Charles Rand Barnett

Trombonist | Composer | Software Engineer

Climate Change Activist | Curry Chef | Bicyclist

Music

All my recorded music since 1995 can be found on my main site www.dottrombone.com. I've gone through many styles over the years. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

The Navy Band

I had an excellent time in my 7 years in the Navy fleet bands in the 90's. I met a ton of great people. I was super focused on studying trombone, drums, piano and bass during those years. I got into multi-track recording and making websites for my music in 1999. I was having some problems with alcohol while I was in the Navy unfortunately. I finally got fed up with the alcohol while I was touring South America and decided that when I got back home, I would go back to smoking pot and riding my mountain bike. I credit the marijuana with helping me get off the alcohol. I haven't had a problem with alcohol since.

After the Navy

I was feeling creatively stiffled in the Navy and wanted to do my recording full time. So I got out of the Navy in 2000 and moved back to the west coast. I didn't have a good plan. I wound up being homeless for 4 years. Being poor certainly fixed me of any lingering marijana problem I had developed. I often say now that drugs and alcohol were a bit of an occupational hazard with music. I did end up making some interesting music (and a lot of scrap) during that period. I wound up teaching myself computer programming while living on the streets of Seattle in 2004 by writing 3D math and collision detection scripts for a custom video game engine on notebook paper.

Programming career

I started doing professional programming full time in 2007. I spent my first year working for Fablevision making the Aha! Math series for Learning.com We had a great team of 4 programmers in Portland. After that, Isaac and I coded the Sid the Science Kid website games.

I worked for DHX advertising in 2010 and 2011. When I got off the streets in 2005, I made one of the best decisions of my life; I started cooking curries! I also made one of the worst decisions of my life; I started drinking soda pop with my meals. I wound up gaining 70 pounds and I was in the worst health of my life when I was working at DHX. The programming work I was doing there wasn't a great fit for me either. I loved the people I met at DHX though and Brandon wound up making excellent graphics for my Flick Bricker game!

I left DHX in March of 2012 and proceded on to 10 years of contracting work. I did a wide variety of projects. I wrote code for an electric car. I coded the museum app for Harley Davidson with the Belle and Whissle comapany in Seattle. I did some excellent business programming for Malarkey Roofing and they have wound up being my best client. It's an honor to be working with Mike and Radu over there. Peter at the Nice Touch Corporation was instrumental to my success during those years. Peter is a fellow musician and programmer and he got me the majority of my work during these years.

Oh, and I wound up losing that 70 pounds with my bread and water prison diet!

Politics

My contracting work was part time and I had extra time to realize a life long dream of running for political office. In 2017, I put together a platform I called 4040in2020. It called for 40% of people to drive 40% less by working from home. I ended up running for US Representative against Earl Blumenauer in 2018 and 2020. Ironically, my political platform was put to a real world test when the pandemic hit. Carbon emissions dropped by 17% worldwide in April of 2020 primarily driven by people working from home. The next month I lost the election with less than 1% of the vote.

Making it to retirement

The political thing was obviously a long shot for me personally. I'm a better person for having done that work though. I like what I learned from it. After the 2020 primary, I was faced with the fact that I was being phased out of my programming career. I was heavily invested in PHP and Flash. I couldn't get any more Flash or Adobe AIR work and getting good paying enterprise level PHP work was not working out too well. I ended up getting a domestic kitchen license to deliver curries from my home kitchen. I put together a custom website for ordering. The website would produce shopping lists for all my orders for the next day. My curry cooking got better and I learned how to properly preserve my curries from someone at the Department of Agriculture. I was basically making deli food.

Here's what is left of the curry site: rands-curry.dottrombone.com.

But that was doomed to fail too. I have no social media presence or any tangible way of attracting customers. After that failure, I was in a really tough spot. I wound up working a deal with my remaining freelance clients for them to pay me enough to survive (just slightly in the red), while I got up to speed with Microsoft ASP.NET Core programming. It took a year of study, but I wound up getting a nice software engineering position with a healthcare company. And they are a 100% remote workforce, so I feel like I'm still honoring my 4040 platform!

I'm finally making an income that can get me to retirement by my early 60's.

What's Next?

Well, my mind has certainly been coming up with things to do! Getting out of the Navy certainly did solve my problem of being creatively stiffled.

Check out my real site: www.dottrombone.com

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