Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Update on book

URL Information

Leave it up to me to forget to post the url where the book can be purchased or borrowed. For now it is available for the kindle, iBook and there is a free app that can be downloaded for the PC. So for those who would like to read the story of my life or maybe just a good book try this:

This should take you right there, and please write a review for my sake.

P-Day has arrived

Publishing Day finally here.
Forty-four years after leaving the US Air Force and two years after starting this project, I can look up and see the results. Yesterday Force of Fate - Letters to Oma was published on For me and my family this is a major milestone. I had begun to doubt myself when everything took so long to come together. My family was tired of hearing my story and my gripes about it not being published. Several times I was ready to give up. But the audacity in me kept me going forward. I feel at this moment that I am winning the battle. Don't get me wrong, I know we still have to sell books, and that would be nice. Those results are still in my hands as to how I handle the publicising of the book. Having it available was my first goal and that I have achieved. I have had some replies from friends and strangers asking me about the contents of the book and that is encouraging. The most frequent question is that folks who don't have the Kindle want to know if ii will be available in other format. Amazon tells me that in order to cash in on their generous royalties I have to stay with them for 90 days exclusively. I can handle that. I'm hoping that in 90 days we can have the soft cover book available as well. All I'm asking those who are purchasing or borrowing the book to please return to Amazon and critique the book for me. It could help my sales but most of all it will give me a measure of how I did and what I have to change in the second book.
Force of Fate has brought much to my life. It has allowed me to shed a demon that lived in me for over forty years. It has opened my mind to accept outside help for my condition. The VA has been great in pushing me towards a more normal life. On the downside, Force of Fate has opened some memories that bring with them really a dark part of my life. The psychiatrist says that it is good to face these demons. Just as we cleanse our bodies, we have to cleanse our mind. The single good factor that talking about my experience is that the more I talk about it the more I accept it, unconditionally.
During the past two months so many people who have read my blog or follow me on Facebook have been in touch with me and shared my story. Recently a friend of my middle son called me. He is now a teacher at a Western Pennsylvania High School. I remember him being a young lad in college and having the time of his life. Now he is so professional about everything. We talked about my story and because he is a History teacher, he really got into it. He now has a family so I am blessed that he finds 30 minutes every so often to call me and ask me about my adventures. Last night I spoke to him and told him about the publishing. He was so happy to hear that. The point I'm trying to make is that I am glad as well. Children will most likely never study about the dark days of the Cold War. I, however, can bask in the light of the release of the book. I know the story is out there now for all to see and my goals are met.
I would like to thank all those who have persevered with me on this journey. I hope my randing and raving as well as my soap box speeches have kept you entertained. I hope it has given you an inside into me, of who I am and who I am not. Do not judge a book by its covers for it might disillusion you.
I want to leave you today with one thought. I did not seek this life, just as you did not seek your. We are born into it with little say of how it will go for us. We do have the power to make ourselves worthy or worthless. I wrote a little ditty for a Preface to the book but my ghostwriter thought I was long winded again and we came up with a different one. Here was what I thought of when I finished the book:
From the time of my childhood with my Oma, it has been instilled in me that Fate or Destiny was to be my guiding light my entire life. To further cement this believe into my soul, some years ago a friend recruited me to aid him in a project he was working on. It was not the object of this project that fascinated me as much as the little booklet he printed and packed with the object. In short, the title of the booklet was ‘The pyramidal threat of life’. It was his believe that each of us was a threat in the tapestry of life. We, the threat , were pulled off some huge spool and inserted into the weaving machine. From that moment on we would cross paths with many other threats. We, as a threat, would break and be repaired to continue on our way. At some point another threat would intersect hours and we would be knotted together to continue our joint venture. We had tight the knot. Unfortunately all threats end at some point and we are left behind, perhaps forgotten, or we could have made an impressive statement with our threat that we would go down in history.
There was something missing to me. I searched for some time and finally realized that to little emphasis was placed on the ‘spool of threat’ we came from. This spool used to contain the threats of our ancestors, who, through the makeup of the material of the threat had left us with their character and hence the threat that still remained on the spool was that of my future generations who would inherit the trades of my ancestors and those I would pass unto them
So no matter what I did or didn’t do, my legacy will always be a part of my tapestry of life. Whether anyone would see it and interpret it cannot be said for certain. No matter, we are all there for history, preserved forever .This book, placed in the darkest corner of a library, covered with spider webs will still bear witness to the deeds a few did for the many.
All this we did for God and Country.
Rudi Fischer

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The world is changing, let's go along for the ride.

