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Who Am I?
My Family
My Work
Gaming History
Other Interests
Who Am I?

   I'm a husband, a father, a techie, and a gamer. Okay, there are a lot more details that I am leaving out about me, but since none of those details are on par with being famous and/or notorious in any way I'm sure that you wouldn't care about them.

   I'm in my thirties, and live near Chicago in a little town called Grayslake. If you are a fellow gamer in the nearby area feel free to email me and maybe we can get together to game sometime.


My Family

   I've been married about eight years and am very much in love with my wife. Yeah, I know that I am supposed to be in love with my wife, but with so many friends of mine getting divorced I'm glad that my marriage is a strong and loving one. It isn't too hard though to have a good marriage when your spouse is fun person to hang out with and you still turn each other on. Unfortunately my wife doesn't game (no one's perfect).

   My kids are energetic little tornadoes of chaos and I love it! My daughter is four years old and my son is two years old. I have new respect for my own mom and dad now, because raising kids is exhausting work! They continually make old and familiar experiences fresh and new for me. Being a dad is a rich and wonderful role. That said, I wouldn't hold it against anyone if they postponed their own procreation. Go back to the part about parenting being exhaustive work if you are wondering why.

My Work

   I'm a senior systems engineer for a software development firm in Chicago. I've been with the company for about nine years now and I enjoy the work a great deal. What I do is make sure that the back end infrastructure for the company is working properly and design additional functionality as needed. Email, virtualization, maintenance, web services, centralized data storage, some networking services, and a little bit of everything else are my responsibility.

   The diversity of the job is what keeps me interested. One day I'm figuring out how Microsoft's Active Directory works, the next day I'm fine tuning a Linux system to function as a gateway device. I'm by now means an expert on any particular realm of technology, but I am a very strong generalist with enough knowledge that I can see the big picture and bring all of the pieces together. Of course, a good generalist also knows when to call the experts in and learns from them.

   And that is exactly what I consider my job to be: constant learning. Trying out new technologies and experimenting with familiar ones. Technology has so many facets that I don't think that I will ever get bored with it. I definitely know that I will never learn everything there is to know about it, but that is fine by me.


Gaming History

   I've been gaming for approximately seventeen years now. When I first started using, er, gaming it was with the Basic D&D boxed set. D&D is most people's first introduction to role playing games (RPGs) and I was no exception. It was fun but I've never been a big fan of the medieval fantasy genre, so I soon started looking into other games. Since then I have played well over a hundred different games, but I'm sure that many gamers can make the same claim.

   I gamed throughout high school and college, and continued to play on and off once I started working full time. I took a break for a couple of years because the group that I played with fell apart. Actually, I was the GameMaster (GM) for the group and when I decided to stop playing the group fell apart. It was a good choice though, because it was a bad group of players and they burned me out.

   About three years ago I decided that I wanted to start gaming again and it was another good choice. I have a new group of players, as well as other GMs, and they are all good people who understand that gaming is a social activity and that if it isn't fun it isn't worth playing.

Other Interests

   I enjoy cycling and love to tinker with bicycles. Despite being incredibly simple machines in theory bicycles are quite complex devices. Every year new mechanics are implemented and improvements are made. Carbon frames and disc brakes are on the top of the line models these days, and your average bicycle has so many moving parts that must be kept in tune to ensure a smooth ride. Don't believe me? Take a bicycle apart (the easy part), and then put it back together again (the hard part).

   But that is just one side of the coin. There is no better feeling for me than getting on my bike and riding all day long on the open road. When you complete your first century (100 miles ridden in a single day) you feel like a million bucks! Don't get me wrong, you are a very sore million bucks, but a million bucks nonetheless.

   I enjoy art and try to sketch when I have the time. I'm far from an accomplished artist, but I can produce some pretty decent stuff if I take my time. I hope to put some of my work on the web at various sites I host or am involved with (including this one of course).

   Web design is quickly becoming a new hobby for me. Right now I'm starting to learn cascading style sheets (CSS). This site will be the first that I test my CSS skills with, but if I design it right don't expect to see any changes. I like the clean and simple layout I used for this site. I just want it to be done with better code!

copyright 2008 Patrick Benson
http://vv_gm.home.comcast.net
vv_gm@Comcast.net