Seven Things

I'm getting in on this "Seven Things" deal by way of being "tagged" by Ben Ramsey. And yes, Ben, while I am technically your "boss," we're all still on vacation, so...that doesn't count now. Or something. Cut it out.

So, here are my seven things, which have been rolling around my head all day. Here we go:

  • I'm a triplet. My other two brothers, Brad and Brent, live in Baltimore and Kansas City respectively. We were born one-minute apart. Brad is also in the IT industry working for the government, while Brent is working for my Dad at Midwest Towers in estimating, sales, repairs, etc. for cooling towers.
  • I started coding in BASIC on an Apple IIe around 4th or 5th grade. I later expanded into GWBASIC on DOS, and took Pascal and other programming classes in high school. Around age 14, I released various shareware applications written (and compiled!) in QuickBASIC under the name Untitled Software. I received a handful of registrations for my "most popular" product, "Master Menu III," which was a DOS-based application launcher (complete with VGA mode screensavers!). My most distant registration was from the Netherlands, so I just gave him a free license in order to not deal with currency exchange stuff.
  • While working at Best Buy from Summer 1997 to December 1998, I had the opportunity to wear the Idea Box costume during a holiday season. You can't see them, but I'm wearing blue and yellow elf shoe covers over my shoes. I also couldn't talk, would just have to wave and shake hands with people. My friends would come in the store, so I'd see them outside the mesh on the "B" in "Best" and break the no-talking rule. Occasionally I'd roam around the store being goofy, while trying to not knock things over. It was a great time! Normally, I worked in the Media Department, which sold music, movies, and software. Loved that job!
  • I moved from the suburbs of Kansas City, MO to New York City at the ripe old age of 19. I was offered a job with VitalAging (now BenefitsCheckUp.org) as a Systems Administrator. I had nothing to lose, so...why not? Then I stayed there seven years before moving to Atlanta. Brooklyn, represent!
  • After moving to the NYC area, I continued and completed my undergraduate education at Baruch College, CUNY by going to school in the mornings and evenings, while still working full-time. It was tough, but worth it. I got my degree in Computer Information Systems (more business-, accounting-, and management-focused), which has turned out to be very practical. I wish I had algorithms, compilers, and all of those other low-level Computer Science courses, but the practical things have served me very well.
  • I met my wife, found my job at Schematic, and my last Brooklyn apartment on Craigslist (NYC).
  • I have a long family history of being a huge fan of Hooters (the restaurant). I've been going there since I was pretty young. Whenever we'd travel as a family, we'd stop at locations during our trip. My Dad actually collects the menus for all of the ones be visits -- he must have 50 to 60 at this point. I once drove from Boston to NYC via Rhode Island just to be the first DeShong to visit a location in that state. And yes, I took a menu and mailed it to my Dad. I go for the food, though -- I'll even get takeout (when my wife refuses to go), which proves my devotion to the food.

And here are my lucky seven!

  • Robert Swarthout because I want to see if he'll actually step up and write this blog post...and because he's a co-worker of mine and a fellow Atlantan
  • Graham Christensen, one of the youngest dudes in PHP, for having just visited Georgia, the state I now call home
  • Shawn Stratton for being another fellow Atlantan, and for that time we randomly bumped into each other at the Envelope Building downtown
  • Brian Moon for being my PHP Appalachia 2008 "Team Haystacks" teammate, and a fellow southerner
  • Jason Sweat for attending my talk(s) at php|tek 2008, and having some awesome feedback. And for having an awesome last name?
  • Lars Strojny for proving some comments and feedback on my Zend_Log_Writer_Mail proposal
  • Nate Abele for being the CakePHP and OmniTI dude, and for that time a handful of us went drinking and to the Comedy Cellar in NYC

And, of course, the rules:

  • Link your original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post - some random, some weird.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.