Post Military Service Continued
During the next two years I had to learn the chemical composition of ferrite powder, the art of 'pressing' the cores, kiln firing them, cooling them and then look at all the data. Any minute change created havoc on the acceptance rate of the mass of cores. At the time I took charge of the Quality Control section of Fabri-Tek, the acceptance rate of good vs bad cores finished was less that 50% in the testing department. Once the cores were tested and the bad ones ejected, the vials full of 'good' cores came to my department. We would still reject approximately 10% of the vials if more than 7 out of 100 proved defective. In retrospect we produced millions of cores just to have enough good ones for a single computer. Memory in those days were measured in 4 kilo bytes increments not in megabytes or giga bytes as today.
My research into all facets of production led me to find changes that were tremendous boosts to the reliability of memory cores. When I finally stumbled upon the holy grail we upped the acceptance rate at the testing level to above 90% and the failure rate in QC to less than 1%. We applied for a patent and received one. Only it was in the name of Fabri-Tek since we all signed contracts with the company, just for matters such as these. Reliablitity was not the only facet I experimented with. Size and speed was just as critical. It is here that I must make some changes to my previous posting. Last night I typed the numbers as fast as I could remember them without going to my spec sheet. Tonight I want to correct that In 1958, Fabri-Tek created the first memory core that actually contained a lettering and numbering system.The A5080 was a core that was 50 mil. in diameter and had a speed of 1 micro second. This meant that the 80 was not really true. When I arrived at Fabri-Tek they had moved past the A through the B3050 to the C2530. As I studied the memory core they introduced their latest D1820. This core literally looked like a piece of fly speck (if you know what I mean). After my experimenting andhaving our first automatic press build for us in France we were able to press the E1418. 1 mil in size and an access speed of0.125 micro seconds. The A core cost $1.00 to produce. The E core just $0.01 per unit. The largest facture in this was the acceptance ratio of the core vs the rejection rate.
We had made giant steps but we were still playing with cores. In the mean time other companies tried other means for memory. The most promising one was 'THIN FILM'. Ultimately it did not last long because of the complexity of producing it. Then one day in 1970, while we were at a meeting of Department Manager, looking over the blue prints of our new manufacturing plant in Fort Washington, Pa, Fabri-Tek's president made the announcement that all plans for a new building were to be put on hold because a couple of scientist in New Jersey had come up with a new mousetrap, a 'Chip' that was designed to be better, smaller in size yet larger in capacity and spell the end for our technology.
Now I don;t give up easily and so I began to look into this new product. It was so radical that is was hard for us old timers to understand it completely. At that moment I became a 'Conspiracy" advocate and I have not stopped since then. Many of the things we used then and now have a history of development, enhancement and ultimately leading to new products. Chips, the microwave oven, memory metal and others throw these theories out of the window.
This brings me forward some 4 decades and things have not changed. Technology now changes almost every 6 months. Most of the new gadgets are based on previous ones just made better and with more mind bogglers.
And so I was left behind like many hundreds of us were. I made several attempts to catch up, but as I got older and younger and younger people outshone me. I knew it was time to stop the madness and just be happy with what I had.
We now have texting, video messaging , Facebook, tweeter, you tube, Skype,  Google, googling and now Google+, URL: This new endeavor was launched to be the next Facebook. It is not based on text but video connections to friends and face to face conversations. Google allowed outside programmers to play with Google Plus and along came "Hang Ten"
Hang ten is a means of having a corporate size video conferencing at no cost (not taking into consideration that a web camera, and audio devices are needed) The latest innovation is to have scheduled broadcasts by persons having special subject matters.
This is were I come in again. I'm in the process in starting my own channel on Hang Ten with the subject matter at this time being writing, publishing and marketing novels. I will keep everyone informed when we go on the air for the first time. I'm trying to encourage my Facebook Friends to come on board but as expected of the 146 friends I claim only 5 answered me and only one said yes. Makes you wonder who really is your friend. I grant you other than through photos I can't tell you what my friends look like nor have I heard their voices. Or most of all if they are who they say they are. Food for Thought. If you have any interest please get in touch with me. Would love to have you and most of all I can call you my friend and mean it.
'Til later. Stay strong and smile, we will prevail. God Bless you.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The sky is not falling but the world is changing.

Post Military Years

Excuse me while I pull up my soap box a little closer to the microphone, take a sip of water, get my mind in gear and let the words roll off my tongue. Now, I am not one of those conspiracy theory nuts, but some things get me to wonder what has had a hand in it to make it this way.

