OS.

I was too busy for a mid-life crisis, so I reserve the right to act silly sometime in the future.

  1. #1 by Mars on April 26, 2012 - 1:14 pm

    Hello dear, I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. I hope you can check this link out when you get the luxury of time (http://hereismars.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/making-milestones-memorable/) I wish you more joy and success! Hugs from this side of the world 🙂

    • #2 by RKHouse on April 27, 2012 - 5:40 am

      Thank you. It is amazing how blogging can enable us to share our thoughts with people around the globe. And thanks for the hugs. Hugs are one of my favorite things in life.

  2. #3 by Susan Garren on April 28, 2012 - 4:32 am

    Hi, I enjoyed your writings. I had a good laugh about the lovebug136 – that is how I found your blog. Good luck to you!

    • #4 by RKHouse on April 28, 2012 - 8:17 am

      Thank you. The love bug post is my most searched for and most read post. That silly little critter just keeps periodically sending out those ecards.

  3. #5 by trafalmadorian on June 30, 2012 - 7:18 pm

    I really enjoy browsing your blog. Looking forward to reading more.

    • #6 by RKHouse on June 30, 2012 - 11:57 pm

      Thank you. I appreciate the feedback. I think everyone that comments is so open and brave. It is so much easier and safer to never venture beyond the like button. I have to admit that I’m not a very good commenter, myself, I’m always afraid that I will say something embarrassing or stupid. I’m such a wuss, it really scares me that I can’t go back and correct or delete something in a comment like I can with all the words in my blog.

  4. #7 by Caddo Veil on August 8, 2012 - 1:32 am

    I really love the line, “I was too busy for a mid-life crisis…..” As I had not much of a childhood/teen years, I am busily being silly whenever I’m not sharing my faith, poetry, and encouragement. And actually, I manage to be silly a lot, even then. I got over the “fear of commenting” pretty quickly–the more you learn to accept and love yourself, the less you care if you say something stupid or embarrassing. We are not little gods here, just people connecting for a bit. God bless you.

    • #8 by RKHouse on August 11, 2012 - 7:53 am

      Thank you for commenting and sharing. You brought a smile to my face.

  5. #9 by yazrooney on August 9, 2012 - 11:34 am

    I love your open introduction. I love to know who I’m communicating with! I had to look up ‘Hoosier’ though. Your site looks interesting. I intend to have a good look around. Lots of love, and hugs (since you say you like them!)

    • #10 by RKHouse on August 11, 2012 - 8:05 am

      Yes, I love hugs. Thanks! I’ve added a link for “Hoosier” so future readers can look it up easy.

      I had started writing a little biographical story on a site for connecting up with old class mates. It started out as a short paragraph or two, but I kept going back and adding a little more over time. Then when I started this blog, it occurred to me that I could put the story here and continue to expand and work on it and add pictures. I didn’t notice until later that it doesn’t seem like a lot of bloggers include a biography.

  6. #11 by oceanview03 on August 16, 2012 - 8:11 am

    I enjoyed reading your bio, it is really interesting. You seemed like a person who really do
    know what life is all about, and that is a good quality, you lived through the good and bad times
    and the present time and those past times were great times it seems in your life, believe it or not
    I remember those bell-bottom days.(smile) I will read more of your blogs , keep writing.

    • #12 by RKHouse on September 16, 2012 - 7:55 am

      Thank you. Yes, lots of good and bad times. I have much to be thankful for in my life.

  7. #13 by yepiratemanaguagunn on August 25, 2012 - 11:14 am

    Outstanding write-up! Really is.

    • #14 by RKHouse on September 16, 2012 - 8:08 am

      Thank you. Very kind of you to say that.

  8. #15 by gladiuspoeticus on September 11, 2012 - 5:43 pm

    I have nominated you for the Silver Quill Blogger Award. I hope you like it. http://gladiuspoeticus.wordpress.com/silver-quill-blogger-award/

    • #16 by RKHouse on September 12, 2012 - 9:35 am

      Thank you, I am very honored.

  9. #18 by Yahobahne on February 21, 2013 - 5:12 pm

    Wow, you have a very extensive life at such a young age. And your knowledge of computers… is amazing. Great story.

    • #19 by Ronald Kirk House on February 24, 2013 - 1:54 pm

      Thank you. I do love computer software. I’ve been very lucky that I love what I do for a living, I think. 🙂

  10. #20 by tonyprance on November 22, 2014 - 3:20 pm

    hello I like your site …so much to read….and thank you for visiting me…I don’t really understand too much about blogging, ( probably an age thing) I admire you folks who can make it all work so well , I like your writings…it is a cathartic experience to present it to the ether isn’t it? …thanks again…be well ..Tony.

  11. #21 by AnElephantCant on August 31, 2015 - 1:24 am

    AnElephantCant help thinking
    This is some crazy stuff you have created
    You may be slightly mad
    But please don’t be sad
    AnElephant thinks sanity is vastly overrated

  12. #22 by bardessdmdenton on January 3, 2016 - 12:33 pm

    Thank you for your recent visit to my blog. Wishing you and yours all the best for 2016! Diane

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