Hi! This is The Pharaohs!
I'm seated on the hog, second from left. This was taken just prior to our "Last Concert". The photo was an attempt to get on the cover of the California-Nevada Annual Conference Journal. We almost made it, dude.
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My Current Adventure: I've been helping David start up VexStuff.com. We've been playing with Vex Robots, and we've had trouble finding cheap parts for it. Actually, we've had trouble finding a few cheap parts. It's easy to find cheap parts if you can buy 5,000 at once!
So, we decided to buy 5,000 of a few things, and see if we could sell them in small, inexpensive handfuls to other Vex robot creators.
Check out VexStuff.com's $1.79 specials!
I work for Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto. My job title is Telecom Consultant/Engineer, but what I really do is work with a small group of people who together are HP's Network Architecture Team. We are designing the technologies and policies that are fundamental to HP's Adaptive Network Architecture -- the next generation corporate networks for our managed services customers.
We are currently working on a suite of several patents on network architecture, security and anti-virus technologies (biologically inspired immune systems and active counter measures). I'm the sole inventor on two of these patent submissions, and a co-inventor of seven others. I'm also working with HP Labs to include our inventions in some very exciting next generation hardware and software products from HP.
Here you see me with my sleeves rolled up, hard at work.
Winding backward through my previous 20 years at HP, I have been a researcher at HP Labs, in Bristol England, a researcher for an internal IT lab group (ISE), Sr. Security Consultant to internal customers, a leader of the world-wide Security Escalation team, a Business Partner Integration Consultant (responsible for all network connections between HP and other companies), Sr. Internal Auditor with the corporate internal department (with a pretty impressive business card) responsible for reviewing computer and network security for HP sites in North and South America; a Telecom and Security Manager for HP's U.S. Field Operations headquarters; and an application programmer for a corporate group.
Previously I have worked (in reverse order) for:
I am a long time member of the Good Samaritan United Methodist Church in Cupertino, California. I started attending in 1960 at age 2. I became a member in 1972 and have participated in various groups and activities since. I have recently served on the Staff Parish Relations Committee and on the Board of Trustees. The bumper sticker above dates from the early seventies.
Probably the most important part of the church for Joy and me is the YUMMIES. This group of seven couples is a bible study, prayer and fellowship group. The YUMMIES represent Good Sam and Almaden Hills UMC. We now count these people among our closest friends. The love and support we receive from the YUMMIES has made our lives much more enjoyable.
I'm currently trying to start a video ministry at the church. We have lots of interest, and several willing people. What we are short of is money, space and time.
Good Sam had a youth group of well over 300 kids in attendance each week during the time I was in High School. (It was called YF. If you were a YFer, please see the YFers Web Page.) This youth group, under the leadership of Rev. Ernie Bringas, and Camp Celebration, co-directed by Ernie and Rev. Roy Dunn, played an immeasurably important role in helping me define my relationship to the church. If you were ever a part of Good Sam, you might be interested in a presentation my parents and I recently made on the history of our church.
Music has long been very important at Good Sam. I learned to play bass guitar to support the high school choir (Good Sam Singers.) I also sang in various groups, directed and accompanied the singers on piano and acted as tour manager for several state wide concert tours.
Many other groups have come and gone at Good Sam over the years. Three have been good enough to produce and sell records and CDs. Several others attained cassette status. I have been instrumental in providing adequate sound equipment to support these various musical groups which range from guitar and voice to rock band, to 40's style big band, to full symphony orchestra. The picture is an album liner shot from Party of Four, my first recording as a bass player. (I'm on the right -- don't ask about the hair.) You can listen to some of David Wheeler's music if you'd like. He's the one with the bow tie and the beard.
I designed and led the volunteer installation crew for all four of the existing sound systems at Good Sam as well as the Video editing suite, Satellite downlink facility, theatrical lighting system and our new 24 track digital recording studio.
My current, primary volunteer activity at Good Sam is acting as the senior engineer of Sound of Celebration Studios.
The studio's purpose is to support the various musical activities and musicians of the church. A small group of volunteer engineers run the studio at no cost for any church musician or group which would like to record.
The equipment is top rate, the music is fun and the people I work with are all wonderful -- even after take 17 at 3:00 am and she still can't get that interval quite right.
I am delighted to report that JoAnn Avery won third place at a Christian Songwriter's Contest using a demo tape she made in one evening at our studio. Her other two entries which were recorded at a comercial recording studio didn't make the grade. It is not too long a stretch to say that Sound of Celebration Studios is now an award winning studio!
We've become very connected to Bristol England. I was assigned there for 14 months in 2001 and 2002. We packed up the house and moved there for that time. David started school at Horfield Church of England Primary. Elizabeth learned to talk over there -- yes she had a British accent. All four of us became very involved in Horfield Methodist Church. And we all made many wonderful friends whilst there. When it was time to come "home" we found ourselves grieving over the many parts of our lives we had built and grew to love over there.
So, it took us two years, but we engineered a return. In the summer of 2004, we did a house swap with a family who lives just outside of Bristol. We spent 9 weeks in their home while they used our house as a sort of base camp for explorations of nearly all the western US. We believe that we have found a family that is willing to make similar arrangements with us for 2006! Hopefully the exchange rate will be better by then...
I am ever more and more pleased that I was able to marry my best friend, Joy Blaney, and live with her in a lovely home in San Jose, California. Elizabeth was born in 1999. She is a petite delight. David is our first child. You see him below at 11 months scoping the babes at the beach with his dad. Click on David's nose for more pictures of family.
Joy resigned a couple of years ago from her position as a 7th grade science teacher at Sierramont Middle School in east San Jose. Her school is dramatically underfunded, EVEN FOR A CALIFORNIA SCHOOL, and it is a relief to no longer find ourselves giving significant time and financial resources to support her classroom.
