It's currently the summer of 2021, and my name is Nick Valenzuela. I'm known in computer realms as ArrayPointer. I've written this page for anyone who actually might be curious about me, though I suspect my life isn't any more or less interesting than the reader's. ;)
I became deeply involved with computer technologies in 1993 when I bought my first computer, a used IBM XT 286 that came out in 1986, so it was seven years old when I acquired it. The brand new 2400 baud modem I bought for it cost the same as the entire computer at the time. The technology was already obsolete, as the XT originally ran MS-DOS 3.2 (I eventually upgraded the OS to MS-DOS 6.2) and it had a monochromatic green text monitor. Nevertheless, I loved that machine and learned a great deal about computers before moving on to my first custom built rig in 1994, a Pentium 75 that flew Windows 3.11 for Workgroups.
I've continued building my own computers rather than purchasing brand name fiascos, and after dual booting for years I made the final full migration away from Windows to Linux in 2014. I no longer fruitlessly extol the advantages of Linux to deaf ears, I simply bask in the perks of superior computing, free of charge and free of proprietary nonsense. I built and have maintained a 24/7 private Minecraft Internet server (running Linux, of course) for family and friends for almost four years.
I've written, recorded, sung and occasionally played bass in the following Seattle-based rock bands: Leadfoot, Zyracon, Exit, Blackstone and Axis. I wrote and recorded a solo project released in 1990 called "Persona Non Grata." I was in a writing and performing duo with Bill D'luhosh called "Red and Black" from 1993 to 1997, that saw the release of one self-titled CD.
After finishing the project with Bill, I decided I was done with music so I retired from my 16-year stint in Corporate America, sold my house in Sea-Tac and moved from Washington State to Columbus, Ohio in an effort to broaden my life experience. During this extended odyssey I rented a room, worked part time now and then, visited the Columbus Metropolitan Library almost daily, read books about artificial intelligence, philosophy, consciousness and the structure of reality. I played video games into the wee hours.
Why Columbus? My brother had relocated there from Minnesota in 2000, and I decided if I were ever going to commit to a Razor's Edge adventure, it was now or never.
After five years of bohemian loafing in Columbus I returned west and stopped in Minnesota to hang out with my brother again, who had returned from Columbus after only one year. I never made it back to Washington because in Minnesota I met the woman who became my wife.
I took up music again with two other former members of the band Axis in 2009 and worked with them until December 2020, completing seven songs in the process.
These days in terms of music, I prefer to play guitar and piano at home, sing while I'm at work and write lyrics for new songs that may or may not ever see the light of day.
I also wrote two books. One was a paperback called Absolute Infinity, and is no longer in stock on Amazon as I eventually had all the remaining copies in the warehouse disposed of in order to save the money it took to store them. The other is called The Mantis. I finished The Mantis in 2007 but as of the writing of this autobiography it is still not uploaded to Amazon as an ebook.
The three accomplishments in my life I cherish the most are accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior at the age of 15, marrying my wife at the age of 46 and becoming a father at the age of 50. All my previous aspirations and efforts toward personal grandeur are nothing compared to those three crucial events.
For the remainder of this text I'll revert to the high school format of listing favorites.
Food: a spicy chicken sandwich and fries at Popeyes.
Hobbies: I used to collect video games and books but now I just collect dust. I love to spend time with my wife and son. I like to sing, write, read and watch movies. I like to construct code; mostly Minecraft, small C projects, and one larger scale game that may remain vaporware. I like to tinker with x86 computers and Linux. I like 3D brain teasers and logic puzzles. My family's favorite table top game is Carcassonne.
Music: classic rock, 70's and 80's pop, and classical (Debussy, Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Chopin and Haydn, mostly). Bands and artists I love are Queen, Jethro Tull, Rush, Led Zeppelin, Foreigner, Styx, Judas Priest, Kansas, Blue Oyster Cult, Scorpions, Boston, Eatliz (first two albums only), Kate Bush, Billy Joel, Elton John (Taupin collaborations only), Gavin DeGraw, Muse, Imagine Dragons, Wagakki Band, Anna Graceman, Skilyr Hicks, Anika Nilles, and Greta Van Fleet, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Hard Target, and Tom MacDonald.
Books: The Bible (The Hebrew and Greek scriptures, King James Version), the Complete Works of William Shakespeare (the most beautiful prose and verse I've ever read), Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, Thought As A System by David Bohm, The Last Superstition by Edward Feser, The Devil's Delusion by David Berlinski, Reason Faith and Revolution by Terry Eagleton, The Science of God by Gerald L. Schroeder, Darwin's Black Box by Michael J. Behe, Icons of Evolution by Jonathan Wells, Signature In The Cell by Stephen C. Meyer, Evolution A Theory In Crisis by Michael Denton, The User Illusion by Tor Norretranders, The Privileged Planet by Gonzalez and Richards, Rapture For The Geeks by Richard Dooling, Darwin Among The Machines by George B. Dyson, The Masters of Doom by David Kushner, Code by Charles Petzold, C Primer Plus by Stephen Prata, Peter Norton's Inside the PC, and Peter Norton's Programmer's Guide To The IBM PC. Very few fiction books make my all time favorite list, though I read almost exclusively fiction until I was about 25 years old. Fiction titles that stood out to me through the years were Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, The Stand by Stephen King, The LaNague Chronicles by F. Paul Wilson, and the Destroyer series, originally written by Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy.
