Who's Baloo?

Robert (Baloo) Dunehew was born after Sputnik but before manned space flight. He displayed a high degree of mechanical aptitude and scientific curiosity from an early age. When he was only 3, he painted the garage floor, "fixed" mommy’s vacuum cleaner, and "discovered" electricity (with the aid of a screwdriver). That was a typical week.

In elementary school, he discovered science and science fiction, though it would take a few years before he could distinguish the difference between the two. At age 6, while watching a Gemini launch on television, he was suddenly disillusioned when he realized that this meant the "Jetsons" was only a cartoon. At 8, Baloo saw his first episode of "Star Trek" on a friend’s color TV. The only thing he clearly recalls is that this "Spock" guy was either supposed to be an alien or, judging by his color, was about to lose his lunch.

At 12, our hero began reading such classics as "Lucky Starr, Space Ranger" by Paul French (a.k.a. Isaac Asimov), "Danny Dunn, Boy Scientist", and "Tom Sawyer". It was at this time that he decided to be an engineer, whereupon his brother-in-law (an engineer) gifted him with a cornucopia of drafting instruments. Baloo immediately began drawing planes he thought the Air Force ought to have, based upon aesthetic considerations rather than actual need.

In High School, Baloo excelled in math and science though, much to his teachers’ annoyance, he often brought science books into class to read when the teacher was boring (a frequent occurrence). In college, Baloo had two excellent semesters before he discovered the fine art of carousing (during which time he added a few refinements of his own), followed shortly by poor grades and a not-quite-voluntary decision to enter the workforce and worry about college later.

Baloo worked a range of jobs from graphic artist to sheet rock hanger with varying success until he finally decided to join the Air Force, under the advice of his last civilian boss. In the Air Force, Baloo joined the electronic Jack-of-all-trades career field of Electronic Warfare. (He’d tell us more, but then he’d have to kill us, and he says that he already has enough to do as it is.)

Baloo is still in the Air Force, and has only since October of '97 gotten "on the web". Despite this, he is learning HTML and many other useful acronyms. His interests are science, science fiction, humor and human behavior (of which these last two items amount to much the same thing). In his spare time he lives with his wife and infant son in Clovis, New Mexico, about 50 miles from Earth. No Kidding! On the highway to Lubbock, Texas there’s a sign that says:

It's been a while since I updated the above. What's happened since hasn't been particularly good news, and I was constrained to not discuss the matter until things were settled.

In September of 1999, I discovered that That Woman (hereinafter referred to as "TW") was seeing someone else. by the end of the month, she had moved out (I came home one afternoon to find the house devoid of furniture). I will go into no details, except that TW had no intention of leaving me a forwarding address nor a phone number, though I eventually discovered this information. I filed for divorce shortly thereafter.

The day before the court appearance, I discovered, through my Attorney, that I had been legally divorced from TW since December 21st of 1999. The final details (child support, division of property, etc.), were to be decided before the Judge.

On April 18, 2000, the Judge decided that TW and I would swap cars (I wound up with the minivan, but she has to pay for the Concord), and that she would retain all other property in her possession, and I would retain all property in mine. Well, I suppose I can someday replace the washer and dryer. And everything else.

We have joint custody of Jordan (my son). This means that I have him every Tuesday for 3 hours, and alternating weekends. Plus, I'll have him for 2 weeks in the summer. She gets him the rest of the time.

A pic of Son & Me

TW also gets approximately 1/4 of my take-home pay for child support. I don't begrudge a penny of it as long as it's actually used to support Jordan. However, this leaves me paying a large number of bills we accumulated jointly, while she retains the property I'm paying the bills for.

I haven't got any disposable income to speak of, for the time being. For example, if I want to take in a movie, I might have to skip lunch one day, or make dinner of a sandwich -- not a bad prospect, actually (I like sandwiches). If I want to go out and possibly meet someone, it had better be at the laundromat or the library. It's just as well, for right now, I'm still working through my feelings over what happened. I don't think I'd make a good prospect myself, in my current frame of mind.

I'm not as bitter as I was when this began, and my prospects of getting the bills caught up and maybe doing something for fun (apart from reading or watching TV) is not far off (perhaps 2 or 3 months, if I'm a real tight-fisted S.O.B. ;)). For now, I just go to work and come home. At least I still have the dog.


PS: I will probably update this again as things change (for the better, one would hope).

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