Page 2: In Which I Explain My Life To The Class of 1985

I’ve been in Portland since 1990 after a short detour to San Diego after graduating from Wartburg. I met and married my wife, Tina, in 1992. We have two awesome boys who dictate how we spend most of our time. Both are very active in Boy Scout Troop 820 ( and both play the double bass in the school orchestra after converting from the cello.

Graham is a nerd of the first order and thinks I’m the coolest nerd on the planet. He loves to play video games on our Xbox and Wii but is enthusiastic in almost everything he does — even when I enlist his help in yard chores. Since he was a baby we have known that he is strong-willed and joyous. He’s also very intelligent and somewhat arrogant about that fact, regarding it as a fact of life that he’s smarter than everyone else. I’m trying to work that out of him.

Thomas is more reserved than Graham and less likely to risk looking uncool. A year ago I helped him buy his first electric bass. Since then he has learned to play all of his favorite sons and a few “classics” that I asked him to learn. He can also has pick up Tina or my guitar and play them much better than either of us. In many ways he’s very much like I was at that age: long hair, quiet except with friends, stubborn and often inconsiderate. He’s also very smart but not always willing to work hard for great grades.

At 43 years old, the question of who I am is complex. Mostly I’m a father then a husband and then a software engineer. Probably because of my small town roots, I maintain a relatively small circle of friends in the physical world. In the last few years that circle has expanded to many friends I’ve met on the internet and people with whom I have reconnected on Facebook.

My mind still tends to be ruled by logic although I think I’ve grown more empathetic/sympathetic to those ruled by emotion. I like to think that I understand the world a little better than when we were young together, but that may well be an illusion. I’m also much better at handling the hurdles and setbacks that life gives me occasionally.

The smartest (and luckiest) thing I’ve ever done is marry my wife, Tina. She provides me such a great alternate view on reality! We are dissimilar in many ways but alike in our resolve to live a good life together and raise our boys to be great young men. She’s an artist with great talent that she has applied to painting, scrapbooking, movie-making and number of other endeavors. I am jealous of her ability and don’t tell her that often enough. If you remember what an ass I could be at 16-18, you’ll not be surprised that I was not much better when I met her at 25. That she stuck with me through that time is a testament both to her loyalty and her ability to see the potential I had. We’re happier and more content with each other now than we ever have been.