I hope I'm not being too subtle.

      When I first heard the date of the defense, I burst out laughing–and immediately went to the 'Web to verfiy.

      Yes—indeed. –The date of the defense was . . . the anniversary of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

      (Dr. Newby said—"That's better than Guy Fawkes Day."  –It took me a while, to figure out–exactly–what he was saying, 'n stuff.  John slow.  :p ;) )

      :p ;)

      Thanks to the wonderful technology of "youtube. . . ."

      Here is a link to the defense.

      Sadly, they turned the camera on, after I had said, "Come to the dark side—we have cookies."  :) ;) –I would've liked that "saved for posterity."

      :) ;)

Some funny things about the defense:

      I called Dad immediately after, and he said, "You never told me that you had a beard!"  –Apparently, the whole way through the defense, he thought that Dr. Newman was me.  (!)

      :) ;)

      "The Adoring Public" (as Dr. Newby (my Advisor) called them :) ) brought all these signs: "Rhino Power!", (a bit more . . . subtle) "John 3:16", and. . . .

      Towards the very end of this, you'll hear someone call from the back, and have me look.  It takes me a minute, but. . . .  One guy had a sign with a big "D"—and a picture of a picket fence.  –De-FENCE.

      What made it even funnier, was when Dr. Cahill says to the others—"Haven't any of you ever been to a football game??!!"

      I will treasure that—for the rest of my life.

      :) :) :) :)

The general mood of the situation:

      If you'll look closely, you'll see that the martini has an olive—and the rim of Anupma's margarita (How did I know she was going to be the margarita girl?!) is, indeed, frosted.

      No expense spared.

      :) ;)

      Drinks for everyone:

      :) ;)

Time to change shirts:

      It occurs to me . . . that the above picture is . . . not entirely complimentary.


      I put it [in] anyway.


      A homeless guy that I had seen around town over the years showed up.  It didn't occur to me, until later, just how remarkable that was.  As we were cleaning up shop, it became apparent to me, that he wanted to use the room we were in for a place to crash for the night.  I considered it—but I figured now wasn't the time to really annoy the university. . . .

Now here's where things get . . . a little . . . weird. . . .

      I have been told that I am a REMARKABLY "directed individual."  I had been working towards this degree, with only a four year break in industry, since halfway through my adolescent life.

      For some totally unfathomable reason, I have always . . . known, that the numbers 5 and 34 would have something to do with it, with "the endtime"—that is, the completion of a multi-decades goal.  In fact, I remember, as an undergraduate, getting up at 5:34 in the morning, to perform martial arts katas. . . .

      As I said, this is where things get . . . weird.

      People invited me to go out with them, to celebrate—but–inexplicably–I was suddenly incredibly tired.  However, there was still something I really had to do. . . .

      There was this video, that I had been waiting over 20 years to watch again.  –Through the magic of the 'Web, I can bring it to you:



      Well, for some reason, I felt . . . strongly compelled to watch the "extras" at the beginning (normally, I don't—and as this was a kid's video. . . .).  And what do you know??

The length of the trailers was exactly

. . . 5 minutes, 34 seconds.

      Can you explain that one?  –'Cause I can't.

The signatures:

      a) Dr. Cahill

      She innformed me, that it was " . . . Just as well."—that I forgot to smash a guitar, after the "musical section of the defense."

      :) ;)

      b) Dr. Newby

      He said that if I didn't mind the headset. . . .

      Actually, I thought that that portrayed how RIDICULOUSLY "over-busy" he is—and said so.

      c) Dr. Newman

      d) The incomparable Dr. Prakash

On the lighter side. . . .

      Now, when a dude or dudette gets a PhD, they like, put their picture in the local paper, 'n stuff.  Well, when the Graduate School suggested a picture, or two, of me looking respectable (work cut out for one there, eh?) ( :) ;) ), I thought—what could be more respectable than these??!!


      (Apparently, Mihla was laughing, and Laura B came out and asked what she was laughing at.  "–John!")

      :) ;)

      Switching gears a little bit—sadly, my committee could not allow my including Appendix E in the final form of the thesis.  Although they acknowleged that it was very funny—"It's just not science."

      Well, I just couldn't see it "passing into the mists of time, so here is a link to Appendix E, in all its "glory":

      :) :) ;) ;)

Appendix E.pdf

      :) :) ;) ;)

Some milestones:

      Now, Red Green has said, "Milestones are like kidney stones—you just gotta' grit your teeth, and let them pass."  The more years experience at life I get, the more I find myself genuinely listening to the advice or Red Green; that said. . . .

The first time I was called Doctor

      I was at the Doggie Park (http://www.fairbanksdogpark.org), when Wolfgang called me doctor; this was the very first time that anyone had done so.  I have subsequently been told just how . . . apropos this was, 'n stuff.  –Now, I can't relate the entire story (It is just TOO . . . "colorful."   :) ;) )—but I can tell you that it ended with Bobbie Jo saying, "Have speculum, will travel."

      :) ;)

      (I think I am actually BLUSHING, 'n stuff.

      :) ;)

The first time I was called "Dr. Styers"

      I ran into Brian Wilson–spelled just like the Beach Boy–early in the morning, in walfart.  (He was suffering from insomnia—and, like me, he likes to put that time to good use.)

The first time I ever got to sign "Dr. Styers"

      This one was–somewhat . . . anti-climactically–in a letter to Toyota Financial Services.

      (. . . .)

      :p :P

2/21/12 When I got the diploma [in the mail]

      I asked my Dad if he knew what this was, and he replied, "Fan mail from a flounder?"  (I will treasure that forever. :) ;) )

      (Hmm. –It occurs to me, that that might be too obscure a reference for some of our "younger readers"—it is from "[The] Rocky and Bullwinkle [Show]."  :) ;) )

      And here is some Redneck Revelry that we did to celebrate.   Enjoy!!

      :) :) ;) ;)