I was born in 1969 and grew up on the family farm northwest of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CANADA.  The nearest town of 400 was 15 km away so dark skies were at a premium.  I attended high school and graduated with a group of 12 (3 were exchange students from Europe).  I continued my schooling by enrolling at the University of Saskatchewan.  After my 3rd year, I took a break from university and played bass guitar for a couple of country bands.  After a year, I went back to university and graduated with a degree in Physics.  After that, I continued my schooling at SIAST Palliser Campus in Moose Jaw.  After three years I completed my diploma in Computer Engineering Technology and got my first job a month later.


In March of 1998, I married my loving wife Jennifer.  It all started when I brought her a bag of fresh garden peas from the farm.  Who'd have thought a bag of peas would bring us together in a life full of friendship and love!  She is the wind in my sails and the one I look forward to growing old with.  Together we have been blessed with three wonderful daughters.  Feel free to check out their web pages, too.


My parents were always good about introducing us to neat things when we were small.  Growing up on the farm, every young boy likes to collect rocks.  I got interested in lapidary when I was in my early teens but could never afford anything more than my rock polisher.  I also took a liking to astronomy very early in life.  My mom used to read me a story called "You Will Go to the Moon" by Mae and Ira Freeman.  It surprises me to go back this book and read through the story I read so many times when I was a youngster.  My dad really enjoyed photography and passed it on to me.  I hope you enjoy some of my photographs in the picture gallery!

My interest in astronomy grew as we took the planets and constellations in school.  The next book that I read over and over again was put out by the National Geographic called "Our Universe".  It was written by Roy A. Gallant.  My copy is falling apart because I used to read it every day on the way to school and back.  I had all the planetary statistics memorized and could recite them at any time.  My mom and dad noticed my interest in astronomy and when I was 12 years old, they bought me my first telescope.  A 4.25" Reflector which I still own today.  I've since bought new parts for it and may some day mount it on my 20" as a finderscope.

I followed astronomy through high school and looked at pursuing a career in astronomy after graduating.  At the time, there were only four universities in Canada that had undergraduate astronomy programs.  I decided that I didn't want to move half way across the country so I did the next best thing and enrolled in the Physics program at the University of Saskatchewan.  While there, I took both astronomy courses and helped teach the first year astronomy labs for Stan Shadick.  After graduating, I pursued my interest in computers.  During this time, my astronomy hobby waned and it wasn't until the fall of 1999 that my interest in astronomy was rekindled.  My friend and co-worker, Don Moreau, was interested in buying a telescope and asked me for some advice.  He ended up purchasing an Orion SkyQuest 8" Dobsonian.  I dug my old 4.25" reflector out of the closet and decided that it just wouldn't do.  I started looking at telescopes and was pretty impressed with the 12" Meade LX-200.  However, I found the website for Obsession Telescopes and was also very impressed.  After some contemplation, I decided that without all the expensive gadgets, the Meade was only 12" in size and that was not big enough to see what I wanted.  My heart turned towards the 20" Obsession and I'm so happy I didn't get something smaller.  The scope is truly amazing!  Feel free to read the comments on Dave Kriege's website yourself.  http://www.obsessiontelescopes.com

The 20" Obsession is an amazing instrument but I found I was going after mostly deep-sky objects with it.  I got spoiled by the dark skies around new moon and found that my telescope was rarely used during nights with the moon up.  I thought that this was kind of sad and started to look for things to observe while the moon is out.  My friend, Rick Huziak, got met started on measuring variable stars.  At first, it was a bit challenging but because I as able to submit my observations and plot them along side everyone else's observations, I was able to learn how my eyes and telescope performed.  I was hooked!  Shortly afterward, I joined the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO).  This really opened up the opportunity for me to use my telescope a lot more.  One year, I had my telescope out observing for 100 nights!  It was fascinating to track faint variable stars because there are very few observers in the AAVSO  with large telescopes.  My faintest measurement with the 20" Obsession was magnitude 17.2.  I enjoyed variable star observing a lot and decided to dig in deeper.  A couple years later, I bought a 12" Meade LX-200 (go figure) and set it up in my backyard to start measuring variable stars using a CCD camera.  What fun this was!  I spent many hours learning about and measuring the stars and it is something I still enjoy today. 


After finishing my schooling, I got my first job working for a company called Software 2000, Inc.  Our company did extremely well and after about 2 years, it was bought out by a larger company called SHL Systemhouse, Ltd.  Shortly after that, MCI purchased SHL and during the merger of MCI and Worldcom, it was sold to a company called EDS.  EDS was then bought out by Hewlitt Packard which is who I currently work for.

I spend the majority of my working day as a database administrator specializing in Microsoft SQL Server.  Because I work in the infrastructure space, I've had the opportunity to work on Microsoft 3-tier architecture designs and websites for customers.  Work is lots of fun and is a great way to support my family and my hobbies.  However, as if things are not busy enough, I also have two businesses that I enjoy building in whatever spare time I have left.  Life is too short so enjoy every day to the fullest!