Who I am (short version)

I'm a web developer for IBM, and I live in Carrboro, North Carolina, USA.

The slightly longer version

Currently I work for IBM, where I’m “the web guy” for Open-Services.net. I'm in charge of designing and maintaining the site, planning the content strategy, and supporting the community.

Before that, I was a technical writer, where I specialized in working with technical mumbo jumbo and presenting it in a clear, concise way that might actually help someone.

The thread that connects them is that in both cases my real job is to advocate for our users. I'm obsessed with making things that are useful, highly usable, and approachable (not just functional but well-documented).

I also dip my toes in photography. Like web design, photography appeals to me because it requires a blend of technical skill, artistic vision, and creativity. It's easy to get started, but it takes a lifetime to master (I think I'm at the “I suck” stage). My hope is that my camera doesn’t end up in the closet next to my baseball glove, my guitar, my Taekwondo gi, and my unicycle.

I have a lovely wife who tolerates my nonsense with patience and grace.

The Star Wars character that I'm most like is Han Solo, but without the handsomeness, the swarthiness, the spaceship, or the hair. And only some of the cockiness.

I tell jokes; sometimes, they're funny.

I like semicolons.

What’s up with the pictures?

I almost always look goofy in photographs, a behavioral quirk that has brought much misery to my parents and loved ones. (Dear Mom and Dad: I'm sorry I ruined our annual family portraits. 20-odd years in a row.)

Still, looking goofy while on the record does a better job of summarizing who I am than anything else I can tell you.

My personality traits in infographics

Toughness

Somewhere between Indiana Jones and an adorable puppy. Closer to puppy.

Wittiness

Somewhere between Rick Blaine from Casablanca and a sack of potatoes. Leaning slightly towards Rick

Intelligence

Somewhere between Pinky and The Brain. Actually this one changes by the minute.

Eccentricity

Somewhere between a fountain pen and a duckbilled platypus. Again, actually, this one probably changes by the minute.

I also seem to be somewhat willing to violate copyright.

And, yes, this is my favorite joke from How I Met Your Mother; why do you ask?

My greatest achievement

For a brief period in the late ’90s, before Amazon.com had really refined their system for recommending music based on what others have purchased, you could trick their system into offering some weird pairings if you bought two low-selling items together.

I abused this system where I could.

For example, for a while if you looked at Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello's Painted from Memory, Amazon would recommend that you also purchase the debut album by Slipknot.

Epic win.

Colophon

This site first went live December, 2007 as an online portfolio. That site was completely hand-coded, was a real beast to maintain, and was kind of ugly to boot, so I took it down as I experimented with far too many content management systems.

After a few too many scrapped sketchbook pages, Photoshop files, and PHP templates, I'm back, and running on ExpressionEngine 2, which is a really, really awesome content management system. Totally worth the money. It's all hosted on Laughing Squid.

The visual design is my own, and for the coding I write HTML5, CSS, and a sprinkling of jQuery with sweet tools like Coda, Textmate, and Transmit on various flavors of Macs.

The icons are from the excellent and quite charming Symbolicons set by Jory Raphael.

Disclaimers

Do I have to? Well, all right.

For my bosses

The opinions from this corner of the web are entirely my own. They do not represent anything whatsoever for my employer.

For the FTC

I receive no compensation for my activities here, except that they stroke my smug sense of self-satisfaction.

Too long. Didn’t read

Eh, I’m alright.

Whereabouts
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Employer
IBM Rational
Pursuits
Writing, design, photography
Booklearnin’
Carnegie Mellon and Ohio State
Past lives
Website consultant, insurance underwriter, legal assistant, waiter, stereo salesman
Random life goal
Find someone to pay me to take pictures of my dog all day. I like doing that.