About Me

Brian Graham has gone by the handle of Dongyrn (named after a favorite AD&D character of old) since he realized all the good ones were already taken. Well, actually it was more like Dongyrn was the only unique one he could think of.

Brian was born in California. He only lived in SoCal for a few years, and after his brother Kevin was born his family moved with his father's job, from Dallas, TX to Raleigh, NC to Europe (lived in the Netherlands for five years) and finally to Gaithersburg, MD where he convinced his Dad to stay put long enough to go through High School and graduate with the same class. And his family was kind enough to oblige.

After graduating in 1989 from Seneca Valley High, Brian went to St. Mary's College of Maryland where he ran an incredible gamut of majors (a dillettente's buffet of Music Ed, Chemistry, Natural Science, Math, and Econ before settling on Business). He was also lucky enough to met his future wife, Donna, there. Granted, they were best friends before they considered the possibility of a relationship, but that can be the best kind.

After graduating with a BA in 1994 Brian and Donna were married and moved to Virginia Beach, VA where Donna had family. Brian worked on his Master's in Military History while working part-time in the Career Center at Old Dominion University. It was there that he was bitten by the computing bug and his true geekhood was unleashed.

Shortly after their first daughter, Kathryn, was born money got tight, so they moved back up to Maryland with Donna's parents. Brian worked his way into the computing industry with a variety of jobs, from Web Designer to Project Manager. In between jobs at one point, he was admitted to the American Intercontinental University's MIT program, and at an orientation seminar there made a contact that got his foot firmly into the door of the industry with DSTI in Rockville, MD, and eventually landed a job at Network Solutions in Herndon, VA.

Brian and Donna's second daughter, Caroline, was born in Frederick, MD. Due to complications after the cescarian, Donna almost bled out and came very close to leaving this world.

After a few very rough years Brian graduated night school at AIU with an Master's in Info Technology. Fairly soon thereafter, Verisign bought NSI and it was only a matter of months before Brian was laid off with his entire web team. Fortunately, he was able to pick up an excellent job with PG&E National Energy Group (who changed to NEGT) and moved from a Web Administrator to a full Systems/Security Administrator.

In November of 2002 Donna was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the family's lives were flipped upside down once again. They were lucky enough to have caught it early, and to have a fantastic oncologist working with her (the same, in fact who saved her life two and a half years previously). After chemo treatment, surgery (partial masectomy) and radiation, Donna was declared in regression as of the summer of 2004.

Brian had been expecting NEGT to close its doors eventually, but he stuck around for the retention money until let go March 2005. After a long three and a half months of "mandatory vacation," he finally found employment again at AOL, working within the Community Systems Operations team as a Systems Administrator. He worked with a great group of people but that position only lasted a year. When AOL opened up access to all its content and moved to an ad revenue model, they layed off great multitudes and Brian found himself in the market for a third time in a row due to reductions.

Fortune took pity this time, and he obtained an interview within the last two weeks of his employment (though released November 1 in 2006 he was technically still employed until mid-month). The company, Keane Federal, hired him that day to work on a government contract for NOAA, and he started right after Thanksgiving. Brian is greatly enjoying his new position, working on the AWIPS system and ramping up his scripting skills.

Brian and his family currently live in the house they built in the countryside of Martinsburg, WV (actually closer to Spring Mills, but the postal code says Martinsburg) with their now four cats (Salem, Likorish, Caramel and Olivia). He manages to still see his great group of friends from NEGT at monthly LAN parties. In fact, they started up a gaming clan to keep in touch called the Gunrunner Clan (GrC). Running that site doesn't keep him terribly busy in and of itself, but it has been fun to play with...