About Me (A Timeline of My Life)

Following up on my promise from awhile ago to add an “About Me” page to this blog, I decided to do something a bit different than the traditional, paint-by-numbers, paragraph-long business-style bio or the fun but frivolous, paragraph-long informal version that many web sites have (er, no offense meant if that's what your web site has. )

I used to keep a timeline for my life's major events on my original web page so thought that might provide a good basis for this About Me page.  The major new feature are the photos to illustrate each major life milestone.   (You can also see a slideshow of all photos at full-size plus some extra photos I didn't end up using for this page although they aren't in chronological order as I can't figure out how to get Flickr to sort photos by filename.)

I've been working on this for awhile but Shea's and my anniversary sounds like as good of a day to post it as any.  Enjoy!

1973 Age 0 - Hello World! Age  0 – Hello world!
1974 Age 1 - Eat, Shit, Sleep, Repeat Age  1 – Eat, shit, sleep.  Repeat. (Although this photo looks like I might've accidentally added a comma between “eat” and “shit” that didn't need to be there, I assure you those are yams I'm eating!)
1975 Age 2 - Eye Surgery Age  2 – Eye Surgery (x2).
1976 Age 3 - Playing With Tractors Age  3 – I don't know – playing with tractors? 
1977 Age 4 - Playing in the Sandpit Age  4 – Still playing with tractors.
1978 Age 5 - With My Kindergarten Teacher Age  5 – Kindy-garten and I break my foot on the first day. (Also, my first love – the teacher!)
1979 Age 6 - I Start Playing Hockey Age  6 – I start playing hockey (although not as a goalie – this is just me trying out my cousin's equipment.)
1980 Age 7 - Star Wars and the Empire Strikes Back Age  7 – “Star Wars” and later, “The Empire Strikes Back” hit my life like a blizzard on the Planet Hoth.  (Er, in non-geek speak, they had a really big effect.)
1981 Age 8 - Big Kids' End of the School (Gotta Be Tough) Age  8 – Move to the big kids' end of the elementary school – gotta act tough!
1982 Age 9 - The Karate Kid Age  9 – Grade four – first year with more than one teacher.  Also, apparently no longer just acting tough as I join a local karate club.
1983 Age 10 - Braces Then A Retainer Then a Million Dollar (Well, Couple Grand) Smile Age 10 – Braces then a retainer then a million dollar smile (well, a couple grand anyhow.)  I think I went for a year without smiling.
1984 Age 11 - Hawaii Is My First Big Trip Age 11 – First big trip of my life – a family trip to Hawaii.
1985 Age 12 - Houseboating in La Ronge Saskatchewan Age 12 – Our family does a houseboating trip to La Ronge in northern, Saskatchewan.  Still the coldest water I've ever swam in.
1986 Age 13 (but not really) - Winning Awards Age 13 – Move to the high school (in our small town, kids go to Elementary school
from Kindergarten to grade six then move to the high school from grade seven
to twelve.) Also, my one and only award for brains – a Proficiency Cup for having a 90%+
I couldn't find a photo of that auspicious occasion so this is a shot of me getting a Luther College Entrance Scholarship in 1991 which is another award for brains I guess although for some reason, that one didn't mean as much.  Jaded, I guess.
1987 Age 14 (but not really) - Me Leaving Regina Public Library Age 14 – Really enjoying English classes more and more as I start to think about what direction I might go in a few years when I'm done high school.  This photo was undated and I think I'm older than 14 in it but a picture of me coming out of the RPL's Central Branch seems to fit here. 
1988 Age 15 - Rock Star in Training Age 15 – Illegal Drinking Age (have my first beer at a party after swearing I would
NEVER EVER drink. Oops!)  You can tell I was obviously already a wildman.  Look at how I belted out “Mary Had A Little Lamb”  (Also, my first job as a gas station attendant at the local ESSO.)
1989 Age 17 - Driver's License (Look Out World!) Age 16 – Driver's License – lookout world! (This is my first car – a Malibu Classic I paid $600 for – but it wasn't me that crashed it.  My roommate borrowed it a few years after I got it and was smoked by a drunk driver late one night.)
1990  Age 12 - Family Trip to Florida Age 17 – Extended family car trip to Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and back.
