Today, in honor of Father’s Day – Gizmodo is running a feature on dad’s influence on our tech obsessions. I thought it might be appropriate to share a bit about my father, as I owe a lot of my tech and location independent tendencies to him.
My father grew up a Navy brat – always moving around, and spent his first adult years serving aboard a nuclear submarine in the 1960s. When he met my mother, and she wouldn’t date him until he got out of the Navy, he moved into civil service and ended up becoming a software developer quite by circumstance. On the night I was born, he dreamed up an idea for a software solution that became the foundation of the business he and I still run together to this day.
From the moment I was born, I had tech in my life. Nowadays, that’s not so uncommon. But for someone born in 1973 – I was destined to live outside of boxes from the beginning. By the time I was 4, I was navigating a Wang 2200 mini computer – and even getting him nearly arrested for telling my pre-school teacher that I spent the weekend ‘playing with my daddy’s Wang’.
By age 7, he had taught me to write and compile BASIC programs, and by age 13 I was developing applications and editing our company’s self published magazine. All the while, he had built up a successful software business in the Wang and BASIC-2 community. I learned a lot about not only technology, but also the stress of running a larger company when your passion is creating.
When Wang went through it’s nepotism inspired crash in the mid 1980s, his company fell as well. But he taught me agility of adapting by transitioning his career to becoming a location independent software consultant and developer. He learned new skills outside of Wang, reduced the stress in his life and focused more on quality time on the things he loved. Many of the clients I support today in my full time travels are folks we forged long lasting relationships with during this time period.
I am so grateful for all the gifts my father has given me – in raising me with technology as a foundation of my youth, in bringing me up in an entrapanuer household and in inspiring me to live my passions. I learned from him that nothing is impossible, to always question the norm and to forge my own unique path. He’s been my biggest supporter in my chosen lifestyle.
This past Wednesday he underwent surgery for what was previously thought to be a small, possibly cancerous, tumor in his right lung. The original prognosis was that he would likely only lose his lower lobe. However, the surgery and pathology showed the tumor was both cancerous and placed in such a way that his entire lung had to be removed. Thankfully, the cancer was only Stage 1A squamous cells, and his lymph nodes are all clear – it was caught in time. The past few weeks have been a rollercoaster of an emotional ride, and I’m so thankful that we could be here at this difficult time for my family. Every day he is making progress and looking better and better, he is a fighter. The next few months ahead will be challenging as he relearns living with one lung and the prognosis is good for a long healthy life ahead. We intend many future nomadic rendezvouses.
For Father’s Day today, Chris and I created him an iPad app of his own – which allows him to interact with his favorite bunny (that lives under his house) while he’s in the hospital. The smile on his face was priceless.
Thank you for your patience in our absence from our normal content as life has directed our focus elsewhere.