Tom Who?

Early Years

I popped out of my mother on July 6, 1981 in some little known hospital in the state of New Jersey. From that point I was labeled a bastard, which is true since she was unwed when she had me and my father was nowhere to be seen. At some point between my birth and my first birthday my mom met the man that she would eventually marry and whose name I proudly carry. 364 days after they were married along came my brother, I still have one up on him as I was born a bastard and he wasn’t. Throughout my early years I remember watching a lot of Sesame Street going on trips with my grandparents and many other things.

At the age of five I started Kindergarten and made a friend who I still talk to this day, the coolest part was we lived on the same block. I remember getting off the bus one stop before mine (one block away) jumped in his mom’s car and went to his house. I didn’t realize how worried my parents were when I didn’t get off at the right stop, at that point I learned the lesson of calling home and letting my parents know where I was at all times.

The Nintendo Entertainment System was released when I was six and I didn’t receive one until I was eight, and that started my addiction to video games. I still have all my games and systems from those years. I know growing up my brother probably beat more video games than I have, as he had the attention span to beat them. I would play them until I grew bored and moved onto another game. The games that I did well playing were faster paced games, simulators and RPGs. I still prefer the more business oriented simulation games.

At the age of nine I was hospitalized for almost a month due to an ulcer, I’ll tell you it really sucked as I was stuck in there during Christmas. What’s funny is the year before I had Chicken Pox and that year I was stuck in the Hospital. My dad took a Polaroid of me lying in the bed with all the gifts Santa brought for me. I’ll tell you, I think I looked like I was the living dead in that photo as I had a tube running from my nose to my stomach sucking up the vomit and an I.V. plugged into my arm filling me with fluids. Two months later my grandmother passed away from congested heart failure. I remember not having many feelings over it though. I really didn’t understand what it all meant. I just remember my mom and her siblings crying and I didn’t quite understand it.

That summer I was once again hospitalized for a week because they removed my tonsils and adenoids and repaired a hernia. This surgery was supposed to be done three months prior but had to be pushed back because they discovered that I had a factor five clotting deficiency. This has changed many things that I was aloud to do. I wanted to play baseball and wasn’t able to due to a rule of no contact sports and even worse I had to wear a helmet along with knee and elbow pads just to ride a bike. The worst part was the late eighties helmets were the most ugly looking things in the world. I looked like such a freak I stopped leaving the house.

For my 10th birthday dad bought me a 12′ x 3′ above ground swimming pool which I thought it was the coolest thing in the world! The only problem was I couldn’t swim in it until August because I had to wait for the hernia to heal, so I spent most of that summer playing video games.

That summer also brought my father back into the fold. I had the opportunity to see him a total of five times before he stopped answering the phone and visiting me. This left me feeling relatively unwanted and really proved that I was indeed a bastard. At that age it hurt a lot and still hold quite a bit of anger over it.

That school year started fourth grade and I found myself really liking books. I was originally in a lower reading level. Where the reading group I was in read “Dear Mr. Henshaw”, the other group read “The Chronicles of Narnia”. Don’t get me wrong, “Dear Mr. Henshaw” was a great book. I found myself rereading it twice in my teen years, however, I would have much rather have read “The Chronicles of Narnia”. From that point on I put down the controller and picked up a book, or played video games that required a lot of reading like role playing games. By the time fifth grade started and I was retested and my reading level was ahead of my classmates as I had a sixth grade reading level and in eighth grade my reading level was at an eleventh grade level.

At eleven we moved from the placed I grew up on Madison Ave to some disgusting apartment across from the carnival ground and a month later we moved out of that place into a house in Folsom. That’s where things became interesting, as I went from a “self-contained” classroom to a normal environment. I went from a school where the ridicule, teasing, insults and all the negativity was gone and I was able to have a fresh start.

I was so relaxed and happy in the new school that I was doing well even made it on the A-B honor roll my first marking period there, which was the first time I ever scored excellent grades. I was really pleased with myself and was quite happy over it. Then, another student from Hammonton moved into the school. Instead of talking over how I felt with the child study team, I just acted out. I saw in my mind that the teasing will start back up and figured the teachers wouldn’t help so I retaliated.

Teen Years

This retaliation included fighting with the students and staff at school. Looking back now nearly 18 years later I am filled with regret. I treated the people who wanted to truly help me the worst way a person could treat someone. I attacked them, physically and verbally, do I feel good about it now? No, I regret it. Those teachers did everything they to could get me back to the star student they had before.

The superintendent of Folsom School was an awesome guy! Instead of expelling me from the program he did the best thing anyone ever did for me… He kept me in the school and he placed me with the school’s Technology Coordinator for two periods three days a week. This is where I learned the basics in computing. The building blocks he taught me were Input, process and output. With those basics we moved on to more advanced concepts.

