March 27, 2006

Blackbeard's successor: Bud Hale

After a long run with the High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, we are passing one of our Senior High Performers on to new adventures. At about 72 years of age, Bud Hale, Systems Administrator and Microwave Tower Climbing Instructor has decided to look for new thrills out in the Briny Deep. Bud has decided to take a position with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, working on systems support on the ocean going research vessels that sail out of Point Loma.

Bud, during recent tower installation work, obviously contemplating life as a pirate on the seven seas
Bud Hale contemplating

With the HPWREN project since its beginning, Bud was originally hired for a nerdy indoor position as System Administrator with the National Laboratory for Applied Network Research (NLANR) project at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. When Hans-Werner Braun asked Bud if he would like to get out of the office and into the backcountry and fresh air, Bud jumped at the chance to join the HPWREN team - especially since it meant he would be spending some time 60 feet or more up on a microwave tower.

Bud has performed exemplarily planning and execution for antenna installations, working with tower site managers, designing hardware and just promoting the HPWREN project as a whole. Almost always the first man up the tower, Bud has always given even the younger tower team members a lesson in physical stamina. There is no one that Bud has come in contact with who did not come away with a far greater understanding of the HPWREN project and knowledge that the project appreciated their participation and cooperation. There is no shortage of stories Bud can impart about his adventures with the project and no one he wouldn't tell the stories to.

Bud Hale resting
A microwave tower atop Mt. Soledad functions as a fine resting place for a well deserved nap, setting the stage to attracting Bud to hammocks and crows nets as a new career

Never having passed up an opportunity for an adventure, a long time sailor, Bud has spent a lot of time on the ocean. It is believed by some that he was Christopher Columbus' first sailing instructor and Bud was the one who told him "Chris, India is that way" and you all know how that advice worked out. Well, now the call of the sea has become too great for him to ignore and he is going to answer it, exchanging microwave tower cat walks for crows nests on ships, while proudly standing next to a Jolly Rogers. He will continue to participate with the HPWREN project in a limited capacity, and it won't be long till he will be sharing his Sea Fairing Pirate stories with us out at tower sites again.

Bud, we all know that no matter how far you go, you won't be far away, and we will all see you again soon. And we leave you with this one bit of advice: Mermaids are only "catch and release." You can't keep'em!

Jim Hale
First HPWREN Shipmate

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