About Me

Hello there! My name is Tom and thank you for visiting my web site! Chances are you don't know who I am. That's probably because I'm just another guy out there doing his thing and trying to make the most of life.

Life

I currently live in Laramie, Wyoming with my wife Renee and our daschunds, Greta and Otto. I also have two step-children and two ultra-adorable grandsons.

Background

I was born and raised in southern California. My father was a school bus driver for most of my younger years, and my mom was an elementary school teacher for over five decades! I have one sibling, my younger brother, since we were so close in age, we spent a lot of time together.

Fontana, the city I grew up in, was a small city about an hour’s drive east of Los Angeles. Fontana was home to the Kaiser Steel Mill where the production of steel for wartime production during World War II for the west coast. My father, grandfather, and other family members were employed by the mill for decades. So Fontana was what I call a ‘working class community’ with a large lower and middle class. Just a bunch of honest, hard working people.

Education

I started school at a neighborhood private school, primarily because they offered before school and after school day care. Thanks to some issues with the faculty there that my parents didn’t agree with, in the middle of my fourth grade year, my brother and I were transferred to our neighborhood public school.

I went to our local high school, Fontana High school, or as the locals call it, FoHi. At FoHi, I was a good student and a member of both the varsity swim and water polo teams. In my senior year I was a member of the student legislative council. I wasn’t a social butterfly (never have been) but I knew many of my fellow students. Academically I did pretty well, as I passed the Computer Science AB advanced placement test and took advanced classes throughout my time as a Steeler.

For my post secondary education, I tried many times to get that Bachelor’s degree, but it just never worked out in those younger years. I’m not making excuses just stating the fact. My first degree, an Associate of Science (AS) in Computer Information Systems, came from a local community college (Crafton Hills College) in June 2007. After graduation at CHC, I tried to do the same thing as a local public university but once again life got in the way.

It wasn’t until 2013, at the urging of my wife (then girlfriend) Renee that I look into doing an online program to get my Bachelor’s degree. Her support and the flexibility doing the program online led me to earn my Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Computer Information Technology in August 2015. In fact, I completed this degree while working 40+ hours a week, competitively swimming on a USMS team, and as an assistant coach for three teams (boys swim, girls swim, and girls water polo) at the high school I was working at. I highly recommend Southern New Hampshire University to anyone looking for a great online program that works. I finally got that BA degree, it just took 20 years to get it!

Work

In 1996 I was hired for my first IT technician position, supporting a local elementary school. That school was the start of my 25+ years of being a computer technician. After being a key person at the helm of the school's technology expansion, we got the entire school wired on a local area network (LAN) and providing Internet access to all staff members and to a 32 computer student computer lab. I would eventually move on to the district's grade 9-12 high school, which would give me the opportunity to gain even more IT experience.

When I moved to Wyoming in 2016, I landed a job as an IT specialist for the local school district, a job that I loved.I was the district's "Google guy" as I assumed the role of the "Google Workspace for Education" system administrator and in the six years I guided the deployment of Chromebooks to every student in our district, along with many other resources.

During 2022, I was given the opportunity to explore another area of my career. This time I would be setting down the screwdriver and now I would be working with data. After a few months of filling in as the district's interim data specialist, I applied for the opening and landed the job. I am now the system administrator for the school district's systems that manage employee data. I'm learning so much, at a really rapid pace, but it has been quite rewarding.

Fun stuff

I have many hobbies that tend to keep me busy and my brain working in different ways. I'm a firm believer in not wrapping up your identity in your work. We all need to have a clean break between our work lives and our personal lives.

My main hobbies are:

I have other subjects that fascinate or entertain, but I don't always have the time to indulge:

  • Cold-war military aviation

  • Dungeons & Dragons

  • all things Star Wars (inc novels, video games, etc.)

  • Disney's Oswald the Rabbit

  • traveling

  • history & museums

  • First/New Wave music from the '80s

  • Beach Boys and all surf music

  • trying food from all over the world

  • HotWheels, die-cast toys, and scale models

  • nature and her beauty

  • LEGO