Fast cars, steep hills, trashy novels

Q. When you first wanted to be something in life, what was it? A. I wanted to be an engineer, just like my father, from when I was five or six years old. Q. What kink in the road changed your path? A. I took a stand on principle and got fired. Timing was bad. Brand new baby, brand new wife. Couldn't get a job.

04/01/2010


 

 

 

Q. When you first wanted to be something in life, what was it?

 

A. I wanted to be an engineer, just like my father, from when I was five or six years old.

 

Q. What kink in the road changed your path?

 

A. I took a stand on principle and got fired. Timing was bad. Brand new baby, brand new wife. Couldn't get a job. Got blacklisted. Marriage broke up. Had to move back with my parents and live in the basement.

 

Q. What did you learn from that and how do you use it now?

 

A. Always do the right thing. It is not always easy. Actually, it is very hard. Through it all you will be surprised at the help you will get from almost complete strangers and you will be disappointed in folks you thought were friends.

 

Q. What life adventure do you have yet to accomplish?

 

A. Helicopter skiing in the Bugaboos (in British Columbia).

 

Q. What do you look forward to at the end of the day?

 

A. A glass of red wine—Bordeaux or Tuscan—with some Frank Sinatra. Also, I read two or three books a week—mostly trash for pleasure to get over the technical reports I have to slog through.

 

Q. What's working well for the engineering profession?

 

A. Youngsters. Wow, are they smart. They know everything.

 

Q. What's not working?

 

A. Youngsters. Wow, are they dumb. They know everything but understand nothing.

 

Q. What do you wonder about?

 

A. Whether the Toronto Maple Leafs will ever win the Stanley Cup.

 

Q. Beyond buildings, what's a passion of yours?

 

A. I own a car that gets 11 miles to the gallon, has almost 700 hp, tops out at over 200 mph, and does 0 to 60 in 3.4 sec. But I don't drive it because, well, it is kind of dumb. Okay, I drive it to Starbucks and back. But only on Sunday, and only when it is not raining and not cold.

 

Q. Where did that come from?

 

A. I helped my father, who revered Ferdinand Porsche (they lived less than 10 km apart), build a one-person jet-helicopter in our basement.

 

Q. What do you remind yourself of often, and why?

 

A. Life is fleeting. Be good to your family and be good to your friends.

 

 

 



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