Andrew “Andy” Allan

Changed my life?  Naw! I am too much like him, secure in my own certainty and belief that the rest of the world is out of line with reality and wandering blindly down the rose-colored glasses path to self-delusion and perdition. We have always gotten along because we each mine the world for ideas and improvements, seeing incremental progress in a better light switch, a more logically placed cup holder, a time-saving klemfedderspanner (I actually have one in my toolbox), the polyglot, the arcane, the outre and the brainstorm. What others call nuts, crazy, a waste of time, is to both Duane and me, well-worth exploring for the unrefined ore that may lurk within.  We suffer fools poorly and dismiss empty rhetoric with well-deserved disdain. Our mutual advice to the world of business and politics specifically is shut up and try something useful so we can find out if you can do the job. A long-suffering friend of our mutual acquaintance once tagged us both as Asperger’s syndromites. We laughed uproariously. It is simpler than that; it is easier to ignore that and those which are not interesting than to exert vast energies accommodating an uncomprehending throng.

So changed my life?  No.  But enriched it by recognition of another unique and rebellious personality who spits in the eye of convention because the alternatives are vastly more interesting!  Absolutely!

Updated 28 April 2024

Well now…
Other than becoming an orphan in 2017 when the last parent expired, and realizing that I am well past my “adopt by” expiration date, I became the oldest surviving member of my family and started contemplating what to do with the final 15 or so years of my corporeal existence. Sort of a cosmic self-contemplation of the navel of finity. Infinity is too inchoate and endlessly remote, so forget that.

So, in response to the several experiences of being fired from jobs during my life, I told my employer that their services were no longer required, and retired to a life of counting sugar in Cleveland (an occupation I learned about from Walt Kelly many years ago).

Actually, being retireded is a lot like being childed. There are chores. There are others’ expectations. There are needs. But nothing is so urgent today that won’t be more urgenter tomorrow (again, Walt Kelly). There is the opportunity to play. There is the freedom to give the insouciant raspberry to anyone.

All my life I saw work in a completely different light than any of my co-workers. I never, quite, took any of it seriously, because of the chaotic waving of arms, running in circles, and blindness purposelessness that permeated the business world. No wonder I never rose to positions of power or control. That would have necessitated checking into the rubber baby buggy ward for the corporate lobotomy.

My aptitude has always been: “Never did it that way before? Let’s try it and see! Wouldn’t that be interesting?”

The response has variably been: 1) “Stop wasting my time and get back to work” 2) “We’re not paying you to think” or 3) dead blank stare.

So now I demonstrate my out of phaseness by driving at or 1.25 miles per hour below the speed limit (take that you tailgating moron); smiling at the surly store clerk (don’t you wish you were this happy); wandering down random roads that twist interestingly (all right, I’ve always done that). The concept of Zen Navigation espoused by Douglas Adams has always resonated.

Last year I acquired an older Class C Winnebago. I am outfitting it for a Starlink dish and adding wifi. Shakedown cruise is next week, to Louisville for a truck show, to S Carolina to visit the BMW motorcycle owners club I joined in the 1970s, to Florida to visit friends in a couple places, and back. The world of mobile living and holding tank servicing is soon upon me.

Now I need to find a place to build a big barn in which to ensconce this latest and largest of toys.

Since it is March, I close with two Walt Kellys (as if one of him was not enough):

“What’s good about March? Well for one thing it keeps February and April apart.”

Andrew Allan

Comment by Vanessa
In about 1983, Duane got a contract job with SRI (Stanford Research International) to use his skill with Morse code to work on a spy program. That led to SRI hiring him to lead the field survey crew for the NEXRAD weather radar known as Doppler radar that we see daily in weather forecasting.  He pulled in a couple of friends who were quite technical and willing to do hard work.  One was Andy Allan.  This is his very interesting answer to my request for comment about Duane.