At last report I was 78 and had a wife (Becky), son (John), daughter (Karin), and three grandsons. As Karin pointed out to me several birthdays back, at least I can no longer die young.

I spent 29 years working for IBM (programmer, manager, educator) at assorted places around the USA. Eventually we decided Austin was perfect and dug in our heels; we’ve been here since 1975. After retiring from IBM, I taught Computer Science at Huston-Tillotson University here in Austin for eight years before retiring from there also. I kept telling everyone that I was taking a few years off before finding another employer to retire from someday, but I suppose I didn’t fool anybody.

I have a degree in Astrophysics which, unfortunately, I’ve never used professionally. Go look here or here to see what I missed. Sigh.... This sonnet about the power of mathematics is one I’ve treasured ever since college. It was written by the author of my Freshman Calculus text!

My religious preferences are Ubuntu Linux, KDE, and Emacs.

When not playing with my computers (six of them on the home network at the moment, counting a Raspberry Pi but not counting three Kindles and two smartphones) or cameras (I’m a semi-pro portrait photographer, with a studio in my home), the rest of my waking hours are usually spent reading anything that will hold still. As far as I’m concerned, the great tragedy of my life is that there are books out there I’ll never have a chance to read. My best guess is that I have averaged reading one book per day since I was five years old — something over 26,000 books.

Here is your second chance to check out my page on word origins.)

Becky is joyfully retired after forty years of teaching sixth-grade English. We have been perfectly compatible for 54 years except that she leaves the car radio on C&W and I have to reset it to classical. Her web page is (or will be) here. Between us, we have the house so full of books that a few years ago we actually made measurements to ensure that the available wallspace for bookshelves would accomodate our probable lifespans. Fortunately, the explosion of e-books means we will not have to buy a larger house. (I may be the only person in the world who is in actual danger of maxing out the memory of his Kindle, though.)

John is employed by the University of Texas and is happily single. If his apartment building offered free laundry and free Sunday dinners, I’m not sure we’d ever see him.

Once upon a time that was not a problem with his sister: sixteen years or so ago, Karin and the three kids stayed with us for over a year while her husband SFC Steve Mohacey and his saxophone were stationed with the Army in Seoul, Korea. Karin was also going to school full time; she’s about three quarters of the way through a degree in math. After Steve got home again, one and all went up the road to Fort Hood where he did his thing for the First Cavalry band.

If you’ve been following closely, you have deduced that my wife and daughter were both otherwise occupied and that Grandpa was trapped at home with the little ones for a year, right? Right.

Unfortunately, the Army dealeth and the Army taketh away, so here’s the saga of the Mohacey migrations over the past decade or so:

  1. Steve, Karin, and the kids went to Camp Zama, Japan, (just west of Tokyo) for a three-year hitch. Hooray for the Internet, with free voice and videoconferencing. Becky went over to Japan for a month in July, 2002 to play Grandma, and I spent November, 2003 in Japan. Both of us had a camera firmly clutched in hand, so One Of These Days I’ll post a few snapshots on the web page.
  2. Fortunately, they bounced right back to Fort Hood in July, 2004 (Fourth Infantry band this time), so they were back to one hour away again. This was doubly fortunate because Steve, a Master Sergeant by then, spent a year in Iraq with the rest of the Fourth Infantry. Again, the Internet came to the rescue — the world has changed when "hazards of war" include a soldier’s high-speed internet connection being unreliable.
  3. In April, 2007, Steve was assigned to Norfolk, VA, where he spent a year as the First Sergeant at the Armed Forces School of Music. This was a return to the Tidewater area, since Steve spent four years as an instructor at the School in the mid-90’s.
  4. In July, 2008, they came back to Texas yet again, with Steve serving as the First Sergeant of the band at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, just over an hour down the road from Austin.
  5. In July, 2010, he retired from the Army and is a Middle School Band teacher in the San Antonio school district. Presumably the family has ground to a halt for the foreseeable future.

Their boys are Stephen III (twenty-six), John, aka Jack (twenty-four), and Alex (twenty). Take my word for it, they are the brightest and most personable kids in the known universe, which demonstrates that Heredity Really Works. Stephen graduated from the University of Texas-San Antonio with a degree in Music Theory and is saving money for graduate school. Jack just graduated Cum Laude from UTSA with a degree in history, while Alex graduated Summa Cum Laude from a Science and Engineering magnet high school in San Antonio and is a sophomore at the University of Texas, planning a double major in Physics and Math. Alex is living with us so far. (We're close to a UT shuttle bus stop, and we're a lot cheaper and quieter than the dorm.)

If you’re curious about Steve’s jazz music, here’s a link to his MySpace page.

Since our family name is unusual enough for me to be asked the question now and then, yes, Dan Dierdorf the recently-retired CBS (nee ABC) TV sports announcer and NFL Hall of Fame offensive tackle is my brother. He’s nine years younger, and we’re easy to tell apart. He’s the large Dierdorf (6'-4", 300-pounds when he was in the NFL) with hair, and I’m the small (6'-1", 230-pound) bald one. I was the only eighteen-year-old in Canton, Ohio who was afraid to pick a fight with his nine-year-old brother!

Here’s your chance to see some Family snapshots. Note that unlike real life, at least here in cyberspace I give you a choice! If you have a strong stomach, you also can check here for my redefinition of "surfing the web" in comfort. (If you are my life insurance agent and got nervous looking at that picture, please check here for reassurance.)


Return to John’s home page.

Last modified: Thu Nov 03 13:08:43 CDT 2016