Life So Far...
Well, if you are reading this and I am not standing behind you forcing you to, I thank you. I was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1979 -- the son of John Flegg and Linda Eckert. Life is pretty much a blur for the next few years (I lived in Toronto for a couple of years, and then in North Bay for a few more). I spent most of my childhood on a farm in North Augusta (a small town in South-Eastern Ontario).
I started school at Maynard Public School, but switched to Grenville Christian College by grade 2. I switched back to public school in grade 9 when I attended Brockville Collegiate Institute. I was a member of the KEY Club, Computer Club, Math Club, and Grad Club.
I fast tracked through high school, so I had the opportunity to go on an exchange to Thailand before I went to University. It was one of the best years of my life. I lived with the Kheowan family in the south of Thailand on the island of Phuket. During my time in Thailand I attended school at Stree Phuket, and made some great friends. I also was the cofounder of Friendship Computer & Electronics - a small company that wrote software and fixed computers in the area.
When I returned to Canada, I went to the University of Waterloo and studied Mathematics and Computer Science. I was in the co-op program which allows students to switch between work and school every four months. I spent three of my work terms at Alcatel developing train control systems, and then two work terms at Quack.com developing the back-end for AOLByPhone (a system that lets you talk to the internet and get e-mail, stock quotes, weather reports, and more.
After my time at Quack, I joined a start-up iSemantic (don't bother clicking on the link) with friends Simon Wise, Craig Voisin, and Ryan Painter (former Quack.com employees). We set out with an idea to change the world (from Craig's apartment in Waterloo). We worked for eight months developing software and writing/reworking our business plan. Unfortunately, in the end, we were unable to raise enough capital to complete our dream, and iSemantic was closed for good in January 2003.
I returned to school and finished my last 8 months of school. In August 2003 I returned to Thailand for a month and a half to visit friends and work on my Thai.
Eventually I had to find work, so I accepted a job as a software developer in the Systems Management Server group at Microsoft in December 2003. I ended up working on the Operating System Deployment team developing tools to migrate and deploy operating systems in corporate environments. We recently shipped the OS Deployment Feature Pack for SMS and are now working on the next generation of OS Deployment tools!
I am currently living in Redmond, Washington with my wife Nu and our son Jackson.
Computers - Okay, I guess this one is pretty obvious. I first started using computers when I was about 4 or 5 when my parents bought a Columbia (an IBM compatible transportable). It had a Invaders clone called Space Commanders that I could not get enough of. Soon enough I started wondering how the games worked, and made it my mission to write some of my own.
Motorbiking - I first started riding motorcycles when I lived in Thailand. In Phuket, the streets are full of little 2 stroke scooters. When I came back, I bought a 1979 Kawasaki KZ200 to get around Waterloo and Toronto. It was a good bike, but I couldn't really take it on the highway. When I got enough saved up, I bought a 2000 Suzuki GS500. This is a great bike, but I had to sell it in 2003 so I could take a trip to Thailand. Hopefully I will be able to get another bike when I head off to Seattle.
Sailing - I started sailing at a summer camp in Northern Ontario. They had Lasers, and I spent hours on the lake with them. For the next couple of years I went to a sailing camp where I got my Bronze IV. It has been a while since I have lived near an open body of water so I could sail -- but I would love to start again.
Mountain Biking - With no car in Waterloo, the only way to get around is on bike. But besides transportation, I also enjoy biking on trails for exercise and fun.
Music - I grew up on country music, and so I make it a rule to never listen to it again. I actually have a bit of a strange taste in music these days. I really like Canadian Alternative Rock (Our Lady Peace, Moist, Tragically Hip, I Mother Earth, etc.) but recently I have started listening to some more mellow stuff (Flamingo Guitar, Simon & Garfunkel, etc.) and some traditional Irish and East Coast music (Gaelic Storm, Great Big Sea, etc).
Reading - I really enjoy reading when I get a chance. Besides dry technical manuals, I enjoy books by Douglas Copland, Michel Crichton, Robert Ludlum, etc.
Guitar - In May 2002 I decided I needed a new hobby, and with the help of Shea and Craig I decided I would learn to play the guitar. I went to the local music shop and bought the cheapest acoustic guitar I could find (a slightly scratched Yamaha FG-300A). I have been hooked ever since, and practice pretty much every day.
Squash - In January 2003 I decided to take up squash (It was a good way to get exercise while staying out of the cold). I am not particularly good, but I do enjoy the game, so I suppose it makes sense to list it as an interest.
Amores perros - I first saw this movie with a friend in California. I was surprised at the number of people in the theatre (being a foreign language film) until I realized Spanish is not really a foreign language to most people in California.
Chasing Amy - This was the first movie by Kevin Smith that I saw - and I have been a big fan ever since.
Clerks - Kevin Smith's first movie depicting a day in the life of a convenience store clerk.
Fargo - I like a lot of the Coen brother's films, and this is one of their best.
Importance of Being Earnest, The - This is an excellent version of Oscar Wilde's play, and has wonderful performances by Colin Firth and Judy Dench.
Josie and the Pussycats - I first watched this movie with Craig and Simon. Simon couldn't stand it and left half way through, but I fell in love with Rachael Leigh Cook, and Craig with Tara Ried, and it has been on my top movie list ever since.
Run Lola Run - This German movie has been very carefully put together and has a great sound-track.
So I Married an Axe Murderer - My friends refuse to watch this movie with me any more since I know all of the dialog and I have tendency to recite it while watching.
Tao of Steve, The - Words ever man should live by.
Wind - The music and cinematography in this movie are excellent. (I was also in love with Jennifer Grey until Craig pointed out that she was easily old enough to be my mother sending me into a week long depression).