You know, I realized that, after over a decade of operation, I have never really written an "About Me" page on my web site. No time like the present!
I was born in 1973 in the state of West Virginia, United States of America, as "Matthew Patrick Murphy". At the tender age of three months, my mother left her alcoholic, abusive husband and moved the family to Washington, D.C., then to Alabama for the next several years. After meeting and marrying Bill Barnson while he attended the USA Air Command and Staff College -- who later adopted me, thus I became Matthew Patrick Barnson -- we all moved back to Washington, D.C. for my new Dad to work at Andrews Air Force Base. We built a house in a swamp on the shores of Piscataway Creek, near the Potomac River, a few miles from Fort Washington. I used to bicycle to Old Fort Washington and loved exploring the fort and the cannons there.
A few years after moving to southern Maryland, a couple of our neighbors were gunned down in a love triangle murder. That was kind of the last straw for my family, so we up and moved to a better neighborhood sixty miles north in Montgomery County, to a suburb of a suburb called "North Potomac". Really, it was South Gaithersburg, but who's counting? Anyway, the cost of the home was high, we were pretty house-poor, and I spent much of my teenage years living in the unfinished basement of our home, enjoying the cool during the summer months but hating the leaky walls during the winter.
Around the age of twelve, I discovered the world of FIDONet and LINDA, a local bulletin-board system, on my mother's "Phillips Portable PC". I eagerly exchanged messages far and wide under the pseudonym of "Haarough Drochenbalm", pretending that I was over eighteen and that my nickname was "Harry". Truth is, if I would have had my way back then, I'd have renamed myself to Harry. I loved the interaction. For a nerdy kid who really got stressed out socializing with others, the tiny green screen and modem was a solace where I was accepted for who I pretended to be, rather than the chubby pre-teen I was.
As a teenager, I learned that I needed some sort of "in" to have some hope of getting a girlfriend.
Some guys played sports. I got winded walking from the refrigerator to the couch. Not going to happen.
Some guys were into Drama. After the first proposition from a gay guy, I decided I was only going to do that drama casually. I mean, I have no problem with gays. In fact, I'd have no problem being gay myself if it wasn't for the fact that guys don't turn me on and girls do. Sorry, fellas, you don't know what you're missing, and you're never going to. But it seemed at the time that being gay was a prerequisite to being a good actor -- or maybe the other way around -- so I demurred.
Other guys played musical instruments. After watching Kenny Kramp and Marco Lorenzana play a duet on the piano in eighth grade when the band teacher was out of the room, while all the girls clustered around them, and all the guys huddled around in the back of the room staring enviously, I was hooked. I practiced piano for eight hours a day that summer, and kept up a rigorous practice schedule into my late teenage years. I was in several bands, starting with "Wayward Sun" in Jon Brusco's garage during the summer of 1984. The very first song we wrote was "Fred The Cat", a duet for poorly-played electric guitar and bass. The other choice for the band's name was "Satin Knights". Garage bands rule and still are the cutting edge of both lameness and innovation.
I still play occasionally, and have produced a number of singles and albums over the years, with a video game soundtrack thrown in for good measure.
I decided as an adult that I needed to get in shape. I detail that saga elsewhere. If you want to change your shape to something more appealing, lift heavy weights at least once a week, eat plenty of protein -- at least one gram per your lean body weight in pounds per day -- in whatever form you prefer, carefully track your calories, and reduce either your fats or carbohydrates or both until you are achieving the weight reduction you want. Adjust from there to suit your body composition tastes. Every successful diet plan that retains muscle mass follows that pattern in one form or another.
My mother decided to cuckold her husband Bill and eventually forced him out of the house in order to marry one of her affair partners. I never got over this betrayal, not just of the man she married and taught me to love, but of her children and everything she claimed to stand for. I despised the man she married, even while being force to get along with him for nineteen years. As a result of this experience, I made it my life's mission to be the best husband and father that I can be, and try to have and model healthier grown-up relationships than my parents did.
I am devoted to my wife and children. I feel that a healthy, successful marriage is my most important life's work. My children will value my ongoing marriage to their Mom more than anything else I can give them, so when the time comes to choose anything else vs. my wife & children, they will win. Every. Single. Time.
Since the age of twenty-nine I've felt strongly part of my personal mission in life is to find out the truth and be open about it wherever and whenever I can. I abandoned the faith of my childhood -- Mormonism -- to follow the road less traveled. I currently consider myself a secular humanist -- "little H" -- but am open to whatever moniker you like that recognizes that I'm not your typical white Anglo-Saxon Protestant blogger (WASP). I'm your typical White Anglo-Saxon ATHEIST Blogger Itinerant, so if you want to refer to my faith, call me a piece of WASABI. Or anything but late for dinner.
Lately I've become interested in making money from web development technology. I'm really adept at this tech stuff and have worked with web technology on the server-side for a living for the past fifteen years. I'd like to try my hand at making money directly rather than just earning a paycheck from an employer who earns lots of money from my efforts.
Oh, and finally, a lot of people have tried to tell me I need to focus my blog more on one specific topic in order for it to be successful. Sorry, I'm a Renaissance Man. I don't believe in doing one thing well, or even being a Jack-Of-All-Trades and doing a mediocre job at everything. I believe in doing everything I put my mind to as well as I possibly can, and if that doesn't fit with some advertiser or blogger's view of the Way Things Ought To Be, then they can screw off.
Oh, yeah. We need a DISCLAIMER here. You see, starting in July of 2010, I became interested in finding out how much people would pay me for my loquacity. So from time to time, you'll find a PAID BLOG ENTRY. Now, the intelligent reader will see through these entries as the paid-shill advertisements they are. They will be few and far between -- unless they actually make gonzo amounts of money, in which case they'll be every single workday! -- and you'll see clear links back to this page in the text of the page. In fact, I may even anchor-link this part of the text so it takes you right here to this very paragraph.
You're also going to find lots of instructions on how to do questionable things here. Look, you're probably pretty smart and you can figure out that I'm not responsible for your choice to hack your boss's email system, buy a product from a questionable manufacturer with ties to organized crime in Nigeria, or blow yourself up with a bomb made out of Diet Coke and Mentos. If you act on ANYTHING in this blog, please research it thoroughly before doing so, and recognize that it's not my fault if you screw up your own life. It's all you, bud. In fact, the one constant in all of your failures in life is YOURSELF. Think about it.