Diana Francis Ferreras Engelbart

My father's a mad scientist, and I'm his beautiful daughter....

Well, perhaps I'm not so beautiful and he's not so mad, but his research did help bring to market many of the plastics products and flame retardant materials that you use every day.

As for myself, there are four passions in my life: my husband, Carl R. Friend, computers, cats and trains.

Carl can speak for himself, so just visit his page.

My first introduction to computers was in 1968 through a microscope. I was looking at core memory and thought it was the most fantastic thing I had ever seen. I moved on to building systems on minicomputers, then to working with database systems, on to applications development and managing other applications developers. I'm now working with client/server systems, building Web pages and working with digital photographics. More specific information can be found on the site for the company that Carl and I own, Carbon and Silicon Alliance. For those of you who don't get the joke, carbon and silicon are the two elements upon which humans and computers, respectively, are based.

My mother has never understood why I raise cats. She doesn't care for animals, but I have always loved them. Going back again to 1968, I saw a blue point Himalayan kitten. I thought she was the most beautiful kitten I had ever seen. However, I could not afford to buy her. I resolved that someday I would have a long haired, blue point cat. I didn't think much of it aand just went on with my life.

Late in 1988, my friend Rebecca Thompson-Cimino, who owns the Dreamwalk Cattery came home with a blue point Birman kitten. This was the breed of I cat I had waited 20 years to find. I was hooked and the Nirmanakaya Birman cattery was established soon afterwards.

The kitten pictured here is Nirmanakaya's Sidhe Reginne, a female lilac point Birman. She's six months old in this picture.

When I was little, we lived on Long Island and my father took the Long Island Rail Road to and from work every day. On special occassions, we would take the train into New York City and go to museums, shows or window shop along Fifth Avenue. To me the train represented the gateway to a world of adventure. I developed a fascination with rail travel.

If you have never taken a long trip on Amtrak, do so. The sleeping accomodations are comfortable, the food is decent and the scenery is outstanding. We have crossed the Appalachian Mountains in a dome car with snow swirling around us like some big Christmas snow globe. We've seen the Prairie Moon shining over acres of sleeping sun flowers in North Dakota. We've watched starfish crawl along Puget Sound and have seen eagles hunting along the Missouri River. We've had our breath taken away by the majesty of the Sierra Nevada, Cascade and Rocky Mountain ranges. We have been through all five of the great North American deserts and have watched storms beat the Great Plains with lightning as we slid off the high plain of Denver onto the prairie.

This is a vast, exquisite country and the train gives you the best seats from which to see it.

Since March 30, 1996 people have visited me!