About Me

So here’s a bit about me, personally.

These days I live in Richmond, Virginia, and got here by way of New York City, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Columbus, Roanoke, and lots of other places.

The professional stuff

I’m a veteran (20+ years) communications guy who’s worked for magazines, newspapers, and Web sites including PC Magazine, USA Today, National Underwriter, CNET, the Roanoke (Va.) Times and Blue Ridge Business Journal.

My work’s appeared in those pubs, plus the Columbus Dispatch, Kiplinger’s, Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Smart Money magazine, to name a few.

I’ve also been a magazine editor, have launched three publications, created too many Web sites to name, done marketing and PR work, and am in the process of raising my karmic comeuppance in the form of a 13-year-old son.

So yeah, I keep busy.

The personal stuff

I love science and history, and I spend way too much time teaching myself about all sorts of odd subjects. These mini-obsessions last a week or two: geocaching, hiking, woodworking, programming, paddleball, racquetball, cooking, and more. Some I stick with longer than others, but I get something out of them all.

I’m an amateur photographer and I love image and video editing. I enjoy thinking about the presentation of information — what’s the best way to tell someone what they need to know?

My degree’s in philosophy. It’s been more useful than you might think.

I read lots of non-fiction — history and science for the most part, but anything, really. And I read a ton of fiction — sci-fi, mystery, horror, or just plain lit.

Here, have some conversation starters…

  • I’m a ‘serial hobbyist’ who’s dabbled in lots, from online gaming and building a computer to gardening, cooking, and beekeeping, currently.
  • I’m a pen snob; away with your cheap Bics!
  • I love writing on paper (and reading on it, too)
  • I’m an INTJ, which obviously makes me smart, sexy, and humble.
  • I’m not addicted to Diet Coke (or Diet Dr Pepper), but I wish I was.
  • I just started drinking and appreciating coffee in the past year.

Hobbies

  • Reading — if it’s not fiction, it’s probably history or science
  • Photography — been doing it since my first tiny GAF camera in 1973
  • Cooking
  • Beekeeping
  • Gardening
  • Messing with the computer till I start to curse.

Media

Books

I’m a sucker for a good read with a happy ending. So anything by…

  • Terry Pratchett
  • Bill Bryson
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Lee Child

In general…

  • Science fiction
  • Science and nature
  • History (especially detailed stories about narrow topics)

And…

  • Calvin and Hobbes
  • Cul de Sac
  • Doonesbury

Movies

Argh… so many! In no particular order:

  • “Raiders of the Lost Ark”
  • “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”
  • “Guardians of the Galaxy”
  • “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (the first one!)
  • “Field of Dreams”
  • “Charade”
  • “The Princess Bride”
  • “The Silence of the Lambs”
  • “Deadpool” (deal with it)
  • “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”

Music

I like all sorts of music, but I’m not a huge music person. I avoid rap, and I like stuff from the ’30s and ’40s along with some good ’70s rock. But really, anything that isn’t AutoTuned to death.

(What, you want specifics? All righty… Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, ELO, Arctic Monkeys, the Monkees, the Beach Boys, the Ramones, Creedence, AC/DC, Alan Parsons Project… ugh, the list goes on. The Who, Hayley Westenra, Proclaimers, the Beatles… sheesh, it’s still going. Hooters,Tom Petty, Elton John… and that’s enough, right?)

The miscellaneous stuff

I’m a grounded geek — I love technology, but it has to be useful. So I play a lot with Web sites, building things just for the heck of it: message boards, wikis, photo albums, polls, and so on, just to see if I can make them crazy easy to use. (For no other reason, I built my own bit.ly-style URL shortener at fllw.me, and created a customized Web-based mail system just for myself.)

I find coolness in the mundane.

I’m the guy in the office who everyone comes to if they need computer troubleshooting, want to buy a digital camera, feel like starting a blog, and so on.

And I do most of my writing with a fountain pen or a pencil.

Cool stuff I’ve done

  • Gone cross-country by Greyhound over 30 days
  • Been interviewed on “60 Minutes,” “Good Morning America,” and “The Today Show”
  • Dug for — and found — dinosaur fossils in Montana (ask to see my hadrosaur metatarsal)
  • Created and ran a game show

And that’s me. Well, barely. It’s a vague outline anyway. If you came here wondering “Who is this guy,” maybe you have at least a few answers.

Want more? Drop me a line!