An educator, space physicist, gamer, gambler, and hack photographer.
I teach astronomy and physics at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, KS. Been here since 1993, and its been a great ride so far. I started out teaching physics, but eventually moved to teaching astronomy and now I teach astronomy almost exclusively. The regular exception to my astronomy workload is a course team-teaching math and physics to game developers. As a gamer myself, I have loved developing and teaching this course. Plus it gives me a great reason to go to the Game Developers Conference every spring!
Astronomers look at my research of the solar energetic particles in our heliosphere and claim, "You don't look at other stars, just ours, so you must be a physicist." Meanwhile, physicist look at what I do and claim, "Well, all your work is above our atmosphere. That makes you an astronomer!" So where does that leave those of us who do what's now become known as Space Science? In with the geologists as a part of the American Geophysical Union is where. Kinda messed up, isn't it? Its a blast, though, and I can't imagine any better field in which to work. And work I have! I've been studying our heliosphere at Fundamental Technologies in Lawrence, KS since 1998.
Gamer & Gambler:
I have always loved games and competition ever since learning Scrabble from my crossword-addicted grandmother who seemed to know every word in the English language. She never cut me any slack and because of that I became a better player and learned to be a student of the game. Now whenever I play any game, I treat it like my grandmother taught me to treat Scrabble. I become a student of the game and of the strategies involved. Poker tops my all-time list of favorite games. Skill, chance, drama, conflict, its all there in a game that's simple to learn, but takes a lifetime to master. Simply brilliant!
I've always been interested in photography and was set on being an artist early on, until I discovered the wonders of physics. As a poor college student, I couldn't afford the continual cost of film and development, so unfortunately I drifted away from that hobby. My wife got be back into it a few years ago when we purchased a simple point-n-shoot. I was hooked all over again and now we own our own business, Patterson Prints where my wife sells her fine-arts photography and offers product and property photography services. While I enjoy the fine-art photography, my real passion is motorsports photograph! I currently serve as Chief Photographer for OpenPaddock.net and shoot several IndyCar, ALMS, and Rally America events each year.