I’ve been tagged by Brian Button to tell a bit about my geek childhood. As you can imagine, I also had quite the geek childhood growing up. The picture to the left is my school picture where I’m actually posing with a Transformer.
Pretty much every aspect of my childhood was geekish in some way or another. From early childhood I was exposed to tons of electronics – we had a 200′ tower in our front yard, my Christmas present one year was a homemade digital clock my step-dad made (which threw on whatever was plugged into the front of the clock when the alarm went off), and many other things.
Oh, and the satellite dishes. This was the "small" one in the backyard – 16′. We had a 20′ in the front yard, a 40′ across the street, and a pair of 10′ in another part of the backyard. I clearly remember watching jets from Macdill Air Force Base to Patrick Air Force Base make course corrections once they saw the dishes. We got to do a ton of fun things – we used to pick up signals from Russian satellites, including newscasts of two very scared-looking people with a single bare bulb above their heads.
To make it more geeky, my mom and my stepdad actually got married in a helicopter. Yes, he was a pilot who built his own helicopters. So one of his friends flew over a chopper, my mom and him loaded up, and the rest of us listened over walkie talkie as the minister did the ceremony from the ground while the helicopter flew overhead.
A lot of my geekiness comes from the fact that we also played a lot of Pool (or billiards) growing up. A good friend of ours won the national 8-ball championship, and it was a lot of fun learning about various aspects of math necessary to be a good pool player. The shot to the right was a suit that I had. Somewhere I had a picture of me in that suit on our pool table.
Even as I got older, pool was an important part of my life – although I just don’t play it as much now. Perhaps that’s something I should get back into.
As times went on, I got more and more into computers. My first computer was an Atari 800XL. My second computer was an Epson 386. I used to spend hours typing in programs from various computer magazines. I remember I even had Tetris, and it had a "boss" mode which would switch to a spreadsheet. Not that I knew what a spreadsheet was back then, but I remember thinking how clever that was. I was also into gaming – I participated in the Nintendo world championships, though I didn’t get all that far. Somewhere we have a video of me, my mom, and a friend of mine dancing around a stage to Super Mario music. Hope that stays hidden.
So, thanks to Brian for tagging me – it was great fun going through the picture box to find pictures like this one of me in my "Sun n Fun Fly-In" shirt. It’s amazing how similar many of our backgrounds are across the blogosphere (we also did a bunch of Ham Radio stuff, though I never got my license). And it’s a lot of fund seeing the different experiences we had which made us who we are today.