Max the Knife's bio
My full name is Max Anton Kiejzik.
I was born into headlines on March 13, 1973 in the southwest suburbs of Philadelphia.
I am the son of two United States immigrants, Paul and Kerstin, and the brother of my sister, Kim, who is 5 years older.
Paul was born in Poland during World War II, but was lucky enough to escape to Sweden by the time he was 12.
My mother, an accomplished sculptress and art teacher, was born and raised in southern Sweden.
Eventually, they would meet, marry, and move to the States by the mid 1960s.
By the time I was born, my father was living the American Dream as the manufacturing business he started from scratch was doing extremely well.
Because of this, I grew up leading a more privileged life than most.
I enjoyed summers at our vacation home in Ocean City, Maryland and even a few summers with my relatives and late grandmother in Sweden.
I attended Marple Newtown school district from first grade through high school graduation.
Growing up, I tried just about anything I could get my hands on.
Early in my life, I was singled out for having an exceptional singing voice and a penchant for theatre.
One of my original claims to fame happened during the fifth grade.
I auditioned and was selected from a pool of about 250 kids to be 'one of the boys' in the musical Oliver! at Philadelphia's renowned Walnut Street Theatre.
After that terrific experience I did a lot of amateur theatre and high school plays.
I especially loved to sing, though, and I focused my talent by participating in my high school's choir.
I placed second at District Choir several years in a row and made it to Regional Choir several times as well.
In about the fourth grade, I started doing and loving gymnastics but by the age of 15, I knew from all the aches and pains, my body did not love it.
I was also heavily into water sports.
During my summers in Maryland, I loved to water-ski and I even taught myself how to barefoot and do some trick-skiing.
I swam on the summer swim team from the age of about 6 until I was 18.
In high school, I swam as one of the team's 50 meter freestyle sprinters and my experience as a gymnast paid off as I had some success diving on the one meter spring board for the team.
My father and I also shared a love of old cars.
When I was 15, we found a beat up 1972 MGB.
He told me, "If you want a car by the time you're 16, you'd better get busy.".
So, I did.
Soon enough, I hadn't simply learned how to remove and rebuild an engine.
I stripped the body and learned how to paint a car on my own too.
After high school, the first college I attended was Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.
I spent three semesters there fulfilling most of my G.E.D. requirements.
At the end of that time my father's business was beginning to fail and I knew, even though Paul wouldn't admit it, he couldn't afford to send me there any longer.
So, I transferred into Temple University as a full fledged voice performance major.
For the first time in my life, as far as my voice was concerned, I was no longer 'special'.
Those kids were great.
I was about 21 years old, finally realizing I was just another fish in the sea, and feeling incredibly lost.
After one full semester at Temple, I dropped out in the middle of my second semester.
I floundered around for a few months before I realized the partner I really needed... needed me too.
Through my entire life, I was constantly learning and working with my father.
As soon as I was tall enough to reach the chuck on the lathe, I was turning shafts and running parts on the CNC milling machine.
I'll never forget being ten years old, breaking a $10.00 drill bit because I put it in the chuck crooked, and my father getting furious at me for being so careless.
I guess the point is, even at ten years old, Paul wasn't afraid to leave me alone to make mistakes and learn from them.
Through the years, I certainly learned a thing or two about machining, engineering, and how to solve complicated technical problems with practical solutions.
I also spent plenty of time on the production floor producing what are called microfilm 'jackets'.
That job was anything but easy as the machines were always breaking down and required constant attention and care.
The Savings and Loan scandals of the latter eighties coupled with serious partner troubles had left my father's company in dire financial straights.
His 20,000 square foot facility that once employed 75 to 100 people, had slowly dwindled to less than ten.
After dropping out of Temple and a few months of 'drifting', even though my father would, again, never admit it, I could see he needed me badly.
I was able to bring fresh energy to the table, but I knew the microfilm industry would never be what it used to be.
Nevertheless, it still has a niche market so I worked hard, kept learning, and sometime around 1998, I decided to go back to school.
I enrolled at West Chester University. That endeavor only lasted two semesters.
It was during my second semester that I became increasingly interested in the Cydonia problem.
I took an English composition course and had to write a 10 page thesis about 'any' subject.
Apparently, 'any', is a subjective term, because the English professor tried to deny me my choice of topic which of course was, Cydonia.
To make a long story short, I fought his decision, ended up on independent study with the head of the English department for the remainder of the semester and got an A- for the course.
I'm sure that by the time I left West Chester U., I had enough credits to put some kind of a degree together, but I didn't.
Frankly, it didn't matter to me, because I was more interested in taking over my father's business and making money than having a piece of paper to hang on my wall telling me what I had achieved.
So sometime in 1999, that's what I did.
I quit school one more time, after finals this time, and took over the company.
Even though I found time to take up golf and become an avid player ( For a while I enjoyed a personal best handicap index as low as 6.7), my life certainly wasn't as cushy as it might sound.
Money was still extremely tight and I was running the entire production floor with only two helpers... when they showed up.
I was running the machines, taking care of raw materials, inventory, shipping, and all the chores in between, as well as handling the books.
Not only that, my father and I were also trying to start up new ventures with hopes of improving our cash flow situation.
This is where my father spent the majority of his time, while I would chip in after regular hours.
Then, in January of 2005, Richard Hoagland published a paper about Saturn's moon Iapetus.
He inspired me to go talk about it, which I did at Space.com.
In early August of 2005, my website went 'live'.
A week or two later my father suddenly died.
Two years after that, in November of 2007, I sold the rights to manufacture our brand of microfilm jackets effectively selling my primary source of income.
The rest, as they say, is history.
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