if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, let's call it a moose

6:58 PM

I grew up writing laundry lists and never developed an adequate talent for other forms of literature.  The lists I gathered into bundles, which I stacked neatly in the corners of the attic of my parents' home.  What happened to them afterward, I couldn't begin to speculate.

Born in the South, I graduated from Clinton High School.  Clinton, MS.  After a failed semester at the University of Mississippi, left Oxford to return to Clinton, where I worked as a Network Administrator for an Internet Service Provider, SaferNet, Inc.  We provided filtered dial-up Internet to families in the local area.  After a time, I took a second job as a Travel Reimbursement Accountant at the new international headquarters of MCI Worldcom, located coincidentally enough in Clinton, MS.  I'm fairly certain I had nothing to do with the accounting disasters that followed later that year, but I sometimes worry.

Following the collapse of two jobs, the loss of home and vehicle, I joined the U.S. Army as a cryptologic linguist, at the time believing myself headed toward a career in Japanese language translation.  After basic training, I found myself in the Russian language course at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA.  At 21 years old (and in the middle of the program), I landed the contract for the Complete Idiot's Guide to Learning Russian, which I began writing a month and a half before the unfortunate events in NY in the fall of that year.  Split between studying the language of the book that I was writing, writing the book, and working overtime with weekend guard duty and patrols (a consequence of the attack), I finished all three and moved to San Angelo, TX to continue training.

There, further splitting my efforts, I finished the Signals Intelligence course (and trained for and won the Bataan Death March with a coed team of fellow classmates).  From TX, I transfered to Mainz, Germany where I worked in various capacities, training with "field" equipment and working the military life.  We deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in May 2003.  As a Russian linguist, I found alternate employment in database application development, writing software to streamline the Intelligence workflow and improve analysis.  After supporting front-line units throughout the city, our year-long tour was extended in May 2004 and we moved to An Najaf, where we operated until the end of July.

Back to Germany and off to the States, I arrived back in Texas, in San Antonio, working for the NSA.  This time around it was Signals Intelligence on the bit: network communications, which meant more, bigger databases and estranged applications.  I medically retired in January 2006 for injuries sustained while abroad.  A civilian again, after 6 years, I moved to Ithaca, NY (where my family had relocated) and found employment with Gene Network Sciences, Inc. as an IT Manager.  Administering the hardware and software for this small biotech company with a heart took me right into 2008.  I transitioned to ChemSW, Inc. as a Systems Engineer, Account Manager and Database Administrator.  Oh, the titles we can enjoy when we make them up for ourselves.

It's been a series of circles swimming in tandem, languages to programming to databases, back and forth and around.  Up and down, it's a carousel--to quote the master.

More, as it develops.

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