What do you do for a living?

I was asked that question a while back, and to be honest, I was stumped.

You see, technically I’m retired. But the problem is that I can’t stay away
from this stuff. Computers and software have always been not only my
profession, but my passion as well. When I had real job I was doing what
I loved to do, and getting paid for it.

But now things are a little different.

I’ve got my fingers in so many pies. Some days it feels like I’m
busier in this “retirement” than I was while working for someone else.

So in response to the question, I started to think a little more about my “elevator speech”. I think it boils down to
this:

I provide software and information that solves people’s computer problems,
addresses their opportunities, and makes them more productive and
successful.

Or waxing more even poetically:

I make computers dance.

Either is pretty darned vague, but that’s a reflection of why it’s so hard
for me to answer the question in the first place. I enjoy doing a lot of different things. One of
the things that absolutely fascinates me about the computer and software
industry is the limitless opportunity. That makes it nearly impossible to
limit myself to a more concrete response. “I
answer people’s technical questions”
doesn’t begin to cover what I do and
what I enjoy doing. But then neither does I’m a software engineer and
consultant”
.

I’m in it for fun, and fun doesn’t have boundaries.

Here’s some of the fun I’ve been having in recent months:

  • Ask Leo! is where I get to directly answer
    peoples questions. As it states there, to some degree it’s about what I know,
    and I enjoy telling people what I know (don’t we all?) especially when it can
    help them solve a particular problem they’re having. But there’s a lot
    I don’t know – and answering questions for Ask
    Leo!
    teaches me more every day.
  • Dolls and Friends is my wife’s
    doll shop. Yeah, the bookkeeping is kinda boring, but I’ve had a blast with
    technology including things like a website that’s linked directly to the
    in-store inventory and is updated in real time.
  • My consulting has me doing all
    sorts of random things for a wide variety of people. I’ve written distribution
    scripts for premium email subscription providers, installed packages like AWStats and Movable Type for folks.
    I’ve learned tons in the last year about Linux and software such as mySql, PHP. I’ve written custom
    scripts that interface with packages such as Article
    Manager
    for another internet publisher. I’ve written a couple of iterations
    of scripts that generate RSS
    Feeds
    for several email publications, as well as a story
    of the day
    feature. I’ve even anonymously helped to quickly put together
    one time sensitive featurette. And I’m currently producing
    a weekly video tip for Lockergnome.com.
  • Even my philanthropic efforts end
    up having a tech or business component to them – everything from being
    volunteer webmaster for HeroicStories.com (where one of
    those RSS feeds was created) to being one of the prime movers behind Hopelink’s
    (a local human services agency) Executive Leadership
    Council, and even to speaking at a fund raising
    luncheon to benefit the nursing home my father lives in.
  • I wrote a book, and another, with more planned.
  • And then in my “spare time” (ha!) I’ve gone off and started this blog as
    well as creating a new repository for the humor that I’ve collected over the
    years – Forwarded Funnies.

My wife says I “play with computers” for a living. The bottom line is that
that’s pretty darned accurate – right down to the play part.

And sometimes I even get paid for it. How cool is that?