I have long contemplated making myself a home page. I have been actively on the Internet since the late 80's and I have never designed a page I was satisfied with. And therefore I never shared that page with others. So this is my latest attempt to make something I am mildly pleased with. So if you think this page looks nice let me know, and I will be happy. Now that the disclosure that I have no artistic talent has been made, I might as well tell you a bit about myself.
I am most commonly know as Bill Thomas, though in writing I almost alway type William R Thomas. Additionally, I have been known by a variety of pseudonyms, these include but are not limited to Corvar, Lazurus, Brother Joseph, Big Black, Big Bill, and 'That guy who drank all the beer'. Some of those pseudonyms date back to the 80's when I was still in High School. Others I aquired while in college at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. I think I am still picking up nicknames, but these day more and more of them are not said to my face, and I will not hazard to guess what they are.
Where I live
I was born and raised in Kenosha Wisconsin. The house I currently live in was purchased by my parents within a week of my birth, and I have in turn purchased it from my father. So in some ways I like certain aspects of my life to remain fairly static. I like the fact that some of my neighbors have known me my entire life, and giggle to myself to think of the parts of my life which they have no idea about. I have been in this house for approaching 3 decade, excluding a half decade of decadence in college, so I would say Kenosha and this old house suit me well.
When I was young, I was bound and determined not to work in computers, by computers at that time I meant computer programming. With that thought firmly entrenched in my mind, I went off to college to figure out what I was going to do with my life. I decided on Physics, and had a particular like for the sub field of Optics. How I ended up as a System/Network administrator from there is still hazy. Though I can say it is no where near as interesting as the tale of the Cuckoo's Egg. Currently, I design, implement, and administer all technical aspects of a small Chicagoland ISP's network and Internet servers. This includes things like routers, mail servers, news servers, web servers, firewalls, and other fun stuff. So much for not working in computers.
I also went back on the programmer part of things. Well depending on how loosely you apply that defination of programming. Anyone who wants to get anywhere in the System/Network Administration field has to be able to do some programming. If it is a simple shell script to ease a repetitive task, fixing someone elses broken c code when a bug is found, or extending an application through that bastard language perl, when you have no one else to do it and it has to get done you need to start typing.
Well if there was any question about me being a geek left in your mind, I am about to dispell them.
Currently, I am the co-webmaster of a very large website devoted to the Lord of the Rings in general and the Lord of the Rings movies especially. TheOneRing.net is still in my mind considered a hobby because I do it in my free time and it is mostly fun. As one of the two webmasters, I am completely in charge of the server and do most of the scripting for the site, while Calisuri, the other half, does all of the visual design aspects and HTML work. To sum up my experiences working on the website so far, it's been a hell of a crazy ride, and I just hope that it doesn't come to an abrupt halt.
In the spring and fall of the year, I participate in the Case Gun Club Trap League. The league is a team based handicap singles trap league which is not sanctioned by the ATA. The team is handicapped based on the performance of the entire team, changing the solitary nature which is typical to trap. I currently belong to the Van's Roofing team.
On a weekly basis, I play role-playing games. The staples of our gaming group are D&D 3rd Edition (D20) and Call of Cthulhu (non-D20). In the past, I have played other games including Vampire, GURPS, and a slew of others. I have been playing D&D for over half of my life, so I guess at this point it could be said that I enjoy the game quite a bit.
While I am not actively involved with it, the Nightmare LPMud is still a very special place to me. Innumerable hours of my life have been spent both playing there and eventually creating there. Most of my pathetic programing skills can be traced back to Nightmare and the LPC programming language. To this day traces of my code can be found in the Nightmare and Dead Souls mudlibs. My current status on Nightmare is that of a Retired Head Arch.
In 2002, many aspects of my life changed. The catalyst for these changes was being diagnosed with a number of fairly serious blockages in my arteries leading to emergency by-pass surgery. As one may imagine, such an experience at the tender age of 32 can wake a person up.