I was born just outside of Los Angeles, and soon thereafter moved with my family to Orange County. I had an uneventful childhood; nothing really horrible (or great) ever happened to me. I cruised through public school, maintaining a low profile as I whiled away my spare time by reading, drawing and writing.
Upon graduating high school—and unable to afford college—I enlisted in the United States Air Force. I survived boot camp in San Antonio and technical school in Denver, and was finally stationed at Castle Air Force Base in my home state of California. During the subsequent three years, I was tasked with repairing avionics systems on B-52 bombers. Overall, the Air Force was a good experience. But I eventually came to realize military life wasn't for me, and I began to count the days until I was once again free.
After fulfilling my military obligation, I returned to Orange County and accepted a position testing and integrating Sidewinder missiles at the Ford Aerospace plant in Newport Beach. It actually wasn’t a terrible job, but it was mind-numbingly monotonous and completely devoid of the challenges and creativity I considered compulsory. After spending three long years on the assembly line, I eventually left to work for PC manufacturer ALR as a technical writer.
Working at ALR was a tremendous experience because it afforded me the opportunity to indulge pursuits beyond my technical writing duties. In addition to writing, I also illustrated many of the manuals, created multimedia demos for trade shows, developed an on-line help system and got my first exposure to HTML. My hard work eventually paid off and I was promoted to the position of Senior Technical Writer, but I longed for new challenges. So, after almost seven years, I left ALR to become part of the engineering department at Toshiba.
As a Senior Engineer at Toshiba, my primary duties consisted of providing graphical support to the programmers. I designed interfaces for both tradition and web-based applications, and tackled any graphical or multimedia task that arose. In my spare time, I continued to work as a freelance technical writer, illustrator and multimedia author. The work was never very fulfilling, and over time my skills were required less and less often. Shortly before my eight-year anniversary, I was abruptly escorted out the front door, handed a generous severance check and told never to return.
Since early 2005, I’ve been employed full-time as a Graphics Designer and PowerPoint Presentation Specialist at Western Digital in Lake Forest, California. The work isn't as diverse or creative as I'd like, but it's close to home, they pay me pretty good and treat me alright. So, I'll continue to show up, do as they say and sit in my little cubicle as the final vestiges of initiative, imagination and creativity are slowly but surely quashed from my being.