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 (United Skates of America – Raleigh) 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 a Fortune 50 Computer Incident Response Team in the financial sector in July 2016. I guess I am drawn to cybersecurity for the challenge of solving puzzles when it comes to figuring out an attack vector and how it was exploited or what an employee was doing when they weren’t doing what they were supposed to be doing. While it can make for some long hours and frustration when the tools you expect to have collected the activity are not working as designed; I still enjoy the challenge and it’s almost a guarantee that today is going to be different from yesterday. I sometimes bring home my work when it comes to online scams where I post experiences dealing with the scammers how their scams work.
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 was down to one med for my type II diabetes, but a broken wrist suffered while mountain biking 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. Long term this hobby looks like it is going to become one of a long list of previous hobbies. Having a collection and wanting to use them means dealing with dried up ink and clogged nibs. So the collection is just that, a collection. I find myself picking up interesting ultra fine tip pens or color collections that let me keep my work notes tagged by color when needed.
I am interested recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa as I have a very mild form of the genetic disorder. Check out https://www.debra.org for more information. In the past, I have served as a volunteer photographer for debra.org and other volunteer photographer activities include:
Triangle American Diabetes Association (Tour de Cure Charity Bike Ride & Walk)
Raleigh Police Memorial Foundation (5K and Cycling Event)
Caring Community Foundation (Annual Fund Raiser)
Activate Good – 9/11 Day of Service
If you would like to contact me, please address your e-mail (with the appropriate adjustments) to blog (at) timbrown.net.