Of course you want to know about me...
Who is 'The Bruke' ?
One of the first questions I'm usually asked is, "what does your nickname mean?" Well, it doesn't really mean anything - it's just something that I've been called since my late teens. I still clearly recall a conversation with my friend "Wig" (a nickname, of course) in which he christened me as "The Bruke"; it wasn't a nickname that I would have picked but really, who does pick their own nicknames? Since then it's stuck with me for over 30 years and I even used it to name my company, Brukenet Web Development.
I grew up as a middle-class white kid in Caledonia, a small town just outside of Grand Rapids in western Michigan. It was a nice place to grow up; I have fond memories of riding my bike down quiet streets, playing in the local park, and watching the cows on my grandparent's dairy farm. I didn't really have very many friends but I never felt lonely - I kept busy exploring when I was outdoors or reading when I was indoors and time passed comfortably. In my early teens I discovered video games and role-playing games, plus developed a small circle of close friends.
I was labelled as 'gifted' at a young age and moved into accelerated classes starting during my junior high years; it was certainly uncomfortable being the only eighth grader attending high school classes but looking back now I suspect that everyone had awkward moments at some point in their teens. I survived and, while I experienced much of the social issues prevalent to nerds in the late 1980's, by my graduation in 1990 I had started to come out of my shell - I was even a class officer in my senior year.