Volunteers in Tax Assistance (VITA)
While a member of Beta Alpha Psi, one of the activities I was involved in was preparing tax returns for lower-income people through the PATH VITA program. In order to qualify for VITA participation as a tax preparer, individuals have to pass the certification exams. I have held advanced and specialty certifications each year.
I have been a volunteer with VITA for four years and also volunteer with the AARP Tax-Aide program.
While I do not do much more than play now, in prior years I've been very active with disc golf. Most of the time I spent organizing disc golf events, including regional tournaments. Events ranged from the local weekly and special events to organizing and directing the East Texas Open/Paul Giles Memorial for three years, each year with full fields. At the same time I operated a business, Bob's Golf Discs that partly funded the tournaments. Prior to that I designed and developed the first course at Lindsey Park and a couple of other courses in east Texas.
I have not spent much time taking pictures lately, but have been a a member of various on-line photography groups where I often take photographs for various competitions, challenges and assignments.
Although I can beat anyone in my family at Chess, I'm rated near the bottom when compared with tournament players. It's such a time-consuming game with little local competition, I rarely play or study now. Still, it's a great game and I follow Chess related news.
Scrabble® is one of my favorite board game. Although being able to play competitive Scrabble is limited in east Texas, I occasionally traveled to compete in regional Scrabble tournaments in Texas. In tournament play, competitors use a time clock and are allowed 25 minutes per player in each game. Most tournaments consists of 11-12 games for a two-day event. Divisions are created based on player ratings. I am usually in the bottom of three major divisions.
I also play on-line on ISC (Internet Scrabble Club) where I am a supporting member. I have also been certified as a Scrabble tournament director.
Bulletin Board System Operator
In the late 80's and 90's, I operated two local computer bulletin board system, Baby Blue, with networked message bases and file echoes. At that time, the Internet was not open to the public so getting on line meant calling a BBS system. While a SysOp, I developed and managed local ETNet. Baby Blue was also the East Texas network host for FamilyNet International. During and after that time, I also wrote software for the BBS community, including a BBS program, SwiftBBS and an echomail conference listing program, Echobase and supporting software. The Echobase set of software programs were still in use on an international level in 2011.