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Alwanza.net Professional Information -> Biography

I enjoy the great Pacific Northwest.  I live near Seattle, Washington, USA. 

I have 15 years experience in high tech; 11 years as senior systems administrator, including 4 years as hands-on IT manager.  I provide high involvement, take-charge services in Linux system administration, Perl programming, and database administration including 24/7 uptime support for mission-critical company network and computer systems.

I have architected new systems from the ground up.  I can take a list of a company's functional needs and turn them into a working solution that fit their budget and growth projections.

I enjoy a wide variety of technical tasks including creating protocols, disseminating information.

I am particularly adept at creating and expanding functionality, automation, documentation, web programming, web architecture, troubleshooting, network technology, functional design, firewalls.  I work well with researchers, scientists, programmers, musicians, and engineers.,,,  But, in all honesty, I should stay away from companies owned by Venture Capitalists.

I especially enjoy working with Linux and coding with Perl.  It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to do for a career.  I was lucky because there are many things I have the abilities to do, and I have many varied interests.  It was challenging for me to figure out which of those paths best suited my temperment as a profession.

I have a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic which was located in Glendale, California, at the time I attended.  I provided my solo practice in Woodstock, New York for 4.5 years before getting burned out and having stress-related health issues (lack of sleep, elevated blood pressure, weight gain).  I wasn't emotionally prepared for being a healthcare provider in modern medi-business.  I sold my practice and moved to Seattle.  I still maintain both my California and New York State chiropractic licenses.  I never bothered to get one in Washington State.

My bachelors degrees are in "Elective Studies" (mostly English) and Biology from the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport Connecticut, which used to be one step down from Ivy League - at least it was when I attended it.  But I transferred twice.  I also attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs Ohio and LaGuardia Community College in New York City because my parents didn't want me to go away to college until I turned 18 years old.  Of the 3 schools, I enjoyed LaGuardia the most.

I had several teaching and tutoring jobs.  I taught full time for six months in each of two schools that closed as I was going to begin my second term with them:  the 2nd Ave Downtown Seattle campus of Eton Technical Institute, and Wedgewood College of Allied Health Professionals which was a grossly mis-managed start-up.  I also taught Preparation for Parenthood at Highline Hospital from 1986 to 1988 until a new manager decided that a Doctor of Chiropractic wasn't qualified.

I spent more than 15 years working in small business accounting (5 to 200 employees) doing accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, state taxes, financial statements:  work which I found incredibly boring (and politically depressing), although I excelled at it.  I had to hide my education, not just my post-graduate, but even my bachelors degrees to land my first job in Seattle. 

I met my husband here in Seattle.  Tom and I have been married since 1993.  He was working in construction when I met him, and I was doing accounting.  When he turned 40 years old, he decided to save his knees and go into computing.  I was tired of being overworked, undervalued, and underpaid.  We had both studied Fortran with punch cards in earlier school years.  When he went to college in his twenties, it was with the intention of getting a bachelors in computer science. 

We took turns going back to school:  first I supported him while he got a 1 year certificate in Computer Programming, then he supported me through the same course.  We each attended North Seattle Community College (an excellent school) and have been coding ever since.  I've spent a significant portion of my life in school.  And, considering that I enjoy computer programming, I don't think I'll ever be "done".

Since starting my career in High Tech, I've taken several tech related courses from UW Extension, and attended many seminars, lectures, and classes at Tech Conferences, including LinuxFestNW, OSCON, and LISA.  I've even presented a couple of classes at LinuxFestNW, Sudoers and Linux Permissions.

In the summer I like to garden, hike, play in warm water, bicycle, canoe, pick berries, go "gypsy van camping" and boat-camping with my husband.  I also enjoy birding, and field flora identification.

In the autumn I steal apples, plums and chestnuts; ride my bicycle, work out in the gym, experiment with creating new wheat-free (often vegan) recipes.

In the winter I sleep and occasionally go to libraries, museums, meetings.

In the spring I do taxes.  Personal accounting seems to take up all my "spare" time until April 15th, and then I do my best to catch up on gardening.

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