Almost Everything You (Might)
Want To Know About Me.
First up, thanks for visiting my personal website. Hope you use some of your valuable time to read through it all; or, if time presses, be sure to bookmark the site for future reference.
For starters, I guess, you'll find a biographical snapshot here. There's another link here which has proof of my academic and other qualifications. Finally, if you really want to punish yourself, here's lookin' at you with a succession of photos, taken by friends, family etc., from various times.
I was born into a strong Catholic family, one of eight children. I had four siblings ahead of me, three behind. By the time I was twelve, I was having trouble with the whole idea of religion, God, heaven, hell and the rest of it. I sort of stuck with it all - old habits do die hard - until I was in my late thirties: by then, I'd read and thought about it enough to realize it was no longer for me. Some of my siblings felt the same way. On the other hand, an elder sister is a nun, of many years; and good luck to her. I have no problem with anybody who wants to follow a religious faith. Just don't preach to me, please, about any of it.
In my twenties and thirties, I never thought much about politics, economics, social issues, and so on; I was too busy in my IT career and caring for my family of wife, daughter and twin sons. I read a lot of fiction, went to movies just as much or more, and while living in North America, I developed an abiding interest American football aka Grid Iron. I'd become the quintessential consumer, I guess. To this day, though, I still try to catch each season of NFL.
I like track and field athletics (I was a champion athlete at school) and watch it on TV when available. I play (badly) snooker, billiards and pool, and will sometimes catch them on the box. I don't follow any other sport but, like others, I'll watch soccer World Cup series every four years. Finally, when I was thirty-seven (should have started much earlier of course), I decided I should learn karate-do, a martial art that had fascinated me for over twenty years. I still exercise, stretch and practice karate as often as possible.
By the time I reached my forties - yeah, took me long enough - I'd finally figured out the world is truly divided into The Haves and The Haves Not, with the latter forming the excessive majority. Along the way, I'd also read widely and studied social, political and economic issues. To complete my world view, I also began a Psychology degree course (part time) at one of the nearby universities.
In view of the fact I'd been involved with most aspects of computers and computer applications since 1967, by the mid-eighties, I'd come to the conclusion that computer technology and humanity were merging as automation proceeded and the first serious robotics companies emerged. Even then, it wasn't difficult to foresee major problems - and opportunities - into the next century as creeping automation inexorably intruded into everyday life.
Don't get me wrong: I'm not a robotics or automation Luddite. However, I'd concluded all technology should be used sensibly for the good of all, not just the few. So, naturally, that point of view put me politically to the left of center, categorically (and where I remain, evermore). Which eventually coloured my view of corporate life and the manner in which corporations were gradually taking over - or had already, especially the banks - as Masters of The Universe. Hence, a break was inevitable; I could feel it in my bones....
Shoot - eventually, I would have been fired anyway, if I hadn't finally decided to leave the corporate world to set up my own small business in computer sales and support. I'd been making it quite clear to upper management I was bored, pissed off and needed a total change in direction. Management was only too happy to oblige when I resigned. Time to exit, stage left (no pun intended), I figured. That was in 1983.
During the next ten years, I went through a marriage separation of two years and eventually divorce, teamed up with my soul-mate (she has a mind like mine, just smarter) - twenty-four years my junior - along with her two young sons (four and two) from a prior partner; and continued to keep afloat, financially, while the personal computer industry was in its birthing years. It was a hectic and stressful time, as you might appreciate. But a lot of fun also.The mid-nineties saw my return to Australia with my new family, leaving behind my daughter and twin sons, all established in their respective work and social circles. Their mother - my ex - continued to live in north America. Why did I leave? Two reasons, essentially: my new wife was fearful of her abusive ex and especially of any attempt by him to kidnap either of the toddlers. There was a current injunction against him to stay away from her and the boys. The second reason concerned my mother: I'd not seen her for nearly thirty years and she was terminally ill; my older sister had called me to urge me to come.
That decade or more, of course, reaped the effects of the damage caused by the excesses of the eighties - all thanks, largely, to Reagan in the US and Thatcher in the UK. By the time I landed back in Australia, I was fifty-one, jobless, with limited finances, a new wife, two young boys and a six-month boy babe. After assessing the crowded job situation in Sydney, we finally decided to head north to Queensland and the Brisbane area where we soon opened a karate school and also conducted self-defence courses for women. Concurrently, we also provided contractual computer expertise to various areas of local and state government offices. In conjunction with those activities, we also jumped onto the emerging Internet bandwagon by 1994 and setup out first website in 1995, from which we began marketing online products of our own and others.
The karate school lasted for two years only: too much competition from the kung-fu and tai-kwon-do schools in the area. The women's self defence continued, however, but sporadically only until the turn of the century. The work in computers gradually tapered off for many reasons, but mainly because of reduced government spending after the mid-nineties elections ushered in state and federal conservative governments. The online money-making continued but returns were sporadic at best and generally low dollars only; still, we recognized the internet as a paradigm shift in how to generate wealth. Hence, we decided to persist in that arena for as long as it takes. Happily, the online opportunities in the first and second decades of this 21st century have just been getting better. And better. I see no reason why that will change for the worse.
Finally, I do have a Twitter account (@mayapan1942) to which you can send your message, if you wish. Or, simply use the CONTACT link at bottom of this page.
Best regards ... and thanks for reading.
Roger J. Burke.