We get awesome thunderstorms in the Midwest. I love them.
My dog? Not so much. As you can see here, during any stormy rumblings, she will only be found down in the basement, in my writing cave, hunkered under my desk.
Today, while Debbie and I were sitting at the table eating taco salads for lunch, looking over a backyard being inundated with needed rain (about thirty minutes before the adjacent picture was taken), Karly and I had the following exchange:
[Scene: Two humans are seated at a dinner table. Their faithful canine companion is curled beside the man’s chair, snoozing (and perhaps snoring) as only twelve-year-old dogs can do within 8 seconds of laying down, anywhere, anytime. Lightning flashes.]
Man: “Oooh, that’ll be a good one.”
[Thunder rocks the house. The dog sproings from sound sleep to stiff-legged alarm. She pivots toward the stairs leading down into the basement.]
Man: “Karly, it’s just a little Spring storm. Stay and watch with us.”
[The dog pauses, perhaps recognizing the word “stay” in her master’s speech. A command? Really? Now? Is he freakin’ kidding? She looks over her shoulder. “Hooman,” her eyes say with deep sincerity, “fifteen thousand years ago, when our kind first began living with your kind, there were two kinds of dogs. There were my kind — those smart enough to know full well that storms were dangerous and the only wise thing to do when the sky growls is *always* seek shelter below ground, where dens are supposed to bedug (for good reason!) — and there were the other kind of dog, those who left risk determinations in the hands of their supposedly smarter hoomans…
“As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one kind of dog left.
Bio: I grew up a Navy brat, then enlisted in the U.S. Army Infantry at age 21. I entered as a private, earned selection for and admission into Officer Candidate School, then spent the rest of the time wearing bars. After several years training force-on-force unit combat in the Mojave with the Army's elite mechanized OPFOR, and then the joy of command while at Fort Carson, CO, which included the challenges and rewards of taking a company of soldiers to Iraq and bringing them all home safely, I left the military in search of new experiences.
Like many who leave the military, I hit some hiccups trying to figure out how to communicate to civilians that a decade of training soldiers to aggressively close with and kill the enemy was experience that would translate swimmingly into their company culture. Eventually I overcame that communication challenge. That led to several years doing the "corporate thing," pursuing a career that led from retail to IT, following my passions for computers and communications developed as a(n) (unlikely) hobby while a soldier.
In the late nineties, I had the good fortune to hire into one of the pioneer companies in the (then new) massively multiplayer online game industry. While there I saw opportunity to start my own company and used all my experiences (and no small amount of learning new skills on the fly!) to build an online payment processing company.
My first company, PayByCash, brought local non-credit-card payment methods from around the world to Internet content providers with one very simple integration. After growing for 8 years and earning the trust of the largest game content providers in the world (and most of the smaller ones as well), we merged with a VC-funded Silicon Valley company and were later acquired by Visa.
In my on-again-off-again "retirement," as a serial entrepreneur, I develop (and occasionally launch) new ventures. When not torturing myself with the responsibility to nurse my whackadoodle ideas into profitability, I spend the time with my family that I rarely had when running my first (and to date most successful) company.
And I write, sporadically and spasmodically. When not writing, I race cars and enjoy improving my skills in the shooting sports.
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