I am a retired business analyst and IT consultant who spent 35 years designing computer production management software for the oil and gas industry, and then decided to retire the Rocky Mountains, hence my moniker. I trekked in numerous mountains: the Rockies, the Alps, the Andes, the Himalayas, everywhere they had big mountains. But, after a decade of retirement in the Rockies, I re-retired to Vancouver Island where it's warmer and it seldom snows. I couldn't handle the challenges of the Rockies any more, particularly hiking after one hip failed and skiing after one eye went blind. They've fixed both problems now, but I have taken the hint. You have to go with the flow as you age and entropy starts to win.
I grew up half a century ago in a different world than today. Alberta was still the Last Best West, as the immigration recruitment posters said. My grandparents came from Norway, built the railroads and homesteaded the land. My parents learned to ride a horse, shoot a gun, and handle themselves in a fight. I learned to shoot a gun at six, and bought a rifle at eight. Then I bought my own microscope and chemistry set, which was more my style. My first school was a one-room country school with 9 grades in one room, one teacher, a coal furnace, no running water, outdoor toilets for the boys and girls, and a horse barn for the student transportation. However, our biggest excitement came because they drilled oil wells all around the countryside and trenched in a pipeline right past our school, and we got to watch it all. The year before I was born, the oil companies had struck the first BIG oil discovery in Alberta, and discovered there was oil EVERYWHERE in Alberta. Little did we know how huge oil deposits would create career opportunities, although we did know that the government suddenly had a lot more money to build new schools. My old school has since been moved to a heritage park and turned into a museum example of a one room country school. How to make a guy feel old.
They've probably got a wax dummy of me sitting at my desk, holding a dinosaur bone I had found in the schoolyard and asking, "Teacher, can you explain this?" Because I did do that, and in Bible Belt country, it goes over badly. Being a naive kid I asked because I had found nothing in the bible about dinosaurs, and I had looked quite hard. The only answer I got was, "Don't ask questions like that!" from which I deduced I had to look elsewhere for answers. A more important question was, "Why is there so much oil in the ground underneath the dinosaur bones", and if you can answer that, you can make a lot of money.
Eventually, I went to the University of Calgary, the first year it officially existed, financed by digging graves, collecting garbage, and other things nobody else wanted to do. My student loans ran into the HUNDREDS of dollars and took MONTHS to pay off - yes it was a very different world. I managed to get a couple of degrees, one of them by accident. I signed up for some courses because I was tired of my job, and they said, "Do you realize that this gives you a second degree in Computer Science?" Then for the rest of my career, I did jobs that few people had ever heard of before, like "systems analyst" or "IT consultant". By the time other people knew what I was doing, I'd be doing something different that they didn't know could be done.
Education never stops, so in addition to my university degrees in chemistry and computer science, I got college certificates in petroleum production accounting, petroleum contract and land administration, etc. I worked for oil and computer companies in Canada and the U.S., plus a stint in the U.K. I once worked on a research project trying to find new ways to produce the Canadian Oil Sands. Our project didn't work that well, but other people succeeded and now oil sands are a multi-billion dollar industry paying billions of dollars in taxes. It could get even bigger when the conventional oil runs out. When Saudi Arabia runs out of oil, it will have too many people and no way to feed them. Countries who consume oil will probably want more oil, since solar farms, wind turbines, moonbeams, and pixie dust will probably not meet expectations in producing energy. Don't mortgage the ranch and keep your ammunition dry.RockyMtnGuy (talk) 11:47, 2 July 2016 (UTC)