Mike Thomas, slowly coming to terms with late 40's-hood. Child of a free spirit, graphic artist mother, and a father I don't know very well. Grandchild of a librarian (and poorest DAR member ever), engineer, coal miner, and homemaker (not all the same person). Grandnephew of yet another engineer.|
Mike Thomas, slowly coming to terms with middle age. Child of a free spirit, graphic artist mother, and a father I don't know very well. Grandchild of a librarian (and poorest DAR member ever), engineer, coal miner, and homemaker (not all the same person). Grandnephew of yet another engineer.|
Mike Thomas, slowly coming to terms with middle age. Child of a free spirit, graphic artist mother, and a father I don't know very well. Grandchild of a librarian (and poorest DAR member ever), engineer, coal miner, and homemaker (not all the same person). Grandnephew of yet another engineer.
Currently living in Denver, CO in domestic tranquility. A software developer of some repute, and amateur renaissance man. Still sane after all these years, but there's still time left, and I'm stubborn.
You see, I read a lot of fairly scholarly stuff on my own, and the classes that I had to take in high school didn't really interest me much, and neither did the homework. Eventually, however, I woke up and realized that if I'd just "play the game", I'd actually do pretty well, which couldn't hurt in the long run. My grades improved a lot after that.
I didn't decide to attend college until my senior year of high school. I finally decided to enroll at Eastern Kentucky University with the plan of majoring in art. Right before I started, I changed my major to math. I was young and naive, and thought artists starved in garrets and didn't get famous until they died (I'd never heard of commercial art, though I was exposed to it constantly). But mathematicians, on the other hand, tons of options for those guys. Um, well, let's just say I was young and naive.
I spent five years at E&Y, always deepening my object and relational analysis and design skills. But it had to come to an end someday. Eventually, my move to Denver and changes in management resulted in the destruction of my group as I knew and loved it. It was time for me to go.
I left BoldTech to work at Qwest Communications with a friend of mine from the startup I mentioned above. I spent a year and a half at Qwest, and enjoyed almost every minute of it. I worked exclusively in Java and WebLogic server. By the time I left I was the 'architect' for the team, and had a lot of say in how things got done. However, I still 'kept it real' and wrote a lot of code, too. Eventually I got a little bored at Qwest, and went out on my own again. I landed at Oppenheimer Funds where I worked on a WebLogic Server project for a new financial product that Oppenheimer brought to the market.
When the Oppenheimer gig played out, I spent about five weeks looking for something else. I finally got a contracting gig at BEA Systems (maker of WebLogic Server, among other fine products) in the fall of 2001. That gig was converted to a full-time job in June of 2002. As seems to be the pattern, after about a year and a half I started getting a bit bored at BEA and started looking around. I ended up taking a job with a small startup called ePlan Services in January of 2004. As of this writing, I'm still there. Turns out I really like working for small companies.
I love Denver, and can't believe it took us so long to move here from barren, humid, hot, boring Dallas. Here in Denver, it's actually fun to go for bike rides, and there are tons of dedicated trails, for both mountain and road bikes, that go for miles and miles. There are places on one of our suburban bike trails that belie the fact that you're only a mile away from major roads and shopping centers, etc. All you can see is vast fields, tree-topped hills, ponds, and the mountains in the background. Amazing.
Other than the technical books, I'll occasionally read a nonfiction book on some topic that interests me, like art, philosophy, or science. Very occasionally, I'll read a novel. Very occasionally. This habit drove one of my junior high-scool librarians crazy.
See my weblog for a list books I'm reading, and have read (it's in the sidebar).
I used to be pretty much addicted to Quake (back when QuakeWorld was popular). I played all the time. I actually was in a "clan" for a while, but I quickly plateaued and got frustrated by my inability to improve. So, I went out on my own again for a while, but really, in the end, I stopped playing so much.
I still play occasionally, though now it's Q3A, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, or Unreal Tournament. I'm still pretty decent so if you come across a player named chomsky, or _balance_, or --vector-->, watch out!
I'm a musician and an audiophile. That's unusual, if you believe what you read. Many fine musicians have crappy stereo systems. Maybe that's because they spend all of their money on fine musical equipment. Anyway, I once had a home studio, and was very active in it. I've recorded a lot of tunes over the years, but little since moving to Colorado. I've been playing around with Apple's Garage Band a bit, but nothing too substantial. Several of my recordings are available to download in MP3 format.
Just for fun, here is a j-card for a tape that I once produced:
In 2007 I started drawing (and even painting) again, pretty seriously. I did a lot of sketching for the next, oh nearly three years, then dropped it suddenly when I got a wild hair about photography again. Yeah, it kind of goes that way. All my sketches, drawings, and paintings from this period (over 300 of them!) are catalogued on flickr
1995 K1100RS (the Green Goblin)