I was born and grew up in Long Island, NY. Specifically, in western Suffolk county where we pronounce it "Long Island", not "Long Gailand".
I attended St. Anthony's catholic high school, where I put the new start I was given to good use and made a lot of friends. I also rowed on the crew team for three of my four years there, which was a very rewarding.
For my undergraduate years, I picked the remote Alfred University, where I entered looking at a triple major in math, computer science, and philosophy. When it became obvious that all of the philosophy professors believed that nothing is true, I left it at a dual major in math and computer science with just a minor in philosophy. In Alfred I joined the juggling club and learned to juggle, joined a ju-jitsu club and learned judo (long story), and did writing and acting for the sketch comedy group Pirate Theater.
Alfred is where I met my wife Beth. Despite how many intellectual interests we have in common (e.g. we're both programmers), we met in the juggling club.
In Alfred, I had a really good math professor for about 5 of my classes and his enthusiasm proved infectious enough that applied to grad school and entered the doctoral program in Lehigh University's math department.
It was a wonderful department with wonderful people, and I had a great time, but I also discovered that academia is not for me. So I graduated with a Master of Arts in mathematics and started looking for a job in the Bethlehem/Allentown area. I took various jobs to help me get by during my search for something real, and one of them turned out to be very fortuitous. I was doing part-time work as a GRE & GMAT instructor for Kaplan, when one of my students turned out to be a vice president (and co-owner) of Solar Technology Inc., a small family-owned business manufacturing solar powered road-side message signs. After giving my introductory spiel at the beginning of class about how I was a programmer looking for work in the area, he gave me the CEO's email address and suggested sending him my resume.
I did and was invited to come in for an interview. Byron (the CEO) and I seemed to hit it off, and I got along well with the other people who I spoke to, and was offered a job, which after a day of consideration I decided to take before I heard back from Prudential, where I had also just had an interview.
I definitely made the right choice. They say that 90% of your satisfaction at work is how well you get along with your immediate supervisor. I believe it; The Zerphy's own the company and form the upper management, and they're a genuine pleasure to work for.
On July 16, 2005 Beth and I married after being together for over 5 years, most of it long distance, and I moved from Bethlehem, PA to join Beth in Ithaca, NY, where I continued to work for Solartech remotely. Programming is very well suited to telecommuting, and it's been working very well so far. I'm still enjoying my job, and I look forward to good things with Solartech, as the project that I'm working on promises to help the company grow substantially.