Thank you for taking the time to find out a little more about me. I always have found it very enlightening to get to know a little about a person when I visit their site. It gives you a little insight as to where they have been and what they are all about. So let me start with where I am right now.
I am a 49-year-old open systems storage implementation specialist. I work for a very large international data storage manufacturer & distributor. I spend most of my working hours designing, implementing, & supporting our metro area storage systems customers. This can entail customer training, software installation, system monitoring, & customer support staff augmentation. Along with specialized system designing to meet customer needs.
During my non-work hours, I enjoy artistic photography and am currently constructing my own home built photo studio. I also spend a lot of time coaching a Special Olympics Wheelchair Track & Field Team. I am also actively working with the Elks in support of its charitable works, including Elk's Camp Moore. I am also doing training to obtain my private pilots license.
When I'm not busy doing all of this, I enjoy watching educational & science-fiction TV & movies, going on trips to the Jersey shore, and visiting friends and family.
That gives you an idea of where I am today. Now let me start at the beginning and tell you a little about my past.
I was born in West Orange, New Jersey in March of 1961. I was always a very inquisitive child, always taking things apart to see how they worked. I could put them back together again too, much to the surprise and relief of my parents. There was one time when I was about 10 years old, my mother found me sitting under the hood of the family car. She called my father at work in a panic, thinking I was going to break the car. He came home only to find that I had given the car a complete tune up, including adjusting the idle speed and timing. I told him that I had heard him say that the car needed a tune up and I had helped him many times before. I also liked to build things. I got that from my grandfather. Whenever we would visit he would always have some interesting project going on in the basement. I got a lot of my knowledge of form and function from him. But computers were my passion. That came a lot from my father. He worked for AT&T/Bell labs as a systems administrator and project manager. He taught me my first programming language at the age of 10. I had access to his computer at work with a 300-baud acoustic modem and a thermal printer/keyboard the size of a large suitcase. By 15 I wrote my first game program. It was a number guessing game, and you had to guess the number from 1 to 100 in as few moves as possible. The only hints the computer would give were higher or lower. I also discovered I had a knack for artistic expression. I would create some very nice photographs with a camera that my grandfather gave me. I guess I get that from my mother, she is a very good painter.
High school was a bit tough for me. I would pick things up very quickly in class, a lot quicker then most of the other kids. School would get very boring and I would find myself doing a lot of daydreaming. This got me into trouble with more then a few of my teachers. I also wasn’t accepted by a lot of the other kids, I didn't participate in sports, and I only belonged to the computer club. I guess that made me somewhat of a geek. But I managed to survive those years, and I did make a few good friends.
After high school I went to County Collage of Morris, where I majored in computer science. I also took some Black and White photography courses. This is where I discovered my passion for artistic nude figure studies. The photo lab was down the hall from the Art room, and some of my friends also had art classes. One invited me to come to class with her. She showed me some of the work the other students were doing, including some nude figure studies. Well I was hooked, I had her get me in touch with one of the models that worked for the school, and we set up my first photo session with a figure model.
That first session was a memorable one, I had set up a room in my house as a studio. Rope and tape held up a Bedspread as a backdrop, three-photo floodlights provided the lighting that I had mounted in clip on reflector droplights. Aluminum foil was attached to the light to act like "Barn Doors" to control the brightness. The room was a bit small, but for a first try, I think I did ok. It did get VERY warm in there with all the floodlights. You had to be careful where you walked, so as to not trip over the wires and pull everything down.
The model showed up right on time. She was about my age, long dark brown hair, and a very pretty girl. I took her to show her were we would be working and talk to her about what photos I was trying to get. She had no problem understanding what I wanted, and even offered a few suggestions of her own. I then offered to show her where she could "Change", a bathroom on the other side of the house. She said "that's ok I'll get ready right here". I said ok and whet to get my camera, and stuff. She said the she was ready, I turned around and there she was, in all her glory. I must have stood there a little too long, because she asked if something was wrong. Quickly I regained my composure and we started to work. She was excellent, and very professional. We worked for about three hours, and I got some great shots. I didn't do to bad for my first time, and I got an "A" for my project. From then on I was hooked.
Besides my interest in photography, I also enjoy working with computers. I ran a computer Bulletin Board for about 22 years, but was forced to close it when it got to expensive to run. I also handle the member database for my Elks Lodge, and publish their monthly bulletin. I am currently involved with the New Jersey State Elks Association's Web development team, where I develop web pages for them.
While I'm on the subject of Elks, I have been involved with the organization now for about 12 years. I have been and officer of the Sparta Elks Lodge for 8 years. I was the chairman of our lodges handicapped children's committee and during 1997-1998 I held the office of Exalted Ruler. The principals of the order are Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love, and Fidelity. The Elks is one of this countries largest fraternal organizations. We have been serving the needs of the nation for over 100 years. The Elks provide assistance in both monetary and manpower. We give to and run handicapped children's charities, provide finical support to needy families, and promote drug prevention programs to our nations children. We support community and national Americanism and veteran's activities, and give out scholarships to thousands of deserving students. In fact the Elks are second only to the federal government in dollars given to our nations collage bound students. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Elks, contact your local Elks lodge or visit the Elks National Web site or The New Jersey Elks Web Site.
I am also involved with the New Jersey Special Olympics. I am a certified wheelchair track and field coach, and a certified track and field official. I think that everyone should spend just one day at a Special Olympic event. Words cannot express the love you will receive from these kids, not to mention knowing that you probably don't have the big problems in your life that you thought you had. The mere fact that some of these kids are competing at all makes them winners, and coming in first is really not all that important.
Currently I am training to obtain my privates pilots license. I’m looking forward to combining my love of photography with flying. The world looks so different from 4000 feet. It makes you forget about the day to day problems that you face. Difficulties that you might feel are overwhelming, fell very insignificant when you up near the clouds. Learning to fly is not as expensive or as difficult as you might think. Its almost as easy as driving your car. If you have considered being a pilot, then you should give it a try, I recommend that you visit the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. There is a wealth of information available, along with contact information should you have questions.
Well that's about it. I hope you found it interesting; I think it's a good idea to know a little bit about the people you meet. It helps you to put your own life in perspective. If you share any similar interests or what to strike up a conversation, drop me an e-mail or AOL Instant Messanger, Screen Name tafphtgrphy