Geek destiny


My friends used to say I had multiple personalities. They even named them at one point .. Yardwork Jay likes to build patios, brags about his collection of power tools (mostly inherited, er, stolen, from big Lar) and is completely consumed with his perfectly manicured, green lawn. OCD Jay, well, obsesses. Mostly about organization, like having all the things on my desk parallel to one another and facing toward me. Forget it… Stacker Jay rose to fame during my mid-20’s and had a tendency to overdose on Stackers before heading out for beers. This was when ephedra was not only legal, but sold next to slushies at 7-11. Then there was Raver Jay; a Siamese clone of DJ Jay. This was my persona through the college years. We’ll skip over these two for now. I put my parents through enough for those 5 years. There are others, but around 12 years ago, right around the time I started getting paid to sling code, Programmer Jay was born. Ah, the innermost core of my nerdy self.

Like I was telling you in my career death note, I just recently signed a new client under DigitalXBridge (my consulting gig). It’s day four and I’ve already been hacking up some SSH commands in a terminal client, installed VMWare and successfully run a Windows7 virtual image (about to do the same for Ubuntu), checked out a trunk of code from Subversion and compiled and deployed my first Java build in over 7 years.

My title at Melfast is ‘IT Director’. This confuses everyone there so I wrote up a job description. They’re now more confused so I know I got it just right.

I haven’t had less than 3 computers on my desk since I started and am helping to deploy a new ERP and inventory management system. I’ve been writing SQL scripts to migrate data between databases.

I should have stopped at the part about SSH commands…

Point is, I’ve strayed over the years and forgotten how much I love surrounding myself with technology. Don’t get me wrong, I will always gloat when neighbors stop to ask me how I get my lawn so full and green. But a salesman at Melfast came up to me today and asked, “You chose to go into computers, on purpose?” I smiled ear-to-ear and said, “Yep!” He walked away shaking his head. A mixture, I’m sure, of bewilderment and pity for me; especially considering the entire office is convinced I have a crush on my new Macbook Pro.

Wow. I probably just lost half of the people that are kind enough to read this nonsense, alienated my friends even further and given my wife nerd-insult-ammunition for the next year or so. Luckily she doesn’t even know what a blog is.

I’m getting to the point…

By some fluke, the Cuban and I caught a segment of the local news last night – a ritual I swore off when I was around 12 because of all the sky-is-falling, sensationalist, ratings-based bullshit they cover. Ironically enough, they were reporting on this woman who had just turned 105. They asked her, “What do you contribute to your long life?” Short and sweet, this little bundle of wrinkled joy said, “Do what you love. And if it involves music, play it all the time!”

At this rate, I should make it to at least 95; so long as Yardwork Jay and his assortment of power tools doesn’t kill me first.

Would love to hear from anyone who’s had the balls to stop doing just to do, and instead, is doing what makes them happy.


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