Me in Cafe Paradiso in Haight-Ashbury

Me at the Cafe Paradiso in Haight-Ashbury, 1994
Photo by Evelyn Miller.

Mike Strong, ePortfolio

Photographer - Dancer - Journalist - Lecturer
Web Monkey - Technical Writer - Photo-Lab Technician
Teacher - Multi-Media guy - Proud ex-waiter and ex-bartender
Geodetic / Astronomic surveyor
Baker's assistant


Web Sites:
http://www.kcdance.com
http://www.MikeStrongPhoto.com

Michael Strong
5921 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, Missouri 64110

Phones
   (land) 816-444-4459
 
  (cell) 816-674-1133

Emails:
   strongm@umkc.edu
   dancer@kcdance.com (goes through SpamArrest - expect a click-to-authorize return email the first time)
   MikeStrongPhotoVid@gmail.com

Primary Web Sites
   Resumes, examples of work, photos and videos: http://www.MikeStrongPhoto.com
   Calendars and photos of dance in and around KC: http://www.kcdance.com

Experience and Work Verification links to PDFs

 

Short Intro

To start with, I teach online courses, as an adjunct, at UMKC and have since 2003. The first time I worked for UMKC (1999-2000) it was a grant program in which I was a "web monkey" putting together online teaching software and courses for a then new BIT (Bachelor of Information Technology) program at what was then the CSTP (Computer Science and Telecommunications Program). It ended at the end of 2000. That led me to web-database work for a firm selling third-party Caterpillar parts for a couple of years to wholesalers across the globe.

I freelanced for many years as a photographer and videographer, usually for dance, events, recitals, concerts, dance companies and social dance - and a few other subjects such as a documentary, "Shaw 2004," looking at the Shaw district of Washington, D.C. 13 years after being labeled crime ridden in "Throw Away People" from PBS.

I have a website with calendars and pictures for dance in and around the general Kansas City area. I programmed the calendar so anyone with an event or regular classes can add their informatin. I also setup, shoot and edit a local dance interview television program ("Dance On", TWC cable 98-17) for my former tap teacher, Billie Mahoney.

These are the major occupiers of my life other than my partner, Nicole English, with whom I shared web monkey duties at CSTP, who I met at the KC Swing Dance Club and who recently earned her sociology PhD. Her dissertation was about communities of practice, focusing on dance communities. As web monkeys we wrote online teaching software for a bachelor of information program.

Cheers,
Mike Strong

Short bullet list of CV items

Current projects and work:

A Summary Statement from Mike Strong

I work in a variety of areas on the web and in person, as teacher, photographer, videographer, editor, and more. I don't fit easily into the online forms but I am wide open and have a number of very public web locations. I also do a good deal of work on my own and have for decades.

I began programming in the fall of 1966 on an IBM Systems 360 (mainframe). I was a bit clueless but a couple of years later I was setting up computer data for a Burroughs mainframe in the Air Force as a geodetic computer (one who computes) and a geodetic surveyor. The Burroughs fully occupied a room and had as much memory as my Commodore 64 about 15 years later. In the Air Force I also used a portable computer (Olivetti Programma 101) and programmed it in the field for geodetic computations (triangulations, levels, gravity measurements and more). This was top of the line surveying for mapping and earth measurement and navigation.

I was constantly on the move, stationed out of Cheyenne, Wyoming (F.E. Warren AFB) on TDY (temporary duty). We would head out as small teams anywhere in the world, for several weeks to months, then back to Cheyenne, a little down time and back out again. I loved it and always went for the courier job of being the person on the cargo planes who escorted our equipment on palettes. I went all over most of the US and Great Britain. Others were in SE Asia, Brasil, Seychelles, even Pitcairn Island. Some of our satellite work found its way into what are now GPS systems.

At the end of the 1970's I bought my first couple of computers, a Sinclair and a Radio Shack handheld. They were tiny but led to a Commodore 64 and the Commodore users group. That connection got me started with a horse racing program for the owner of a company in North KC and into a database program to setup catalogs export data into Xerox Ventura Publisher, for his restaurant products. That led to database usage in the early 1980's first as a meeting coordinator (for Mind Dynamics and Clinic Masters) starting with a 20-year anniversary convention.

The Mind Dynamics / Clinic Masters work combined desktop publishing with publicity, mailing lists and floor managing for convention meetings at hotels around the country. I even wrote a manual for a phone-calling machine we sold to doctors to troll for patients (you know, the kind of phone calling messages you hate). The database programming from there took me into inventory programming and into technical writing. This included using dBMan (a dBase-like program) and manuals for the company which made furniture for the restaurant industry. At the time I was also doing freelance photos and working (mid 1980's) for a company in Independece teaching AT&T classes in dBase and in Xerox Ventura Publisher.

The technical writing led in 1989 to writing a manual for the second edition of a program (AutoScript) which converted AutoCAD files into the PostScript graphics language for rending shaded drawings. This in turn led to my own installation as the programmer for the third re-write of AutoScript, this time for the Windows interface. Eventually, the efficiency of our program was eclipsed (in 1998) by larger machine memory and larger hard drives which powered around the need for a compact program. AutoScript was killed in September 1998, after an eleven year run (respectable for software lifetimes).

In the meantime I had started web programming about 1994 as a means to supply our beta testers with downloadable files for AutoScript. This led to my dance website, other websites and web programming mostly in ASP with help from javascript.

