I never know if I should write these in first person or third person but I think first person sounds friendlier so I’ll go with that.
I started playing RPGs back in 1983-84, I don’t exactly remember when but it was in school as part of the gifted and talented class I was in. One of the guys in the class pitched the idea to the teacher and she gave the okay. So over the course of several weeks (the class met once a week), we all rolled up characters and played through an adventure using the red box Basic set of D&D from the BECMI series. The same guy gave me a copy of the Basic set for my birthday in early ’84 and I’ve been hooked ever since. Shortly after receiving my red box, I traded that in for Star Frontiers and never really looked back. Science fiction has always held at least as much interest, if not more, for me than fantasy.
I’ve been one of the primary torch-bearers for the Star Frontiers game for the last decade or so, including creating and editing the Frontier Explorer and maintaining the Star Frontiersman, two fan magazines for the game. I also maintain the starfrontiers.us and starfrontiers.info websites. I’ve also done a bit of blogging in the past, my gaming posts have primarily been at now dead blog (I’m slowly porting the posts over to this blog), and I used to write about computer and astronomy topics at the Programming Space blog. I haven’t been posting much recently, however.
I’ve been interested in computers and astronomy for almost as long as I can remember. My family got our first computer (a Sinclair ZX81) for Christmas in 1978 when I was six and I’ve been programming ever since. My interest in astronomy dates from at least that early as well. When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would always say I wanted to be an astronomer and work for NASA.
After high school, I received and B.S. in Physics and then went on to receive a M.S. and Ph.D. in Astronomy. After receiving my Ph.D., I started work as a software developer on NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (then called GLAST). So you could say, mission accomplished. Along the way, I’ve also picked up a M.S. in Library Science as well.
My current day job is as a Senior Scientific Software Developer working on the NASA Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope project, a position I’ve held off and on since mid 2003. During the “off” times, I’ve had stints as the Information Software Development Manager for NASA’s SOFIA project and have worked as the Physical & Mathematical Sciences Librarian at BYU. I also am an Adjunct Professor at BYU teaching intro level computer science classes.
Finally, I’m happily married and the father of seven (yes you read that correctly) ranging in age from 4 to 22. My older kids all play RPGs so I’m doing my part to grow the hobby in that area. Besides computers, astronomy, and RPGs, I enjoy camping, hiking, watching my wife and kids play sports, and reading a good book.