This page is dedicated to . . . ME! [This feels so weird. I’ve never had a bragging spot before.] This probably contains more than you’ll ever want to know about li’l ol’ me. Let’s start with the Internet stuff:
My Google Profile — Apparently, this will come in useful someday . . .
I’ve been on FaceBook for just a little while; I’m reconnecting with people I haven’t seen (or haven’t had a chance to really connect with) in forever. Now we’re sending each other 80s toys and garden requests . . . I’ve vowed to only respond to requests once a day. I can’t afford the time sink. But that does not mean I don’t watch the Live Feed go by!
In the FriendFeed widget, you see all those teeny little RSS icons? They’re for my multiple blogs (which is why I started this one — some of those should go away soon). Others are for my accounts with Delicious, Digg, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Google Reader, Google Talk, Tumblr, YouTube and Furl. (Many of those are not nearly as active as they should be. But I am kinda proud of my Tumblog. All of these go into the FriendFeed — so if you want to check up on me, you only need to go to one place to do it!
—–BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK—–
GO d– s+:+ !a C++>$ W+++ N w PS+(+++) PE Y+ t++ 5++ R+ tv b++ DI++ G e h— r+++ !z
——END GEEK CODE BLOCK——
I was born not far from here in what used to be Bess Kaiser Hospital in Portland, OR. During my childhood I spent the first five years out of state (one year in Duluth, MN, and 4 years in Colorado), and later a year, a month and a day in Kewanee, IL. I went to 5 grade schools in seven years; so about the time I had finally figured out the social system and was beginning to be accepted, I had to go elsewhere and start over. I got to grow up hearing things like, “You choose to be weird. If you really wanted to, you could choose to be normal.” I tried; all the gods know how I tried. I failed. I decided at 17 that I was going to be me; the decision made my last year+ of high school 100% better, but the journey was far from over.
My parents “helped” me move out of the house when I was 22; I spent a few months on my own, broke as hell, then moved in with a friend. (There are few things more depressing than hoping for your birthday money, and having your family show up . . . with furniture.) After I moved in with my friend, my parents offered to help me if I went to college, so I enrolled at OSU in Corvallis. My parents sent me one check; the next quarter they were “too broke.” So I was pretty much penniless at college. But I didn’t care. My floormates were awesome, and a couple were weirder than I was; I learned an absolute ton about seeing other points of view and how much I was like other people rather than different. I also got to my very first SCA event. A group went to work for the summer in Reno, NV; I joined them later, and wound up staying until December. Another round of great friendships and learning opportunities. I went back to OSU in January, had a great roommate, made great friends, and was even elected Hall President that spring — before learning that I wouldn’t be able to come back in the fall. I got a basement apartment in Corvallis and spent an amazing summer with my friends (who got me to my first SF convention); another friend moved in to go to school, but we really weren’t compatible, and in an event known to all involved as “The Airlift” I moved up to Portland.
I spent time in another basement apartment, then in a group house (unnamed out of deference to my housemates, who in later lists of residents never mention my name), then on my own again for a couple of years, while friends and drama came and went. I got another basement apartment (during the application interview I was able to truthfully say “I’ve spent some of the best years of my life in basements”), and got involved in a role-play/volunteer group . . . and found my wife.
We’d met during the Group House, but she moved away and we lost touch. She’d moved back, and through the group we became friends. About a year later, I had a party and she and I connected. Hard. A week later we realized that we had yet to spend a night apart. We agreed to take it a day at a time. Six months later I asked her to marry me. Six months after that, on the anniversary of the party, we got married. One week at a time, in six month chunks.
In the 16 years since then, we’ve traded on who’s employed and who’s disabled, moved twice — the last time 13 years ago into a home that we’re buying — and had our share of lean and fat times. I didn’t really feel like I was truly me until I had her support. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have someone in my life who not only puts up with me, but for some obscure reason seems to actually enjoy being with me. Wow. Scary, but immensely cool.
My Computer Credentials
Dad majored in electrical engineering in the 60s because there was no such thing as a computer sciences degree yet; he was working on computers my entire life. I grew up coloring on striped computer paper printed on one side, and throwing around brightly colored plastic rings that turned out to be from computer tapes. (We never did figure out what to do with the cards with the holes punched in them, so Dad stopped bringing them home.) In 1978, as a junior in high school, I was the student with the second-highest grade in Lake Oswego High School’s very first computer programming class. I was a student intern at Tektronix in 1979-80, my senior year, going to school half-days and doing BASIC programming. I was sharing an email address with a friend in college in 1986. I was doing data entry, sales and newsletter writing for the Powell’s Technical Bookstore in 1988-89; from 1989-99 I was working for a company putting medical journals and other text/image references on CD-ROM. Every job I’ve had since then has involved computers. So when I say that I’ve been using MicroShlock (grrr) products for 20 years, yes, I mean DOS; heck, at this point, I was working selling books on DOS 20 years ago. I’ve been playing with BASIC for 30. Which is why I occasionally bristle when someone assumes I’m a clueless newbie — though, to be fair, I’m only a user compared to some of my tech-savvier friends. But I do know just a little about computers.