Biking(Road/Mountain), Ultimate Frisbee, Basic Photography, Eve-Online, Web Programming, Computer/Technology
I was born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin and spent my first 4 glorious years hanging out with my roomates Mom and Bon-Bon. Most people don’t remember their very young years, but I’ll never forget them. Our old apartment, the Day Care and Grandpa and Grandma, but the most memorable is most defiantly the Sandwiches and Juice box time on the dock with my Mom.
Confusing Family Situation
I moved to Montana in the late 1980’s with my Pa and Ma and took up shop in Glendive. Here I acquired three more great people for my family. Pa, Old Bro., and Middle Bro. Soon after moving out to Montana my Biological Dad(Its gonna get confusing now) and his Wife(aka second Mom, but not to be confused with an ordered list so really ‘other’ Mom) granted me with the privilege of naming my new Brother. Now, I have Little Bro. A couple of years later I gained Mini-Bro. to conclude the Bro. series.
You see, I don’t just have 1 family. I’ve got 2. Which makes life 2 times as good.
Somewhere in this mix we acquired two Muts. Wilbur and Pretzel. I came home and was greeted that night by a tiny little female dachshund puppy. Mom called her pretzel because of the way she curled up when she was small. She was picked because she was the noisy little one of the litter.
The very next night we were given the male companion puppy Wilbur. Wilbur was given the name because it just fit his attitude. Lazy and cute.
You will find many pictures of these two throughout the history of this site as I’ve documented them quite a bit using this new form of technology called digital photography.
Beginnings of a Geek
Also somewhere in the maze of all of this I started tinkering with computers. Through the later parts of middle school I started to gain a firm grasp of them. During my Freshman -> Sophomore summer in High School I volunteered at the school helping the Systems Administrator. This is where I started to learn about networks and general computer hardware. The next summer I did the same but was paid. My Junior and Senior year I became the technology aid and also worked during the summers. My senior year I was writing scripts for the schools and the web pages where I started into PHP(not a drug, its a web scripting language www.php.com). The beginnings of Programming started here.
First sister Aquisition
Somewhere in here I acquired a Sister via Medium Brother’s new wife.
Beginnings of knee troubles
I also played basketball all 4 years and made Varsity Junior and Senior year(started Senior year). My sophomore year I ruptured my ACL in my Right Knee. Not fun.
Advancement of Geekism
I decided on Montana State University as my learning center for the next level of education. My second semester I started working for the ITC Student Labs as a User Support Associate. Monitoring labs and helping users.
That summer I lived in Glendive where I worked another summer at the High School and for the Reynolds Bakery/Deli(This is where I learned what long work days were).
During the first part of my Sophomore year I became the Lab Technician for the Student Labs. My new duties were to fix general hardware and software issues in the labs and make sure that all of the computers were up and running. Here I applied my knowledge that I had acquired from DHCS as the tech aid to fix various other issues that were plaguing the labs. I soon started working on the Linux box that at the time was a scrap computer on my desk that ran our PhpBB forum for communication with the USA’s. I soon started working on an online time management system that used Php and mysql. This was my first major project and took about 3 months or so to develop. It was named USA Time.
More Geek stuff
That summer I took an internship with Data Web Tech, an Oracle consulting company based out of the Phoenix area. I was sent to Washington, DC where I was to join an already in progress major project for NASD. I didn’t really get the chance to work on the project directly as everybody was so busy with the project they didn’t have time to get me up-to-date on what was going on. I’m not much of a just sit and do nothing and get paid for it guy, so I did what I do best. I started to dig in on my own and figure out as much as I could. Soon I was turning out bash and python scripts that simplified the DBA’s jobs. They were manually coping and pasting massive sql lines and such. I just wrote scripts that did that stuff for them. I know on one of the tasks it reduced about a 30 minute manual job down to less than a minute. I also started to dig into Linux and VIM at this time. Sometime during that summer I found out that my Boss was quiting his job and would be replaced by another Manager in the office.
After my summer was concluded there I returned back to Bozeman and started my Junior year(not actually Junior because I messed up my math scores before I was a Freshman and got into bonehead math instead of Calculus). With my new found knowledge that I had gained that summer, I made the Linux plunge and started using Linux exclusively for my work computer.
