Mike's History

I was born in St. Louis, Missouri on the 13th of December, 1967. About a week later, I was adopted by my parents.

I grew up in the small town of Troy, Missouri, population ~2000 (when I was there). Actually, not quite true. I grew up about 5 miles outside of the city limits, where my parents owned a small Mom & Pop style grocery store near the back entrace to Cuivre River State Park. Troy is growing, however. It got it's first real stoplight in either the late 80's or early 90's.

I attended school in Troy, going through all 13 years there. I was always the nerd in school. Your usual bookworm geek. Things really haven't changed all that much. I'm just now a computer geek instead.

I went to school at University of Missouri - Rolla. I started out in Electrical Engineering, realized I didn't care much for the math (which was surprising since math was my favorite subject in high school), then switched to Computer Science.

However, school didn't agree with me much and although I graduated from high school in '86, I didn't graduate from college until '96. Yes, with only a BS. Actually, it was a major self esteem problem. I refused to be successful at anything, and so let myself be severly distracted. Not attending classes, not doing homework, not studying. Letting myself become addicted to various activities. Playing on computer networks talking with people, playing games, avoiding reality. A couple of suicide attempts. Etc, etc, etc.

However, I finally did get my act together, and graduated. Yay team.

I took a job in Los Alamos, NM, and pretty much regretted it every since. I hate my job. I hate this town. Only thing I've managed to do is pay off many of my debts.

During my extensive time in college, I did discover some things about myself, and made some choices based upon those discoveries. I am bisexual. I am polyamorous. I am pretty much agnostic, but with strong tendencies towards paganism.

In April, 1998, I took a new job. This one moved me to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Bit more interesting town. Got myself a new car, A Mistubishi Mirage. Now to start looking for a house.

Well, I've decided I'm probably not going to be able to do a house now. I don't think I can really come up with enough money for a downpayment of any kind, and I really don't want to do the high interest associated with a 0-down loan.

While visiting some friends of mine in southern Indianna, we found a simply adorable kitten outside of a restaurant named Sam's. So she became Samantha. Someday we'll get some pics of her up here.

Well, I did put up some pictures a while back, but I'm finally making a link for them here.

Also, a love in my life, Christina, moved in with me August 1998. It's be great to have someone to be at home. Fortunately it was easy for her to transfer. Since she worked at RadioShack, which are damned near everywhere.

Just before the move, I took my first ever real vacation. Went to New Orleans with Chrstina. First time we'd actually met. Was great fun, though next time, not so long of a visit (exhausted by the end), and explore more of the town besides the French Quarter. An annoying thing was losing my cd's on the flight out there.

After living and working in Milwaukee for a while, it was time for a move again. My job was threatened (really had no clue if the position was going to stay open or what), and found out my mother has cancer. So started doing some job hunting, with an emphasis in the St. Louis area.

I accepted a position with MasterCard, and moved to Chesterfield in 1999. We lived about 45 minutes from my family.

We starting to actually make our apartment look like a home. In the current two bedroom, we turned one room into an office. Five book cases; some awesome InterMetro shelving for the comics (mine) and Magic cards (hers). Three computers, hopefully moving up to five shortly.

Finally a real bed. No longer sleeping on the futon. And a bed-room set. All from Mom. The futon is acting as a sofa; all we need now is a chair in the living room.

Life and family continued to evolve, and two things happened at nearly the same time. Another girl-friend and another job.

Christina and I met with Kelli at an event in Iowa. As we got to know each other more, I fell in love with Kelli. Christina and I went on vacation in Silicon Valley and spent more time with Kelli, and there Christina also professed her love for Kelli. So in late 2000, Kelli and her daughter moved in with us.

During that time though, I had also gotten extremely bored with the work at MasterCard. It paid well, and had an awesome benefits (217% matching on 401k). But just held no interest for me. So I started job hunting again. Right when the Dot-Com Boom was at its peak. I got offered a job doing configuration management at a startup called YY in Silicon Valley (one of the reasons I wanted to vacation there; to see if I wanted to live there). I started driving out January 2, 2001, with a car full of computers, clothes, and a cat. Some months later, the rest of the family moved out once I found an apartment.

Life in California is interesting. Very expensive; our new apartment in Sunnyvale, cost four times what our Chesterfield one did. The DSL was more expensive and not quite as fast. But, the weather rocks. The people are neat, and a lot of cool friends were found. Not to mention a new cat, Bobby. Lots of pictures of him can now be found on LiveJournal, if you want to go there and look.

The work was a good run, but like many startups of this era, they had ramped up too quickly and burned through all of their cash before they could really make a go of it, and I was laid off the day after Valentines, 2002. Not long after, it shutdown completely.

By now it was more of the Dot-Bomb era, and I was out for 9 months. I am currently working at Certive. Like for YY, I am doing configuration management. It's not what I want to do for my career; I want to get back into actual development, but to be honest, right now, in this market, it's a job. I just have to make sure I actually make use of the co-workers and other resources and learn new stuff while I'm there, to keep myself marketable. Even if that does mean Java.


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Mike Castle
dalgoda@ix.netcom.com