My name is Rick Rottman and this is my personal blog. It’s where I write about the stuff I find interesting. That doesn’t mean you’ll find it interesting. I maintain this blog for my own personal enjoyment.
If you feel the need to contact me, the best way to do so is through email. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I grew up north-east of Los Angeles in the ugliest, most inhospitable part of southern California, the Mojave Desert. It’s where Los Angeles County begins to think about becoming Kern County. It’s referred to as the Antelope Valley, yet the last time an antelope set hoof in the area, the wooly mammoth roamed North America. It was hot in the summer and cold in the winter. The wind blew on a constant, never ending basis. To say the Antelope Valley was like Satan’s armpit is an insult to Satan’s armpit.
Speaking of Satan, I was raised heavily in the Assemblies of God version of Christianity. Growing up, most things were a sin. Smoking, drinking, dancing, bowling, movies, cards, being gay, voting Democrat, premarital sex, Dungeons & Dragons, divorce, and abortion were all things that could get you thrown into a giant lake of fire for the rest of eternity. Make the moral mistake of attending a dance and then walking a woman home drinking a beer you won arm wrestling a hobo, and you might find yourself in Hell standing next to Adolf Hitler.
Take it from me, you don’t ever want to go to Assemblies of God Hell.
When I was 19, I joined the United States Air Force. I repaired and maintained electronic warfare systems used on F-4G Wild Weasels and B-52 bombers. I loved working on the B-52. The Air Force allowed me to visit many different countries and meet lots of interesting people.
The first year I was in the Air Force, I attended basic training in San Antonio, Texas and electronic warfare systems training in Biloxi, Mississippi. I then spent the next three years in the Philippines. After the Philippines, I was stationed on Guam. After my time on Guam, I was sent to upstate New York. Up until the, I worked on aircraft. When I got to New York, I was assigned to the shop that repaired LRUs (line replaceable units) pulled from B-52s and replaced with working units. I hated it. It was very boring. I worked on the AN/ALQ-155, a receiver-transmitter that countered enemy anti-aircraft radar. I was assigned to the to the AN/ALQ-155 shop because stateside, everyone called the AN/ALQ-155 a “ROT.” It stood for receiver oscillator transmitter. Because my last name is Rottman, my fate was sealed.
I left the Air Force in 1994. The cold war was finally over and Hillary Clinton’s husband began drastically reducing the size of the military. I was offered a wad of cash to leave the Air Force and I happily accepted.
Three months after getting out of the Air Force, I moved to western Maryland. Back when people took photos with cameras that used film, Walmart had five or six large regional photofinishing labs sprinkled throughout the eastern United States. People would drop their film off at their local Walmart or Sam’s Club and pick up the photos two days later. These regional labs would process that film. Walmart was building a new lab in Williamsport, Maryland. Walmart management wanted to hire ex-military folks with electronics experience to work on the photofinishing equipment. I didn’t know anything about photofinishing equipment, but that soon changed.
As it turned out, the job had nothing to do with electronics. That was fine with me because even though I have a worthless associates degree in electronics, I hate everything about the subject.
I met my wife at Walmart Photo. She operated a 110 camera film splicing machine. I maintained the 110 camera film splicing machine. When it would break down, and it broke down often because it was made by Gretag, I would go over and fix it. I realized I had feelings for her when I would go to work hoping the 110 splicer would breakdown. No same man wants to work on a Gretag 110 splicer.
I left Walmart Photo which later became Fujicolor after four or so years. but remained here in Maryland. I’ve now lived in Maryland far longer than I’ve lived anywhere else, including California. I guess that makes me a Marylander.
Since coming to Maryland, I’ve had a series of jobs. Most of them I didn’t like.