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Journal Journal: Introduction to Me

So I suppose it is only fitting that I take my first entry of my journal and completely waste it on introducing myself.

My name is Matt and I am (for lack of a better word) a geek. I have a wife and two kids (a girl and a boy). I started my career in the Air Force as a 3c0x1 (which in the real world translates into the guy who fixes the computer). So anyways I worked my way up the technological ladder pretty quickly and before I knew it I was the go-to person in my shop. I maintained many servers and a couple of SANs. While in the Air Force I was stationed at Fairchild AFB, WA, Kunsan AB, ROK, and Beale AFB, CA.

Fairchild was my first base and I ended up kicking boxes in a warehouse, the only difference between me and every other box kicker is my boxes held computer equipment. Eventually my job evolved first into imaging all of the machines, and then into testing new implementations in a new environment. This is when I got a little high on my horse and was bucked off by a little bit of legal trouble. Basically when you boil it down, I got in trouble for under-aged drinking. I am not going to sit here and argue that I was defending my country why can't I have a beer, blah, blah. Bottom line is I broke the law and I got in trouble for it. In hindsight it is probably one of the best things that has ever happened to me in my life, remember I am still just a glorified box-kicker. During this whole ordeal my supervisor and I had a falling out (he did not think my punishment was harsh enough) and I went to my First Sergeant to let him know that I would be willing to do any job as long as I did not have to work with my supervisor. I was immediately transferred to the Network Administration shop where I quickly picked up on my job and proved myself as more than just a box kicker. I met and married my wife at Fairchild, then one day we found out that she was pregnant. We were terrified and excited. 3 days later I received orders to Korea... Alone.

Kunsan AB is basically in the middle of nowhere in the middle of Korea. I quickly learned that Korea is a very different world than I was used to. They have mandatory military service which consists of Army, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Police Forces. This mandatory service had a few direct effects that I noticed, they had a very high suicide rates, because of this they were not given real ammo, just blanks. They also had police seemingly on every corner. They also had open sewers called binju ditches. I mostly stuck to base since it was a lengthy cab ride to just about anywhere and because I missed my wife and kids and did not enjoy the temptation of 'juicy girls' in the bars. This is not to say that there was no temptation on-base or that I did not drink the entire time I was there. I drank well over my fair share while there. It was pretty funny though to watch how people change when you take them away from their families. If two people were married and in the military they had the option of both going to Korea, however they would have to go to separate bases about three hours apart. Which meant you could see each other pretty much every weekend. These people were the most likely to cheat and/or divorce. Eventually the drinking paid off and I went home to my Wife and kids after a very difficult year.

Now that I was back from Korea I had the long and arduous task of getting to know my wife and kids again, you would be suprised how much people change in 1 year. Beale was a really easy base for me. I started up a side business where I would repair computers for people on base for a very small fee. The majority of customers where wives who had a virus and their husbands were deployed in Iraq and unable to fix it. The most memorable job I remember I was a woman whose husband had been gone for 3 months and shortly before he left they bought her a new computer (so she would not have any problems) she was not updating her virus definitions and got a virus which made her machine very difficult to use. I was able to clean her machine in about 6 minutes, and as I told her that I was all done and she can check it out to see if it is back to normal, she immediately burst into tears. Through the tears she then told me that she would have thrown the computer away had she not saw my ad that day, and it was not even paid for. I showed her how to prevent it in the future (as best as you can when you are dealing with a sobbing woman). She later sent me a card to let me know that she has been able to talk to her husband over AIM and is doing much better. I received a job offer to work on-site at the FBI Field Office in Seattle, WA. I quickly jumped at the opportunity. Luckily force-shaping (a program the Air Force implemented to allow people to apply to separate early) had been implemented, so I was feasible for me to leave. So after 5 years I drove a rental truck with all of my family's belongings to Seattle.

The FBI turned out to be a little bit of a disappointment, and I quickly grew tired of the bureacracy that goes with a federal agency, and began looking at other opportunities. I had alot of interest but only in stuff that I did not want to do (low-level Windows stuff) or positions that did not meet my salary requirements. I pressed on with a job that I did not like and eventually an opportunity presented itself in, of all places, at a Girl Scout Meeting. My wife was a girl scout leader and my daughter was a girl scout. Because of this I became the one who carries the Girl Scout stuff. One day my wife told me that one of the other Mom's mentioned that her company was having a hard time finding someone who was qualified for a position that they were hiring. I applied, interviewed, and was hired shortly thereafter. That is how I came into my current position.

This is basically the cliffnotes on my fairly recent life. I may expound upon them in later entries or perhaps just use them as my soapbox.

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.