The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson

Containing His Articles, Observations, Thoughts, Meanderings,
and some would say Wisdom (and some would say not).

Who Am I?

I am an overweight, out-of-shape, newly minted senior citizen. I am a heterosexual male, married, and father of one adult daughter. I am of European descent (mostly Scottish, English, German, and some Eastern European), but most importantly I am a Human Being (this is what I put on all forms that require I state my race).

As a human being, I have intelligence and can think and learn from knowledge, experience, and education. I attempt to keep my mind active and engaged and learn and think about the world around me. I have interests and hobbies (mostly classical, popular, and rock-n-roll music, movies, historical America, and the history of the physical sciences, as well as astrophysics & quantum mechanics).
I was born (on the Ides of May - 1952) and raised in Philadelphia, PA. I spent my entire adult life in the northern suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. I attended the Thomas Holme Elementary school, and Abraham Lincoln High School of Philadelphia, PA, and I have some undergraduate credits at the University of Pennsylvania. I was an average to a poor student in elementary and high school, as I was unmotivated, of poor eyesight (which was not discovered until I was in High School), and I believe I am slightly dyslectic. Not until I entered the real world (having a job) did I become interested in learning, which I then took up with great enthusiasm.

My career has been almost entirely in the Information technology field. I started out as a Computer Operator on mainframe (big iron) computers, became a Software Configuration Manager, a Computer Programmer, a Computer Systems Designer, then a Computer Systems Project Leader. From there I became a Lead Computer Systems Engineer, A Chief Engineer, a Proposal Manager, and a Program Manager as a contractor on classified U.S. Government contracts. I then became an independent Computer Consultant for small businesses, the self-employed, and families in my local residential area. During this time I have worked on Mainframe, Mini, Workstation, and Microcomputers. I am or have been, very knowledgeable on several computer programming languages, database systems, and data communication systems, as well as various commercial computer applications (such as Microsoft Office, Quickbooks, Goldmine, etc.). I have taken brief respites (for fun or sanity purposes) as a Travelling Science Show Instructor for the Franklin Institute during the Bicentennial school year and as a Pet Sitter.

I started my adult life being highly introverted and technically oriented. I have since learned to become more extroverted and people oriented. Most people who know me now would have no idea that I was such in my earlier years, and do not suspect that I am still introverted, as I make extensive efforts to be more extroverted when I am with other people. I am considered by my friends, acquaintances, and associates (clients) to be easy going, humorous, and a nice decent person.

I have traveled somewhat (mostly business) and have spent several months in Sunnyvale, CA, and weeks at a time in Northern Germany, Southern England, and Washington, D.C. I have also spent many days at a time in Dallas, TX and Denver, CO, as well as a few days in numerous other US cities. My vacations have been spent in Bermuda (honeymoon), Cancun Mexico, central California, and my mother's homestead in Northern Minnesota. My other vacation places have been at various places in the Northeastern USA from Maine to Virginia.

I was born with, and still have, a minor heart murmur that is getting progressively worse (now it is Bilateral Bundle Branch Block), and I have absolutely no arches on my feet (every doctor who has examined my feet has commented on this). I have had my tonsils and appendix removed, my nasal passages cleaned out twice, and my deviated septum repaired. I have had very poor eyesight since childhood, have a progressive hearing loss due to my occupation, and not much of a sense of smell. I had ulcers in my early adulthood (mainly due to work-related stress), and I continue to suffer from hyperacidity of my stomach) I suffer from sleep apnea, lower back pains from ligament damage, and occasionally upper back pains from a case of whiplash I suffered in an automobile accident. I also suffer from wrist, elbow and shoulder pains (tendinitis) when I am extensively utilizing a computer. I have high cholesterol and am borderline diabetic.  I had my Droopy Eyes (Ptosis) repaired when I was sixty, and have recently had cataract and eye lens replacement surgery. I regularly have upper respiratory infections, but I fortunately never had any broken bones or serious injuries in my life. Mostly, all of these conditions could be improved if I exercised regularly and had a better diet. But being busy, lazy, and unmotivated I do none of these things.

People who know me claim that I have a good sense of humor, but a very poor joke teller. I do, however, have the ability to tell stories from my own life, and well as historical and scientific stories, and as such, they regard me as a good storyteller. I have tried to live a legal, moral, and ethical life, and honesty and integrity are very important to me in my dealings with myself and others (in other words I am a straight-shooter).

In other words, I am much like most other Americans, and there is nothing special about me, other than I think a lot. I have often said that English is my second language, while thinking is my first language. Those that know me, and my writing, know that my second language (English) can be very poor in both spelling and grammar (thank God for computer spell checkers, thesaurus, and grammar checks), and I struggle to write anything. I am a very organized and logical person, and I attempt to keep my writing organized and logical. I attempt to write clearly, concisely, completely, confidently, and understandably. As such, I hope that these articles are readable to all with a high school education.