By the time I was 8 years old, several major patterns of my life were firmly established. I loved to read, I loved to write, I loved to make music, I loved to play with technology, I loved animals, and I loved to make things. Anybody who knows me today can attest to the fact that this list covers the vast majority of the ways I spend my time. I was the second son born into a family of musically talented Jehovah’s Witnesses. Of the four Sutter kids, my older brother Rhett was the musical prodigy, younger brother Reed was the performer, and little sister Roberta was the sweetheart. I was the geek, or as I like to think of it, the passionate intellectual. Rhett and I made music together for almost 20 years as the core members of a band called The Lavone but that partnership was permanently ended by his tragic death in 2005 at the age of 32. Reed and Robbie still perform music as members of the band The Akai. And me? I have this site.
My life has traveled a lot of unexpected paths, including the path that ultimately led me away from the closed bubble of the world of Jehovah’s Witnesses and into freethought activism, the study of east/west religious ideas and practices, and for a few years, some very passionate writing on atheism, humanism, faith versus reason, and Christian apologetics. This change in my religious and philosophical positions and beliefs has caused me to be estranged from many of the friends and family I knew as a Witness, including the aforementioned siblings and my parents. At the same time though, I get to be the person I really was all along and I have met a ton of incredible new people. As a Witness, I was supposed to condemn homosexuality but never felt that was right. Now it seems like half my friends are LGBT. As a Witness, I was supposed to avoid politics, not even voting. Today, I am politically active. As a Witness, I was supposed to avoid holidays, believe in Creationism, and attend five meetings a week. Now I love Christmas, think evolution is the most amazing topic of study in the world, and spend my volunteer time helping rescue dogs instead of sitting in a suit reading the Bible. Hopefully, dear reader, you get the point. Upgrades, my friends, upgrades.
As much as I would love to devote all of my time to learning, creativity, and other things I am passionate about, I have to pay the bills too, so I have a professional side. I have worked as a software developer since 1994. I’ve co-authored a few software-related books (none of which are still in print), I’ve run my own consulting company, and worked lots of places on lots of things with lots of cool people. I am in a partnership in a small mobile development startup company called Sheep Shape Studio and I work at Capella University as a software architect. When it comes to technology, I’m capable of being open-minded. I’m a Mac user, primarily, but I love Linux too. My recording studio is based on Windows for reasons that are too boring to live.
Beyond the music making, thing building, software writing, book reading, blog posting, and philosophy discussing, I am also a dad, an avid hiker and fan of the outdoors, a fan of comic books/sci-fi/anime/geek culture, a lover of travel, a college student, predominantly vegan, mostly Buddhist, and about 5 foot 8 inches tall. Add a half-inch for my Chucks.