My 1st Day of School
Doorstep of 2154 Coventry Road
I was born on April 10, 1970...
I was brought up in the small town of Lancaster, PA...
Before the invasion of the strip malls, Lancaster was a beautiful town. Home of
Snyder's Pretzels, Hershey's Chocolate, and just about every Amish person to the
east of the Mississippi...
My father was a math teacher at a local high-school, and my mother was your
I went to grade school at Bucher Elementary, a short walk from home, and was
traumatized by my first day of kindergarten. I haven't been the same since.
Some time in the late 70's my father got bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, and
gathered friends and family for miles around to start what was to be Lancaster's
only water park, appropriately named the Water Buggy Waterslide.
It was here that I spent most of my summers monkey-wrenching with boat engines
and shooting flumes until I reached puberty. I haven't been the same since.
I always have been interested in how things work. I must have taken apart
everything I could get my hands on. My 'Uncle Steve' still reminds me of that
infamous calculator I could never quite get back together. The beauty of
relatives... Anyhow, the years went by, and I took a liking to computers. My
first computer was a Tandy Color Computer with 8k of RAM. Believe it or not,
that is all it needed, and it did everything I could have hoped it could do.
Amazing how things change...
Well, when it came time to leave home in search of a better education, I chose
RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) in Troy, NY. It was here where I joined
the fledgling Kappa Nu Kappa chapter of the ZBT fraternity and had a great time
with a great group of people.
After 3 uneventful years of undergraduate life had passed I got the bug to get
out and do something different, so I signed up for a Co-op with JPL (Jet
Propulsion Laboratory) and spent the next 6 months living in Pasadena, CA,
working on deep space digital receiver testing circuitry.
After returning to school, I realized I wasn't into the study thing anymore, and
took up a second Co-op with Amdahl in Cupertino, CA for 6 months, designing
mainframe computers and doing low level digital logic design. The work at Amdahl
was so nitty-grit and pathetically dull, that I decided I never wanted to work
I returned to school once again, finished my Bachelors of Science in Electrical
Engineering, and spent the next year living and jumping at the Valley Skydiving
Drop Zone about 30 minutes from RPI.
Life was good, very good, until my savings ran out, and I had to think of
something fast. Determined not to go to work, I decided to give school another
try, so I applied for a Masters Degree at UCSB (University of California, Santa
Barbara) in Signal Processing.
Santa Barbara is an absolutely beautiful city, and I would recommend it to
During my 6 year stay in Santa Barbara I lived in 4 places and worked for a
startup company named CMI (Computer Motion Inc) designing medical robots. An
fortunate side effect of this was realizing that work itself could be kinda cool
given the right environment. So I buckled down and made it a lifestyle after
receiving my degree.
Well 6 years is a long time for anyone to stay in any one place doing the same
things, so when the year 2000 came around, I found it the perfect excuse to move
on. South by motorbike through Mexico and onward...
World Tour 2000+
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Keeping the adventure alive and this website running takes more then just my
time and effort.
And so that is how my one year trip around the world started.
Nearly 8 years of motoring about later I finally decided it time to get
'responsible' again. Left Rosa in Lima to sell my motorbike and returned to the
USA to give a shot at owning a cafe in Troy, NY just down the road from where I
went to school so long ago.
My Hotspot Cafe
The Troy Hotspot Cafe, one of the biggest mistakes I ever made. It wasn't the
cafe itself that was so bad but running it 24/7 with a very
partner was not what I had in mind. Actually we were voted 'best of' for
peruvian food across upstate, unfortunately there weren't enough peruvians
living in Troy to make it work. A considerable experience which in the end was
not all that bad but certainly taught me something. Once I figure it out what I
learned I will let you know.
Thoroughly done with that idea and itching to get out I thought for a moment to
return to travels. A quick trip back to South America to see Rosa and help get
Wieming's bike out of trouble in Argentina. Somewhere along the way I realized
that my travel days were indeed through and so after dealing with his bike and
selling it to Cesar from Brasil planning his own round the world tour I promptly
returned to Lima to help Rosa with our struggling rabbit farm. It wasn't long
there before also realizing that living with her in Lima wasn't something for me
A very sad goodbye in which neither of us was certain where things would go from
there. Back to the 'rents place for the holidays of 2008 and as the markets
began to crash down with certain financial disaster ahead I decided it time to
get a 'real job'. A badly patched resume uploaded to monster.com eventually
found me a contract working for OnQ in Harrisburg right down the road from home
developing software for smart houses.
A stressed period for me reporting to an asshole of a manager until finally
giving it and him the boot. Back to the boards to find a second chance and this
time permanent position working for 3SI in Mcon, Georgia developing gps and
exploding ink products for catching bank robbers. A job which actually I enjoy
believe it or not, in a town I don't.
Macon - A warmer (but not that much) and wetter version of Troy. A once was
something sort of town which has now collapsed and left nothing but riff-raff in
it's wake. Well, atleast I enjoy my job, which is something not everyone can
say. Will be interesting to see what comes next for me.
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©2020 Daryl Fortney - www.GroovyDomain.com