When I finished my days in the Air Force of these here United States of America, I left with a plan, a plan that was so tight there was no room to wiggle. I came home, chilled a few days and listened to my family bitching because I was still unemployed and finally hit the pavement. I think even my car knew where we were headed to. When I arrived at my future place of employment, I looked in the mirror, checked myself out and took the most important steps in my life. Once in the building the Personnel Director, as he was known at the time, handed me an application, offered me a pencil but I took my pen out of my jacket pocket, sat down and did my thing. I filled out every question completely. Something I had learned in the service: Leave no stone unturned. That's what gave me my Top Secret clearance so fast. When I was all done, I walked to the receptionist and handed her my paperwork. She instructed me to take a seat until the Director looked over my application and called me into his office. Nothing different between civilian life and the military: Hurry up and wait. After sitting there for some time and growing older, the Director came out, sat down on the sofa next to me and had one question."Son", he said, " it says here in Question One that you are not a US Citizen?" "Yes Sir", was my reply. He looked at me and said: "I'm sorry but I cannot hire you. We work mainly for the Department of Defense and are only allowed to hire citizens." I looked at him dumbfounded, pulled myself together and spoke. " Sir, I don't mean to blow my own whistle, but I probably know your equipment better than anyone in here. I have worked and used all of your systems. I have send your company numerous technical changes to your equipment that was then incorporated into the system, and you can't hire me?' He shook his head, thanked me for coming, stood up and walked back to his office. Well my plan was shattered, maybe I should have had a back-up plan. If this happens, walk away go to the Russian Embassy and offer your services to them. They don't care what citizenship you have, only the information.

But I am a Patriot, I love my adopted country no matter what happens and I will find another street paved with gold that has my name on it. And so I went to the unemployment office. In those days they actually had a veteran working there that would help people like me. The old chap convinced a former grunt to give me a job in his company and so my janitorial career started with Fabri-Tek, Inc. They manufactured  memory that went into computers that took up a whole room. That, however did not concern me. I was in charge of emptying the trash, sweep the floors and mop when necessary. Oh, and don't forget to make sure those sanitary napkin holders in the Ladies Toilet are full. Unbeknown  to the company I did empty the trash cans, but I did not put the trash into the dumpster. Well, not the same day. During my breaks (remember in the 60's the laws said that you had to have a 10 minute break twice a day, plus lunch) I would take the papers, read them and sort them by importance. See, I was going to Fabri-Tek College on a scholarship from Fabri-Tek. Now you're asking yourself: "Why". Well, you never know when somebody leaves and they need someone else to step into his slot. Problem was the company was so good, no-one wanted to leave. So I had to create a hardship for someone and I soon found my candidate. In retrospect I must say this, I was always taught to give the company their money's worth of work. Our Quality Control Manager was not of the same opinion. Because of his lack of enthusiasm, shipment went out late, which cost the company precious dollars. I made it my mission to cause this individual to quit and me take his spot. Took me six months.

I had arrived where I wanted to be. Work is work, the product was new to me. I had worked with electron or vacuum tubes, some transistors, diodes, resistors and capacitors. Plus of course transformers in various sizes depending on the equipment you worked on. Now I no longer worked with many of these components other than in the testers used to evaluate our product in a pass or fail scenario. Fabri-Tek manufactured ferrite memory cores. What drove the electronics industry was speed. In the Air Force we know that a delay of seconds making an enemy on radar could cost us our life. When I was the janitor, Fabri-Tek produced the A6080 core. This stood for a core that took on a size of .00060 inches and had a speed supposedly of 80 nano seconds. In actuality it was much slower. We employed mechanical presses bought as scrap from Bayer Aspirin Company to press the ferrite powder into donut shaped cores. It was the job of my department to sample test the finished product and if passed our standards the cores would be on their way to Hong Cong, a British Colony at that time. Here they were strung with 4 wires in a plane 64 rows by 64 columns. This required 4096 cores. Hence it became known as a 4K memory plane.

Are you bored yet reading all this jargon? Well, I was. So I created myself a new job. Product Development. I took a small corner in my Quality Control shop and became R&D.

Tomorrow I will continue the purpose of this lecture as it pertains to not only myself but also to each of you every day in your life.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Diagnosis: PTSD

Someone once told me that 'We are merely a threat in the tapestry of life. We have a beginning, an end, sometimes we break during our time when we are woven, at which time we either are repaired or sometimes we are tied into a knot with another threat, this is marriage. But when the spool runs out our life is at its end'
Friends our spool is getting lighter, make the most out of it!

