Who is Jarrod Kailef?
(Looking for a quick overview of what I'm good at? Go to the skills section!)
My friends call me Kai. Pretty much, I'm a geek. But, I was a geek before it was cool, way back in the 80s, when the term "cool" first emerged from the obscurity of the Jazz subculture and became part of the vernacular of most high school age kids.
Hobbies: I love video games, from 80s arcade classics through modern MMOs and everything in between, and I'm active in the retro gaming community. Science Fiction and Fantasy are my only real entertainment media interests, and I love just about everything in those two genres as long as it doesn't delve too deeply into the "teen drama" style. I am an especially big fan of the original Star Trek, having loved that show since I was four years old. I love writing and performing music, especially percussion, and have been doing so as a hobby for over twenty-five years. I've written music for several video games, and you can click the Soundcloud link on the main page to listen to some of it. I am an avid drummer and I've been playing on stage for decades. I used to be a huge tabletop RPG gamer and GM, but in recent years I've not done much gaming and I miss it. I enjoy listening to a lot of different musical styles, but my favorite is progressive, symphonic and power metal. You can click the stylized "E" logo on the main page to learn about the radio station that I own and operate, which specializes in that particular genre of music. Of course, being a geek in the 80s means that I used to call dialup BBS systems quite frequently. Today I even run a small telnet based system called Sanctum II BBS which you can learn about by clicking its icon on the main page. I am also an avid martial artist and have studied and trained continuously
since a very young age. In the Career section below I discuss martial arts in more detail, and if you click the martial arts link on the main page I go in to even greater detail. I used to really love playing paintball and laser tag but I've almost completely given up this hobby as I haven't played in many, many years. Another hobby of mine where I've allowed my skills to atrophy somewhat is is coding and computer programming, I used to code for MUDs and later did a lot of custom programming for a school district, but lately my programming has been limited to messing around with GML and Unity in passing, so I'm little more than an amateur at this point. I'm interested in to retro computing, especially where it touches upon my childhood Apple II nostalgia. For example, I have a variety of Apple II and early Macintosh hardware, a lot of which I use on a daily basis, and a growing collection of early Apple II and PC "big box" games. In that vein, I am an avid fan of the Ultima series of games and I've got a nearly complete collection of original Ultima games from the 80s and 90s, as least as far as North American releases are concerned. I also enjoy doing narration and voice acting as a hobby. I rarely get paid for my efforts, but my voice is used in a variety of different Kickstarter videos, commercials, and short films, and even did work for a few celebrities like Ken and Roberta Williams. Oh, and I love cats. Most animals in general really, but especially cats. We have multiple cats in my family, but Pellekat (named after the amazing Norwegian singer and multi-instrumentalist Per Fredrik Åsly AKA PelleK) is my constant companion.
Career: I am a computer network engineer and am on the board of directors of a successful outsourced IT management firm. I'm very strong with Microsoft products, server management, TCP/IP and routing, and most of the other skills required to support the IT needs of small and medium sized businesses. Unfortunately this means that I work a lot. It is not uncommon for me to spend twelve hours a day working, and to work on weekends as well. Generally I put in about fifty-five hours a week. It's a very difficult job that requires a lot of focus and mental energy. Usually just because I go home from the office, it doesn't mean my work is over for the day. Fortunately the owner of the company is very generous so despite the extreme hours, I am still taken care of reasonably well. I also own and operate a martial arts school. I'm not entirely certain if this should be considered my "career" at this point though, because although my school was very large in the past, these days I just teach a small handful of my oldest and most dedicated students once a week, and the money I receive is really just donations from my students to help cover the expenses of renting the dojo where I teach. In 2022 my involvement in the retro computing community in general got me an opportunity to work as a writer for Old School Gamer Magazine, and my articles focus on early 80s and early 90s home computer gaming. A long time ago, I used to do nightclub bouncing and I was the head of security at one of the most popular clubs in our area for about five years. As a result of this job I got a very large amount of real-world experience using martial arts to defend myself, and developed a system based on common sense, effective techniques which is what I teach today. (I don't recommend a bouncing job, by the way. It's bad for your soul.) I briefly was a reserve police officer, only for about a year and a half, and I quickly determined that wasn't what I wanted to do as a career. So since about 1996, I've been doing computer network management full time.
Groups: (Note: Most of the organizations and groups I mention here can be accessed directly from the main page of this site by clicking on their graphic) I founded the PIF Silvergate guild back in the early ages of MMO gaming, and still run it today as the Guildmaster. (Well, "founded" is a bit of an overstatement, we branched off from another guild in 1999, and then merged with a second guild a few years later) While somewhat inactive today, many of our members still stay in touch with one another, and we're still hoping to find ourselves a good core game to focus on. I'm involved in a number of other groups as well - I started off as a member of the Bards of Poets' Circle Guild but eventually ascended to the Guildmaster position there as well. While now disbanded, it was a great organization founded by Grandmaster Bard Holt Ironfell (James Stratton-Crawley) who is the man who taught me how to compose music digitally. I am one of the three leaders of House Jurai, the oldest continually operating competitive Mechwarrior gaming guild in the world. They're a varied bunch with members all over the globe. I'm also a member of the Ultima Dragons which is the oldest (and largest) fan club devoted to Richard Garriott's "Ultima" series of games. (The same series of games I collect as a hobby) It's a great club and it's grown into much more than it started off as. I'm currently the Beta Manager for the Sundog Resurrection Project, which is a team of programmers who are recreating the classic FTL game "Sundog" using modern systems. I am also proud to be a developer with 6502 Workshop on their amazing Nox Archaist game for the Apple II, helping with community management, voice over work, game design and various wordsmithing duties. (Much of the public-facing media was my responsibility to write or at least proofread and edit, and I do all their narration for videos and such) The father of e-sports, Walter Day, put me on a trading card in 2019 for my contributions to the classic video gaming community. Last but not most certainly not least, I'm a recipient of the Order of the New Britannia Empire award which was bestowed unto me by Richard Garriott de Cayeux, AKA Lord British, for my musical contributions to his Shroud of the Avatar game.
Trivia: I've never smoked, used drugs other than those prescribed by a doctor, or consumed an alcoholic beverage. As mentioned above, I like cats. In stereotypical geek fashion, I can't see more than vague shapes without my glasses on. I'm fairly good at speaking American Sign Language, but I'm way out of practice as I haven't used it to communicate regularly since I was nineteen. I'm hopelessly colorblind, and usually have trouble identifying any color that's not blue. The drawing of me you see on this website was created for me by Denis Loubet, the man responsible for most of the art in the Ultima series. He's my favorite artist, regardless of genre. Just for the record, Richard Garriott is my childhood hero. (And my adulthood hero as well, for that matter)