More knee trauma and the beginnning of Biking career
This year I again blew out a knee playing basketball. This time the injury was worst as I also lost 60% of the cartilage in my left knee. Even though the injury was far worst, the outcome was amazing. Bridger Orthopedic contains, in my opinion, the best set of doctors and such. I was up and walking in less than a week afterwards and running inside six months. This is really where my biking interests spiked from the cardio room at the gym.
I decided to stay in Bozeman for the next summer and worked in the labs. This is when I found out how much I loved Bozeman’s Summers. It doesn’t get super super hot like Glendive, but stays in the 85-95 area most of the time, but there are no Mosquitoes for the most part and you get those Mountain breezes.
The summer passed and back to school again. The guy who took the job and was my boss was set to graduate in December of that year. It was decided that I would take his place for the duration of my Scholastic career. This is about when I started to really pump out the Php love. Between the previous summer and that semester the Labs were brought the Roommaps, Dynamic Inventory, Thoughts of USA Time 2.0 and database backed logon usage.
This was all quite exciting and would prove to be quite useful in the future as they all actually came together quite nicely.
That December my Boss graduated and I slipped into his spot. Working on these various new projects and ideas as well as now managing everything I was pretty overwhelmed, but kept on trucking.
That next summer brought out USA Time 2.0. This time I had taken a databases class and now designed the database that actually was flexible and robust enough to handle what we needed it to do. I also setup svn to manage the project and took on some of our other student managers to assist in the project. The project is still on going, but really is quite nice. We add new features as we see fit, but for the most part it does everything we need it to. It is built off of Php, Mysql, Apache, Html and AJAX. As I had help on this project I also started Roommaps 2.0 which is an ongoing project as well built off of the same technologies. It is backed by the dynamic database that is fed by scripts that run when computers turn on, people logon and logoff.
I worked the next summer for the Labs as well.
Aquisition of 2nd sister
This summer I acquired my second sister via Old Brother’s wife._ _The next semester I finished off my Degree in December 2006. Since then I have become a full time employee for ITC doing the same job as when i was a student. The job is slightly different as my Boss(The greatest one ever) as well as all of Academic Computing have moved into a more flexible position. There are many projects for the Academic Computing and we work on the ones that we have skills to complete, so our jobs aren’t completely static. Soon after this switch my position was changed so that I was working on the Systems Admin part of Academic 100% and the Lab Tech that worked for me graduated and Moved into my old position. I spent the next year creating and designing a new server room for Academic Computing.
Aquisition of Girlfriend
Somewhere along the line I managed to acquire a female friend sometimes referred to as a girlfriend. How I did this I am still unsure of, but it has been awesome.
Around this time I found out that she like to road bike and was part of one of the local female bike teams as well as part of the local bike club. Since I had been biking a bit trying to strengthen my knees from my last knee surgery I decided to give the club a try. This was one of the best things I’ve done so far in my Life. Joining the club lead to doing actual races around Montana as well as meeting a bunch of really cool people. After the season was over I had raced a total of 5 races and finished all of them except 1. The one I didn’t finish was because I broke a spoke in my back tired and could not continue.
This summer was also my third season of Ultimate. The previous seasons were all very fun, but this one was probably the most memorable. Due to all of the biking my knees were in the best shape that they had ever been in which allowed me to jump without pain and run as long as I wanted. I went to more tournaments and had so much fun I can’t even explain it.
Adventure is out there
Summer ended and Mel and I were still together. During all of the adventures with cycling and frisbee she was still working away at her dissertation to become a Doctor that plays with germs and viruses and stuff like that. Not the stick a wood spoon in your mouth and cough type of Dr., but the I’m super smart and like to learn all about something and be the expert in that area type. She graduated with her Ph.D and moved to Bangkok, Thailand in March to work in a Post Doctoral Fellowship for AFRIMS. I figured this would be a fun way to explore new things and latched on for the ride and now here I am in Bangkok.
We done moved to Thailand really good. What an adventure!
Move back to the US
We moved to Maryland in 2012
The Minion Arrives
Lucy Ann Vallard arrived Sep 8th, 2015
Move to Minnesota
Moved to Minneapolis in May of 2016
As the ticker moves around the marked circle, and the blue/green mass we live on rotates around its axis as well as rotating around the burning ball of Hydrogen I’ll keep this page up to date with the latest of my life.