My last post was my second encounter with the tragedies of the Vietnam War. The blog consisted of Chapter 8 of my book Force of Fate - Letters to Oma. I always understood that what happened to me was not the result of an assignment, TDY or other connected excursion. It was the boredom of the type of assignment I was experiencing that caused me to seek out friends and fun. In the mean time Fate had other ideas for me. Certainly my first day trip to Vietnam was exciting and fun. It was a life lesson without many twists and turns. The second day-trip was the exact opposite. From the arrival at Da Nang to my departure some 22 hours later. Fate threw everything possible at me. This became a life-changing trip. My stepfather had trained me years earlier to be the best soldier, in retrospect a killing machine. After boot camp I was asked many times why I did not become a sniper and even today my answer is the same; The US Government decided  my Fate the day I raised my hand and became a soldier. No matter what I did , right or wrong, there was no deviation from their expected goals. How many soldiers have you heard of that struck a superior officer and remained in the service of Uncle Sam? Probably not many, but I was told to be more careful.

So time passes and I return home and slowly I sink into a place that is dark, bare, cold and lonely for me. After 4o years it takes a military friend and my wife to convince me to go to the VA for treatment. Reluctantly I go and I begin a regiment of psychological treatments augmented with constant changes of doctors. No sooner did I take to a doctors and he or she would be transferred somewhere else. Finally in 2010, I had a psychiatrist and a psychologist which I trusted enough to confide in. The psychiatrist was the first to wonder if it was PTSD that I was suffering from? Of course being a proud man I denied it to myself every chance I got. Some notes were made in my medical records and upon my next visit with my psychologist the subject was brought up and I was instructed that I would begin a 12 visit program to address my problem.
It all began with my "Stuck Points". I had to go home think about them and write them down. That's better said than done. The dog ate my homework. So when I arrived for my first encounter, I had not written one line. I had no 'stuck points'. So the doctor began writing down my problems and each time she wrote a line, I just smiled. She knew me better than my wife. OK, so you call them stuck points, to me they are survival points. Her answer was: Why do you need survival points now? You are home, you are safe. " Doc, have you picked up a paper lately or turned on the TV, we are far from safe. " That didn't phase her, she continued and ended up with a long dozen. I was to focus on these and change my outlook. By week seven some points stuck with me or perhaps I became unstuck from them. On of them did not budge, I could not stop it from blaming myself for the death of my best friend.

For those who read my previous blog, you will remember that after I returned to base aboard the Spooky, I waited for my friend to return. Than did not happen. When automatic beacon signals were picked up in the jungle a Search and Rescue Mission was initiated. Pulling some strings I ran out to the helicopter only to be told that I could not travel on this mission without proper equipment. Flak jacket, helmet and a M-16. They held the chopper until I returned and we were airborne. When we arrived at the crash site, the VC had moved their prisoners to a nearby hiding place. When the chopper landed and we disembarked we heard gunfire coming from a path nearby. Without retelling the entire story let me just say this. Since that day I have asked myself constantly why him, why not me. Then the guild would strike: was it my fault, because I held up the helicopter because I was not prepared and that caused the loss of life? I might sleep a little better because with medicine and constant discussions I have done away with some of my nightmares but the one question still hangs over me. Was it my fault.

In 2012 another change took place when a new psychiatrist came to our little outpost here in Delaware. Reluctantly I went to my first appointment with him. Now friends you all know by now that I am 100% German. Born in the Vaterland, raised there and I speak the language. My name gives me away, especially if whoever sees it is a history buff. In 1945, when I was given this name I was only the second child born in Germany with such a name. The first was the son of Rudolf Hess. I will let you research who he was. I stay out of politics. Turns out my new doctor is of Jewish descend. With these facts people right away thought we would have problems. Not so, at all. He was very professional at first until he got to know me and our conversation became personal. At one point he read in my records that I still suffered from 'self blame'. He looked at me and asked point blank: " Why do you blame yourself?" Now I am used to have psychiatrists ask me question and then ask me to give them the answer. He was different, he looked at me with a frown on his face. When he spoke again these were the words that came out of his mouth: "Did you ever think that had you been prepared and the helicopter was on time that your helicopter may have been shot down and all of you may have died that day?' I almost fell off my chair. The fact that he answered his question was unique but the answer itself was so to the point. Its taken me 6 months to accept this theory but since I can't answer it with any certainty, I have to accept its possibility. Blame is not gone but has been diminished. maybe 2013 will be better for me and I can make it better for those who care about me.

Maybe now I can allow love to come into my heart again and let it surround me with a new light.