00:59:54 - 01:07:30 Retirement
retirement, consulting, expert witness, research, computer, sawmill
And, I guess we're sort of getting to about the end of our time; we're at about an hour right now. But just a couple of quick questions about your time post-Forest Products Lab. What made you decide to retire? Or was it just time?
Oh I got to the point where I decided that it was time to do something else. And there were still interesting things going on here, but I just figured that the time was right. So, and the possibility to retire was good, so I did that ten years ago, in '98, January of '98. And I haven't regretted it a bit.
And it seems like you've been keeping busy, at least from our phone conversations.
And have you been keeping up with, I guess, forest products research or industry? Or does that still interest you?
I still do. You can do that very easily with the internet, and definitely stay involved with the internet. I've done some consulting. I'm probably not a good consultant as far as [making it] a business. Usually, when someone has a problem I'll look at it and very often it's an obvious problem that they have. But I'm too quick to give an answer; there's no business in that. But, there's [where a successful] consultant will say ok, well we need to work on this, we need to spend some time on this, and time is money. I can't do it that way. Or someone will come, [like] a lawyer, with a problem and they say, this is my client's problem, and will you be an expert witness. Well, usually I'm not going to be saying something that I don't really believe in. If they're on the wrong side of the fence, which seems like most of the time they are. They're trying to prove something happened when you really know that's probably not what happened. I just tell them right up front what my thoughts are, and some will still retain [me] as an expert witness. But that's a game in itself too, because a lot of times you have two sides, each side, the first thing they try to do is to line up all these expert witnesses on their side. They're never going to call them. They're just going to have them on their side. So it's back to numbers again. And, and if they, and as much as possible, at least I've had it where I've found out who's all on someone's team. Well they've got all the experts that you would call as an expert witness already lined up. And, and that's probably what settles everything, is the, the other side doesn't have any, they don't have any of those expert witnesses, and so they just throwing those numbers back and forth and scare off the other side. I guess there was a Trojan horse one time that was so big that it scared everybody, or something like that. So that, I haven't done a lot of a lot of consulting, but I could have. But, I don't enjoy spending my spare time that way, too many other projects, and I've got a forest [with] trees [to] play around.
Sounds great! Do you feel that your work has left a mark on the Forest Products Lab, or the Forest Service?
Oh, I do, yeah. I feel that some of it I would have liked to have seen put into place faster, but very often, and we grew up that way too. When I was early in the research it was research that was done thirty years ago was just being implemented, so its probably much the same way. Very seldom do things happen fast. Our, our original thoughts of putting computers in the sawmills, that probably happened within ten years, which was fast. And, and some of the other work, there were immediate [results], like the accountant at the window company, that was fast. But that was by accident that we happened to be talking to the person that really counted, [as] the one. Engineers in companies really have their feet to the fire, and they can't propose and make big changes. They can make very little, minute changes, are usually what their involved in. And usually it's like trying to cover themselves for the immediate time, and look good. And, unfortunately, they don't get a chance to blow up a bigger picture that really can do some good with a company. So yeah, I don't regret any of the work that we did. I look at it, I could say ok it was way too much fun, and I shouldn't have had that much fun but I did.
Work should be fun.
I guess before we wrap up do you have any last stories or memories or comments that you'd like recorded?
Oh probably a lot of them will come to mind. We could probably talk for another twenty-four hours and probably still tell new ones.
Well, thank you very much for doing this today.
Yeah, thank you.