The traditional 4,862nd post reveal

Discussion in '1k Member Reveals' started by patrickj, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. patrickj

    patrickj Genius
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    That's the magic number right? Where you get to share some interesting things about yourself? Hope so - because here goes:

    -- I'm married - for the third and final time to a wonderful, beautiful girl I met 10 years ago. We have one lovely, amazing, iPad and Touch lovin daughter who is going to turn 8 next week. She's smart and funny and even pretends to get her dad's weird sense of humor. Oh, and she likes tons of music that her parents do - that whole playing music to them while they're in the womb thing worked out well for us.

    -- We live in Austin, Texas - one of the greatest towns anywhere in the world. I've ived a few places - grew up in Connecticut. Spent a couple years in Caracas, Venezuela, several years in Miami - and around 12 years in London. Oh, and also lived briefly in Glasgow, Scotland.

    -- I've worked in 'techie' roles for around 15 years now - started out in phone support for Microsoft (Windows and Office), moved to helpdesk and then network management at Hilton Hotels international HQ in London. Myself and one other guy were the go-to guys for a mixed Windows / Netware (yup I'm old) / Unix environment that supported 500 users in our building and over 220 Hilton hotels round the world. One of the worst ever issues we had to deal was a major network outage for our three hotels in Turkey. We went all round the houses troubleshooting all sorts of possible causes for loss of connectivity somewhere along the line between us and them. Turned out they had not paid some telecoms bill and Turskish telecom company had shut down their WAN equipment without telling them. That lead to a favorite joke for our team in the pub at the end of long days - we'd ask if anyone checked if the lights were on in Istanbul. That doesn't sound at all funny typing it here - but it made us laugh.

    I've also worked as a network manager / engineer for a big Ford subsidiary in London and back in the US for Unisys on two big government accounts. My last full-time techie job was working as an IT consultant to SMB (small and medium businessses) here in Austin, Texas. That was favorite ever tech job - because each of us was basically the whole IT department and CIO for each client company we dealt with. We did everything from deskside support to recommending, implementing, and maintaining all of their networks, planning for distaster recovery, and so on. We knew all our clients really well, and got on swimmingly with most of them. It was a superb job for learning and staying sharp because many days you just bounced around from one crisis to another and you had to be able to find the problem and fix it fast. We aso had a really great group of engineers.

    -- At the very beginning of 2007 I found out I had a major illness. One that required a brutal surgery and chemo + radiation treatments for months afterwards. I was afraid I would not be around to see my daughter's 4th birthday. I also learned one of the huge disadvantages of working for a very small company. From the day I informed them of my illness, I received one further paycheck (to the end of that week) and then nothing. At the time my earnings represented about 80% of our household income, and it was all gone in 7 days. My wife is a wonderful rock of a person and somehow she pulled us through. Financially, emotionally, keeping our daughter from ever knowing what was going on - just amazing.

    I got a little stronger at the end of 07, after chemo and radiation kicked my arse for the first half of that year. I even went back to work with my old firm half-time in early 08. Then I got a headache one day. I almost never get headaches and this one lasted for a week. My cancer had come back and I had a brain tumor. I had another surgery to remove that tumor, and a few months of really horrible radiation treatments that kicked my arse far worse than the previous year's had. At one stage I lost like 80 pounds in a short space of weeks as I physically couldn't eat. Many normal food smells made me violently ill - eggs for example. I would go days with no food and very little liquid intake - couple time had to go to the Oncology center to get liquids via IV at the lowest points. After being a wuss for ages and not wanting to do it, I agreed to go get acupuncture to help with the inability to eat. Not super fun (needles all over, including in my face) but damn did it work. After the first treatment I had a craving for Apples. Second one I started eating ham sandwhiches, and onwards from there.

    By the beginning of 09 I was eating well again, putting weight back on, taking walks with my dog. And i just slowly stepped up physical activity.

    -- Now I eat super-healthy. Zero caffeine, red meat less than once in a blue moon, no soda, lots of fresh veg and fresh fruit, and so on. I take my big beautiful Labrador for two long walks a day. I play softball twice a week, and tennis once or twice per week. Go to the workout room with my daughter 2-3 times per week. I feel superb most of the time - though I still have some days where I overdo something and my chest and shoulder (which my first brutal op tore to shreds, 3 ribs awkwardly tied back together and such) hurt like hell in the evening. But mostly great.

