Can I help you solve a problem?

Olivia and me
Olivia and me

My name is Nat Childs. I’m a 75 year old lifelong student of how things work in the world. As a kid I’d take things apart and put them back together, proving to myself that I understood how they worked. I’ve continued with that approach all my life. I graduated from Yale’s Engineering school with a degree in Electrical Engineering and proceeded to work at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory for several years, contributing to development of experimental communications satellites, early integrated circuit technology, shared computer systems, etc. Burning out on working for the same people year in and out I left the Lab and did several things. I  failed at a pyramid marketing scheme (not my cup of tea!), converted an old school bus to a livable space, renovated a house in Vermont, traveled around the country and settled in the hills of Northern California. There I designed and built a house, took over a general electronics repair business, and became a landlord.

My interest in how things work extends well beyond electronics. I’ve made and fixed mechanical things all along, including rebuilding and fixing motors, doing cabinet work, plumbing, wiring, operating an old bulldozer (a D4 Cat, same age as me) and excavator. The design of my house is unique — it’s in earthquake country and it’s built to be able to flex in order to reduce the likelihood that it can be shaken apart (and it’s been through a few without problems). That house has been off the grid with solar power since the eighties — I put solar panels high on the roof with batteries and a sine wave inverter inside so it’s pretty downtown living in the hills.

Studying how things work includes observing how we relate to each other — what works and what doesn’t. There seem to be no limits on my curiosity about how things work and I’m hoping that some of what I’ve learned can be useful to you! Feel free to click on the posts link and enter your comments and/or questions. It’ll be good to meet you online!

In the long run I hope this site will produce some income but at this early stage I just want to introduce myself and find out if this creates interest.