I enjoyed my time in that class and I was improving as a student. This was the second half of seventh grade and I was thirteen at the time. In eighth grade I learned even more about computers, networking, Windows and DOS. By the time I entered high school I was already experienced with troubleshooting computers and networks.

In high school I was sick a lot, probably from the stress brought upon me from being back with the same kids that teased and harassed me in grade school, as I was seriously doing what I could to behave myself and not cause any harm to others I ended up seriously sick. I had chronic bronchitis and pneumonia throughout ninth grade. As such, I only spent two months in school and the rest of the time a tutor came out to the house to ensure I passed the minimum credits.

In tenth grade, my dad bought me my first computer, which really helped me begin my life as a computer professional. I enjoyed tenth grade for the most part. I liked all my classes and even had the opportunity to skip lunch for one marking period so I could attend Driver’s Ed and even though I missed most of the class due to illness I still passed the written exam with an 88 without studying or attending the class. I only read the book once and was confident I would pass the test.

Eleventh grade I missed about 3 months of school before being given the option to attend the in-district alternative school which I gladly took as it had computers and video games. It also started later and ended earlier than the high school did. This gave me the extra time to play with my computer at home and use the computer in school from 1:30 to 2. This is also when I started my internship with the Cyberplant which was a local computer store and cyber cafe. That place was awesome! I looked forward to going there almost daily to learn more about computers and networking.

Twelfth grade was the same as eleventh more of attending the PRIDE classes and learning at the Cyberplant. That year my dad also bought a Jeep Cherokee which I drove more than he did as he was diagnosed with cancer and it hurt him when he drove. So, I had the Jeep and he had the truck and my mom had the Buick. That year I also earned the Rank of Eagle and that was the proudest I ever saw my dad. He even had a tear in his eye. That is also when I realized how people viewed me, which brought more pressure to my life.

Twenties

College started in the fall of 2000 at Atlantic Cape Community College where I only completed two semesters. I didn’t find the classes at all stimulating. I found myself arguing with my programming professors and I didn’t like the environment so I decided not to return after my second attempt at attempting to get along with the professors.

In 2002 I started my three year stint with Dandy Communications which was an ISP based in Atlantic City. I started as a technical support technician when I left I was one of their system administrators.

In 2004 my older brother Jason was married and our father died a month later in a plane crash. We were so angry with the man that Jason didn’t go to his funeral and I went and had a slew of feelings that I didn’t sleep at all that weekend. In October of that year my dad lost his battle to cancer. That has affected me up to even now, he’s always on my mind and I dream about him every night, which I guess brings some peace to me knowing that he’s still lives in my mind and heart.

Even though 2004 had some pitfalls it also had a few positives as I developed a Taxi Dispatch Application for Lindenwold Taxi and still maintain their systems to this day. I also, had the opportunity to open up an IT Consulting firm known as Piney Tech, LLC.

In 2006 I had a major fall out with my youngest two brothers. Which affected me to the point where I had to shutdown the business due to losing the motivation to keep the business running as I felt I lost them. I then picked up two jobs one was a part time position with the Boy Scouts where I was a program aide providing program for at risk kids in Atlantic City and Pleasantville. The other being the Technology Coordinator for a nationwide non-profit organization.

I wanted to be a technology coordinator since I was 13 and I had that opportunity which I am grateful for. I also had the opportunity to be something else I wanted to which was a Professional Boy Scout. Granted I wasn’t a commissioned professional, but I had the same responsibilities and benefits as a commissioned professional, as such the goal was met.

Now, the final childhood goal that I have is to become rich and famous. That’s where Applegate Technologies LLC comes in. I am taking all my experience and knowledge and gearing it for the small business market. I have the dispatch application which is developed and will be ready for release by the beginning of the summer of 2010. I have 3 other programs in the pipeline that will soon be released for other niche markets.

What you will get from me is blunt and accurate information in the field of IT. You won’t catch me blasting one product without first hand experience with the current product and how I feel about it and why I feel the way I feel about that particular product.

Thirties

My thirties started off relatively rocky, my pregnant fiance dumped me and it turned into an ugly on again off again toxic relationship.

The worst part of this was my new born daughter was caught in the crossfire. I wanted more time with her and her mother fought me for every second.

Throughout the battles, I have lost interest and focus in Applegate Technologies, CPU Points and all my other projects. It got so bad, I actually walked away from it all and started driving tractor trailers.

In 2019 I had to hang up my CDL for good after a back injury put me out. I am now, stuck with restrictions where I can not lift more than 10 lbs and am stuck doing sedentary work for the rest of my life.

Now, I am back to working on CPU Points and spending time with my daughters.

In service,

-Thomas