Born in Charlotte, NC in the early
seventies. Remember very little besides swim meets, and running
feral in the woods of Park Road Park (later bisected and tamed by
Park rd.) I remember owning a Green Machine; the SUV of BigWheels,
and the terror of the neighborhood. It was my pride and joy later
to be callously disposed of by my parents without my knowledge.
I remember Jumping in leaf piles in the fall, sucking honeysuckle
from plucked blossoms in spring, digging in the mud all summer,
and snowball fights in crunchy, ice-glazed snow in winter. Attended
Raggedy Ann and Andy Day Care Center, 1979-1983. My first best friend
Michael Powers and I met there somewhere in '80-1. We dug many holes
in the sandbox together, leading to my first confrontation with
Authority over my right to dig said holes, considering that I had
my mother's permission. My argument was rebutted and we were not
to dig holes, as we would be a bad influence on other children who
did not have there mother's permission to be digging holes. Mike
and I still chat. He's now in the Navy defending us against "Them."
The next several years are more
of the same, conflicts with petty authority, being a dork nonetheless,
Moving to Winter Haven, florida in '83 then Sarasota, FL in like
'87 or something. In the interim I had continued to play (at) soccer
and started Boyscouts. Built a box car derby car on advanced theoretical
aerodynamic principles (later discovered to be completely, diametrically
wrong, a shame I have never let myself forget). Started sailing
somewhere in there. Camped a lot, and learned what never to do with
a fire by much study. Also trained to shoot things, ride horses,
camp in the woods with nothing, but mostly ending up camping in
the woods with a lot of things, summer camps, lots of skiing, knee
boarding, tubing down precisely 73 degree crystal clear rivers,
and surprisingly not once getting eaten by an alligator.
Speaking of alligators, I might
also mention my first business venture: selling salvaged golfballs,
salvaged from water hazards around the course, where my friend Robert,
who always made me look cautious and circumspect, and I would swim.
There were several resident gators and known issues with copperheads.
The runoff from the golfcourse made these ponds ecological disasters.
Fully cognizant of these risks (we really were... just not with
the reality of "dead"), we fished through often knee deep
muck with our toes, occasionally cutting ourselves on glass and
seashells, to recover golfballs. These we would then sell at the
golf tees, diversifying our inventory with patented golfball specific
cleasing products (which in itself was an ecological disaster, I
learn in retrospect) which we ourselves used on our very owh stock.
Seasonally we would sell three different sizes of pinecones. The
most expensive being the "top leaf" baby pinecones which
have to be actually harvested from the tops of trees. Due to low
overhead, we turned a profit in our first quarter of operations
and never once ran a deficit in several years of operation. We had
a letterhead and everything.
In Sarasota I completed my Eagle
Scout award, and was also in Sea Explorer Scouts. Sailed every weekend.
Played intramural beach volleyball on Siesta Key beach, notorious
for its "world's finest" sand. That stuff is like powered
sugar, and in my travels I have never seen its equal. The feel of
its crunch as I walked along the surf, alone on junior prom night
after partying all night with my friends; beneith a near full moon,
with a thunderstorm flashing on the horizon...
It was also at this time that I started sneaking out of the house
at night and hanging out at pool halls. Strangely, it never occurred
to me to ask for a beer. I guess that's why they didn't mind me
hanging out at midnight with, in retrospect, a rather sketchy crowd.
But I was just there to learn to play pool. I had bought a book
and everything. Final note: I never did get a car at 16 like most
kids, but somewhere around '88-9 I got kicked off the schoolbus
for the last time and started riding my bike to school. I have been
self-propelled ever since, moving from skateboard to rollerblades
to mountain or roadbike as appropriate.
My mother was transferred back to
Charlotte, so completing an eight year exile in Florida and in my
senior year of high school, I transferred to East Mecklenburg HS
where ultimately, I graduated--somewhere in the upper middle of
my class. I skipped 21 days of school my junior and senior year
of high school. As a senior at East Meck I was in Debate (at the
insistance of Ms. Ross that I do Lincoln/Douglas style "values-based"
debate.) and would often skip classes to go to the U. of NC, Charlotte
library to do research. This was my first introduction to philosophy
outside of a Monty Python sketch. It awakened a latent desire in
me to know everything, and I am still chasing along that quixotic
path. Since 1991 I have pursued a vigourous study of Analytical
Philosophy, concentrating on Deconstructionism and Early Buddhism.
It was also at east mecklenburg that I met WiL and Beth. WiL came
over to my house after school one day, having only been there once
several months before, to check to see if I was okay after I had
given blood and passed out. We've been best friends ever since.
Beth introduced me to a solid 70 percent of the music I listen to,
and made an artist out of me; years later she would bleach and style
my hair into submission for the first time in its life.
I don't really remember boone...
On the Road to Seattle
After I successfully dropped out
of school at Appalachian State University in Jan 1995. I embarked
on a crazy, madcap adventure of which I will spare you the details.
I moved to Asheville for a few months working fine dining, then
took a train trip around the country. Back in Asheville, I helped
found a short lived hippie collective, coulpa laps around the country
by car, then I returned to school in Boulder, Colorado, attained
a B.A. Environmental Design with a Concentration in Achitecture
(a satisfyingly long title for a major), Moved to Seattle for a
couple months in 1999, flew to India and Nepal for 10 1/2 months,
back to the states, cross the country again, to Seattle where I
worked for a flailing telecom startup doing Network Security Operations,
Architecture and Firewall Management. I survived four rounds of
layoffs. My last day was the Thursday between Friday the 13th and
September 11th. I went to Thailand for a few weeks to regroup, and
returned to Seattle. Which brings us to "recently."