SOOOOOO... Ya just had to be nosey!

OK, Here's some more detail.

Thinking about what to say of myself within the context of this bio page has caused me to reflect on my life in a way I haven’t had to do before. What do I say about myself that a stranger might find interesting? I suppose I should start at the top and say as much as I can think of and then depend on my skills at editing to carve off the fat.

From the top, I was born Douglas Glendale Cardenas on March 31, 1953 in Nashville, Tennessee, rather abruptly I would suppose, during what I've been told was one of the worst thunderstorms of the times. My mother, a blond, blue eyed nursing student and one of several offspring of a Mississippi mill worker and my father, an intern and oldest child of some privilege from a respected Monterey, Mexico family was to have only this one child, me. I've been told that I've missed allot by not having siblings and I have also heard from an equal number of sources that I was lucky as hell for not having to deal with the competition. As for my own thoughts, I have little reference by which to judge, so I let it go as "the way things were".

I spent my early childhood mostly in Lima, Ohio, San Antonio, Texas and Lexington, Kentucky learning how the world worked by such means as escaping from my mother’s watchful eye and braving traffic at age 5, to destroying a clock radio to see what was inside at age 8, to conjuring fowl smelling concoctions in a basement lab at age 12. Other than that, I had my share of dogs, cats, mice, frogs and friends to qualify as an average boy. I spent many of my summers in Washington DC with my grandfather. He argued tax law before the US Supreme Court as a member of the Supreme Court Bar. I saw the court, as well as most of Washington, but one of my fondest memories as a boy is walking into the Supreme Court and sitting in the well padded leather chair of, at that time, Chief Justice Earl Warren. To this day, I have my grandfather’s Supreme Court License and a hand-signed portrait of the members of the Earl Warren Supreme Court of 1963 hanging on the wall in my hallway.

As my father’s career progressed, the family moved around allot to such a point that I didn't attend the same school for two years in a row until my high school freshman year, and even then I moved again before my junior year. Most kids thought my father was military, I moved so much. As a result, I learned both how to be content alone and also how to make friends quickly. Unfortunately, I also learned how to let go of friends easily, and as a result I tend to let myself lose touch with the people I love once separated from them by any distance. As I get older, I realize just how much regret this can cause. It's something I’m actively working on.

My last two years of high school and first year of college took place in the small northern Kentucky town of Maysville. It was a good little town, and for being the stranger in a class of only 21 kids who had gone through this same small Saint Patrick’s Catholic School together since kindergarten, I was well accepted. Maybe it was the ‘67 Mustang with my custom high power sound system that ran on 120 volts AC generated by a power converter in the trunk. Maybe it was the 9 member brass rock band I started. Maybe it was just my magnetic personality, but somehow I fell into the center of activity for my age group. It was an idyllic setting. The people were very open and surprisingly progressive, the parents were cool, the school was outstanding and my peers were talented, imaginative kids. I was lucky to have the chance to learn the meaning of true friendship in such a setting.

I graduated from Saint Pat’s in 1971, and once in College, I learned to party! Boy did I party! I transferred to the University of Kentucky main campus in Lexington my second year after one year at the Maysville Community College. About that time, I started into my first carrier, that of an engineer for an FM rock radio station. Man, that was a cool gig!. It paid squat, but it was truly cool. I helped build a radio station from scratch, including a studio sound board of my own design using what was, at the time, the cutting edge technology of high speed op-amps. I also produced an hour and a half weekly documentary as well as the usual number of commercials.

After College I ended up in Louisville working for what could have been the forerunner of the hi-fi audio superstore if the owners hadn't shoved most of the profits up their noses! I was the "High End Audio Consultant" which means that I handled the big ticket items. I played the role to the max. I would sit in the "High End" room among those esoteric components in a three piece suit smoking a pipe and listening to the classical public radio station over a pair of six foot speakers. I didn't "pump out the gear" like my counterparts on the main sales floor downstairs, but when I made a sale, it was often several thousand bucks! About the time I finished designing a high definition component show-room comparitor for our newest store and began ordering parts to build it, the IRS came along and chained the doors of all three stores shut. It seemed the owners had failed to fork over all of the tax money they had been withholding from our pay checks. Whoops! You should have seen the bosses scatter like roaches in the kitchen when the lights come on. Needless to say, I spent some time on unemployment until my next job came along. However, the friends I made among my fellow employees, and those I made through them, were worth everything I went through to find them. So were the experiences. Some of us got together later and founded the Louisville Audiophile Society, a non-profit organization that was unfortunately short lived for several reasons, not the least of which being the somewhat misguided impetus for its inception. But that’s another story.

It was about this time that I started to rediscover my passion for photography. Between 1977 and 1984, I assembled a system of three Nikons, a 4X5 view camera, and dusted off my old twin lens 2 1/4 format camera that had served me in high school. I also constructed a complete large format color processing and printing lab in various spare rooms as I moved from Louisville to Boonville Indiana just outside of Evansville. In Boonville, I bought a house, built a darkroom and went to work as the photographer for a group of weekly newspapers. It was during this tenure as a photojournalist that I won an award from the Hoosier State Press Association for outstanding feature photography. Also during that time, I was recruited to be the official photographer for the 50th anniversary season of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra. Soon, I had a small photography business set up serving clients such as the Evansville Civic Theater, the University of Evansville Music Department, the local public television station, assorted models needing portfolio work and others. In that such a business is seldom initially profitable, mine being no exception, I worked not only for the papers but also doing color printing for an Evansville custom lab service. In 1985, I was granted my first public exhibit in Evansville in a vacant storefront inside a shopping mall. I later started doing art fairs, then eventually started having gallery showings and so my photography found the light of day. I have sold a few of my prints, but given the expense of generating museum quality fine prints, the selling price rarely covered the cost of the print.

Around 1985, I also started congealing some of my musical themes into full blown songs, and also began writing poetry and prose in earnest. Strange that all three of my artistic tendencies would manifest themselves so strongly simultaneously. By 1986, I had moved back to Louisville and drifted from a hardware oriented approach to electronics to software, beginning with BASIC, to programming utilities and interactive games in assembler language for the Commodore 64, then learning DOS and now recently Visual C++, Visual BASIC and Java. Examples of my creative endeavors can be sampled by following the appropriate links from the home page.

Basically, I've had an interesting life so far. My job experience has been varied. I have held two professional licenses, FCC and (are you ready for this) wastewater treatment process control. Besides the jobs I've already mentioned, I've worked in sales, both high pressure and low key, worked for a major multinational computer company, Northern Telecom, as a field engineer, I've been an electronics design engineer, worked as a keyboard and sound system tech for a large music store, served as head waiter in the formal dining room of an "old money" country club, served as assistant director of operations for a business magazine (boy, is that a story!) and even spent a few months in telemarketing (ugh). I've lived in the mid-west, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (called the U.P., eh?), and now I’m back in Texas.

As a side note, my folks retired to Corpus Christi, Texas - well, that is to say my father retired. My mother, having given up nursing many years ago and subsequently trying clinical counseling, being an optometry technician, running a small gift shop, being president of a half dozen civic organizations at once and just trying to be a "home body" has embarked upon yet another career (I think I can see where I inherited this tendency). She now has a Realtor’s license and is currently one of the top selling Century 21 agents in the state of Texas. This is no small feat considering how depressed the economy of Corpus Christi has been over the past few years.

I hope you found this page interesting enough to justify the time it took to read it. Enjoy the rest of the web site.

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