    I work at home now full-time - mostly on running a few mobile tech related sites. I pick my daughter up from school every afternoon and she spends her afternoons home with me. She does her homework, we go work out, walk the dog, I bang away on the MacBook keyboard, she plays all sorts of online kiddo games with her cousin and her grandma.

    Basically we have a sweet life.

    I'm not going to say I beat cancer, because I'm well aware it can come back with a vengeance at any time. But today I feel good. Damn good. And my daughter turns freakin' 8 next week, and there's not a better kid on this whole damn planet - and I know it's a huge cliche, but I am enjoying the heck out of every single day.

    Oh, and I'm a huge fan of everythingiCafe, always have been. I have my times when I don't visit as often as I'd like - but usually just because I'm struggling to keep up with stuff, not from any lack of interest.

    Anyway, that's me.
     
  2. RoofMonkey

    RoofMonkey Genius
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    Now THAT is one hell of an introduction! Glad to hear your doing well and it's certainly a privilege having you on here!

    Sent from my iPhone using iCafe app
     
  3. Skb2000

    Skb2000 Evangelist
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    Kudos to you... You are a fighter. I only had a measily little cancer (compared to you) and thankfully, after 13 + years it has not come back in any form. I also try to eat healthy but I fall off the wagon every once in a while. I am probably close in age to you... maybe a bit older but who is counting. Nice to meet you Patrick. One of these days I will do a reveal but I am too lazy.
     
  4. chris

    chris Administrator
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    This might be the best 'reveal' we've had on this site.

    I admire your courage and ability to battle through such incredibly difficult times. Hearing your story really puts things in perspective.


    It's people like you that make this place great. Not only your knowledge of topics, but you're good people. Thanks for taking the time to write this up. I think it's time we set up a place where these posts don't get lost in the shuffle.


    The only thing missing from your post is a photo of your Lab. Can we make that happen?
     
  5. patrickj

    patrickj Genius
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    Thanks for all the kind words guys.

    Skb2000 - I don't think there's any such thing as a measily little cancer. And yeah, I'm with ya on the who's counting front. :)

    Chris - there's tons of good people at this site, that's always been my favorite thing about it - and at the risk of getting told what a brown-nose I am by Napoleon I'd say that maybe that's because it all starts with you and how great an environment you've created, and continually improved, for good people.

    Oh, and the pic of my big Lab - Yes We Can:

    Baz2.jpg
     

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  6. Napoleon PhoneApart

    Senior Moderator

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    Great reveal, Patrick. I admire your strength and perseverance. Your wife sounds like an angel.
     
  7. ITS ME DAVID

    ITS ME DAVID Evangelist
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    Nice reveal
     
  8. acosmichippo

    acosmichippo Genius
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    and here i was waiting for 100,000.
     
  9. Hondamaker

    Hondamaker Genius
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    Very cool reveal. I remember when you had cancer. I had no idea it was as bad as that.
    I visit your iPhone and iPad blog sites daily. Still love them.
    You sound like you have an awesome family and a great life, Patrick. Glad you're still around!


    Sent from my iPhone using iCafe app
     
  10. canamera

    canamera Zealot
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    Wow Patrick...you've had quite a journey! Stay strong man, that was a great reveal!
     
  11. Marianne

    Marianne Zealot
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    Impressive reveal! Thank you for sharing. May your health problems be gone for good and you and your family continue living the sweet life forever! :)
     
  12. connie

    connie Evangelist
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    Awesome Patrick. Continued good health and blessings to you. I've also always enjoyed your blogs. You rock!
     
  13. glsda

    glsda Zealot
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    Patrick you're a survivor and in my prayers. My wonderful wife is going on her 25th year as a survivor. You will play with your grand kids.
     
  14. patrickj

    patrickj Genius
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    Thanks to all for the very kind words. Very glad to hear some of you like my sites as well. :)
     
  15. computerfox

    computerfox Zealot
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    Yay unix!

    Glad you're here and very nice post!


    Sent from my iPhone using iCafe app
     

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