Hey there reader! My name is Jack and I’m the writer of this blog-journal-thing. I wanted to be able to share more about myself so that’s what I’m going to do here. First a mission statement of what this whole thing is that I’m doing. I’m trying to put out into the world in multiple different mediums my thoughts on things. My unique takes along with my years of unverified experience with technology of all sorts needs a place to live for it to be valid in this world we live in.
My mother Patricia
and my father Mark.
My mom wasn’t supposed to be able to have me. Throughout her life she’s had a myriad of health issues. Lupus, endometriosis, rheumatoid arthritis and a host of mental issues too. I was a handful as a child and that really is an understatement. At around 2 years of age I was diagnosed with ADHD. I remember going to a doctor’s office and being told to go home and have some coffee to diagnose this. Now the doctor I went to wasn’t just some random family doctor, my parents went to this special children’s hospital for a couple days to get evaluated. I don’t remember much of it really. But I remember going home and my parents making me some instant coffee with I think mocha flavor and hating it but after a couple of sips I went to sleep. That’s one of the paradoxical reactions to stimulants that people with ADHD have. Stimulants calm the mind and turn down the noise of the world to a degree, the result is a strong sense of relief that is very relaxing. Soon after this I was started on 5mg of Ritalin in the morning or afternoon, again, that was so long ago that I forget the exact details. I DO know that once I started preschool I was taking a morning dose along with a long acting noon dose with a booster dose once I got home. I believe it was around this time that I was also started on another pill called Clonidine which is traditionally a blood pressure medication but the way it works in a psychoactive sense is perfect for a sleep aid.
Early Tech Memories
On the technology front during my early years I was pretty attached to my computer and video games.
I had an NES
an IBM PCjr
That I played with a ton. I remember loving playing the Punisher game on the NES and destroying the backgrounds while shooting the bad guys. I had quite a temper though and my parents had to buy a Game Genie. I have no idea how I got through the first Zelda game, but I’m quite sure I beat it at some point. On the PCjr is where I learned how to DOS and BASIC. I’m pretty sure that using computers at such a young age in this manner is what taught me how to read, I never remember being taught at all. Just one-day words were words to me and I could read. I remember my parents bringing me a Compaq desktop one day, it was a floor model that had all this software loaded onto it that I didn’t have the CDs for. Some of the stuff worked without the CD so that was neat. The Compaq ran Windows 3.1. I remember one night I opened this anti-virus program and printed out the list of all the viruses. I believe my next computer might have been the AMD K6-2 system.
My father took me to a local-ish computer show and I got parts for us to build my first computer together. That was REALLY cool and the start of a lifelong love of computer hardware. I remember being really hyped about having an STB Velocity 128 graphics card. I had no idea if my computer was good or not, because to me it was great, and I didn’t care about having the best. I was jealous of my mom’s computer though, she had a Pentium MMX with an ATi Rage Pro. My mother introduced me to something called Dreamscape.
She also got this book called “Avatars: Exploring and Building Virtual Worlds on the Internet”
And it was amazing to me. The idea of getting on your computer and being able to interact in a very tangible way was very new at the time. I created a virtual persona named SpeedieJM who…
had a head that looked like this
a body that looked like this
I wasn’t the most social kid in real life but online I feel like I thrived a ton and it helped me so much.
I’m going to move forward a couple years to a big event. I think it was around 1998 or there about when I remember my mother having to go to a mental hospital for a bit. I wasn’t sure what that was about, but I did remember prior to this that my mom acted strangely one day where she was yelling at my dad in an accusatory fashion about something. She was this little 5’ 2” skinny woman with blonde hair and she was pushing my dad around accusing him of cheating on her or something like that. These were all imagined threats of my mother, none of it had any basis in reality at all. Back to her going to the mental hospital… I was a kid, I didn’t know anything about anything, I had no idea what any of this meant so I didn’t think much of it. There was also this other thing, there was this guy… I guess like my parents hired him to take pictures of us for like cute family photos or something, I don’t know really. But I believe he was a creep and tried to or just was stalkerish to my mom… I apologize for not being able to totally recall all this stuff from so long ago. I’ll just move forward in time a bit.
At some point I remember seeing a new doctor, I guess it was a psychiatrist or something. This new doctor put me on a new medication for my ADHD called Concerta. It was strange to me because she like had a whole presentation for us about it basically. She explained how the pill worked and had pictures to show how the barrel capsule works as a time release form. I think this doctor also had me get a thyroid test to see if I had hypothyroidism. It came back positive and I started on Synthroid.
Around the year 2000 my dad’s job opened new offices in a new town. He worked for Wyeth Pharmaceutical as a manager of the biomedical engineering department. So, Wyeth had a relocation package thing and assisted our move from New Jersey to Pennsylvania. I was in 6th grade at the time and we moved at the end of the school year in the middle of summer. I really didn’t mind moving because I just had the worst time adjusting to middle school. I went from a small grade school to a middle school that pretty much had what seemed to be 100 times the amount of kids in it. We had classes to remember to go to and periods and all that, I hated it, I just wanted to stay in one class and not have to bother with remembering all this other stuff. I also never did homework… never did homework at all… it was torture on my parents trying to get me to do it. I’d always argue that it was just busywork quota that the teachers had to meet. As a kid I was always tuned in on when “adults” would talk amongst themselves. We moved to PA as a family, oh, I forgot to mention my older sister! My sister Nikki is ten years older than I am, she’s a half-sister on my mom’s side and had her first son in 1997, Bailey. He is an awesome kid! The dad on the other hand wasn’t so awesome. He was a dirt bag pretty much. My sister moved to PA along with us to start up a better life for Bailey and herself. She initially lived in one of the rooms upstairs in our new house and we eventually got the basement finished and she had that all to herself.
Thank you for reading this. I’m going to be releasing this in parts because it’s very hard to write. Check out Part 2 Here