We both believe that making public education successful is vitally important to this country and our future. I would encourage you to find ways to support your local public schools.
Joy is also very involved in music. You can listen to her barbershop quartet or order a CD of her barbershop chorus.
We were worried about finding a home for Nikki before David was born. We got our Alaskan Malamute as a four or five year old stray. She had apparently been abused by children, and we could never trust her around a baby. As it turned out, Nikki died while Joy was in her third trimester, and we didn't have to face the decision of what to do with her.
We've since adopted a Golden Retriever. Ginger (named for the puppy fur that was the color of a ginger snap) has wormed her way into our home, our hearts and our pocket book. She takes David's side in most family squabbles and doesn't mind taking the less glamorous roles when David chooses parts in his games. She is also very protective of Elizabeth.
If you know us personally, then you might be interested in our Photo Gallery or Annual Valentine's Day letter.
I have worked very hard, (off and on since 1983) as a volunteer, to computerize the United Methodist Church's General Conference legislative processes. I am the author of the Petition Entry and Tracking System (PETS) which was an integrated set of LAN based modules responsible for being the the authoritative repository for all legislative documents used throughout the conference. PETS was the first and only automation of the conference's legislative activities from 1983 through 2002. Nineteen years and five General Conferences. Not a bad run.
I've got about 3100 volunteer programming hours invested in PETS at present. That is in addition to attending the two week conference each quadrenium and attending an average of four out-of-town meetings each year.
Primarily due to my work on PETS, I was elected onto the Commission on Communication. This is legally the Board of Directors of United Methodist Communications (UMCom). I enjoyed being on the Commission as I got to work directly with some pretty hot television, audio, computer and print media professionals. Perhaps my greatest achievement on the Commission was convincing the other Commission members to put an official UMC presence on the web.
This is the second time I was elected to a Board of Directors. 23 years ago, I served 2 terms as the student representative to the Alaska Methodist University Board of Trustees. (We changed the name to Alaska Pacific University during my tenure.) 17 years later, I was still one of the youngest directors on a board.
A second general conference position I held was a voting member of the Computer Information Standards Committee (CISCo). This group worked hard toward the creation of a private wide-area network to provide information services to all of the general conference board and agencies. My work with CISCo overlapped with the work I do in support of PETS.
The most fun position I have with the General Conference is being a member of the Secretary of the General Conference's Staff. Nearly all of the Secretary's staff are volunteers. It is in this capacity that I served as the acting Petition's Secretary in 1988, was elected the Coordinator of the Calendar in 1992 and became the first General Conference Data Center Manager in 1996. In 2000 I filled the gap between the Petitions' Secretary and the Coordinator of the Calendar by directly supporting the Legislative Committee activities and processes. Actually, I did a heck of a lot more than that. If you are curious about my experience at the conference, you might read the e-mail I wrote to my friends at the conclusion of the conference.
In 2004 the conference had finally replace the PETS system with a commercially produced gadget called CALMS. My role was to act as the first level support for the legislative committees and interface with the CALMS support folks. I think they learned a lot.
I've accepted a titled position for 2008: "Legislative Coordinator". I'm looking forward to having a much more capable CALMS system available to provide smooth and able tracking and support of the legislative process next time around.
While I have a wide range of technical interests, including video editing and production, digital photography sound systems, computers, audio recording, candle making, and networks, I find that my hobbies and recreation have a somewhat technical bent as well.
I enjoy SCUBA diving, cross-country skiing, rock climbing, biking and I'm just getting into G gauge railroading. You might notice that most of these are activities in which you depend on your equipment for continued good health. Perhaps I'm a bit off center, but my most enjoyable recent activities were:
I was for many years the Director of Good Sam Sound and Light Company. This was a group of hale and hearty technical types who would stay up all night installing sound systems in churches on a volunteer basis. Together we installed sound systems in just over one dozen United Methodist Churches. Since then, we all got lives. But I'm still up for a question or two from a church looking for help with sound equipment. My most recent installation was at Horfield Methodist Church in Bristol England. I guess GSSALC is a multi-national now.
The following are my favorites. Today. Well actually, Now. They may not be in a minute or two, but just now, they are.
SRM450 (I've listened to lots of commercial speakers, studio
monitors, audiophile home stereo speakers, etc. The SRM450s are nearly as
good as the best recording studio monitors and blow away anything I've ever
heard in the commercial or hifi area! Plus they can get really, really
loud. And, you don't need a power amp, it's built in!)
Headphones: Sony MDR-7509 (I've mixed music and listened to DVDs on airplanes with them)
Video Editor: Vegas 5.0 (There really isn't any competition)
ISP: Covad.com (3.0 mbit DSL - I'll never go back!)
Text Editor: Textpad (Thank you Susan!)
Garden Railway Motive Power: LGB
Kids Place: Legoland
Book: "Innumeracy" by John Allen Paulos (Read it!)
Current Television Show: "Monarch of the Glen"
Old Television Show: "The Vicar of Dibley"
TV Technology: TIVO - with tivowebplus and tytools
PC Manufacturer: Hewlett-Packard
Computer Game: Empire Deluxe Internet Edition
CD: "Best of the Doobies" (from the same time period as Empire Deluxe)
Comic Strip: "Calvin and Hobbes"
Fast Food: Wendy's double with cheese, no onions, and a small chili
Hand Tools: Klein
Cable TV Company: Direct TV
If you don't know my e-mail, and need to reach me, try "jbrawn" at gmail.com. Please start your email subject with "BS94HL" (in caps, but without the quotation marks.) This triggers a filter that forwards the message to the e-mail address I really use. Otherwise I only check the gmail account when I'm expecting something.