Just who is this "Doc" guy anyway?

The Life and Times of "Doc"

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Mortimer J. Abraham Tiberius "Doc" Nickelovich-Smythe was born in the latter half of the 20th Century, and again, just before lunch the next day. Early on he dedicated himself to careful study and analysis of the world around him, with a minor in rigorous diaper testing and recreational colic.

After a few uneventful years, his parents eventually determined that his various grunting noises were in fact a rudimentary form of speech and reluctantly allowed him out of the padded storage closet, with limited periods without retraints.

After a few more years spent mastering bipedal locomotion and basic biological functions, he was deemed ready to attend the local public educational system, despite numerous obstructionist lawsuits. His parents, no dummies they, took the opprotunity of that first day at school to move to an undisclosed location, from which better to indirectly monitor the youngster's education without inadvertently collapsing the Shroedinger waveform.

Essentially left to his own devices, he was eventually forced to rewire those devices and attempt to make a living with them. Which brings us up to the close of the 20th Century.

Morty, or "Doc" as he prefers to be called, got into paintball in a limited way in the late 80's, and in a major way around 1990. His uneducated, haphazard purchasing of markers and equipment from the magazines based entirely on looks and ad-hype ensured that he never wanted for a rousing evenings fun fixing or repairing any one of them. Many a pleasant hour were wiled away attempting to locate internal leaks on the Cobra, or even to merely coax the poor thing into the 200 foot-per-second range. His vocabulary expanded in many interesting and colorful ways during this period, eventually developing into the ability to anneal metal verbally.

Eventually the recreational play resulted in the opening of his own field in 1996, which firmly nailed shut the coffin on Doc himself being able to play. In his own words, he says "If you really, really, like to play Paintball, for the love of God, don't open your own field!"

A few years later, the dissolution of the field based in no small part by a rather poor choice in partnership material led to the fateful decision- Get a real job, or mooch off of family while fixing paintball guns and pretending it's a source of income.

Not desiring to become innately familiar with the workings of a grease trap, and Ebay having callously banned the sale of human organs that year, the choice was obvious. Unfortunately, it turns out the Blood Bank wouldn't pay for blood that was mostly carbonated, roughly 40% sucrose by weight, and an odd shade of pale green.

So in July of 1998, amidst much fanfare, Doc launched www.docsmachine.com, and was immediately noticed by his first customer scarcely two months later. This first job provided ample capital to invest in a Quarter-pounder, and Doc was well on his way. Eventually his skill level grew to the point where barrels barely had any Vise-grip marks at all, and the No.2 bastard file gave way to an actual Dremel. As time progressed, the Quarter-pounder gave way to the Quarter-pounder with cheese, then the double Quarter-pounder with cheese, and finally the incomprehensible luxury of an actual Big Mac. Fries, it would seem, still remain an ephremal chimera.

The shop started out as the corner of a converted pig barn, with a single four-foot-wide workbench and a JET vertical mill as his only power tool. As his workload grew and storage requirements increased, the barn was cleared out and painted, workbenches were added, and more machine tools were purchased. This did little to improve his housekeeping, however, and piles of various paperwork filed in some form of geologic strata type system fill every open spot.

A small lathe was purchased, which gave way to a larger one, which was supplanted by a still larger machine. The walls were filled with shelves, pegboards, and massive speakers intended, as he says, "to drown out the white noise of my own mind, so that I can actually get something done!"

The shop as it stands today, enjoys bright lighting, twenty-eight feet of sturdy workbenches, four various large machine tools, racks of hand tools in no discernable order, and a networked laptop full of music that can sterilize frogs at fifty yards. Doc demonstrates- the aluminum bar stock on the wall rack starts to rattle. A mouse click and a new song- if it can be called that. Dust sprinkles lightly off the overhead fixtures, and the door on the lathe cabinet starts to buzz. "Needs more bass" he says, adding that he's looking for another amplifier.

Project boxes are scattered between hell and breakfast. There's ten on that bench, five more on this one, six under that end of the bench, two more on that stack of boxes. The wire racks upstairs in the storage room hold twenty or thirty more. "If there were two of me", he quips, "I'd only have twice as much work as I can handle."

Every project imaginable is represented either in the boxes or noted on one of the many whiteboards scattered about the shop. Unidentifiable stacks of parts and rough-cut pieces abound, and indecipherable steel gadgets are stacked by every machine.

But even this is not enough. In the middle of 2002, in addition to rebuilding an odd old Olds and repairing three other vehicles, Doc ressurected long-disused art skills and began to draw a paintball-related comic strip called, naturally enough, The Whiteboard. The strips' protagonist is a thinly disguised avatar of Doc himself, and the rest are gestalts; the facets of many reflected in each. Customers, lest someone "recognize" him or herself from a realworld transaction, are largely faceless.

The strip is read by a loyal following of three or four people, and has probably been mentioned somewhere, by someone, possibly even in a non-derogatory manner. The strip is updated three times weekly, and other than frequent server crashes, IP bans, scanner malfunctions, software glitches and crippling writers' block, it has been totally regular and reliable for almost three full months now.

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Copyright 2002, 2003, Doc's Machine & Airsmith Services. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.
Keep things in order; Pillage first, THEN burn.