1991 Age 18 - Graduate High School (With A Diploma in Mullet and Honours in Geeky Glasses) Age 18 – High School Graduation (technically at 17 since I'm a July baby.)  Plus I gain the Right to Officially Cancel the Vote of the Guy Who Voted Before
1992 Age 25 - Having A Beer Age 19 – Legal Drinking Age (although this is a picture of me around age 25.  Any shots of me drinking when I was younger are too embarrassing to put online.  And this coming from a guy who put the next photo up which prompted his own wife to ask, “Is that a hat you're wearing or your real hair?”)
1993 Age 20 - Business Major Age 20 – During the course of my undergrad degree, I switch from my initial Business Admin major which became Psychology which
became Film which became English which is the degree I ended up convocating with.
1994 Age 21 - Surprise Party Age 21 – Trip to Las Vegas to celebrate my 21st birthday.   There's a really cool shot of me playing Blackjack in a casino but I can't find it so instead, you get a shot of a surprise party my parents threw me for my 21st birthday.  And yes, that is a cake in the shape of a computer.  (But I was really cool in that Vegas photo, honest!)
1995 Age 22 - England Exchange Age 22 – One of five out of fifty plus applicants selected for a semester-long England Exchange thru U. of R. (and
the happiest four month stretch of my life…up until I visit another city called London.)
1996 Age 23 - University Graduation - BA (English) Age 23 – Graduate with a four-year BA – English in five years (okay, four and a
1997 Age 24 - My First 'Real' Job at the Saskatchewan Publishers Group Age 24 – My first real job – Web Site Designer for the Saskatchewan Publishers Group as part of a work-training program called the Graduate Employment and Mentorship Project (my major contribution is suggesting “GEM Project” might be a better way to refer to it than “GEMP”)
1998 Age 25 - Start Dating Shea Thompson Age 25 – Start dating the beautiful and talented Shea Thompson (or did I?  A running joke is that her mom still doesn't know when we started dating since we began our relationship as roommates.)
1999 Age 26 - Shea and I in Mazatlan Age 26 – Trip to Mazatlan, Mexico with Shea.
2000 Age 27 - Some Guy Who's Interested in Freedom of Expression Age 27 – Leave the SPG and move to Calgary, Alberta where Shea's
accepted a position as an RN at the Alberta Children's Hospital. I am hired by the Writers Guild of Alberta and one of my jobs is to “fix” the door prize draws in favour of any well-known Canadians who might attend the events I organize. 
2001 Age 28 - Get Engaged at Fairmont Hot Springs Age 28 – Buy a new car, a condo and an engagement ring in rapid succession right around the time I turn 29.
2002 Age 29 - Wedding In Mexico Age 29 – Trip to the Mexican Riviera in March for our wedding
followed by a blast of a Mexican-themed reception in Shea's hometown of Creelman,
SK in August.
2003 Age 30 - The Red Mile Ends at the Dome Age 30 – A big highlight of this year is the Calgary Flames improbable march to the
Stanley Cup Finals and all the related excitement in the city, especially
along the “Red Mile” which is just a few blocks from our condo.
2004 Age 31 - Move Back to Saskatchewan Age 31 – Move
back to Saskatchewan, buy a house, start a new job.  Get to partake in the province's incredible Centennial celebrations throughout the year.  
2005 Age 32 - UWO Library Promotional Postcard Age 32 – After nearly 10 years in the literary non-profit
sector, I decide to pursue a new (but definitely related) career that I'd always had in the back of my mind as a possible profession.  I am
accepted into the Master of Library & Information Science Program
at the University of Western Ontario in late 2005, and ironically, nearly 10 years to
the day after my first trip to London in 1995, I'm going back – only it's to
(little) London, Ontario this time. 
2006 Which One's Pregnant? Age 33 – Guess who's pregnant?  We bring home a pretty awesome souvenir from our year in Ontario!
2007 Meeting Dad For The First Time Age 34 – Pace Owen joins our family on May 19, 2007.
2008 Age 35 - Start Position at Regina Public Library Age 35 – Accept position as Organization Development Specialist with Regina Public Library
2009 Age 36 - Out Myself as NDP Supporter in Ryan Meili Campaign Age 36 – Out myself (as if it was a big secret) as an NDP supporter while volunteering for Ryan Meili's campaign for the leadership of the Saskatchewan NDP. 

