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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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 will provide network security for HP's next generation corporate network.
We are currently working on a suite of nine patents on network security. I'm the sole inventor on one, and a co-inventor of five 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 14 years at HP, I have been a 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 busness 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 currently serve 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 eight 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 serving out my last year on the Board of Trustees. Since Elizabeth was born my attendance has been pretty abysmal. Between illnesses and business trips I've only made it to 5 meetings in 13 months! I'm looking forward to taking the parental exemption and not serving on a church board or committee next year.
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.
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 16 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!
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 this year 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. Now, if only we could teach her to change the baby's diapers!
If you know us personally, then you might be interested in our 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 is an integrated set of LAN based modules responsible for being the the authoritative repository for all legislative documents used throughout the conference.
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. 17 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.
While I have a wide range of technical interests, including sound systems, computers, recording, video, 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.
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, audiofile 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)
ISP: Conentric.com (1.1 mbit DSL - I'll never go back!)
Text Editor: Textpad (Thank you Susan!)
Garden Railway Motive Power: LGB
Garden Railway Buildings: K's buildings
Kids Place: Legoland
Book: "Innumeracy" by John Allen Paulos (Read it!)
Current Television Show: "Star Trek Voyager"
PC Manufacturer: Hewlett-Packard
Home Computer Furniture: Techline
Computer Game: Empire Deluxe
CD: "Best of the Doobies" (from the same time period as Empire Deluxe)
CD Player: Tascam CD-401 (if it doesn't have balanced outs, forget it)
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
I can be reached at John_Brawn@hp.com on a nearly daily basis (conferences excluded). Personal messages which are not time critical can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.