Mark Goldhamer Weiss

Profile Updated: August 29, 2023
Mark Goldhamer
Mark Goldhamer


Mark Goldhamer


Yes! Attending Reunion
Residing In Germantown, MD USA
Occupation Chemist(magnetics,metrology,statistics) NOW RETIRED

RETIRED 28-Feb-2023; other text still good; updates though (maybe later) Professionally developed into highly skilled metrologist (keenly acute at measurements & factors that affect them); developed skills in statistics; college & grad school provided enough Philosophy courses for a minor, but only B.S. in chemistry officially; the philosophy has provided tools very helpful in the workplace; probably a surprise to most of you that philosophy could provide useful workplace tools as do metrological skills and statistics. Not all my interests are this technical though! Nor is it only the technical stuff that I am into or understand. Still do have plenty of hobbies, though some (like trumpet playing etc.) are a good bit less now. Here's the listing of my interests: music, audiophile sound systems (incl. headphones), billiards, bowling (ten-pin AND candle-pin) [both with hearing protection, by the way], philosophy, teaching methodology, backgammon, travel (incl. St Lucia, Russia, Germany, St Maarten), art (esp. Dutch masters, still-life, genre, tromp l'oeil), theatre, photography, playing (though rare now) trumpet (& piccolo trumpet & cornet), roller coasters and amusement parks, go-karting, DVD's (and even laserdiscs), drum corps competitions, craps, electronics (have oscilloscope etc.), The Great Courses (purchased about 70!), linguistics, perceptual psychology and more. Lots of reading stuff too; no surprise there, I'm sure. So used and new books purchasing -- in shops and on-line. Not married. Ever close to it? Somewhat. Karen -- way back in graduate school.

School Story - tell us 1 or more funny, sentimental or other memories about high school years.

Of all life experiences, indeed amongst one of the best ones truly was playing in the stage band for the senior class play. When we look back on our lives, there are always different "flavors" or "environments" or "perspectives" for the different time periods. Sometimes, in fact, the perspective is actually how there was a lack of perspective. The flavor / environment / perspective usually spans a substantial time and certainly "colors" any more particular experience. But a very happy experience with virtually no negatives was being in the stage band for the senior class play. I know, I just repeated that -- with no saying of why. That'd take too long. On other experiences, e.g. with Anne (of class one year younger) things are "mixed" (partly my fault) -- so lots of good and not-so-good. But stage band was all pure good. Not painting an overly sentimental picture here at all. Even at the time I felt it like that.

Tell us one fun or interesting fact about yourself and life since high school. Something we can share at the reunion with others.

More than my training as a chemist, and even though I have not earned a degree or official certification as a metrologist, I WAS (now retired) well-respected at work for my metrological skills (acute keen-ness of measurements prowess). 6 Philosophy courses & numerous philosophy seminars have likewise given me tools to "detangle" & clarify issues, and to point out implications, entailments and perspectives in the workplace. Since 1986, I have been at the Bureau of Engraving & Printing -- the government agency that manufactures U.S. paper currency.

All this in my profile about metrology and philosophy and so on does not mean I've merely gotten better at technical things though. Philosophers themselves have said of themselves that they are, in large part, psychologists. Why that's so -- well it gets technical (the nature of what many western analytic philosophers think they are doing entails...). But anyway, regardless why that contention may or may not be true of the philosophy discipline (as practiced in the West), it does turn out to be true that you understand people, situations, and a whole host of real life stuff. True, some of that understanding even DOES help you out in improving things at work, but the deep understanding from being philosophically attuned is no way restricted to technical stuff. You appreciate more about life and differing perspectives and so on. I'll tell you a wonderful thing that the crime writer James Ellroy's WIFE said to me in a discussion. What she said beautifully illustrates my point and -- even more importantly -- is an extremely IMPORTANT point that, taken to heart, explains SO much and, just as importantly, helps you appreciate things more. The quote -- without my preamble -- is this (word-for-word): "Not only that; Americans are overly literal-minded." Don't be upset though. At least we're allowed to criticize. I agree with her totally. At least I didn't go on about what the "not only that" was, but James Ellroy's wife's comment was the more important and insightful one anyway. RETIRED as of 28-Feb-2023

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Sep 22, 2023 at 5:25 AM

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Posted on: Sep 21, 2020 at 4:33 AM

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Jul 07, 2020 at 9:52 AM
Mark Goldhamer Weiss has left an In Memory comment for Roger Leon.
Apr 22, 2020 at 8:33 AM

I've already written about Roger and Gregory Marcopoulus' wonderful writing about he and Roger.  What Joel wrote prompts me to write just one more thing.  Here it is rather than saving it for after quoting Joel.  In a phone call with Roger after a party, here is what Roger said:

I was the perfect host:  I said a little bit to everyone and nothing to anybody.

By this, Roger meant -- and I understood him instantly -- he spent time conversing with everyone, leaving nobody out and said not a bad thing (or anything that could even be construed as such) during all his time talking with everyone.   So what Joel wrote is so true:

... I do recall him as a very kind soul, a soft spoken and polite guy... given that kind people sometimes seem to be at a premium...

As I commented to Joel's posting on Louis Joseph's memory page, I think we Pittsburgher's are so very genuine in our experiences and sentiments on reflecting upon them.  Thanks once again Joel.  You knew Roger so well (it seems) even if you didn't know him.  I knew him from 5th grade on (when I moved to the city from Pleasant Hills).  Hope you enjoyed his quote.  That is literally verbatim.  It should be in a book of quotations.

