About me:

For the last thirty years it, seems I’ve managed to gain a few pounds every year until I hit the 300 pound mark. People would say “wow, you don’t look that heavy.” Believe me, the scales begged to differ. Every time I hit a new high I would say,“That’s it! No more!” I would change something for a little while, but then went right back to gaining. I’ve tried to exercise, but that’s a pain–both literally and figuratively. I’d run up and down the street, pump weights, and try to eat a little better, all with no long lasting effects. The common wisdom says that you can’t permanently lose weight without exercising. Add to that the fact that exercising accomplishes nothing; you can’t look at it and say “Look at what I did today!” Still, I knew I needed to exercise. I’ve done a little gardening through the years and, remembering that it can be pretty strenuous, I decided to seriously get into gardening. The fact that bell peppers cost more than hamburger these days was an added incentive. I figured I could get up early every morning, work a couple of hours, and soon the produce would appear and the pounds would disappear.

A few weeks into my new gardening regime, I decided it would be nice to record what I was doing–like what got planted when, what technique worked and what didn’t, and so forth. I knew from past experience I’d never keep up with writing in a journal–I’m a computer geek; we don’t do longhand–and since I was already wondering what is with this whole blogging thing, I decided a gardening blog was the perfect solution. So here I am: a programmer/MBA/financial analyst/techno geek digging my way to good health (and good eating!) in the dirt of my garden. I hope my experiences will provide you with some entertainment and maybe you can give me some pointers along the way. I’ll try to be honest and let you know when I screw up, or at least explain what I was thinking. It’s amazing how your brain wanders when you’re out there trying to remove the weeds without removing the plants, so I’ll probably talk about some of the things I think about while I’m out there in my garden. Who knows? I might just solve the problems of the world right there in the middle of my corn patch.

A little more detail:

I was born on August 13, 1954, in Louisville, Kentucky. (You do the math.) My family moved to Puerto Rico when I was four, and stayed there until I was twelve. From there we moved to St Petersburg, Florida, where I lived until I was hired by IBM at age nineteen.

I have a technical degree in Electro-Mechanics, a Bachelors degree in Accounting with a concentration in management, and an MBA in Finance. I started my career with IBM as a customer engineer–a fancy term for computer repairman. From there I went to Boca Raton as a Service Planning Representative, was promoted to Quality Control Analyst, and then into Finance. In 1989, IBM decided they needed to cut back on staff and since they had never used the “L” word, they decided to just pay people to go away. The plan was called a Financial Assistance Package and, in keeping with the IBM acronym tradition, that soon became the “FAP.” (People would ask, “Are you fapping?” IBM can make a verb out of anything!) I fapped in March of 1989, expecting to seek out my fame and fortune and, at the same time, get away from the busy city life (note to self: don’t do that again!) So off to Madison, Florida, we went. The county had a grand total of about 16,000 people. It sounds stupid now, but here was my grand scheme: I would go to a small town where labor was cheap, set up a business that could take advantage of being in a remote location, and I would make a fortune. (Note to self: next time wait until the Internet is up and running to try this.) I set up a small printing company, and also opened an office supply and computer store. I lasted five years, at which point my wife and I decided to give up and try something else. With barely a month’s rent to our names, we moved to Greenville, SC–not too big, not too small, good environment for education, great place to raise children. I went to a staffing agency and they hooked me up on contract to a little company named BMW. After three and a half years there, I was recruited by a dot com company with “stock options.” I left the great gig at BMW to join the dot com craze and watched as the company went through a series of identities, first as Aquion, then selling out to a company which called its product the Trusted Link procurement, (yeah, I know, catchy name,) and finally, ending up as Channelinx.com. (It was important to have that .com in your name!) Two years in, I felt what I signed up for was not where we were going, so I struck out on my own again and started a company with a partner called Open Source Applications (note to self: no more partners!). That lasted another two year until the partnership dissolved and I was genuinely back out on my own. I had the great idea that since I had spent most of my life working for the Fortune 10, it was time to go to the other extreme. Practical Business Systems is what I called my business this time. My plan was to bring technology to small companies, but at a reasonable price. I might have been a little naive about what small business owners consider reasonable–especially since I was soliciting companies with as few as three employees–but, still, I enjoy working with small companies and love using my 35 years of expertise in technology to help them grow their business. Now, after ten years, the company is at a point where I can spend a few hours in my garden and nobody misses me. I guess that makes me a success!