About Me

I began my fascination with technology back in the late 1970’s when my father (the Zen Technocrat Master) purchased our family’s very first computer.  It was a Radio Shack Model 1, and I can still remember it so very well.

It had a black and white monitor, a bulky keyboard, and a cassette-tape machine for storage.  But more important, it had that new computer smell.

It was the same smell that permeates a server room or a new smart phone, and it still puts me in a bit of a trance.

From that day on, I was hooked, although I really didn’t know it at the time.  I played with that computer endlessly.  I burned through a variety of video game systems (Atari 2600, Coleco-vision, Atari 5200 and Magnavox), a Commodore 64 and a Timex Sinclair computer system by the time I started high school and then moved on to early PCs.

Despite all that, I didn’t yet realize my true calling.

I took a minor career detour in high school and college.  I studied Photo Journalism and eventually shifted to graphic design.  It was fun. A big part of the reason was the computers. I fondly remember learning to use a new program from Adobe called Photoshop. It was version 1.0 and we all spent hours and hours in the college newspaper newsroom adding a third eye to our friends with the rubber stamp tool.  We used Mac computers called “Quadra” and learned a new program called Quark Xpress to lay out the newspaper.

I left college for a job offer, got married and went to work for a large newspaper in the Southwest U.S. Good food, great scenery, wonderful hiking and a fun place to live.

This was in the early days of the electronic revolution for newspapers, and computers, software, servers and networks were everywhere.   It turned out that working with computers and networks was more fun than the design work, and after two years, I left the newspaper and we moved back to the midwest, where I went to work as the System Administrator for the student newspaper for my alma mater. (Go Jayhawks!!!)

From there I studied and learned more than I thought possible about computers, operating systems, networks and technology in general.

I finished my undergraduate degree, got to know a lot of wonderful students and eventually moved on to larger things.  I went to work for a large non-profit company.  It was in the late 90s and things were booming in the tech industry.  We did a lot of fun stuff, built networks for our clients and installed one of the very first fully converged production networks in the United States.  We were bleeding-edge adopters of VoIP technology and we bled for it.  But it was worth it.  Along the way I  got a masters degree, had my job eliminated in a c-suite shakeup by a bunch of greedy jerks, and made some really good friends.

I’ve been in IT Management for nearly 17 years now.  I’ve seen tons of changes in the industry.  I’ve changed from using a Mac, to a PC, back to a Mac, off to Linux, back to a PC, and currently, back to a Mac. I’ve worked for small companies and large.  Spent many years in the cable television industry (the non-profit), started my own web development company and consulted for clients all across the globe (8 different countries to be exact).

Currently, I’m the IT Director at an upper midwest university (Go Badgers) working for a department in the school of Medicine.  Our department is part of a very large heath-care organization and I’m getting a whole new take on IT and customer service.  The health-care field is vast and more complex than anything I’ve ever known.

Through it all, I try to stay Zen about things.

I got interested in Zen practice in the early 1990s and really started pursuing it in late 1998.  Since then it’s been a big part of my life.

On a personal level, I’m a martial arts enthusiast (Krav Maga rocks!!!), I coach youth soccer and basketball, read a ton of science-fiction and fantasy books, love to travel and spend any left over time woodworking.  I’m a Green Bay Packers fan (Go Pack!) a Jayhawk basketball fan (Rock Chalk Jayhawk), and find Minecraft  and the Modern Warfare series of games far too addicting. I’m married to a wonderful woman who happens to be a very good author (12 published books to her name) and have a couple kids who keep me on my toes.

Welcome to my little corner of the internet.

– J

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