Originally Web posted Wednesday, 4 September 2013.
Content last modified Saturday, 9 January 2021 .
External links last verified Wednesday, 4 September 2013.
I’ve been around the planet for awhile and have done a bunch of stuff. Here’s some of the highlights. I’m going for what i find (or found) interesting, rather than what some H.R. stiff would want to see, since for now i’m more interested in sharing who i am and whom i’ve been with potential friends and lovers than seeking work (though i won’t necessarily refuse work, if it’s a good fit for my current interests).
Awhile ago (summer 2013) i read that when the past calls, don’t answer: it has nothing new to tell you. That may be true for each of us as individuals, but our pasts tend to be news to other people. Even so, i’ll go with reverse-chronological order, so the tl;dr crowd will at least get what’s up with me now/more recently (as of the last modification date of this document).
Pretty much! Seriously… i’ve led a quiet life, with only small amounts of romance and not a lot of sex. I’ve taken care of most things on my (admittedly short) bucket list, so i’m down to experiencing the bodies, souls, and spirits (however little or much they wish to share) of the women who are my reason for still being alive. If/when i’ve again found love and sex, i’ll likely once again widen my horizons. Until then, without love (and sex with someone else who wants to be with me), i’m not finding much of a point in any other aspect of life.
I’m not into movies, gaming, sports, nor most other usual stuff. Travel can be fun, but can also be a hassle for me (and a huge expense). I’ve always loved music, yet since 1995 have been in a bittersweet (Symphony!) relationship with it, and even more so post-2003 (and you’ll have to get to know me better to understand why). Ask me what i’m listening to right now, and 99% of the time it will be whatever is playing inside my head. See below for more.
I used to help my community by moderating a local Freecycle group (ArcadiaCA Freecycle), to help people exchange tangible items and keep things out of the waste stream. This was great until myself and several of the key people at The Freecycle Network (TFN) had a falling out and they decided i was unfit to moderate a Freecycle group. (I was far from alone: hundreds of others were similarly affected.) The Freecycle system has become badly fragmented, such that in most places in the U.S. there are several groups, sometimes with the same name, on different technology platforms/sites, with different user rosters and different posts. I find it interesting that over the years i was moderating the local group it grew by dozens if not hundreds of members a month, and since kicking me out, that group has remained static, hardly growing by even a few people. Posting is way down.
The general idea of making connections for re-use of tangible items is a good one, and there are many services out there in addition to Freecycle, including ReUseIt, TrashNothing, and many others. I’m not using any of these as much as i used to, as there aren’t that many people on any one local group, making it harder to transact. Usually i use other local Freecycle groups which have disconnected from TFN and still operate on Yahoo! Groups, mostly because i can use email, which last i checked TFN still could not be bothered to make work well. Ah well, it was a good experience in its prime.
I still sometimes work as a Mac/Apple consultant. I’ve done component-level (IC, connector, capacitor, etc.) repairs on various CPUs and external peripherals. I worked at Apple in Cupertino, California in Mass Storage Q/A, 1996-97, until developing an extremely severe digestive disorder and having my life turned upside down. I’ve cleaned and repaired floppy drives, done software QA for several products, and have spent vast amounts of time working with mass storage devices, esp. 1990s-mid 2000s. You can get an idea of what i get myself into over in the World O’ Apple & Macintosh section of this site.
The way i got the job at Apple was by attending a BMUG Inc. main meeting. The biggest Mac user group on the west coast of the U.S., i was a member for many years and volunteered on and off but more actively post-KALX, until starting at Apple a little under a year later.
I guess Apple may be about the least-worst of the personal digital technology companies, though i’m beyond sick and tired of the whole disposable high-turnover mindset and business model(s) of this industry. As of the mid-20-teens Apple seems to want to make and sell appliances, but they’re still selling their tech. at elevated computer hobbyist prices, not disposable appliance prices. Further, appliances have their bugs fixed before they are sold (when was the last time you performed a firmware upgrade on your microwave oven, for example?). I believe in things which last at least a generation (let’s say: 20 years). I can cut rapidly developing tech. a little slack and say 10 years, but 2-3 years is silly, wasteful, and disrespectful to the environment and our supply of natural resources! These are the main reasons this set of interests is drifting from my present into my past.
Huge, huge part of my life from my earliest memories to about 1995. I always wanted to be a repairman when i grew up, and i was: a home audio (“stereo”) repair technician, and a good one at that. I worked professionally in that field from soon after graduating in 1981 until the first few weeks of 1995. Briefly near the beginning i worked for Recycled Stereo, which was part of the Pacific Stereo chain, which at the time was owned by CBS Specialty Stores. Most of my career was with the small independent shop Resistance Repair. Both of these were in Berkeley, California. There came a point where i knew more about early Nakamichi cassette decks than Nakamichi U.S. did!