Mark Goldhamer Weiss has left an In Memory comment for Louis Joseph.
Apr 22, 2020 at 8:33 AM

Nice writing, Joel.   Gregory Marcopolus did sensationally evocative writing about he and Roger.  I'm not a writer, just a hobby, but I took a The Great Courses (formerly The Teaching Company) course on writing and Gregory would have gotten an A or A+ from the prof who gave that course.  Not that there is a contest or anything.  What you wrote about Louis was great too.  You know?  I think us Pittsburgh folks are the best.  Everybody that was in highschool (all over the country) of course has their own memories and sentiments, yet somehow I still think our experiences and reflections on them are so genuine and pure.  Which I think in part is due to the character of Pittsburgh.  My mother once said of Pgh how it's "small town" .  Yes, it is the world's biggest small town, Pittsburgh.  Curiously, in a book called Cities (all OVER the world), Pittsburgh was in there and a comment was quite interesting:  if Pittsburgh were somewhere in Europe, the author argued, then people would travel 500 miles out of their way to see it.  So world's biggest small town PLUS with a lot of culture too.  But the former I think contributes to the genuineness and saliency and indeed the poignancy of our high school experiences and reflections on them even years later.  Thanks for writing about your experiences with Louis.  It was good to hear from you.  -- Mark A. Weiss (Goldhamer)

Sep 21, 2019 at 4:34 AM
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Jul 28, 2017 at 12:51 PM

Posted on: Jul 27, 2017 at 12:43 PM

JIM: Sensational writing. Obviously I was not all that similar to you. Just tidbits here and there. But I UNDERSTOOD (in both the cognitive [in the mind] way AND in the emotional [or in the gut] way) everything you wrote. In a "private" message to Greg Marcopoulus (or perhaps on Roger Leon's tribute page [I forget which place]) I complimented him too on his writing. Yours was just as good and with even more detail. I read everything. A surprise though for you; I (Mark Aldon Goldhamer back then [now Mark Aldon Weiss]) once did race some guy while driving my folks Satellite. I way passed him. I don't think I fully appreciated what a powerful engine that Plymouth had. Folks away, party at my place, too much beer and luckily passed out without vomiting. So even Mark Goldhamer did have tidbits of similarities to what you wrote. But when I say I understood (and read EVERYTHING) you wrote -- both in mind and gut -- I don't mean only those things that I had "a touch" of similarity with. I mean EVERYTHING. Including the self-psychology stuff. Seems several of us are doing great writing that is highly EVOCATIVE (which I mentioned to Greg). Beats the hell out of my more analytical style -- at least for your everyday reader. I've had at least 3 different styles of writing over all these years. My current style is too analytical with too many parentheticals all shoved into the same sentence. I had a style way influenced by Philosophy (having had 6 courses in Philosophy at CMU [and Philosophy Club president there]). That Philosophy style was not the same as my current style, but still too analytical. Someone should collect you guys (and gals) more evocative writing. Make a book of "essays" out of it. You can put my analytical & philosophy stuff as footnotes or appendix. Mostly kidding. But the EVOCATIVE and CAPTURING the character of the TIME, TIME OF LIFE, and the wonderful PLACE that is Pittsburgh really seems that it should be published.

Just recently there was a review in Pitt News about "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" that was a book published perhaps 30 years ago. I've owned it for some time (used bookstore purchase). Now I'm finally going to read it. But your stuff JIM (and others') is probably just as good. Thanks for writing all that you did. I THOROUGHLY enjoyed reading it. Like I told Greg, you should be proud of how well you wrote. Don't feel a single thing bad. It was evocative, honest and insightful. Simply beautiful. And well-written to boot. Thanks.

Mark Goldhamer Weiss has left an In Memory comment for Louis Joseph.
Jul 07, 2017 at 8:33 PM

FROM:  Mark Weiss (Goldhamer):   I was sorry to see Louie listed as in-memory.  David Lehman and I and Louie were friends, but more David & Louie.  I don't think the in-memory page should be empty.  Louie was a lot of fun.  Between he and David there was just so much comedy.  I sound so much "like a girl" saying something like that.  Truth be told, it has always troubled me that such an aspect in a guy -- the proverbial, "he makes me laugh" -- is so important to many a female.  Yet, here I am, virtually saying the very thing.  So much for "substantive" me.  Of course that was back in high school.  But many of us enhanced each others' lives in all sorts of ways back then.  I won't go on to philosophical musings on that topic for Louie's memorial page.  Maybe David will add something.  But, regardless -- "like a girl" or not -- Louie did make me laugh.  More broadly put Louie was a wonderful spice to have mixed into your life.  Not only by way of explanation, but as an example Louie might like, you'll probably love the example of a vivid memory.  I'm not being flippant (treating with levity that which is serious) because Louie himself would probably love the "flavor" of my example.  All the more so because flavor is meant both literally and metaphorically.  And that example is what Louie called a particular kind of chewing gum.  One with a liquid center.  I won't say here.  But talk spice, flavor, what-have-you -- really it was Louie's good-natured being funny.  Say something nicer than I have David -- unless you think Louie would object.  Or maybe just say, didn't that put a smile on your face too -- about that gum with the liquid center?  I'm smiling now even thinking about it.  That's what I remember about Louie: not hurting anyone but still bringing big smiles into your high school times.

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