Last week I mentioned having worked for Industrial Hygienists at a former place of employment, this week I get to formerly introduce one! Ironic, eh?!?! All joking aside, I’m pleased to welcome Pzavon (Peter) to the Contributor Corner. Hailing from western New York state, Peter spends a good deal of time in the Genealogy and Workplace Health and Safety categories, but also addresses the “New Questions” on the home page as a means of finding something that needs doing. And we all know, there is always something in need of fixin’ on Answers.com! Here’s more:
What is your Answers.com user name and the history behind it?
Pzavon and there is no particular history. I use my initial and surname. I never particularly cared for “handles” and the like. Since nothing on the Internet can be considered private or temporary, I figure there is no point in writing anything that I would not care to have associated with my own name. So I use my own name.
What is your age?
60 on my last birthday.
Do you have any pets?
No pets now. Had a cat from my 9th birthday until I went off to college (the cat lived long beyond that, but as the “family cat,” not as “mine.”) I love cats, but am allergic to them. So I play with other people’s cats as the opportunity arises, handle them with care (rubbing against my leg is not permitted), and carefully wash my hands as soon as possible afterward. Seems to work most of the time.
Where do you live, how long have you lived there and why do you like the area?
I live in Western New York State, about 100 miles east of Niagara Falls. Have been here for 23 years. I moved after accepting a job offer from a company in the area. This is the smallest town I’ve ever lived in. I never understood the concept of “going to the big city to shop” until I went to the New York City area after moving here. Before moving here, I lived in the Chicago area, the New York City Metro area (New Jersey) and in eastern Massachusetts which is the same as saying the Boston area.
Where did you grow up and do you have any special memories of your childhood?
I grew up mostly in Cincinnati and went through the public schools there. Special memories? I don’t know, perhaps reading all the science fiction books in the Cincinnati Public Library (downtown main library as well as my suburban branch) by the time I was in 8th grade.
What educational information would you like to share?
I have a BA in Astronomy and an MS in Environmental Health, but I take greatest personal pride in having completed grades 7 -12 at Walnut Hills High School, a college preparatory high school founded in 1896 and still going strong.
What are some of your past and/or present occupations?
I would not call it an occupation, but I once tried to sell encyclopedias door to door during a summer in college. It was a total bust. I also delivered gas bills for the natural gas utility in Boston one summer. I worked for three years for a manufacturer of high-end flooring and wall covering, in their lab, heading their sample department, and serving as a back-up supervisor and shipper/receiver. I’ve also spent some time teaching, both in industrial training and as Adjunct Faculty at a local University.
My real (and current) occupation is Industrial Hygiene. This involves the anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control of hazards in the workplace such as chemical, noise, heat, radiation, etc.
What are your key areas of knowledge, interest or expertise?
I started out wanting to be an Astrophysicist since sometime early in high school, so I still have some basic knowledge of astronomy. I never got beyond a BA in Astronomy since I discovered that I did not care for intermediate applied calculus – and that is at the core of Astrophysics beyond the basic Astronomy courses.
I’ve been a fan of Broadway Musicals and the Gilbert & Sullivan Operas since Junior High School, and of folk music from about the same time, and I’ve performed in one way or another on most of the G&S works. Haven’t gotten around to seeing what questions Answers.com may have in that area, however. I can blame most of this interest on my mother, who was a wild fan of Gilbert & Sullivan as a teenager in New York City, and has been a folk dancer since the age of 15.
Do you have any collections or hobbies?
I have been a reader of science fiction since about the age of seven and have accumulated a library of several thousand volumes, mostly in paperback. Eric Flint is one of my current favorite authors. I also have a good deal of history, history and philosophy of science, and of theatre (mostly related to Gilbert & Sullivan).
I’ve been collecting the yearbooks from my high school and my university for the last 4 years or so. For the high school, my collection ranges from 1905 through 2005, although I don’t have one for each year. Still missing about 30% of them. I have thoughts of writing a history of the school some day.
I’ve been “doing” genealogy since 1992, but got sidetracked by becoming an officer of a genealogy society that focuses on a particular region in eastern Europe, and so have not progressed all that far in my own personal researches.
What do you like to do for recreation?
Recreation? Not sports! That’s for sure. I read, watch TV, do computer stuff, perform in Gilbert & Sullivan (although not recently), walk 3-4 miles daily (unless there is a thunder storm, wind driven rain or the temp is less than 0 degrees F).
Do you have any special talents you’d like to share?
I sing choruses in public. (Other fans of G&S will recognize the reference and the implication.)
How would you describe yourself or personality?
Stoic, taciturn, a loner.
What keeps you coming back to Answers.com?
At heart, I’m an explainer. That makes me a reasonably good teacher or instructor for subjects I understand well and means I like answering questions when I can be confident I know the subject well enough.
What is your favorite Answers.com activity?
Aside from answering questions, I like working through a question with lots of alternates, splitting out those that are really different questions and giving them more appropriate categories. But that does get frustrating sometimes.