Growing up, like most children, I did not have the perspective to fully comprehend my environment. My father owned a stake in the family companies started by his father. The South Texas companies included construction, cranes, and lumber businesses that started in 1927.

Having a 4,000-acre company hunting lease in Frio County to go to every winter, or, if you were broken down on the road, a company tractor-trailer rig that would arrive to pick up both you and your car and take you to the company’s mechanics shop – this was just part of my childhood environment.

This made me a lazy person in some ways, but in others, I picked up on the family work ethic. When I was 14, I worked in the summer as a laborer. For $1.50 an hour, I had a number of jobs. Some I remember well, like moving multiple bundles of lumber out of the weather by hand, picking up trash, and sweeping the floor. The floor was 20,000 square feet and the trash filled three thirty-foot dump bed trucks. The truck driver Jesse taught me how to use the PTO and dump the load. It was a lot more fun and easier to unload the trash than to fill it up.

My work effort reading and writing in middle and high school is a good example of the bad kind of lazy. Almost all my reading was technical books. I could write process documentation, but hardly anything else. I was in my early 20s when I started reading novels for fun. After that, my writing improved.

So, if I could go back and speak to my younger self, it would be to say, “Read and write for fun when you’re young and never stop!”

Paul Guido

P.S. My grandfather was in his early teens when he and his father immigrated from Southern Italy, coming through Galveston to work in the vast open copper mines in southeastern Arizona. The mines at the time were worked primarily by Mexicans and Italians.  here he met my grandmother and started a family. In 1920, he moved the family to San Antonio.

When starting his own business, my grandfather needed to have accounting skills, so he sent off for a correspondence course from Chicago. He would do his homework and send it off by mail, and two or three weeks later he would receive a letter with his grade and the next assignment.

How times have changed.


  • When I was young my Dad took me to the library every Saturday where I would return seven books and pick seven new ones (yes I did read all of them).  I did that for years and always got top marks at school for reading, writing and comprehension.  Nowadays everyone asks me to proof read important stuff as they know I am reasonably good at it.  I also have a phone full of books which I read on my 1.5 hour each way commute every day.  It doesn't matter what they are about, they could be Sci Fi, War, Action, Adventure, Biogs etc.  It just exposes me to more views, more ideas and keeps my ageing brain active.  It also passes the time. 

  • I too learned a lot from my dad about being curious about how things worked and how to fix them.  The same was true for my grandfathers.  On one side of the family we're all engineers.

  • The problem is knowing when you are going to say something discouraging and stopping yourself from saying it! 

    Then again, I have been very motivated by people telling me I cannot do a thing. 

    When working as a sales assistant at a Novell VAR (1993) a very short-sighted CNE once told me, "You could never do what I do".  I have met almost every goal I have ever set and I keep setting them into the future.

    So far I have checked off my list......


    Windows Servers

    Directory Services




    SAN technology

    Enterprise Security

    Next is.....

    Enterprise Privacy


  • Maybe your son should see you and your wife reading an hour a day?  Just a thought.


  • A la the famous "Engineer's Credo":

    Image result for "if it doesn't fit force it"