Earlier in life, i did the same sort of stuff as a hobbyist. Made my own analog mixing console, which you can see on the Analog Land page on this site. Built in somewhat of a hurry and with a high-school brain in 1977, it is still in use as of the modification date of this page. I have repaired over 1100 CD players in my life.
You’ll find lots of evidence roaming around this site of other things i’ve gotten into (HVAC, automotive repair, plumbing, irrigation, appliance repair, etc.). I’ve rewired two houses per the National Electrical Code (NEC) (and local modifications thereto) + good, workmanlike practices. I’ve read the NEC cover-to-cover more than once, and read Code Question of the Day every weekday.
2011 was an interesting year for me: unexpectedly i wound up living in two different small beach houses about 5 blocks from the beach in Huntington Beach, along with my good friend Aaron for much of that time. Between his manifold construction experiences and painting skills, and my electrical and general skills, we did major repairs of the two houses (on one lot), including completely re-plumbing and structurally repairing the older house.
When the mood strikes me, i enjoy snaking my way around under houses or up in attics. One can sometimes uncover interesting bits of history, such as the Prohibition-era glass whiskey flask i found in this house (the one in which i live, in Pasadena, California) with its cork stopper and very dried out whiskey residue. It had been sitting deep in an inaccessible area under the stairs since the house was built, only found by me when i was crawling around inside and cleaning this normally inaccessible under-stair space, as it is now the intake air plenum for the house’s forced-air furnace (not original equipment; it was a gravity gas furnace system originally).
I was into the same music/repairs/electronics stuff (especially the latter two) from a very, very early age. I like to tell people that i was D.J.ing in my crib: i really did operate my father’s RCA Victor 45 R.P.M.-only wee small record changer from between the slats of my crib. Couldn’t stack the records back up, but sure knew how to work the On switch/Reject button!
There was a period of a few years when i was heavily into Lionel (model) trains: i had the good fortune to be interested circa 1969-1971, when the original Lionel Corporation was in its death throes, and a lot of great stuff was available cheap. I had the misfortune to only be 11-13 years old, lacking my own money. I’ve had occasional flirts with this hobby in the years since, but nothing long-term. They really were technological marvels of their time, esp. the post-WW II stuff i collected. Christmas 1988 i had some fun using my adult electrical engineering skills to set up an elaborate and semi-automated layout (no microprocessors involved).
In some ways (behaviors, beliefs, how i spend my days) i’m a typical person. In other ways i’m so far outside the box that i can’t even see the box.
I hold an F.C.C. General (formerly First) Class license, which legally allows me to work on AM & FM broadcast transmitters in the U.S. Practically, it would be a Very Bad Idea to have me do so (short of an emergency), since i never did spend a ton of time with transmitting gear and haven’t touched any for nearly 2 decades now. More relevant than the license was my SBE Broadcast Engineer (Radio) Certification, which was current between 1986 and 2001, when i let it lapse due to disinterest and no longer being active in broadcasting.
I attended the Palos Verdes Unified School District schools of Valmonte (elementary), Malaga Cove (intermediate school), and Palos Verdes High School when it was the campus just above the ocean along the steep cliffs in Palos Verdes Estates. I was happily asexual up until about age 22, so i never had a high school sweetheart nor any of that. If i had, i would have wanted it to be Jamie Bussio… one of my few memories from high school was sitting next to her in Mr. Hadley’s junior year U.S. History class. I don’t remember a word of what we talked about, other than she was really into horses and used to make neighing sounds or somesuch and do horse-hoof-in-air motions with her hands. We worked on a paper together once, and there was an awkward moment in my parent’s station wagon. Both of us were in the front seat; i was to her left. Something appropriate would have been touching hands or maybe rubbing shoulders or something gentle, simple, and loving like that. But i was a space alien not so equipped, so i patted her on the head (!). I would love to cross paths with her and, if she was interested, give her a real hug. The best news was that she was spared dealing with the horrible, underdeveloped human being i was at that time. If i had ever wanted/sought a high school girlfriend, i would have wanted it to have been her.
…Now where was i?… Oh, right: my first two years of college were at UCSB, my venue of last choice (i wasn’t accepted the other places i applied). After two years and with great difficulty, i transferred to UC Berkeley.
This is probably more than enough for the general public to know. Get to know me and you’ll hear more stories, if you want. If we get on well, we’ll likely be making a whole new life history of our own, together.