Storm Bear Williams, Yosemite Valley 2019

I am cursed with WAY too many interests and get bored WAY too easily. Sometimes I will stop talking, mid-sentence because I see something printed and have to stop to read it. And it seems like I always have a half-a-dozen projects going on at any one time.

For example, once-upon-a-time I was traveling for business. When I got to the hotel, the wi-fi was out along with the cable. Since I am the worst person in the world when I have nothing to do, I decided to whip out my laptop and draw some cartoons. I never drew cartoons before and had no clue how to go about it. By 2am that next morning, I had a a cast of characters drawn, complete with bios and three strips based on stories out of that day’s edition of USA Today. And to top it all off, I even had the branding done.

I forgot about them until all the dust-up over cartoons featuring Islamic content, I dragged them back out and the strips still held up. And to be honest, one had a Muslim character.

I then started cartooning again with the pinnacle of the Town Called Dobson’s history being its appearance in the San Francisco Chronicle. After completing 700 strips, it was time to put that project to bed.

My longest term project has to be Books For Soldiers. During the first Gulf War, several of my friends from college were in the reserves and were activated to fight the Iraqis. CNN reported that once the soldiers were deployed and the 4 day war was over, they were faced with massive downtime and were restricted to their base due to the travel limitations set by the Saudi government.

I am a voracious reader and at the beginning of the Gulf War, I had a closet full of paperback books. Books that I had already read and were not being used. So instead of selling them at the used book store, I packed them up in small care packages and sent them out to all the soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen I had addresses for.

Within a few weeks, I ran out of books before I ran out of addresses. Friends and family members began donating their paperback books and in the end, over 1000 books were sent to the Gulf. Unless it was the day for them to fly back home, mail-call days were one of the most anticipated events of deployment.

After the war, I received many thank-you notes from soldiers who got one of my books. 

After September 11, 2001 I knew I wanted to do the same thing, but I couldn’t do it all myself. I put together BFS quickly, thinking it would be an interesting but temporary project. I had assumed the troops would be back home in just a few months. To paraphrase Luke Skywalker, “everything I assumed was wrong.”

Regardless of why the military is deployed, the men and women of our armed services are there for us. They deserve our support and if we can make their deployment easier, then all the better.

Which brings me up to my next big project, a PhD.

I have a slew of scientific interests, I am an extremely curious person and I am equally passionate about physics, biology and chemistry. As I kept trying to decide which branch of science I should pursue, I could never settle on one. Then I saw the above cartoon and it all became clear. If I explore mathematics, I get the base code of the universe. As you know, that pretty much covers it.

As I brush up on my math skills, I have to find an affordable University that is willing to enroll me as a distance PhD candidate.

Not a problem, right?