The web programming led to my job in the grant program starting up the BIT program at UMKC. I was one of the original "web monekys" on the program. While there I developed, with Nicole English, the IT-222 class as a live class but with an eye to online lessons, which the class became. It is still taught in the department, though not by me. When the grant finished at the end of 2000 my next berth was with American Crane in the Kansas City west bottoms (across the road and west of Kemper).

The American Crane job was a web programming position for a world-wide wholesaler of after-market Caterpillar parts. As such the more common theme of shopping carts was not usable as we marketed purely to wholesellers who needed parts lists in something which looked more like spreadsheets with sometimes thousands of lines of product showing. This was a special challenge for locations such as Bangladesh and South African and other spots whose internet bandwidths were badly limited. This was a heavy SQL database environment with ASP programming pages and compressed Javascript data delivery and data expansion at the client side. The requirements included not just the part but replacement and updated part numbers and the programming intelligence to handle exceptions such as parts sold only in kits with other parts. Programming furher included programming for the warehouses for inventory as well as the coordination of shipping between separated warehouses, transhipping and customs as well as the original picking of items, packing items and holding and consolidating those items for less expensive shipping in single crates.

Database work at American Crane, in turn brought me back to UMKC a couple of years later (March 1, 2003) when PACE needed someone to setup a database training program using Microsoft Access (because it is so universal). I could bring the knowledge and experience of practical usage to the course.

I should also mention that my extensive work in publishing photos of the dance department and videography for the department as well as for Wylliams-Henry led to five years teaching Danceforms choreography software to the dance students. (It is no longer part of their technical requirement and was dropped along with the dance notation course which will see its last term in Fall 2014) The dance students, regardless of computer skills learned this program (a 3D animation program) because of two factors 1) they are extremely good at focus, a result of their dance discipline and 2) they know dance and can work out the animation frames using their own bodies. Still this was a "blended" class because the student's schedules are filled with rehearsals and shows where they could not attend all the (Friday afternoon) classes. So The class was structured essentially as an online class with intense in-person sessions to fill in knowledge needs.

I started in journalism with broadcast and with photography in the summer of 1967, learning on 4x5 Speed Graphics and moving to medium and miniature (as 35mm was considered then) cameras. This led to a reporting job with KTTT in Columbus, Nebraska before heading off to the Air Force in November of 1968.

In the Air Force I was handed a job (geodetic surveyor) requiring math and computers. Because we traveled my cameras went everywhere with me and when I got out I found a journalism job at WMBO/WRLX in Auburn, NY (upstate, the Fingerlakes). From there I moved over to nearby Genevea, NY and WGVA in a news job. That led to an area reporter job with the Geneva Times (a daily, now the Fingerlakes Times) covering mostly the south half of Seneca county. This was still the manual typewriter era with big shears and rubber cement (cut and paste). Here I really developed a written news style (different from a broadcast style) and utilized my cameras daily.

From there in 1976 I headed to Lawrence Kansas and the University of Kansas intending to finish out my degree in journalism. I got sidetracked, first into a bartending job, then into a job as head of the bartendering school I had trained in (1977). This lasted until I realized that they kept losing people across the country because they kept sending me to cover those losses. Finally, in Detroit, I quit and returned to Kansas City, where I had an apartment. Then I found jobs as bartenders and as waiters until I managed to find a photolab (Winkler) looking for a B&W department. The own had just died in a plane crash and Ray Cockrell, the lab tech, was re-starting it as Cockrell Photo Lab. I signed on as the B&W department bringing my equipment into the lab.

We survived on work from commercial photographers and for me, in particular, from Macy's catalogs, doing conversions from the color work to B&W for newspapers. This also allowed me to shoot on occasion. I moved to the meeting coordinator position just before Macy's sold off their KC ad agency and moved it to Atlanta at the end of 1983. Then I trained in massage, working for 2.5 years at the Kansas City Club. When I decided it was in a dead end I headed back to KU to finish my four-year degree (Jan 1991) deciding I needed to complete that rating.

It was a long time between starting and completing but it is also what gives me a good deal of tolerance when dealing with adults (or anyone) who've had a lot of life intervene for them. Had I this to do over again, I would have finished my degree in the 1970's, in one stretch. I recommend that if you can do it. Still, I remain willing to work with students who are taking longer than ivory-tower expectations because my own experiences are never far from my mind.


 

Addenda

Photo CV pages with text stories (on this site)

Below this point are links which are now
on the front page of MikeStrongPhoto.com
plus a few more links

Video Links on YouTube and Vimeo

Page of links to individual embedded-video pages. Each embedded video is on the internet so you need to be online to use this reference
Video Example Set

Just-Photos Gallery Pages (on this site) from the display list

Photo Books

A handful of books on the self-publishing site Blurb.com where a book format gives a nice format for portfolios or albums. You can order or look through each entire book using these links. Each is set to allow you to preview the full book online. There are a few more links at the bottom of the page.

Web Sites

KCDance.Com:

My Guide to Kansas City Social Dancing and some Performance dance.
Daily Dance Calendar (database generated), Photos and Venue information
www.kcdance.com


Online Lessons:

Lessons in multi-media, streaming, video and database conducted online. You can enroll via PACE at UMKC.
http://www.mikestrongphoto.com/lessons/

 

A long list of jobs all the way back to my youth arranged from most recent to earliest, as best as I can manage that because some of these overlap and others come and go..