About

For the longest time, literally years, this page said nothing more than:

Derek will put something here eventually.

which began to feel more and more like a lie. After all, I hadn’t actually “put something here”.

First the basics: I live in a quiet little town you’ve never heard of in upstate New York, with my awesome wife Debbie (who is way funnier than I am, but then again she’s a professional and I am a rank amateur), and our tiny long-haired Chihuahua, Lando (why? Because we got him on Star Wars Day, and he’s a suave motherfucker, that’s why! The ladies love Lando…)

Without getting too “talk therapy”, I’m a nerd at heart, who still hangs out with his high school Dungeons and Dragons group (even trying hard to make time to play a little these days, although it’s Pathfinder now as the game of choice). I went into computers because it was “the obvious path” for me. I’ve worked as a cog in a large dot-com during the boom, I’ve worked as an integral part of building up a start-up in a fledgling industry, and I’ve worked at a prestigious, expensive liberal-arts college. I’ve been the guy at the literal bottom of the org chart, and the guy second from the top. I’ve led teams and I’ve been the guy who answered crappy tech support calls and ran out to get everyone’s lunch. I’ve had a lot of fun along the way, and continue to find the day-to-day challenges inspiring and exciting.

As I have “grown up”, I’ve found another interest that sparks a fire inside me to the same of level as my love of computers, and that is politics and the law. I almost certainly disagree with your politics. I say that not because I’m an asshole (the verdict’s not entirely in on that point), but because I have only to look at the massive percentage of people who vote for “Democrats” or “Republicans” and since I’m neither of those, the odds are in my favor to say that we won’t agree. I do my level best to respect other people’s beliefs, but sometimes, something is so abhorrent to me that I just can’t help myself. “Sorry,” in advance for that, I suppose.

As I write this, it’s the mid-point of 2014, and the world is pretty much going to shit. The middle-east is exploding (again), Russia is screwing around with the internal governance of its neighbors (again), the US is spying on friends, neighbors, allies, and its average law-abiding citizens (again)… As Lt. Lockhart says in Full Metal Jacket, “It’s a huge shit sandwich, and we’re all gonna have to take a bite.”

I’m born-again fascinated by the modern “hacker culture” (anonymous, Snowden, the various groups I won’t name). A large part of me believes that they’re going to be the saviors of our future. Keren Elazari’s TED Talk on this topic is, frankly, inspirational. Some day I hope to be able to bring my knowledge of computers, and my love of politics together into some sort of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of activism (“You got your IT in my political activism… you got your political activism in my IT… mmmMMmmmmm!”)  But I’m not quite there yet.

I started this blog in 2002, when blogs were a new and upcoming thing. When Facebook came around, it sort of supplanted the role of blogging for me and others, by providing an addictive customizable platform. When Facebook started spying on its users, I said “Fuck that,” and decided to come back to the place that I controlled.

And now you know… the rest of the story.

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