Welcome to Kestrel’s Aerie. My real name is Steve, but I’ve been using the “Kestrel” moniker online for well over a decade. My wife and I live in Rapid City, South Dakota, and we own a vacation home in Los Osos, California. We have three grown sons, a wonderful daughter-in-law, and two of the most beautiful granddaughters in the world. So yes, I’m growing older, but I refuse (for the most part) to grow up.1
I’m a retired Air Force major, with degrees in psychology (UCLA ’74) and business administration (Missouri ’78). When my last employer made the decision in April 2008 to include my position in its latest cost-cutting move, my wife and I agreed I could be “mostly retired.” So now, we get to enjoy our family more than ever!
Although this blog started as a chronicle of my adventures in World of Warcraft, since 2009 I’ve focused more on the personal, especially with my passion for grammar and my excitement about language, writing, and copyediting. I also took a rather lengthy hiatus from blogging, between March 2012 and April 2013. However, I realized I still have a lot to talk about, and if I don’t do it, who will?
I was once asked my qualifications to write about writing, especially grammar and punctuation. The best answer I can give is that my knowledge is based on over a half-century of learning and application. I do a lot of research, I use a lot of tools, and I don’t make up rules. Twenty years in the Air Force and another fourteen years in business, both in government and in the private sector (including almost five years working at a newspaper, albeit in human resources), have given me a lot of insight into how to write well, and how to write clearly and concisely. I’m not a prescriptivist, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a time and place for prescriptivism.
I’m a veteran MMORPGer—my roots are in the Shadow of Yserbius (ImagiNation Network, formerly The Sierra Network), WorldsAway (beta tester) on CompuServe, up through Empiriana, The 4th Coming (beta tester), Asheron’s Call (beta tester, Advocate), EverQuest, Asheron’s Call 2 (beta tester), Horizons (beta tester), EverQuest II, and World of Warcraft (beta tester).
I was also the CompuServe SysAdmin for the WorldsAway forum when it was owned by Fujitsu Entertainment. Subsequently, I was a moderator on AC2HQ.com, the premier independent Asheron’s Call 2 fan site. I moved from there to moderating the Horizons Forums on the Vault Network, then moved to the Wintersebb (Asheron’s Call) forum there. I was promoted to manager, then senior manager, of the Vault forums, before leaving VN at the end of January 2007.
So what’s the Aerie all about?
This is my perch from which to observe and comment on what I see and do as I sail the winds of this thing called “Life.” My interests are many, and they are varied. I’m fortunate enough to be retired at a relatively young age, so I’m able to indulge myself a wee bit.
I have a lifelong love affair with the English language, so I am apt to discuss grammar, usage, or punctuation; I may wrap such commentary in the cloak of copyediting, or the gossamer fabric of “writing.” There are even pages displaying my own modest attempts at creativity.
I’m a techno-geek, so I’ve been known to expound at length on blogs and blogging as well as more esoteric topics. Included in these are software for both computers and cellphones (mine are a Mac and a Droid X). I also have more than a passing knowledge of the Windows platform.
I love to travel, and whether at home or on the road, I enjoy good food, ice cream, good beers, and fine wines. Expect to read about these loves as well. Many of my travels involve others in my family, so you’ll read about them a bit. I am a bit of a sports nut, so the occasional foray into the world of athletics is here.
And finally, I’ve played massively multiplayer online games for the better part of two decades, so I may venture in that direction. I hope you enjoy your visit, and if there’s anything I can do to make your stay more pleasant, please be sure to let me know.
- Hat-tip to Jimmy Buffett. I also firmly believe that changes in latitudes bring changes in attitudes. ↩