The short answer to that question would be: "I'm the guy who eats tacos and knows things." Of course, I'm having fun there, because it's my website and I can. Don't bother messaging me with your outrage, I already don't give a shit. The more drawn out answer to the question, "Who am I?", is that I am a middle age, Midwestern man reinventing himself one year, and one project, at a time. I am a little bit of everything. I am a husband to one, a father to four, and a grandfather to two. I am a retiree, an investor, and a small business owner. I am a writer, a podcaster, and a content creator. I am a Dead Head, a kayaker, a taco-lover, and a consumer of, and advocate for, marijuana. I am a GenExer who was raised by a Baby Boomer and a member of the silent generation, and who has gone on to father a Millennial, two Gen Zs, and a Gen Alpha. I have left my mark on six different generations, six different decades, and two millenniums. I am a high school drop out who has had a chance to see over thirty states and three countries. This website will serve as a clearing house for all of my online content and projects that I've worked on over the years. So, let me tell you a little more about just who I am in a tad more detail.
First, and most importantly, I am a husband to my wonderful wife, Renee. Everything else I am depends, at least in some way, on me being on stable footing, and nothing gives one stable footing like a solid relationship with a true partner in life, and that is precisely what I have with Renee. We met in an AOL chatroom in May of 1997, and went on our first date four days later. At first, she was far from interested, but I am a persuasive chap, and I began my courtship in earnest that summer. A year after meeting we would move in with one another in a tiny one bedroom, second floor walk up unit in the western suburbs of Chicago. After another year had passed, we would find ourselves getting married. We had a small, courthouse wedding on May 7th, 1999. In the years that Renee and I have been together since, we have seen and experienced a lifetime worth of events. We've gone through family deaths, and new additions to the family being born. We've gone through many jobs, many cars, and many ups and downs. We've lived in Roselle, IL, Franklin Park, IL, and currently live in Channahon, IL, where we have been since February of 2005. Given the fact that Renee and I have been with one another for at least half of our entire lives, I'd say she is now officially stuck with me.
Next, I am a father. This part of my story is a tad more complex. Renee and I have had three children together; Magnolia Lynn (born in 2001), Lily Marie (born in 2004), and Tommy Lee III (born in 2011). We always said we would have four kids, but we actually made the decision to stop having kids after Lily. As you can see, plans don't always work out the way you anticipate. So, after our third child was born, we saw ourselves as a family set in stone....and then 2022 came along. See, just after Christmas, 2021, Renee and I each took a 23&Me home DNA test simply to find out more about our bloodlines. What we discovered, in addition to what our heritage consists of, is a daughter I never knew existed, Ashley, who had take a 23&Me test a few years earlier. She came into the fold with a husband (Ryan) and two kids (Salem & Nora), so overnight I went from being a father of three with no grand kids to a father of four with two grand kids and a son-in-law. Life comes at you fast. Her mother and I had a brief encounter in the late '80's, I never knew she became pregnant, and that means that technically my first child was born long before Renee and I ever met.
Now that you know a little about the family, let me tell you a little about what I do. For twenty-six years I was a landscape contractor in the greater Chicagoland area. I worked for other companies for the first twenty years, and then had my own company, Powell Landscaping, for the last six of those years. I retired twenty-two years ahead of schedule, at the age of forty-five, in February of 2018. Since that time Renee and I have made investments, including 50% ownership in a small trucking company, and I have kept myself busy with a multitude of projects. I have written and self-published my own books, I created and host more than one podcast, I have an e-commerce store with over four hundred items to choose from, and more projects are currently being developed that may hopefully come to fruition. In addition to those projects, I create content for social media, appear on other podcasts as a guest, and host live events solo, as well as with others, from time to time. I primarily discuss politics and social issues, but also create content around cannabis consumption, music, GenX culture, food, and damn near everything in between. Check out my Social page for links on where you can find that content.
Before you ask, no, I am not an expert in any of the fields I discuss. In fact, I'm a high school drop out who spent four years living in a tent in the early '90's while hitchhiking back and forth across the United States. My experience comes not from a classroom, but from life on the road. While others my age were attending college, my campus was America. My professors were Mother Nature and Old Man Time. When my nomadic way of life came to a conclusion, I settled down, grew roots, and created a stationary life for myself. I also became extraordinarily interested in politics, as I knew the people controlling the levers of power had an impact on my life.
Politically speaking I am a center-left Democrat. I believe that you should get a job and contribute to society, but I also believe we need safety nets in case we fall. I am a capitalist who believes in heavy regulation of the private market. I think we should have universal healthcare and nobody should go broke trying to stay alive. I believe in everyone's right to own, and carry, a gun, but I also believe in tighter gun control measures. I support the LGBTQIA+ community, and I can acknowledge that inherently racist systems have served to open doors for me while oppressing others, and we need to fix that. I believe we need to severely reform policing in Americas, but I oppose "defunding" the police. And, sadly, as I came up in an America where the right and left could work across the aisle with one another, we have seen such relationships devolve into tribalistic war tactics, and the far right wing in America has turned their sights to full-on fascism.
As for what I do to fill my time, more than a few things manage that task. I absolutely love to kayak, and where we live exists a slew of various waterways on which one can enjoy a nice kayak ride. I like to write my books, create content, and most recently have begun to somewhat enjoy cooking. With our son taking an interest in bowling, I am working a few games a week into my schedule as well. also manage to fill my day up with running our small trucking company, cleaning the house, doing the grocery shopping, and shuttling kids to where they need to be. It is hard to imagine that one day all of that will stop, and the dynamics of the house will drastically alter, but if there is one thing my time on this blue rock floating through space has taught me it is that nothing lasts forever and everything changes. Anyway, that is a little bit about me to welcome you into the dysfunctional family that is my digital following. Make sure to hit all the pages on this website, and go follow me on all the social media platforms where I have an account as I do post different content to different platforms. Now, onward, Buttercup; there's fuckery to spread!
My interview with The Chicago Tribune
My interview with The Morris Daily Herald
My interview with AARP
My guest appearance on The UnLearn 16 Podcast
My guest appearance on The Just Buy Less Coffee Podcast
My guest appearance on The Old Man Strength Podcast
My guest appearance on The Pints & Diplomacy Podcast
My guest appearance on The Tony Michaels Podcast
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