J. Philip Whitman Joins the Blogosphere
Posted by Neal on February 23, 2010
If you’ve read this blog from the beginning, you’ve heard about a guy who has…
- …teamed up with my brother to mess with me, with the word fring as their weapon of choice.
- …held forth on the proper usage of words such as ramp and stuffing.
- …told stories from his days in the oil refinery, including good-ol-boy nicknames for fluidized catalytic cracking units.
If you read my brother’s blog Agoraphilia, you’ve even seen a picture of him celebrating Christmas with firearms.
That’s right, it’s my dad, J. Philip Whitman. Who is this man? you may have asked yourself. How can I find out more about him? Well, I am pleased to announce that following his retirement, he has started his own blog, called For Example. For example, it seems, has become almost his trademark in his line of work during the past couple of decades. After getting his master’s degree in chemical engineering, he spent most of his career in the oil and gas industry, starting out in refineries (see above), but ending as a consultant specializing in “cause and origin” investigations for accidents. In that capacity, he has spent numerous hours giving expert witness testimony, attempting (with a lot of success) to make chemistry and physics understandable to juries — an endeavor in which the phrase for example was one of his most useful tools. For his retirement, his colleagues even got him a nameplate with For Example written on it in beautiful Gothic blackletter script.
As you may have gathered from his appearances in posts here, Dad is also not shy about expressing his opinions, and he has a lot of them. The language-related ones are the ones that have shown up here, but he also has plenty regarding energy policy (of course), social issues, government, and probably much more. Judging from his first post, we can expect to read them on his blog.
What you don’t know about Dad from reading about him here is that he’s a spellbinding storyteller. For years, I’ve been recording him on occasion, telling some of my favorite stories from his childhood and onward, including “How’s Your Tallywacker?”, “I Don’t Go Looking for a Fight”, “Funny Tricks My Older Brothers Played On Me”, and “The Time Your Mom Kicked Me Out of the Car on the Way to San Antonio and I Had to Hitchhike the Rest of the Way There”. (Actually, she didn’t kick him out: She gave him the ultimatum of stopping his complaining or getting out of the car, and he chose the latter.) And then there’s his other story of hitchhiking: “Hitchhiking to Albany, Georgia”. It looks like Dad might be planning to write up some of these family classics in his blog: “Hitchhiking to Albany” appears in his second post (with the title “Headin’ Home”).
So Dad, welcome to the blogosphere! Literal-Minded readers, you’ll find For Example in the “Other Blogs” section of the blogroll.