Who Am I?

IMAG1262Hmm… what should I write here? Isn’t this whole blog supposed to be about me, really?  What I’ve done, what I’ve seen, who I did it with?  Though I guess it would take awhile to piece that all together post by post, huh?

Well, I’m an Air Force brat who was shuffled around between 5 or 6 different states by the time I was 8 or so.  And then moved some more after that. Maybe my parents are to blame for my constant wanderings? The fact that I can’t sit still?  Who knows.

After high school, I tried to join the Air Force and follow in my father’s footsteps, but was denied due to a thyroid disorder. Those bastards.

Went to WVU for all of 2 semesters. I think I managed to stay intoxicated in one form or another for several months up there. Got myself into a few messes and ended back home again, near Elkins, WV. But we’ll get to those stories later.

Worked at Snowshoe for a season as a reservationist, then went to Fayetteville, WV to train to be a river guide. All hell kinda broke loose then.  But we’ll get to those stories later, too.

Worked as a river guide full time for about 10 years, then as a “weekend warrior” for a couple more years after that.  I was also a climbing guide, caving guide, occasional kayak instructor, and horseback riding guide.  When I wasn’t doing that, I was working lifts at local resorts, or Ski Patrol, or driving an ambulance, or being a photographer in Hunter Mtn, New York, or waiting tables in Florida at a Marriott Hotel to pay for my scuba diving in the Keys.  On top of that, I did odds and ends work for the river company I worked with that included but was not limited to helping to build chalets, washing and waxing buses (yes, you read that last part right), mowing lawns, debarking trees for tipi poles, doing some electrical wiring work, building stairs out of railroad ties and rebar, and feeding and grooming horses.

After that, I started working for the Department of Defense as a contractor doing software work. As a software tester since around 2000, I’ve worked for or with the DoD, FEMA, Humana Insurance, Sony Online Entertainment, LPL Financial, and Silverchair Learning Systems.

Over the course of the last couple of decades, I’ve lived and worked in 8 different states plus the District of Columbia, and 2 countries other than the US.  I’ve traveled to a great many more.  While that may seem like a lot to some people, it pales in comparison to some of my river guide buddies who continued to work the rivers long after I left that life behind.

By “left behind”, I’m referring to ‘living the life’. The full immersion of being a raft guide full time. I still run whitewater. Only I do it for me now, and no one else. And I boogie board, not raft. I’m also a scuba diving instructor and have just started skydiving (hope to do more of it), trying to train for a marathon, planning a trip to Everest in the near future, and  I’m working on learning to sail and buying my own sailboat.  My end goal is to use said sailboat to travel around and scuba dive, eventually finding a nice island to retire on.