about dabbler

So: Who’s this Joel guy?

Age 56: Portrait in Blue

I’m a baseball geek and a fairly serious amateur photographer. Once upon a time I was a very serious bicyclist, and I’ve been a Democratic Party staffer. I retired late in 2010, after working for the State of Michigan for over three decades.


A List of Things about Joel Dinda

  1. I watch lots of minor league baseball.
  2. I was born in 1949.
  3. I’m a graduate of Macalester College.
    • I graduated with the Class of 1982, but was originally a member of the 1971 graduating class. Life is complicated.
    • I majored in history under Ernie Sandeen, who passed away a few days before I completed classes.
    • My senior project at Mac was about transporting iron ore.
  4. I grew up in Kalamazoo. My brother and sister still live there.
  5. I now live in Mulliken. I share the town with about 600 souls.
  6. I share a small home with Joan and two kitties (Taffy and Oreo). We used to have two other cats, Butterscotch and Peppermint.
    • Joan named the candy kitties. Oreo was already named when she adopted us.
  7. I want to retire to Marquette, or Duluth. Joan doesn’t; claims they’re too cold. There’s a good chance we’ll end up in Saint Ignace.
  8. I retired on November 1, 2010, after 33 years as a Michigan civil servant.
  9. I watch Lakers. (No, not the basketball team: Boats.)
  10. I’m a Vietnam vet: Signal Corps communications center in Pleiku [SSDP]. Before that, I was stationed at Fort Baker (California), Fort Huachuca (Arizona), Fort Gordon (Georgia), and Fort Knox (Kentucky, of course, silly). This list is in reverse order, and it leaves off Fort Lewis and Fort Dix, both of which were transient stations.
  11. Bicycles:
    • I’m a life member of the League of American Bicyclists. (The plaque says League of American Wheelmen, which is the name I actually prefer. Water over the dam.)
    • I was president of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club from 1975 to 1977, and was host of the National Convention of Bicyclists (Escape 78) after my presidential term ended.
    • I used to bicycle. I used to bicycle a lot. My best bike has travelled over 87,000 miles.
    • I’ve begun to bicycle again, but no longer consider myself serious.
  12. I belong to the Missabe Railroad Historical Society, and was once active in the NMRA–but I now try to control my railfan addiction.
  13. I (still) own two Radio Shack Model 100s. I was an active member of Compuserve’s M100SIG.
  14. Long ago, I helped sysop a couple Lansing bulletin boards.
  15. I sing. I used to be an excellent singer, but asthma’s messed up my voice.
  16. I’m a Democrat.
    • I worked on George McGovern’s campaign and I’m still proud of him.
    • Gene McCarthy, too.
  17. I’ll tell you more if I figure out what I want to say.
  18. Oh, yeah. I used to be a government bureaucrat. I made lists for a living.

A short note about plans

I’ve got plans, but not necessarily for this page.


You may or may not want to see what I’ve said about myself on Library Thing (recommended) or Flickr (not so much).


Author’s note: This page was my first webpage, and was initially composed on January 24, 1996. It’s been moved a few times, and updated occasionally, but it’s essentially the original page.

Revision History: