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Bio

I was born Thomas Roger Bissell III at Eden Hospital in Castro Valley, California at 8:20pm on December 29, 1971. Whew, what a mouthful. I grew up in the same house and lived there until I was 19. I returned for a year when I was 29, and again when I was 32.

I went to Harder Elementary School and had a rather uneventful time there until the 8th grade, when I went to Hayward High School. Going to H.S. in the 8th grade was a big transition for me. I had just spent the last eight years as a wallflower, and now I was struggling to find a new identity.

My first day of highschool, the first class, I sat next to two cats I’ve been unable to shake since–Dave Finn and Scott Long. Regular readers of my blog should be rather familiar with these two knuckleheads. I’ve been in more trouble, and gotten away with an obscene amount of shenanigans, with my two best friends over the last 20 years than… I’m having trouble coming up with an appropriate metaphor here. Wow, 20 years. Maybe we should have some kind of anniversary party this September…

My social life began to take off my freshman year when I tried out for the football team. I had a good group of friends by then, and I still keep in touch with the majority of friends I made my first year of H.S. By the time I was a junior I had a lot of confidence, friends, and the like. By the time we graduated all I wanted to do was party. I guess 15 years later I’m still the same, in that respect.

After high school I did a whole lot of nothing. I worked at a pizza joint up the hill, surfed, and partied just about every night of the week. As time went on my buddies starting dropping out–some got serious about school, most of us joined the military. Six months after graduating I decided to join the U.S. Navy.

I spent the first six months of my enlistment in boot camp and firefighter training. Then I was transferred to the USS Antietam in Long Beach, CA (the base is now closed). After a painful four years in the military I was discharged. I loved the area so much I decided to stay.

I started taking classes at CSU Long Beach. I collected my full six months of unemployment insurance and surfed and partied to my heart’s content. Just before the start of my second year at CSULB I got a job waiting tables at Moose McGillycuddy’s down at the marina. I rushed and joined my Navy buddy Andy’s fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon.

I tried several different majors–undecided at first, History, Japanese, Computer Science, and Information Technology. Here and there I took a semester off. By the late 90’s the computer tech boom was in full effect, and I dropped out of college to make my millions and retire by 30.

I worked at a few companies, I even tried my hand at independent consulting. By the year 2000 the downturn had begun. I had realized that IT biz was just not for me. Working 12 hour days, 6 and 7 days a week, and being chained to your pager had taken it’s toll. My relationship with Cindy had fallen apart, I was the most unhappy I’d ever been in my life–I started to question whether I even wanted to live in SoCal any more.

One day I snapped. Cindy had moved out a month prior and I was fed up with driving 2-3 hours a day in stop and go traffic–and I hated my job. All in the same week I severed ties for good with Cindy, quit my job, and moved back to NorCal.

Back in Hayward I felt refreshed. I felt like I could breathe again. I took an easy job as a bouncer at a friend’s nightclub in Pleasanton. I enjoyed my year off and thought about my next move. I decided that I wanted to finish college.

I knew that I wanted to get out of the Bay Area. Three colleges came to mind: Humboldt, Fresno, and Chico.

Humboldt because my aunt lives up there, it’s beautiful and scenic, I could do some fishing, and maybe I could get into surfing again. Fresno simply because it was so close to Yosemite. And finally, Chico….

Chico. Let’s be honest here. I picked Chico for one reason, and one reason only. Have you guessed it yet? That’s right, its reputation as a party college. I was barely 30 years old, but didn’t yet feel old, and I wanted to do some serious partying while finishing up my degree. It’s also close to the mountains and I knew I could do some serious fly fishing up there. But mostly I just wanted to party.

And party I did. Just read my section on drunk stories to get a good idea. I had some great experiences up in Chico, ones I’ll treasure forever. I wish I hadn’t left after graduation. Read the first year or so of my blog entries if you’re interested in what went on up here.

In August of 2004 I moved back to Hayward, and I’ve been here ever since. Things haven’t always gone my way. For the most part I am not happy here. It’s not all bad, however. I get to see my mom and dad every day. I see my sister Deborah three or four times a month. I see Dave three times a week. And lately I’ve been hanging out with Scott a lot more.

Today I’m still looking for work. I’m not 100% sure what I want to do for the rest of my life. I never have been, so I don’t know why I expect to know this now. I do know that Chico was the place I was most happy in my life. I miss it terribly, and I’m pretty damn sure that it’s the place I belong. I’m trying to get back up there.

And that’s the way it goes.

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Wow, I really need to update this thing. Sooo much has happened since I wrote this page.

[Short Version]

My mom died in May 2006. This was the worst thing that ever happened to me.

I got a job, I met Miriam, I moved to Brentwood, and life is much better. Miriam is the best thing that ever happened to me.

[/Short Version]

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Update 15 April 2008

Still with Comcast in Concord, but I’ve moved on to a better job in the telephony department. Yum and I moved to Vacaville. Getting married this year =)

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Update 18 January 2011

Still with Comcast, but my job moved to Livermore. Yum and I got married last August. Moved out to Manteca two years ago. Bought a Subaru last year. I will be 40 years old in December.

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Update 13 January 2014

Still with Comcast, but this time my job is in Pittsburg. Moved to Reno last September. Crashing at dad’s house in Hayward while I’m working in the Bay Area. Spending weekends in Reno enjoying the mountains and outdoors.

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Update 22 June 2014

Still living in Reno, NV. Got a job with Charter Cable here in Reno. Life is good.

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