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What do you do in your "Day Job"


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#1 stix

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 06:32 AM

I've often wondered what sort of people are drawn to creating pyrotechnics. Of course there are some on this forum that do it as a profession. For those people, then the question could be "as a professional pyro, what hobbies do you have?

 

But getting back to my question: So, what do you do as your "day job"? - that thing that earns you a living? and also, other interests?

 

I can't imagine, for instance, an Accountant spending their weekends making charcoal, or rolling tubes etc. - but who knows. I'd actually be quite impressed if accountants, or even more so, lawyers!!, get into this craft.

 

I'll start:

 

I work as a pre-press professional in the printing industry. I've always had an interest in pyro. Perhaps initially driven from a small fireworks display in the back yard (when I was a child) which started an interest in science, and picked up again in my early 20's. I love music, I play guitar, I also enjoy programming. I'm about 5'8, brown eyes with blue hair and one day I hope to . . .

 

Oh, hang on... sh*t!, I think I accidentally posted something from my dating site. Oh, well.

 

Do tell.


I just start the conversation - someone else has to question them.


#2 lloyd

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 06:59 AM

"But getting back to my question: So, what do you do as your "day job"? - that thing that earns you a living? and also, other interests?

 

I can't imagine, for instance, an Accountant spending their weekends making charcoal, or rolling tubes etc. - but who knows. I'd actually be quite impressed if accountants, or even more so, lawyers!!, get into this craft."

 

-------------------------------

Stix,

I know several 'clean job' professionals, and also several physicians (grin), who are heavily 'into' the pyro hobby, and they do it all, including the dirty work.

 

I've been making aerial pyro since the early 1960s, shooting shows since the late 60's.  After some time off for military service, college, and having a family, I got back to it in the late 80s.  From 1967 until 2000, I was also an electronics hardware design professional, first in the military, then in private life.

 

I was director of research for the USA's 2nd-largest vendor of computer billing systems to radiologists and pathologists from 1974 until 1998, when our company was bought-up and broken-up by a 'large computer corporation' desiring to remove us from the market.

 

In 1999, I became the corporate general manager for a large, well-known close-prox manufacturer, and stayed in that capacity for over ten years before retiring.  I couldn't STAND being retired, so I'm now a site-licensed sole-proprietor who designs formulae, tooling, and processes and who does licensing and permitting work for pyro manufacturers and display companies, including my old bosses.  I'm a licensed private pilot.

 

As you can see from the time-lines, there were times in my life where I was involved in multiple endeavors, all at once.

 

If I had my 'rathers', I'd do some R/C airplane building and flying in my 'spare time' (sailplanes being my love), but I also love to build pyro for fun... so I'm pretty 'immersed' in the art!

 

Lloyd


Edited by lloyd, 08 May 2017 - 07:01 AM.

"Pyro for Fun and Profit for More Than Fifty Years"


#3 bobd

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 09:40 AM

Geez, Lloyd.  As usual, a hard act to follow. I am an engineer, retired from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where I supported research in particle physics, reactor physics, and nuclear testing, among others. (My wife and I like to tell folks that we worked for the University of California) long enough that they now pay us to stay away!).

 

My interest in pyrotechny goes back as far as I can remember, with a little professional boost while studying explosives chemistry at the Lab.  My degrees are in aerospace engineering, but the drop in opportunities after the Apollo program finished coupled with my reluctance to live in large urban ares led to generalizing my engineering endeavors.

 

PGI member since 1983, WPA from 1993, RMPG (Rocky Mountain Pyrotechnics Guild) since 2001.


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#4 lloyd

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 10:27 AM

"I am an engineer, retired from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where I supported research in particle physics, reactor physics, and nuclear testing, among others."

---------

No, Bob... THAT is a hard act to follow!  Mine was just a 'time line'.  It didn't express the various failures along the way! :blink:

 

I had an uncle who moved to Albuquerque after retirement.  He was a colonel in the Army, and was some sort of  'military coordinator' there at Los Alamos (I think he was in security, as was my Dad -Army- at the Pentagon).  Any time I hear of someone who worked there regularly in any capacity, I'm duly impressed!

 

LLoyd


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#5 memo

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 02:24 PM

I'M the owner/operator of a small hotel. I get to wear many hats, from plumber carpenter to gardener, you name it I get to do it. also get to be my own boss ( don't tell my wife I said that ) and live on the beach. I retired at 47 and bought the hotel almost 20 years ago..



#6 OldMarine

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 09:13 PM

Yeah, this is me..... Well, without some warts:

 

 


Come on! Name one other hobby in which you cheer as your money and hard work go up in smoke!

#7 starxplor

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 09:23 PM

I do IT for a major regional hospital/clinic network's radiology department. Generally a clean job, though I occasionally have to wear scrubs/bunny suits to replace computers in the operating rooms.

 

My partner is a QA analyst for a small vending system company and helps me cook charcoal down here and build shells up north but really prefers watching to building fireworks.



#8 MrB

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 02:46 AM

Another office chair warrior here. Used to be a support and maintenance monkey for a web hosting service aimed at companies.

Retired at 30, (disability. They say i'm crazy, and pay me to stay out of the work environment, and have fun.) and haven't been doing much "work" since.