Comments 7

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    can't think of words….stuck on 1991 hair….
    that image will haunt my dreams now, I'm sure of it…

    Posted 05 Mar 2007 at 3:22 pm
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    Oh, I love it! I think its odd that “some” hockey team doing good ranks up there with marriage and graduation, but hey, we all got our interests!
    Great post, it must have taken a while to put all of this together. As a suggestion for another post–keep us more up to date with the job prospects. Further, write up some more detailed comments on things you encountered, and what tips you might have. Its always good to get the straight shot, instead of those awful career center suggestions.

    Posted 05 Mar 2007 at 4:49 pm
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Oh, that's nothing. I have *much* worse photos of myself – and more recent too.
    Speaking of bad photos, we had a friend in Calgary who carried around his “Proof of Age” card (Alberta drinking age = 18 so that's what you got if you didn't drive) and whipped it out to everybody – friends, strangers, waitresses in bars – as it was the most horrific, hilarious photo you might see of someone. Imagine the worst inverted triangle-shaped, krimped Goth haircut, gigantic teardrop glasses, 90's print shirt and you're getting close. I loved it so much, he blew it up, framed it and gave it to me as a going away present. (A running joke was that we had to get t-shirts made from it with all kinds of bar slogans on it – “A few more drinks and I'll be handsome” and the like.)
    I wonder where that got too (hard to believe we never hung it somewhere.)

    Posted 05 Mar 2007 at 5:31 pm
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    I bet if you were in Calgary when that Stanley Cup run happened, you'd be a convert, even if you weren't/aren't a hockey fan now. I've never been part of something where 10 000 (rising to 50 000 by the final round) people would peacefully congregate on a single street to party, celebrate and just generally mingle about.
    I am a sports fan but understand both the good (ie. civic pride) and bad (ie. civic pride) aspects. But this went beyond “home team done good”. It was the first time a Canadian team had made the Stanley Cup finals in 10 years. The Flames were a complete underdog without home ice advantage in any series, they knocked off division champions in every round, the team rode the back of a (previously) third-string goaltender who'd been acquired for a second round draft pick earlier that year. With the exception of Jarome Iginla, the Flames had no star players to speak of. And on and on and on.
    Shea's not a hockey fan and she also calls it a highlight of her life. I described it elsewhere as similar to being in England in 1995 during the height of the “Cool Britannia” thing – just a wild sense of optimism and possibility and being on the crest of the zeigeist.
    Anyhow, yeah, the Flames run is right up there with at least of my other, more personal milestones including college graduation and (looking around to see if Shea's reading) my marriage!

    Posted 05 Mar 2007 at 5:45 pm
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    Oh, and thanks for the other suggestions. I am thinking about doing a summary of the questions I was asked in my various interviews (I took notes) without attributing them to any specific employer along with some thoughts on the process, preparing for the interview, things that might give an advantage (not screwing up boolean diagrams if asked to draw them is a big one! )

    Posted 05 Mar 2007 at 5:47 pm
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    it's all about the visuals, then is it? judging the book by it's cover? like kathleen (& shea) I was impressed by your HAIR, esp. the progression of HAIR STYLES.
    as for job market opportunities correlating with graduation times/LIS entry points: It seems like even those who graduated in September were in the same boat as you, playing the waiting game, not getting interviews, then getting them, and finally months later snagging the job (academic, public). So, wait of 2-4 months does not seem uncommon post-LIS…
    Does FIMS keep stats on this? Umm, I guess I could research that…but I've got too much other research to keep up with…
    Great Timeline of Your Life, Jason Hammond. Good luck with final waiting days…and in your new job when it comes!
    Ciao, Linda B.

    Posted 07 Mar 2007 at 5:22 pm
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    “All about the visuals.” I always said my FIMS strategy was “form over content”
    I think I saw a FIMS study on “time until job” and related issues (maybe it was a U of A study?) and it did say 3-6 months on average is what it takes grads to find work.
    Maybe it was just that Christmas seemed like such a down time that it seemed so noticeable to me, as if nothing was happening at all? For example, I didn't hear about jobs I applied for in November until well into February. But maybe that's typical year-round as well? Who knows?

    Posted 08 Mar 2007 at 12:24 am

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