TV shows: Rectify (my absolute favorite), Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones (except for the writers' bizarre subversion of one major character story arc in the final season), The Mentalist, Mr. Robot, Luther (the Alice Morgan character steals every scene), Person Of Interest (the fourth season's finale was brilliant, then the fifth season devolved into politically correct writing, which likely caused the show to tank), Twilight Zone (1959, 1985 and 2002), The Outer Limits (1995), Highway To Heaven, Kyle XY, The Punisher, Dexter, Joan Of Arcadia, Cobra Kai, Continuum (2013), Sons Of Anarchy, Seinfeld, The Office (U.S. version), Trailer Park Boys. I also loved "The 100," but you have to ignore the writers' inclusion of irrelevant homosexuality if you wish to truly enjoy the show. The problem has never been the existence of homosexual characters, just the statistically over-represented appearance for deliberate purposes of desensitization. The audience is not stupid. Read "The Overhauling of Straight America" (published in Guide Magazine in November of 1987) if you wish to evolve beyond knee-jerk judgments and move more toward understanding.
Movies: my absolute favorite movie is The Frame by Jamin Winans; I've watched it so many times I've lost count. Other movies I love are V for Vendetta, Unbreakable, The Matrix, The Thin Red Line (1998), It's A Wonderful Life, Unforgiven, Greater, Joker, Unplanned, Grand Canyon, Levity, First Reformed, Frailty, Cardboard Boxer, The Sweet Life, The Pirates of Silicon Valley, Freebie and the Bean (the first comedic "cop buddy" movie, and still the best), The Case For Christ, Crash, The Book of Eli, The Ten Commandments, Apocalypto, American Beauty, The Adjustment Bureau, Knowing, The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption, The Tall Man, Pay It Forward, A Beautiful Mind, After Fall Winter, Cinderella Man, The Equalizer (1 and 2), The Dark Knight, Good Will Hunting, God's Not Dead, Sucker Punch (the bandwagon critics were mistakenly equating visual splendor with vacuity), Hacksaw Ridge, Seven, Rocky III, Warrior, Gran Torino, A History of Violence, Taken, Falling Down, The Devil's Advocate, Let The Right One In (I love Moretz, but the original was best), Train To Busan, The Silence Of The Lambs, Devil, Triangle (2009), The Wall (2012 - originally titled "Die Wand"), 300, The Dead Zone, 12 Monkeys, The Ninth Gate, Fallen, Case 39, Orphan, American Fable, Grace Unplugged, Moments From A Sidewalk, The King Of Kong A Fistful Of Quarters, Almost Mercy, The Dark (2018), A Simple Favor, Road House, Miss Meadows, Silver Linings Playbook, Chef, As Good As It Gets, Back To School, The Other Guys, Safety Not Guaranteed, Instant Family, My Wife Is A Gangster 3, Grosse Pointe Blank, Liar Liar, Jerry Maguire, Rock Star, Don Jon, Henry Poole Is Here, The Hard Way (1991), Army Of Darkness, Prince Of Darkness, The Shrine, To Sir With Love, Time Lapse, An Invisible Sign, Proof, Whiplash, Apostasy, The Machinist, Rollerball (1975), Planet of the Apes (1968), The Omega Man (1971), Kick-Ass, Robocop (1987), Edge Of Tomorrow, Starship Troopers, Lonely Are The Brave, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Walk Like A Dragon, Manchester By The Sea, The Drop, Enter The Dragon, First Blood, Man On Fire, John Wick (first one only), Peppermint, The Punisher (2004), The Terminator (1984), The Man From Nowhere, No One Lives, American Mary, Dragon The Bruce Lee Story, Bohemian Rhapsody, IP Man (all four with Donnie Yen), Hero, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Jet Li's Fearless, House Of Flying Daggers, Memories Of The Sword, Red White & Blue (*way* too graphically violent, but the important messages are loud and clear), 88 (Katherine Isabelle's performance is worth the low budget backdrop), V/H/S (only the vignette named "Amateur Night"), Dead Of Night (only the final vignette, named "Bobby"), The Believer (2021 - an exceptionally clever and completely misunderstood movie that even Wikipedia can't properly summarize), Once I Was A Beehive, The Fisher King, Do You Believe?, Same Kind Of Different As Me, Mr. Church, The Cokeville Miracle, Groundhog Day, A Week Away, Notting Hill, Me Before You, The 40 Year-Old Virgin, I Love You Man, 13 Going On 30, Two Weeks Notice, Man Up, What If (2013 with Radcliffe and Kazan), Blind Date (the 2015 French romantic comedy originally titled "Un peu, beaucoup, aveuglément!"), Angel-A, Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 1 and 2). The Passion Of The Christ is also a top favorite, but for edification, not entertainment, as it is extremely difficult to watch, due to Gibson's decision to not dilute the ugly truth of Jesus's extreme suffering.