I was born in Olathe, KS in 1981. I lived in Omaha, NE from 1983 until 1991. From 1991 until 1999, I lived in Freeman, MO. While living in Freeman, I learned to ranch, ride, and shoot. We raised horses, cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, goats, and the occassional goose and rabbit. I became an expert recurve archer, crack shot with a .22, and pretty ok with various pistols.
Starting around age 7, so around 1988, I began to use BBSs, Prodigy and Compuserve (starting in Omaha), later moving to AOL, then the internet itself. I am first generation internet, I grew up online. I’ve left essentially no trace of myself, except that which I wanted to be present. I am a digital native, a digitial nomad, a digital ghost. I don’t use social media anymore, I don’t comment on websites, forums, or reddit. I just read them and process what people have to say.
I watched the .com boom from rural Missouri, wanting to participate but having no means to do so. Being a part of the delivery of the internet was simply not available to me. Instead, I went into construction. I was fit, I was capable, and the work was available. I worked for Koehler Contracting for a few years building homes, then began doing remodeling. Eventually, I cut the end of my finger off on a table saw, and decided to stop using tools. I went into Project Management, then my love of technology and fascination with the process of building things led me into Engineering.
In 1999, I moved to Kansas City to attend UMKC. I studied English Literature and English Composition, then dropped out in 2004. It all seemed quite meaningless at the time. I didn’t like what I was doing, and wasn’t sure what the point was. In 2007, I returned, this time to the Engineering program, and studied Electrical and Computer Engineering.
I was not confident in my ability, my high school education was poor to nonexistent, at least in math and science, but I perservered, and graduated with three Bachelor’s degrees – BA in Liberal Arts, BS in Electrical Engineering, and a BS in Computer Engineering. I am quite full of BS. Engineering is not about intelligence, as much as it is about being able to strictly follow rules, processes, and procedures. Anyone can do it if they try.
I’ve lived in Kansas City and the surrounding areas ever since. I’ve spent most of my adult life reading, studying the news, politics, technology, business, sociology, anthropology, history, economics. I’ve become a student of the human endeavor. Information I understand, but people are a mystery to me. I’m still trying to learn.
After graduating from my engineering program, I started a company called Integrated Roadways, to transform roads into networks for connected, electric, and autonomous vehicles. From 2013 to 2023, we raised about $6m in financing. We delivered three demonstration projects in KS, MO, and CO. The last, in Denver, is a segment of road that collects traffic data from every vehicle that drives across it, completely private, completely automatic. Vehicle counts, speeds, weights, measurements, and other analytics. We turn traffic data into an equivalent of website data. The entire internet runs on traffic data – Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. The next generation of infrastructure will natively collect and commercialize the same type of data as websites do. Hopefully, with privacy controls.
I have about a dozen patents that have been issued for digital infrastructure technologies, and a few dozen more filings that have not been fully prosecuted. I could be considered one of the main inventors of the field of digital infrastructure technology, and one of the primary innovators. The industry largely did not exist before I began developing it with Integrated Roadways.
I believe that everything happens for a reason, the experiences that we have – good and bad – mold us into the person that we need to become. But I don’t know why we need to become the person we do. Why we need to experience what we do. Hopefully it makes us all better, somehow, but I suspect that sometimes our experiences – especially when we don’t know how to process them and accept them into ourselves – make us worse.
I’ve watched first hand as the internet went from barely functional, to incredible, to a marvel of human enterprise, to a hot trash fire of lies, manipulation, propaganda, social engineering, and just straight up bullshit nonsense.
I am a very private person, I don’t get out much, I don’t socialize much, and I don’t share much with others. Most of my life is spent in solitude and silence. Mostly I just read, play games, cook, and spend time with friends. Mostly work, though.
I would like to get married and start a family, but I’ve spent most of the last 17 years working, with hardly any socializing. In college I met a woman I thought I’d marry, but it didn’t work out. Then when I went back to college a second time, it happened again – long term committed relationship that didn’t work out. After that I poured myself into work and have barely dated since. I’d like to, but it’s hard to meet people, and time keeps slipping by. Now it seems unlikely I’ll get a chance to start a family, but I still want to try while time remains.
I’ve built a lifetime of things that I want to say, need to say, should have said a long time ago. I have a lot of stories to share, many of them unflattering for me and others. I have a lifetime of incredible experiences that have been kept completely private from the world.
Maybe people could benefit from knowing the things I’ve learned, from understanding the things I’ve seen. Maybe it’s time I start to speak.