Charlie's Home Page
I'm very proud to announce the birth of our first child, Skyler Kaj Balch. Skyler was born at 3:14 PM on the 18th of December, 2009 making him old. More details than most anybody would want to read are at his homepage.
Alex and I met in the Virgin Islands where I was living on my sailboat, a Freedom 40 named Ubi Libertas. My family motto is "Ubi Libertas Ibi Patria" or Where there in Freedom, there is my home/country.
Alex and I have married three times (no divorces). Our private wedding (cause we couldn't wait for the other two) was on 20 March 0f 1997. Then we got married the way I wanted to with a Boat Wedding on 4 May 1997 and Alex got her princess wedding on 16 August 1997 If you want to read yet another love story and how we came to be married three times, I wrote up the mushy story of how we met and I was privileged to wed Alex.
We have two dogs. Lagniappe is a Chocolate Lab mix (she's all retriever). Roux is a rescue who seems to have a lot of Collie.
I've spent much time living on the water and off the grid.I lived on Ubi for about ten years using only solar power and lived a few years before that on a smaller boat. To keep things simple, I had no refrigeration or hot water. I did have running water, lights, and a very nice stereo. And the ability to travel the entire world on a moments notice with all my stuff!
After marriage, we lived on the boat for about a year before lack of on board amenities motivated a move to shore. Alex and I have lived in some interesting places.
We lived on various Virgin Islands for a few years then moved to Copenhagen where Alex was a manager at Hard Rock Cafe and I wrote custom Business Logic applications.
After a year in Copenhagen, we decided that a life change was in order and moved to Baton Rouge, LA which is close to my parents. We spent a few years in Baton Rouge as I earned a Ph.D. in Instructional Technology, Research, and Leadership so that I could return to teaching, a profession that I love. Alex decided she wanted to be a teacher too and earned a Masters in Education with dual certifications on special education and K-5 instruction. For a few years we were poor students but still managed to have many possessions without going into massive debt.
After many years of the simple boat life, it feels a little strange to own lots of stuff, have a mortgage, and to be learning about lawn care.
We are currently living in Yuma, AZ. I left my position as Professor of Computer Information Systems at Arizona Western College for a position as Assistant Clinical Professor of International Business and Marketing with Northern Arizona University - Yuma Campus. I left AWC with great respect for the campus and look forward to the greater academic growth and the opportunity to focus on my strengths that NAU provides. I begin te Fall of 2012 with a promotion to the rank of Associate Faculty.
Alex is teaching K-5 inclusive special education at a local school in the Crane School District. We do love our jobs.
We moved to Yuma as Arizona Western College was the first place to offer me a position after I earned my Ph.D. We don't regret our Yuma move. We bought a house in October of 2008 in a very nice neighborhood that is close enough to campus for me to ride my bike. Four bedrooms, a pool, and an in-ground jacuzzi feel a bit over the top for the guy who used to think of the ocean as his pool. I suppose we were doing our bit to show that we believe the American economy will recover. We got a great deal on the house price and mortgage rate.
Living in the desert is novel for me. For the majority of my life I've lived in temperate climates close to the water. I've only visited snow. This is the first time in my life that I've gone years without seeing a mosquito or any other biting insect. Yuma has also provided my first experience with sustained environmental heat -- Yuma summer temperatures routinely exceed 120s but I've adapted and the heat is tolerable particularly when I'm on the water. A low humidity helps but you can't fight those numbers. On the other hand, the other three seasons are delightful and I manage to get my sailing fix with our small sailboat in the local reservoirs.
I do miss rain -- it hardly ever rains and even a drizzle is big news.
I've done more than a bit of sailing including numerous single-handed sailing trips to South America and all but three of the islands in the Caribbean chain. I kept non-traditional ship's logs and have posted the first two. In the first log, I get a bit introspective while spending about five months traveling mostly alone from the Virgin Islands to South America and back though many islands of the Caribbean chain. In the second log, I explore/have more fun in new and favorite places. I've lost track of how many hurricanes I've been in but it's close to a couple dozen including most of the Cat 5s that hit the Caribbean and/or North America since I've been alive -- here are some my hurricane tales.
While the vast majority of my professional career has focused on higher education and computer consulting, among the things I've been paid to do are university professor, learning center director, bartender, chef, sailing instructor, grade school teacher, ship’s captain, TV camera operator, mental health specialist, orderly, priest, welder, computer programmer, writer, and systems consultant. I delivered newspapers in grade school. Some years ago I ran for the Virgin Islands' Senate but didn't make it - I'm still trying to decide if that means I lost. I think I was once paid to dance but the memory is blurry.
HobbiesI like to write computer applications and give them away (much more fun than crossword puzzles). In example, check out SereneSound, Charlie's Jokes, and my ExcelToHTML macro. My biggest current project was BIRAT an open source system to create, analyze and export data from net based survey instruments. I also wrote a complete courseware system, YACS but I no longer support it. Here's the obligatory photo gallery:
My first degree is in Psychophysiology from the university of California at Davis. I wrote the degree and am one of a handful in the world that have one. I admit it's not the most useful degree. I learned mondo control of my body functions and some other esoteric stuff. I.E. I can stop my heart for a bit, but who cares? (Don't answer that.) I have a masters degrees in Education and an MBA from the University of the Virgin Islands and a Ph.D. with a focus on Leadership and Research from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. My dissertation focused on issues in Internet survey design and includes a companion project, birat.net, a full featured Internet survey design, delivery, and analysis system. I've started the Masters in Computer Science program at Columbus State in Spring of 09. As of the Summer of 2010 I'm two thirds of the way through my third masters degree but probably will not finish it as it does not fit with my future plans..
Outside of academia, I'm a licensed minister in a variety of states and have performed many marriages, I hold various computer certificates, am a licensed US Coast Guard Master Captain and a US Sail Sailing Instructor. I also squeeze bituminous coal into diamonds in my spare time.
A random selection from my collection of favorite quotes:
Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?" Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night." ~ Charles M. Schulz
Thanks for the visit.
Reverend Captain Charles Vickroy Balch MEd, MBA, PhD
7853 E. Lorenzo LN.