What interests you about technology?
I like to learn and understand as much about technology as possible, and developing that understanding to make technology easier to use and safer for everyone. I tend to color my views and opinions of technology from a security and privacy perspective, and to share that with those around me.
What skills or accomplishments have you attained, that sets you apart?
My first job was at a butcher shop, where my strong work ethic really kicked in. Through a decade of practice, I’m now an expert butcher and meat cutter. Along the way in my professional career, I became a skilled customer service representative and learned what it takes to manage even a small group of people.
What was your first memory of using computers?
In the early 2000s, I remember being over the moon that the next installment of the RollerCoaster Tycoon game series was coming out. That was my first experience with needing to upgrade the hardware on my computer. I needed a new graphics card to support the state-of-the-art 3D-animation the game promised, which led to hours playing, tweaking, and modifying the game. That all sparked a lifelong interest in computers and technology.
When you’re not found in front of a computer you are…?
Away from the screens, I enjoy putting my butchery skills to practice by cooking delicious meals from scratch. Getting outdoors, I can be found hiking, kayaking, skiing, sledding, and stargazing.
What was the last great book you read?
The last great book I read is Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. It’s a fantastic story and really turns fantasy on its head. Reading it drops you into a world of magic, mystery, and intrigue that could be hiding right under your nose, you just have to look for it. The main character is Richard and his reluctance to believe what he is seeing also makes you question the sanity of all the characters involved. By the end of the story you become so invested in their relationships that it doesn’t matter if they’re crazy or not, you want to see them happy and continue to have adventures. It reads like a good TV show, easily binged in one sitting if you’re not careful!
What is something unique about you?
Living with chromesthesia, a perceptual phenomenon in which sound evokes the experience of color, shape and movement, I get a richer experience through music. In particular jazz evokes colors, electronic music is shapes and movement, and let’s just say there is a good reason it’s called “The Blues.”
What are you most frequently heard listening to?
Given my unique relationship with sound, I can be found listening to a wide variety of music, but if I’m not listening to it I’m playing it. Guitar, bass, drums, piano, or anything that makes a particularly interesting sound will always capture my attention.
What is an interesting experience you’ve had, and what did you take away from it?
Eager to see the world and have new experiences at 23, I sold all my things, packed what I had left into my truck and lived on the road for over a month. I traveled across the country by myself in search of something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Watching the sunrise from the most eastern point of the US at West Quoddy Head Lighthouse in Maine and the sunset from the westernmost point in the contiguous US at Cape Alava in Washington State were my start and end points. Ultimately, I made the decision to come home and start a career in IT, but my journey taught me that I can achieve anything I put my mind to. It gave me a greater appreciation of just how large this country really is and how wildly diverse it can be from one place to another.
What would you do if you had an extra 5 hours every week?
With an extra 5 hours, I would take on more personal projects and use that time to learn something new every week. You would be amazed by what you can achieve just by getting up a little earlier in the morning.
If you could go anywhere for an entire month, where would you go?
Once again, I hit the road and spend time experiencing the American southwest by visiting national parks and reservations, camping out, meeting new people, and discovering more about myself. Time spent traveling, gaining perspective, and contemplating one’s self is always time well spent.