Seven Things – Tagged by Keith Casey

My Blue Parabola colleague Keith Casey decided to pull me into one of those viral tagging games. Since my blog has been building up a little dust lately between my Blue Parabola blog posts and my book, I decided to kill two birds with one stone by obliging him and freshening up my landing page a bit.

So, onto the seven things you may not know about me bit.

  • I used to play the flute. I did it all through middle school and then my freshman year of high school. When I was about to enter middle school, I was brought along with a group of new students to a table to sample the various instruments that were available to me and selected the flute because I liked the sound. The time commitment and demanding activities involved in the high school marching band lead me to abandon it. I continued to play here and there for church and the like, but haven’t picked it up in years. Currently, I can strum a few guitar chords and aspire to one day pick up drums and piano.
  • Web development was my bread and butter through most of college. In 2001, I landed my first job with a small web development group within Gannett tasked with creating a custom CMS for news publications within the state. After being there just under a year, I moved on to work for a web development company for three and a half years and finished off my degree working for an education-focused non-profit for a year before finally graduating at the end of 2006.
  • My Bachelors Degree was in computer science. OK, maybe most of you already knew that. My concentration was video game design and development. There, is that better? I started out in information technology, moved onto cognitive science, and then finally finished out in video game development only a few semesters after the concentration first became available. My interests have been more prevalent toward web development and I haven’t really touched game development since I left school.
  • I have a black belt in judo. Between ages 12 and 18, I was actively involved in a local club and took my shodan test shortly after graduating from high school (the minimum age to test was 18). At one point, I held certifications to referee at local tournaments and teach several kata forms. I acted as a coach in my club during my last few years of high school. My mother and brother were also in the club with me and some of the fondest memories I have from my teen years are of times we shared there.
  • While in judo, one of my better known talents was jumping over people. One of the skills practiced in judo is break falls, which are generally used to take falls without injury while practicing throwing techniques. One of its more "flashy" applications for the purposes of demonstration is leaping over a group of people arranged in a line and falling safely on the other side. My records were three standing men of roughly equal height and ten preteen kids sitting cross-legged. I was often referred to as being "half gazelle."
  • I originally met my wife when I was 12. Want to guess how we met? The judo club I just mentioned. At the time that I started, she was 16 and an orange belt. She was in a car accident shortly thereafter and was out for six years. When she finally came back, I was 18 and a black belt. The first words I ever said to her (after listening to her babble for three weeks straight in determination to befriend me) were "Do you ever shut up?" (No, I’m not kidding.)
  • During college, I grew my hair out to shoulder length. My parents always had me cut my hair before it got to be very long. While I was in high school, it was also against school policy for boys to wear their hair longer than a certain length. Once I was in college, I decided to try it just to have the experience. I cut it short again shortly after Hurricane Lili left us without working air conditioning for a week. While I’m glad to have done it, I don’t expect to repeat the experience in the future. Related photos are probably buried somewhere and I’m too lazy to go digging for them.

And now onto the fun part where I get to tag seven other people into doing this.

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