I was born February 16, 1949 (at 5:20 p.m.). I grew up in Haney (now Maple Ridge), B.C., graduated from high school in 1966 and the University of British Columbia in 1970. While at U.B.C., I was music critic for the student newspaper The Ubyssey for two years and also edited The Fort Camp News, the newspaper at my student residence. From 1969 to 1976, I wrote numerous freelance articles and reviews of classical and pop music, theatre and films for The Vancouver Province, one of the city's two daily newspapers.
From December 1970 to January 1972, I did typesetting and pasteup at Vancouver's notorious underground newspaper (now an entertainment weekly) The Georgia Straight and also contributed regular articles on classical and pop music. From January 1972 to August 1972, I worked at The Grape, a newspaper staffed by people formerly from The Georgia Straight who left the latter after a dispute with the publisher.
From September 1972 to August 1973, I was in Japan, where I worked as a proofreader on The Mainichi Daily News in Tokyo (the English language version of one of the city's largest newspapers). I also wrote reviews of classical music and articles on stereo technology, and found time to travel to Hiroshima, Kyoto and even took a brief trip to South Korea.
In the mid-1970's, I hosted a weekly radio show on Vancouver Co-op Radio called "Mostly Modern Music". The theme song for this show, which featured unusual twentieth-century repertoire, among other things, was the title tune from Frank Zappa's album "Uncle Meat".
From August 1983 to April 1986, I edited and published The Commodore Computer Club News, a tabloid newspaper with a circulation of over 1,000 copies, which was typeset with my Commodore 64 and a pretty primitive Star Gemini dot-matrix printer.
Other publications I have contributed to include Terminal City Express, Poppin, Soundtrack Collectors' Newsletter, Wine Press, Performance, Afterthoughts, Kastlemusik Exchange, Pro Music Sana (the journal of the Miklós Rózsa Society) and The Music Scene. I have had articles and reviews of computer software published in Compute's Gazette, Run, TPUG Magazine, Transactor and Input.
In the "real world" from 1973 to 1994, I worked for several printing companies in the Vancouver area, using a wide variety of equipment ranging from Friden Justawriters, which used punched tape, to desktop publishing applications and proprietary systems made by Compugraphic, Quadex and Bowne Financial Printers. Among my major responsibilities, for three and a half years I was the person primarily responsible for typesetting all the flyers for Woodward's, a large B.C. department store chain.
Because two of the printing jobs where I was working got taken over or absorbed by "large eastern companies" and I got laid off, I started working at MindLink!, a large Internet provider in the Vancouver area in 1995. Ironically, soon after this, MindLink! was taken over by a "large eastern company," Istar Internet, and I was laid off again. I then went to work for another Vancouver Internet company for about a year and a half, and eventually returned to Paralynx Internet (later Parasun Technologies), a local Internet provider staffed by many former MindLink! employees. I worked at different iterations of this company in a variety of positions (technical support, customer service, shipping and quality assurance testing) for several years. And guess what ... eventually it was taken over by another "large eastern (and this time American) company" and I was laid off again.
I've been interested in classical music ever since age 6, when I began piano studies which continued for about 8 years. I've written a couple of dozen piano pieces. My favorite classical performers are pianist Glenn Gould and conductors Fritz Reiner and Leonard Bernstein. Non-classical favorites include Frank Zappa, The Boss Brass and The Singers Unlimited. My favorite film music composers are "older guys" like Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Franz Waxman, Miklós Rózsa (I hung out with him in Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario in 1977), John Williams (met him once backstage after he conducted the Vancouver Symphony) and Henry Mancini (got him to sign piles of albums backstage at VSO concerts).
I don't watch much broadcast TV -- I don't even have cable in my house (I gave it up several years ago). But thanks to DVD and the antenna in my attic, I've followed such shows as Homeland, Breaking Bad, 24, The Shield, Lost, The Sopranos and old favorites like The X-Files and classic shows from the past. I have an abnormal interest in Hawaii Five-O and true crime books are my among my favorite kind of reading material.
Useless trivia about me you probably don't want to know:
- I am 6'2", and weigh about 215 pounds (down from almost 240 - YAY!).
- My shoe size is 13B, my hat size is 7-3/4.
- In high school, I played Captain Von Trapp in a production of The Sound of Music.
- I have travelled as far north as Anchorage, Alaska (deplaned during a flight to Japan in 1972), as far west as Pusan, Korea, as far south as Honolulu, Hawaii, and as far east as Toronto, Ontario.