As a young boy, I was a strange sort of child. Perhaps I still retain some of that quality, but I'll leave that up to you to decide. Whatever the case, I was accused of being a "little man", at a very young age.
As time went on, I became aware that I was different. I was a nerd, but back then that wasn't considered a good thing.
My paternal grandfather was a tough man; a strong man. He doted on me, but ingrained in me at least some of his toughness. The kind and gentle (except when it came to my brother, I suppose) boy that I was had a bold streak. A friendly attitude kept me from becoming a victim to more than a few problems. At any rate, my affinity for Bill Nye: The Science Guy, 3-2-1 Contact, and Watch Mr. Wizard, with the help of close friends and a loving family, lead me to a love of technology and gadgets.
In 1982, my parents rewarded my good grades by giving me my first computer - a Commodore Vic-20. I was in heaven.
At 12 years old, Student Aptitude Test scores earned me an invitation to attend Hunter College courses as part of their Gifted Youth Program. At that time, my interests lay in FORTRAN and Laser technology.
The following year, Archbishop Molloy High School accepted me as a Stanner, and I am proud to be an alumnus.
I tried my hand at sports, and found myself to be strongest in Paddleball (a hybrid between handball and racquetball). I developed a love of working out, weights, and the things that most teenage men enjoy.
Later, I attended Queens College before moving to Connecticut and joining the Air Force. It was then, through the Community College Of The Air Force, that I developed my technical skills in avionics that allowed me to evolve into an electronics technician and avionics engineer. Along the way, my ability to communicate regularly put me in a position to mediate conflicts, conduct presentations, develop curriculums, and train people on subjects that include computer and network security technologies, software and database management, avionics and electronics principals, and photography.
After years working as a regional electrical field service technician and engineer, I was contracted by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. as an Avionics Production Support Engineer. There, I was successful not only in allowing the company to meet or exceed their goals in delivering the first batch of the new UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to the United States Army, but I was able to use my communication, mediation, and relationship skills to single-handedly avert a unionized work force from halting production.
So what do I do for fun, besides taking pictures? The nerd streak is strong, in this one! I hungrily digest hours of tech news, daily. Weekly, I look forward to podcasts, including Steve Gibson's Security Now, Leo LaPorte's The Tech Guy, and Denise Howell's tech-meets-law round-table This Week In Law.
On the other hand, I am a proud supporter of our veterans. I volunteer at my local Veterans Administration Hospital, where I serve our heroes by collecting and distributing materials, developing presentations, providing photography and graphics development services, and developing documents and presentations.
By a slim margin, I must admit that my favorite philanthropic passion is with the annual Help-Portrait event. Each December, I join fellow photographers at a NYC hospice for HIV positive children. While the children generally love hamming it up for the photogs, I ease the discomfort of younger/newer/less approachable children by putting the camera in their hands. I teach them how to take photos in "manual mode". Within 15 minutes, they are taking photos of their friends, their care givers, and the other photographers. By the time it's their turn to sit for a portrait, their timidity will have transformed into excitement. The music of laughter will fill the area before it's all over, and we will once again leave missing each other and looking forward to the next event.
So that's about all there is to say about me...