Personal #1: Where I'm coming from - A non-woodworking introduction

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Blog entry by RichJr posted 06-06-2010 08:53 PM 1361 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Personal series Part 2: How I got here - Motivation »

Well, I’m finally starting a blog. I’ve thought of doing so many times before in a couple of different contexts and never got around to it (at least not well enough to prevent me from deleting what I had previously posted). The one thing I believe in doing is letting the reader know where I’m coming from. Most of what I write is going to come from a particular perspective, and if the reader doesn’t know that, how much help can it be? This is especially true in the context of this woodworking community, as I have no expertise, so I can’t come out of the box posting helpful “How-To’s” or handy tips or interesting project pictures and updates. For many of you (all of you?), this will be a “tl;dr” type of posting.

You may just want to skip to go to part 2 of this “series”

So, who am I?

Well, I’m a soon-to-be mid 30’s IT professional. A computer guy if you will. I have no history of woodworking.

overly long and dull personal stuff follows

I suppose the various interests in my life has been dictated by a love of problem solving and/or creating.

Late In High School, it manifested itself in writing stories. Encouraged by friends and teachers, I wrote a fair bit of fictional stories, and had in my mind a world which I could spin off into a collection of short stories, maybe a novel, or perhaps even a series for a comic book (If I could find a partner with drawing talent, of which I have none). However, that never truly materialized.

By College I realized that I might be better served to pursue my love of technology and science, and become a Chemical Engineer. Unfortunately, one thing I did not have entering college, was basic study skills. Throughout my previous schooling I was one of those kids that pull down great grades without studying or even doing much homework (most homework was done at my desk during other classes). That bit me the rear, as I bombed pretty hard in my first collegiate Calculus course. The University told me to get out, I re-took the class during the summer (barely passing) and petitioned to be able to return, the University re-accepted me and pretty much dictated “stay away from Math and Science.” That was hard to take.

So I turned back to writing, focusing on what the University called “Rhetoric”, but was basically and English degree with a bunch of writing courses thrown in. I did not see how I could get a job from this.

So, leading into my final year of school, I turned to another love of mine, Computers, specifically Programming. Problem solving, creativity and ending up with a finished product, well, that would be what I am looking for. And unlike fiction writing, there appeared to be plenty of jobs available . So, I took my last few electives in specific computer programming classes, hoping it would be enough to get me an entry-level position after graduation.

My lucky? break

As it turns out, a company hiring a software engineer wants someone with a degree in software engineering. A few potential breaks went sour until I got a call from a software developer who specifically wanted me for my English skills. I did many jobs for this company, and when it moved out of state, the one skill that turned out to be marketable for me, was the Software Quality Assurance work that I did for them. I became a “Tester”.

Fast-forward a few jobs later, and I am still in QA. No problem solving, No creating. So, there is a void here that wasn’t being filled, I just hadn’t yet started to look for something to fill that need.

The fork in the road

5 years ago I decided it was time to stop renting, and to buy my own home, I had a solid income and a couple of friends who were willing to be roommates, and would effectively reduce my mortgage and utility payments.
So I bought a previously foreclosed upon home, that needed work, but hey, I would have the money to pay others to fix it up, and have relatives who could always assist me. All I need to do is buy the materials…

So, 1 roommate left after a couple of months, and the other was in and out of work often and became a drain on my income for a couple of years as he used up Utilities and Food with no way to pay the rent. Repairs were on hold. Then I met a special woman, kicked the roommates out and she moved in, and in what seems like a blink of an eye, she was pregnant and the house HAD to be ready for the baby.

Credit Cards were used.
Some things in the home were fixed, many were not.
Baby came (it’s a girl!)
Then marriage.

And like that, I am no longer the single guy with disposable income to go out with friends and buy tech toys like new computer equipment, gadgets and video games. No longer do I have the time to watch every sporting event that I pleased (and previously, it was a lot). No longer do I have the extra money that was funding my pursuit of a Master’s Degree in Computer Science so I could change careers from QA to actual programming.

Recently, after finally taking a hard look at our finances, it turns out we were not in good shape. Basically, after paying the bills, it left us with $0 per month. No extra money for going out, or funding the many fixes to the home. Cuts were made, and the most painful cut of all for a sports fan like me had to be made.
Cancelling TV service.

As this is running long, I’m going to move on to part 2 of this series where I finally get around to the part where I decide to look into this thing called woodworking

1 comment so far

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4382 days

#1 posted 06-07-2010 07:40 AM


-- Happy woodworking!

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