About Me

(Apologies in advance, since this is probably more than you care to know)
 
Born and raised in Montreal, I attended McGill University (B. Eng, 1954) and the Harvard Business School (MBA, 1958).  I then joined Nacan Products Ltd., a profitable, well-managed specialty chemicals company (adhesives, starch derivatives and polymers).  At the time, I did not realize how lucky I was to have become part of such a remarkable business culture, one that encouraged its people to develop, and that was to enjoy a record 32 years of unbroken profit increases.  During my 40 year career with that firm, I had a number of interesting and challenging responsibilities, ranging from manufacturing, engineering, safety and environmental affairs, competitive assessments and the management of our data processing systems.  I retired from the firm in 1998 as Senior Vice-President. Probably, many people wondered whether I had forty years of experience, or one year's experience forty times over.

Nacan was the Canadian subsidiary of National Starch and Chemical Corporation, a profitable international company that was owned by Unilever PLC.  Sad to say, in 1995, National Starch, was sold to that great destroyer of shareholder value, Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), in the UK.   ICI paid way too much for National, overloaded itself with debt and then could not obtain what it had hoped to realize from the sale of its unprofitable commodity chemicals businesses.  As a result, in 2008 ICI disappeared completely. It's assets were split into three parts and were swallowed up by Akzo Nobel nv, in Amsterdam, by Henkel, in Dusseldorf and in 2010 by Corn Products International in the U.S.A. Today, National Starch, along with its Nacan subsidiary, no longer exists. 

After retirement in 1998, I became a part-time undergraduate senior student at the University of Toronto, graduating, "with Distinction" in June 2012, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Honours Physics.   Earlier, in 2007, I was a co-recipient of the Bryan Statt Prize for excellence in undergraduate experimental physics, simply because I had the time and persistence to track down every single bug and anomaly presented by the experiments that we were assigned.  During those years, I walked well over 6,000 miles between my home and classes. After graduation, from 2012 to 2015.  I took three second and third-year Literature courses in the Department of English until my failing eyesight made it impractical to continue as a regular student without special help.   I now use an incredible electronic magnifier that makes it easy to continue these studies at home.
 
In the spring of 2000, my companion. Trina, and I completed a 200-mile rainy but scenic fourteen-day "Coast-to-Coast" self-guided hike across England, through Cumbria, the Lake District the Yorkshire Downs and the North York Moors.  In 2005 we hiked (again self-guided) through the beautiful vineyards and hilltop towns of Tuscany, climbing and descending some 6,500 and 7,500 feet.
 
I have had a keen interest in science for over 70 years.  In 1993 I joined the North York Astronomical Association and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.  I still own a vintage six-inch Quantum Maksutov telescope, through which I used to contemplate the wonders of the universe.  My fading eyesight, however, now makes this fine instrument redundant. As a former U of T student, I still attend many colloquia on Physics, Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology.  The web has also opened up many other new vistas. Other interests include interacting with my delightful 14 and 18-year-old grandsons (I looked after them for many years, just after they were born.), as well as reading, attending theatre and concerts, cycling, cross-country skiing and diffidently losing a battle with nature over an unambitious, low-maintenance backyard garden.
 
Since 2002 I have been an active ham radio operator, with call sign VA3AAD, having passed the Morse code and advanced theory exams.  I hold memberships in Radio Amateurs of Canada and the Nortown Amateur Radio Club.  I have also put together a rather well-equipped electronics lab that I use to build and test radio equipment.
 
Starting with its very first issue in 1990, until 2015, I published a cumulative subject-author index to "Galilean Electrodynamics", a scientific journal that challenges accepted orthodoxy in physics.  I must confess that I would like to be able to understand fully even a few of the innovative papers published in that journal.  The index is on this website, although it goes only up to December 2015. My failing eyesight has made it too difficult to continue wiht this project.  As one gets older, health issues start to take over.
 
Hopefully, this is no longer an issue, but in the summer of 2002 I suffered through eight months' of chemotherapy and radiation treatments for a non-Hodgkins lymphoma.  Over a ten year period annual CT and Galium scans showed that there has been no recurrence. Although nothing is ever certain, my doctor and I agree that I no longer need to be registered as an outpatient at the hospital clinic.  
 
I'm very lucky to have three wonderful (grown-up) children, five developing-to-be-wonderful grandchildren and a supportive and marvellous companion in Trina.