I don’t think I’ll ever get used to people asking a question like that. It is hard to believe anyone would be interested in who I am. There are times I wish there was a simple answer to this question. Truth is, my life has been far more interesting than I care for.
“Ali’s Bookshelf” asked me this open ended question as a guest blog post. To find an answer I poked at my photo archives and so the answer comes with pictures.
The full story is far too long and so I’m just going to do a quick recap. I was born in Seattle, did private schools, moved to public schools, family got pretty decent business, family lost business, moved from vast hilltop house to small (very small) camper trailer living on welfare, lived for a time on a working farm, worked for my food, and then landed in Las Vegas for my teen years. Yes, all that happened before I was twelve.
After the family recovered, we got off of welfare and I became an Eagle Scout. We moved around a lot, and eventually, I joined the Navy just to find some stability. Now, I’m eighteen, living in Chicago and going to Naval schools. I was transferred to Florida for nuclear power training, transferred to San Diego for computer training, and ended up working in the Naval Warfare Gaming Facility (Yes, it really exists.) helping the Pacific Fleet Command run gaming simulations to practice dangerous situations.
Now, I’m twenty-six. I got out of the Navy and helped build the networking and computing center for the ITER Project (that is International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor Project. Look it up; it is pretty cool). I did very well there and was hired to help create specialized databases for genome research. I , then, was hired by the UW and moved up to Seattle where I worked for years and won some pretty nice awards. After that, there were a series of stress-filled years dealing with a lot of personal issues, which landed me at Expedia.
That leaves out a lot of private details about marriages, kids, as well as six major positions, some helping to grow a standards organization that is now huge, and owning a semi-successful business. It, also, leaves out all the college time getting a Master’s of Information Science. Throughout all that, I read about one book every week or two. All of the books I read were mostly fiction of the fantasy, sci-fi nature. I did read a lot of marketing and high business books when I was in business for myself though. At times, I was in regular role playing games. Other times, I just wished I was in a regular role playing games.
I did do some online gaming in EVE online. I believe some of you might recall a strange group known as Odd Shadows, well that was me. I ran all the avatars in that corp and did a lot of pirating with another buddy known as Zhoul. That was a ton of fun, and a lot of time with nothing to show for it.
Mostly, I got tired of having to do so much work for work and work for fun that earned very little. Out came all my notes and story ideas. I have thousands of real life personally witnessed moments from odd things in late night Las Vegas to hard core military operations to pull from. I lived on a farm where I had to milk a cow and make butter. I’d like to think that I’m a nice guy who just had a lot of weird things happen to him. I have always had fun spinning my stories, except now, I write them down and share them.
I hope that answered the question. If you’re curious, just pop a question at me on Facebook. You never know; I might answer it.