#9 MadMat

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 08:13 PM

Hmm... over the years I was an apprentice electrician (laid off in the early 80's when unemployment skyrocketed). Was partners with my then brother-in-law in our own business doing home repair/remodeling. The divorce between my partner and sister ended that business. I then worked in 3 different chemistry labs, but because I was a semester short of a degree, my advancement potential was limited. I eventually went into machining. I advanced to tool and die and CNC programming. In 2004, I blew out my lower back and had 3 subsequent surgeries that ended my career in that field. I am presently on disability due to my back problems and went back to college in the biotech field. Unfortunately, my spine has gotten worse and needed another operation (this time on my neck though), so, I am taking some time off from school before finishing up my degree (only need four more classes). Oh yeah, I forgot, somewhere back in the early days I worked as a cook and sous chef at various resturants and hotels. All in all, I have had a very wide ranging list of employment :)



#10 OldMarine

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 08:29 PM

Lloyd has read a more in depth report of my labor log and life but the Cliff Notes for the rest:

Joined the Corps the day after high school graduation, later started college to be a psychologist but it paid little because they couldn't prescribe drugs so I realized I'd make more money as a plumber. Here I am now broken in body but not spirit.


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Come on! Name one other hobby in which you cheer as your money and hard work go up in smoke!

#11 rogeryermaw

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 11:15 AM

i've been everything in my life from a dope dealer to a military contractor. but mostly, anything industrial i could get my hands on. i must have run 5 miles of emt at cecil field aasf in jville florida...far more at bergstrom in austin. i've spent 15 years working underhood and specializing in cooling systems and mastered a dying trade. i mean who even builds copper radiators anymore?  so now i'm just a sad defeated desk monkey peddling car parts with eff'd health and a dead spirit...except when i play with my kids or practice the art of fire...especially when i can pass what i know to them.


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#12 lloyd

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 11:22 AM

Roger, I build small copper radiators for my machines that need them!  It takes a 'knack' of soldering to make one that doesn't take more work to "un-leak" than it does to build, but they're essential to rapid heat dissipation and long life!

 

But don't you just love fireworks?  I mean, next to my grandkids, that's the best thing going!

 

Lloyd


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#13 OldMarine

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 11:30 AM

Who decided plastic would be good on a radiator? My 94 Yoda has the original brass radiator and 400,000 yet my GMC van has been through 3 in of the plastic capped ones in as many years.


Come on! Name one other hobby in which you cheer as your money and hard work go up in smoke!

#14 Arthur

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 12:08 PM

Once engines get alloy parts a copper (alloy) rad is a bad idea from a corrosion pov. So they make an alloy radiator. -Minimises the load on the corrosion inhibitor system.



#15 Mouse

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 02:17 AM

I dig hole's👍👍!!
More specifically I specialise in deepish drainage !!
Demolition and quarrying mostly in civil construction !!

#16 Sulphurstan

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 02:30 PM

Wanted to become a chemist since i was 11. Made chemistry as hobby (slowly but steadily drifting towards pyro) until i was 16. Then made a LOOOOONG break in pyrotechnics, and I finally ended up as land surveyor and starting my own surveying company 14 years ago...
Smelled the bp smoke 30 years ago, and like a good wine, it matured in a hidden place until i found this forum 3 years ago: let it roll again!!
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#17 AzoMittle

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 04:17 AM

I'm currently working for a cafe (not $hitbucks, thank god), burning myself making your extra hot lattes while trying to schedule 20 employees and making sure our milk orders come in on time.

 

Though I have done everything from AutoCAD drafting, inspecting, and surveying for fire protection (sprinklers, smoke detectors, etc) and security systems for high rise buildings, to designing and selling remote interface robots (think R2D2 controlled over Skype), to working at the county fair, to rolling burritos, to working on a local farm educating school kids about farm to table, to ghost writing and editing various books and technical documentation, and even to international import/export of wholesale goods.


Terminat hora diem; Terminat author opus.
The hour ends the day; The author ends his work.
 
Oh lente lente noctis equi!
Slowly, slowly run oh horses of the night!
 
Perfection does not exist, but that does not mean you cannot work constantly to attain it.
 
The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. . . . The only thing that's capital-T True is that you get to decide how you're going to try to see it. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn't. . . . The trick is keeping the truth up-front in daily consciousness. -David Foster Wallace


#18 OldMarine

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 12:14 PM

Though a plumber by trade, this week I've done nothing strictly plumbing related. Earlier this week I was repairing fryers in food trucks and ice machines in a healthcare facility. Today I'm working on the system that keeps clay tennis courts dampened.
Next week I get to meet with a customer to design him a de-sulphuring system and chlorinator/filter/softener system. At least I don't get bored fixing drippy faucets.
Come on! Name one other hobby in which you cheer as your money and hard work go up in smoke!

#19 chuckufarley

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 12:50 AM

Its nice that you have such a varied skill set OM, and and employer that let you utilize those skills

#20 Richtee

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 03:48 AM

Yeah..I don’t know that any profession would be immune to the “smell of the smoke”. Apparently it’s something deeply embedded in our limbic system, and some of stronger will than us can repress it :D

 

I’m a security system pro. Cams, access, alarms, etc. Always enjoyed busting bad guys with no risk ;) Also do home electronics, and commercial data/info infrastructure.

 

And a few BBQ catering gigs along the way. That’s second in enjoyment. Good thin blue smoke with a hint of meat fat is pretty compelling too!


I like smoke! On food or in the air equally well.




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