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The best of a bad lot

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Welcome to my blog!

Permalink 09/18/09 18:25, by Ryan, Categories: Meta
[photograph of self]

Hello! My name is Ryan Tucker, and you’ve found my awesome blog. If you’re new here, feel free to read more about me…


Some of you know me as Tucker, the crazy and lovable second-year Electrical Engineering Technology student at MCC; others of you know me as HoopyCat, that crazy whacky guy from IRC channels such as #linode and If you don’t already know me, howdy!

My geekiness and I

I was born about December 1980 in Iowa, and relocated to Rochester, New York in late 1998 due to acute ennui.

I am a geek, and have been for quite awhile. I look at the world as layers of inter-operating systems, and aim to see the layers and the relationships that most people don’t see. There is no magic in the world, and that is precisely why it is wonderful and awesome.

There are a few topics I geek out with particularly frequently. We’ll call these my primary geekiness targets for the purpose of labeling. They include weather (especially severe weather), telecommunications and computer networking, and driving. Yes, driving. It’s all about the timing, the probabilities, the educated guessing, the mind games… it’s a lot like poker, but with momentum instead of money.

I also have my secondary geekiness targets, which include electronics, music, beer appreciation, photography, and… well, a heck of a lot of stuff. That’s not to say they’re necessarily inferior to the primary targets, but they’re either more recent additions to my geekfolio or things I’m not as good at.

Of course, I can geek out about most things. A shipping label isn’t just a sticker with an address to me; it’s a collection of critical information in a precisely-engineered format. The choice of paper and adhesive, the dimensions of the label, the positioning on the box, the size and format of bar codes and address elements… the design is intended to maximize the value of every label on every package. This leads me to pondering such incredible facilities as UPS’s Chicago Area Consolidation Hub and FedEx’s Memphis SuperHub, and from there it’s air traffic control and waste water treatment and… yeah.

My experiences and background

I kicked ass in school, until I stopped kicking ass, and then I dropped out at 16. Well, OK, so that’s looking back at my teenage years after nearly a decade and a half (oh god i’m getting old) of being in the “real world”. I was a teenager, a geek, an introvert, overweight, and pretty nerdy. I’m not a teenager any more, but I’m still most of those, but I’ve come to accept it as a good thing instead of ways in which I am inferior to the more popular people in high school. Except for the overweight part: I’m working on that.

Armed with a GED and my ability to learn pretty much anything given a manual and half a chance, I moved a thousand miles east and spent nearly a decade working for an Internet Service Provider in Rochester. The evolution of the company, and of the industry, during that time was incredible: the movement from independent local ISPs to national mega-ISPs to telco/cableco broadband was exciting and terrifying, and the arrival of technologies such as VoIP and virtualization was also exciting and just as terrifying. I did my part to make VoIP a serious choice for business-class telephony, and loved almost every minute of it.

Alas, I needed more in my life. I met and married a wonderful Canadian with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and half of a degree in Engineering, and soon realized that my cowboy-geekin’ Iowa-born high school dropout self was drastically outclassed.

I went back to school, quit my job, and here I am.

My new “day job”

I am a sophomore majoring in Electrical Engineering Technology at Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York. I say that a lot, because holy shit it’s awesomeeeeeeee. Seriously. After getting burned out on education and taking advantage of a gap decade, it’s great to be back in the saddle expanding my mind full-time. It’s an opportunity that I would have squandered as a younger man. I highly recommend taking some time off after high school to find yourself, and then hitting college like a roadkill raccoon.

It’s hard work. There’s a lot of homework and studying involved. But you know what? There is nothing sweeter than comparing what I know now to what I knew yesterday.

The myriad ways in which I suck

I have a small number of conditions and diagnoses and problems that I deal with daily. My goal is to not use them as excuses, but to understand and adapt around them. Among them are attention deficit disorder (the inattentive type, not usually the hyperactive-impulsive type), chronic back pain thanks in part to scoliosis, and various aches and pains, particularly in my lower right leg thanks to a 2002 car crash.

I’m also a perfectionist and seem to have a streak of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. I’m not big on self-diagnoses, but riddle me this: when I started writing this post, I had fully intended on making a table listing the order in which laundry goes into the laundry machine, and on which settings, so that my wife doesn’t forget to wash the bedsheets with hot water or mis-sequence the delicates.

But, you know, that’s just me.

Blog posts come from a can. They were put there by a man in a factory downtown.

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