Monday, May 19, 2014


     Greetings, and welcome to my little corner of the internet, I do hope one day, it may not be so little. My name is Dustin, but I frequently go by Dust. The formality of Mr. is lost on me, as I feel it places myself above the person addressing me. If you choose to use it, I will not discourage you. Here is either the really boring or interesting part, my introduction.

My Past
    I am the oldest of 6 children, and a father of 2. My interests vary widely. In Kindergarten I loved dinosaurs and already knew I wanted to be a paleontologist. I was accelerated through Math, and started High School Math 3 grades early. This is also around the time I began fixing toys and building models, which developed an engineering and electrical understanding, which grew into the realm of computers. I took the ACT in 7th grade to travel to Louisiana to take a college summer course in Ecology. My home tinkering expanded to rigging electronics together. I have some hearing loss in one ear so I was making devices to compensate. I attended a magnet High School specialized for careers in the medical field, where I was banned from continuing to use a homemade hearing aid when I upgraded it to stereo.
     5th grade I began reading adult novels, Jurassic Park being the first, I'd been eyeballing it on my dad's bookshelf for quite some time. Michael Crichton will always be my favorite author of all time. In Middle School/Jr High I burned through Michael Crichton, Robin Cook, Stephen King, required readings, and random books that caught my attention. School questioned my choice of reading material (R.Cook's Fever) only when it became the focus of an assignment, and my father wrote a permission slip stating "My son is allowed to read any book he chooses."
     High School expanded on the medical knowledge I gained from my parents, as they were both in the nursing field. Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Orson Scott Card, L. Ron Hubbard, Ken Follet. J. R. R. Tolkein, R.A. Salvatore, Piers Anthony, and many others joined the ranks of appreciated authors, although I still have not completed reading all they have written. Sophomore year, I continued in Honors classes, breezing through the math oriented ones, even having to "teach" part of my Chemistry H class, as the teacher really was just there to get a paycheck. During my Junior year, home life finally took it's toll on my academics, My college level classes in Statistics, Pre-Calculus, and Biology all failed only due to homework issues. Failing English 3 left me with choosing summer school or forgetting my Magnet School.
My Paradox
     My home life required me to fill two roles. As a primary babysitter, I somewhat existed in a band between parent and sibling. I often saw more than one angle when disputes came up between my siblings. This often resulted in me playing negotiator, while not backing down from my brothers as I was the oldest. My parents are both from northern states, but I was entirely raised in Texas. In High school my parents' marriage began falling apart, and I spent more time trying to provide emotional support at home. This is when my academics hit rock bottom. I never doubted my academics and learning ability, but I doubted my family's well being.  
    The greatest issue I had was my father. A man with a great mind and values, until he lost his temper. Through him I learned to fight with words, my mind, to question authority and presented facts so I could differentiate between true data and propaganda. Ironically, it was when I used this knowledge against him, my main authority figure, he would lose his temper and fall into the realm of ruthless dictator. My example of what was right and wrong contradicted his own teachings.

Post School
    Summer between Junior and Senior year, I was presented with the decision of going to summer school or not. This would determine if I would continue at my Magnet School, or attend the designated High School for my area. My father presented a third option, GED out. In a sense wiping my High School record once I started attending college a year earlier than the traditional system. I took it expecting to have more help achieving that than I did. I completed GED testing January of what would have been my graduating year.
    Then along came work. I started with two jobs, Sea World and a carpenter apprentice working with my dad's friend, who was self employed. Towards the end of these jobs, my girlfriend became pregnant, and the call of family again rose up to be my main mission. 
      Enter Wal-Mart, my son, marriage, my daughter's conception, separation, my daughter, and divorce. I worked overnights, and at the end of my 4 year run spent time in almost every hourly position within Wal-Mart, including Department Manager responsibilities. I worked in a warehouse packaging testing materials as a second fulltime+ job for a couple months.
    After the divorce, I briefly worked in fast food, before getting traveling job doing new store set up and remodels for major retailers. I became my manager's right hand man, we were assigned new hires to train for a while, until we trained a couple who joined us to become the clean up crew for projects gone bad. I've trained managers, run stores acting as manager, and been the project coordinator on the opposing shift of the manager, but I was away from my children.
    Since then I've done Tech Support for the Air Force, and for AT&T. Spent a year helping friends, who are gun-show vendors, develop better inventory and financial records and strategies. Currently, I am studying through MIT OCW, 3 languages in Rosetta Stone (for starters). Learning ASL, as I'm helping a deaf friend start her nonprofit. As far as a job, I recently moved to Austin, TX and am still shopping around. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dustin, great article. You might want to read this I wrote about 433MHz RFID and the use of it in schools in the US.

    Here in the UK active RFID is not so prevalent, though there has been instances, see West Cheshire College on my Against RFID in schools blog

    Nice to see someone else who is concerned about this :-)