Editor: portlandpiper

Name: Michael Johnston
E-mail:   Send to portlandpiper
Home Page:   http://www.PortlandPiper.com/



Summary: Computer programmer that plays and teaches bagpipes, baking, cooking, and dancing.

Baking: I have been working on my baking skills for over 30 years. Most of my current projects are developing restricted diet baked goods. I will make a few items for a customer and then teach them how to bake for themselves. I was originally taught by my grandmother, have taken several specialty courses along the way, and just do a lot of reading and practice.

Cooking: (Yes, it is different than baking. To me, baking is more like chemistry and cooking is more like art.) I have also been working on my general cooking skills for over 30 years - in parallel with my baking work. I enjoy cooking and eating different ethinic foods. I got into ethnic foods when our Phillipino neighbour would bring interesting dishes to the neighbourhood block parties. I just had to learn to prepare each of the dishes. I branched out from there initially to Mexican and then Chinese food. Along the way I have worked through cookbooks on Brazillian, Peruvian, southwest American Indians, Scottish, English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Scandinavian and most recently Ethiopian food.

Dance: I started dancing around 25 years ago. I went along with my Dad to a local square dance and decided that it looked fun. I joined a local teen group and soon started dancing several nights a week. After a few years I tried my hand at calling dances, but I really do not have voice for it. In college I joined a friend and his brother when they went to an international folk dance class. I got hooked on dancing again, and after going through the beginner class, I joined the intermediate and advanced classes the next year. The following year I started teaching and reviewing dances on the class request nights.

Programming: This also starts about 25 years ago. I along with a friend would go to play games on the computers at the local community college which was across the street from the junior high and high schools. Playing the games was fun for a while but I started wanting to know how it all worked. I started entering in some of the college student programs, saw how they worked, made some changes, and saw what changed. Little by little, I taught myself BASIC. The next year I signed up for a computer course at the high school and learned FORTRAN and assembly language. The following year I sat in on college courses in Pascal, PL/1, database design, and IBM 360/370 assembly language. I now specialize in embedded system, BIOS, drivers, and diagnostics software.

Bagpipes: I started taking bagpipe lessons about 12 years ago because I liked the music and the dancing. I am now the manager and lead instructor of a small pipe band in Portland, Oregon (www.RiverCityPipeBand.com) and I have been teaching new students for several years. I compete regularly at the local pipers' society meetings and at the local highland games in the summer.

If you want more details or just want to chat about any of these subjects, just let me know.

Visit RecipesAndReviews.com for some of my recipes and foodie blog.
Visit RiverCityPipeBand.com for information about my pipe band.