My name is Richard. So what else do you need to know?
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh. I graduated from Penn Hills in 1987. I missed only 2 questions on the SAT math section, but joined the Air Force instead of going to college.
I learned electronics there, working on avionics, mostly on cargo planes, C-5’s especially. After that, I repaired appliances for a few years. I started taking college classes while doing that, got a job as a network/systems technician while I was still attending, then was laid off after a buyout, and got into sales during the holiday season that year at Radio Shack, and found I was pretty good at that, too.
While working as an assistant manager at the mall store, and still going to college, I programmed my first commercial website, with the help of a college prof, which I later refined and upgraded completely on my own. My website was one of the first to let people download custom ringtones to their phones back when that feature was brand new. At one point I had over 40,000 registered members, but eventually, with the news of huge fines for copyright infringement for full song downloads, I decided it wasn’t worth the risk to keep up.
For a while tho, the website was earning me as much as working was, but only took about 5 hours a week to keep up, so I quit work to pursue it full time. The extra work didn’t turn into extra money, though. I eventually got bored with not working, and went back to work selling phones, but for a kiosk in the middle of the mall. After 6 months I was made a manager of a store, getting a couple in shape before moving on to others. I’d often work more than 50 hours a week, and most of the time on my feet, standing in one place. After a few years my joints just couldn’t take all the standing in place anymore. I went to work for a pharmacy as a technician then, hoping to work no more than 40 hours a week, and hopefully less. But my joints started getting worse again, and even that amount of work became difficult.
That was 4 years ago. The first 2 of those last 4 years I was going downhill, eventually needing a cane just to get from the bed to the toilet. I could go grocery shopping, but had to be let off at the door, and used the motorized cart inside. Lots of tests before they finally decided it was psoriatic arthritis (like Phil Mickelson). I got a ‘script for one tiny pill a day, and I’ve been steadily getting better again. Today I can get around almost normally again, but I’m still rebuilding strength from all that time immobile. I can walk long enough to do my grocery shopping again, but I’m often worn out when I’m done.
So, I’ve been collecting benefits the last couple years, which isn’t quite enough to live on. I’ve gone through my savings, sold all the gold I bought in the middle east. So, now I’m getting my web stuff back up again for a little ad revenue, but that’s not much even when it ramps up, and its nothing yet. Since I am mobile again, I can do odd jobs again, even if I can’t work long enough for a regular job. That’s where YOU come in 😉 If you live in the Pittsburgh area, and need something fixed (computer, appliance, etc, but no animals, ha) and fixed right, but don’t want to pay full price, I’m the man. If you have a job I can do sitting down, contact me. Something I can do for you from home… you get the idea.
Another great way to help me, if you want, is to just use the Google search from my site. And if you need web hosting, definitely, try my host using the link on any of my pages. The referral for that will seriously cut down my web hosting costs. If you just want a site to tinker with, I can hook you up with one for free, if I can put an ad on it, or they’ll sell you one for only about $4 a month, fully functional and ad free.