I have been a photography enthusiast since my dad gave me an old Kodak Brownie camera as a child. In high school I was the guy who didn’t go anywhere without a camera taking pictures for both the newspaper and year book. The first college application I filled out was for Randolph Tech and their Photography curriculum. My parents were not willing to spend the money required for the needed equipment so I enrolled at the local tech school in Computer Technology. I shot for the college paper while I changed majors to Police Science. I have continued to shoot mostly portraits and charity events. Today I am shooting less portraits and trying to shoot more close-up (macro) when I get a chance. I am fortunate to have a wife who indulges my habit and doesn’t get too mad when I tell her how much a particular piece of equipment costs. My fun job is DJ’ing on Wednesday nights at the local skating rink (Jellybeans-Cary) playing 80’s music. My full-time endeavor was working in government as a Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) lead, but I retired after 31 years of government service in January 2016. I quickly failed at retirement and went back to work as a federal government IT security contractor supporting a small data center that provides web hosting for a large federal customer. While that job was a good learning experience around vulnerability management and identity management associated with tokens, I missed incident response joined the Computer Incident Response Team at a Fortune 50 insurance company in July.
Several years ago, I took up cycling for fitness to go along with working out with a personal trainer. Between the exercise and eating better, I lost about 30 pounds and I now only take one med for my type II diabetes, but a broken wrist suffered while mountain biking has set my fitness program back a bit. In my high school days, B.C. (before car), I used to ride my Schwinn LeTour practically everywhere and had a route I did at least three times a week. During the summers I worked at my Grandmother’s motel in Blowing Rock and I would take the bike with me. I regularly rode the Blue Ridge Parkway and actually made the ride between Boone and Blowing Rock on 321 a couple of times. Rediscovering my passion for riding has been very rewarding, but at the same time frustrating as I never seem to have time to ride when the days get shorter in the fall and winter. Hopefully I can keep Saturdays open and take some good long rides to make up what I miss during the week.
A new hobby for me is amateur radio. The local Cary CERT team I am on offered a two-day training event for technician class and I attended and passed the test after the last session. My initial call was KK4OOK, but I kept studying the additional material for the general class license and passed that test at RARS fest on March 30, 2013. My reward was to apply for the vanity call-sign W4TRB. Even though I have the general class license, I don’t have a HF rig, but will get one at some point. I have been studying the materials for the amateur extra license and hope to sit for that license at some point.
Adding to my already long list of hobbies, but a practical one, is rediscovering the fun of using and collecting fountain pens. Like any hobby, you can become as obsessive as you desire. I am sticking with inexpensive pens for now as I couldn’t bring myself to write with something more expensive as losing it, dropping it on its nib, or something worse would be devastating.
I am interested recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa as I have a very mild form of the genetic disorder.
If you would like to contact me, please address your e-mail (with the appropriate adjustments) to blog (at) timbrown.net.