I'm really not sure I understand these "seven things" or "tagged" memes, but I'm going to give it a shot, after Keith Casey did a drive-by tagging of me on New Year's Eve.
So, without further ado, seven things you may not know about me…
My actual college degree is in comparative religion. I ended up in the Religion department at the University of Puget Sound (yes, the initials are UPS, which can easily cause confusion with brown, parcel-bearing trucks), due to a line of questioning that occurred during an Artificial Intelligence course I was taking. The instructor was asking if there would be any ethical barrier to unplugging an AI — i.e., since it would be capable of thought, would this be equivalent to "killing" it? My initial response was, "No," because humans consist of more than thought… and then I started wondering a bit about that. My emphasis in religion was in Eastern religions. I have a minor in Mathematics (CS at UPS was actually CS/Mathematics).
I have an FCC Commercial Radio Operator's License. My parents were volunteer DJs at KGLT while I was growing up, and I did my first radio announcing at… get this… the ripe age of 11. I finally got my license before starting college so that I could be a DJ at the university station… and ended up as the General Manager of KUPS my last two years.
I had long hair — down to my butt at times — for around ten years. Which likely comes as a huge shock to those of you who have met me at conferences. Ironically, I cut it off just prior to moving to Vermont as part of an effort to increase the success of my job hunt.
Before I started my programming career, I was a graphics technician. The job immediately prior to my first programming position was with a small book publisher that specialized in bird hunting and flyfishing guidebooks, for which I created maps, scanned and processed images for books, and did book and catalog layout.
My first Object Oriented Programming was in Perl. If you've ever done OOP in Perl, you'll likely agree with the following statement: OOP in any other language is easy by comparison. I mean, come on, a syntax where the very definition of an object requires that you "bless" a "thingy"? Truly; this is from the "bless" documentation:
bless REF: This function tells the thingy referenced by REF that it is now an object in the CLASSNAME package. If CLASSNAME is omitted, the current package is used. Because a bless is often the last thing in a constructor, it returns the reference for convenience. Always use the two-argument version if a derived class might inherit the function doing the blessing. See perltoot and perlobj for more about the blessing (and blessings) of objects.
This made OOP in PHP look easy.
I hold the degree of shodan in Aikido, though I haven't trained in several years, due to time and travel constraints. I love the movement and flow of Aikido, and always found it very meditative. I also liked working with weapons, especially the bokken (wooden sword). This is why when I say, "don't make me get my clue bat out," you should take heed; I know from experience that white oak leaves a mark.
I could have been Cal. When Zend first interviewed me, it was for the position of Editor-in-Chief of DevZone. After my in-house interview, I had reservations — I didn't feel experienced or connected enough, and was worried I'd botch it. Fortunately for me, and probably the PHP community in general, they decided to hire me as a PHP developer instead.
So, that's seven things (and quite a bit more, really) about me. And now it's time to tag some others:
- Cal Evans is an obvious choice for me. Besides having worked together for some years, he's a great friend.
- Stefan Koopmanschap, who took a train to Amsterdam just to have dinner and a beer with me.
- Sean Coates, whom I met in an airport on the way back from ZendCon two years ago, who lives less than two hours away, and whom I haven't seen since that ZendCon.
- Lorna Jane Mitchell, with whom I'll be doing a tutorial session on Subversion at php|tek, and who will be clearly flustered by being tagged.
- Ivo Jansch, whom I met almost two years ago, and somebody I admire and respect greatly.
- Ligaya Turmelle, one of my co-authors for "The PHP Anthology," the woman who got me to volunteer as a phpwomen Booth Babe, and now MySQL guru.
- Rob Allen, who has made my job easier by publishing tutorials and now a book on Zend Framework, and who in real-life is a mild-mannered Clark Kent I'd gladly raise a pint with any day.
And here are the rules I'm supposed to pass on to the above bloggers:
- Link your original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
- Share seven facts about yourself in the post - some random, some wierd.
- Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
- Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.