So I’m just this guy, y’know? Who’s a dog and all. And this is my homepage.
I know. Homepage, right? How retro. In this age of Facebook and Twitter, how many people even keep blogs anymore, let alone a homepage? For the longest time I kept an account on LiveJournal for my musings. I held on there for a long time until the site’s instability and Russian comment spam got to be too much to deal with. And, while I certainly miss the social aspect of that site, it’s nice to be back in control of my own experience again.
I’m in my thirties, married with a kid. I was originally born near Melbourne, Florida. I grew up in Tennessee, and graduated from Auburn University in 2004. I live in Huntsville, Alabama and I work as a software engineer - it’s a hard job keeping the web online, but someone’s gotta do it.
I got my first tech job while I was still in high school, in the late 1990s, writing software to manage bus routing. I’ve done computer training products for Fortune 500 companies (if you have Michelin tires on your car, there’s a good chance the person who made those tires was trained using software I wrote). I’ve worked on telephone systems and in online sales as well. I also spent some time as a Park Ranger when I needed to “get away from tech” for awhile.
These days, my day-to-day life is pretty much this:
So who is Kiran anyways?
My involvment with the furry fandom goes way, way back. Back, roughly, to 1994. Even before then, though, I was a consummate geek. I watched Star Wars and Star Trek (both ToS reruns TNG original releases, later both DS9 and VOY). I loved staying up late to secretly watch MST3K. I loved The X-Files. I read voraciously, too - I was going through a book a week at one point. Arthur C. Clarke, Dale Brown, Tom Clancy, Isaac Asimov, J.R.R. Tolkein.
Anything I could get my hands on that provided an escapist fantasy, I dove right in. That image you have of a kid with thick glasses sitting outside reading while the other kids are playing? Yeah. That was me.
In 1994, The Lion King came out in theaters. It made a big impression on a 13 year old kid. Probably bigger than it should have. Definitely bigger than anyone else I knew, so I turned to this “Internet” thing we were hooked up to. In short order, I discovered the newsgroup alt.fan.lion-king. This lead, eventually, to the Lion King WWW Archive, then to TLKMUCK, alt.fan.furry and FurryMUCK. From that point, it was a slow downward spiral of awesome.
I went through a progression of characters. Many names and species came and went. But the important part was the fantasy. It gave an incredibly awkward and geeky teenager an outlet from teenage frustrations. It was both incredibly isolating, and incredibly liberating at the same time. I would go through every day at school (or after-school work) as “[real name here],” but inside, I was a lion that fought space battles, or a Native American wolf who hung out in a bar, or a vixen who hauled cargo and fought pirates on the high seas. Little escapist fantasies that helped me get through each day.
“Kiran,” my reigning and current incarnation (and, by a far margin my longest), was born in the spring of 2001, while I was a freshman at Auburn University. I was joining a small social MUCK called Furreality and I needed a name. I looked up on baby naming site for names and found one, in Hindi, which meant “ray of light.” Light + paw. Kiran Lightpaw. I also, randomly, met the first other furry I’d ever met in real life that year.
In 2003, I went to Anthrocon for the first time, and had an amazing time. I met so many awesome people. One of the people I met, in the Atlanta airport, was a guy named Flain. A few months later, I see him pop up on a mailing list I followed about a little con they were trying to start in Atlanta. I figured, what the hell, I’ll lend a hand because I was only an hour and a half away.
… that little con, eventually, became Furry Weekend Atlanta (currently, the fourth largest furry con). I could dedicate a whole section just to FWA. It became my main fandom involvement, and a big part of my life. I also assisted heavily with Rocket City Furmeet for a number of years, and volunteered at Mephit Furmeet, Anthrocon and a couple of other cons as well.
At first, Kiran was a wolf. I ended up switching species to a rough collie in about 2008 or so, after I got married. I figured I could no longer claim to be a wild animal when I had become so domesticated. :)
These days, I call myself a “semi-retired” furry, and most definitely fly the greymuzzle flag proudly. I still love anthropomorphic animals and a lot of things about the furry fandom, but I just don’t have the time and energy to be as actively involved as I once was. Rather, I’m trying my paw at other ways of being involved instead.
Wow, reading over that now it sounds really pretentious. I’m actually a really nice guy, though!