|A word from GeoCities:
(or, More About Me Than You Ever Wanted To Know)
To begin with, here's a bad e-photo of me.
My main interests
Some unusual things about me
My favorite (and least favorite) foods
My favorite TV programs, reviewed
My favorite movies, reviewed
People whom I admire
Many of my worldviews in a nutshell
Born March 8, 1971.
Currently 6'2", 185#. (That's 188cm, 84kg for you Metrics out there.)
Can eat a bucket of lard without gaining an ounce. 8^P
Steel blue eyes, optically nearsighted but spiritually farsighted.
Medium brown hair that occasionally likes to rebel against me.
Family: one father who's spending most of his time writing a book; one mother who's really
OK; one sister, a year younger, who probably watched too many NBC sitcoms;
and countless aunts, uncles, & cousins.
Heritage/lineage: 1/2 Swedish, 1/8 Cherokee, 3/8 English Hillbilly,
the rest All-American. :-)
Anime, aka Japanese animation. Very cool stuff, beats anything on
TV now except Babylon 5.
Computers (I assembled my own) & the Internet (especially WWW, but
excluding chat rooms).
Cycling--no long distance or mountain biking, mostly just around campustown.
"ECC" computer games--Explore, Colonize, & Conquer. There's nothing
like a good epic saga. (Good games include Starflight
I & II, Master of Orion II, Conquest of the New World, Myst & Riven,
Outpost I & II, King's Quest series, Dragon's Lair, Spaceward Ho!,
& Star Control I-III.)
Politics--libertarianism in general, the Libertarian Party (of which I'm
a member) to a lesser extent.
Science & technology, big time. (See worldviews, below.)
The future (especially the far future). Amateur futurist.
Last but certainly not least, my girlfriend Viveka.
She is beautiful both inside and out.
Strange and interesting trivia about me
My name is on a microchip
carried on the Stardust spacecraft, and will
remain in space forever.
I have autographs from meeting magician David Copperfield and actor/singer Donnie Osmond.
I detest the taste of chocolate. (See food tastes below for other oddities.)
I can crack nearly any joint in my body. (Toes, knees, spine, wrists, etc. Yes, I know
it's an annoying habit; what can I say? It's great for stress relief.)
I occasionally dream in four (spacial) dimensions.
I'm probably one of the few humans on Earth who likes both Duran Duran and Metallica.
Likes (foods I could live off of)
Dislikes (foods that make me wanna retch)
Any type of custard (but see Dislikes #1)
Macaroni & cheese
Milk & OJ (um, not together...)
Very large nectarines, pears, & black cherries
Anything chocolate or cocoa
Most minty things
Ketchup or mustard
Pickles, or anything pickled
Any hot sauce hotter than Taco Bell's mild sauce
Green, leafy vegetables (except spinach)
Any alcoholic drink
Coffee or any of its incarnations--espresso, cappucinno, etc.
Whaaaat? OK, so I'm a little weird in this department!
* denotes no longer running except maybe in syndication
The best show in the history of television, period. An epic five-year galactic
saga dealing with the age-old struggle of good vs. evil, but includes enemies
both alien and very domestic. Most of the series takes place on or
around Babylon 5, a five-mile-long space station serving as a sort of interstellar
UN. This show is intelligent, and has involving and consistently
great plots and story arcs, intense action scenes and simply the most astounding
and jaw-dropping FX to be found. There are two main overarching storylines
in the series. One is B5's attempt to unite all the races
against the Shadows, a very ancient warmongering race that believes in strength
through chaos. The other is the civil war against Earth, attempting to liberate
it from the Orwellian despot President Clark.
This show was a characature of the 80's if ever there was one. Society
is controlled by the TV networks, meccas of high technology amidst urban
ruin. Power, and TV ratings, are everything in this demand-driven,
instant-gratification society. Disaster victims are rushed emergency
replacement TVs and credit fraud is a far worse crime than murder.
Set in a dysfunctional, myopic society "20 minutes into the future,"
this show followed the travails of top-rated video reporter Edison Carter
and his stuttering, computer-uploaded and wise-cracking alter-ego Max Headroom.
Currently shown on Bravo channel Sat. afternoons.
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman*.
Kind of a "chick show," but my girlfriend got me hooked on it. Deals
with various issues in a non-preachy way. Set in post-civil-war Colorado
Springs. Good stories, and I have some interest in the Wild West.
But proving once again that network executives just don't get it, this high-quality
and highly-rated show was axed in early 1998.
Week (formerly with David Brinkley). Informative analysis
of the issues of the day, with a reasonable liberal/conservative balance.
I'm especially a fan of George Will, who is able to use the weapons of
common sense and logic with deadly proficiency. (OTOH, Donaldson tries to
run the show like another news magazine.) As an aside, is it
just me, or does Sam Donaldson seem to have a thing for Cokie Roberts?
The Simpsons. Just plain hilarious. 'nuff said.
Star Trek: Next Gen*, Deep Space 9, & Voyager. I am not,
repeat NOT a Trekkie. Furthermore, I think the blatant
pseudo-science used in these shows is atrocious to the point of detracting
from their enjoyment. Nevertheless, I am a big sci-fi fan, and entertaining
sci-fi is already hard enough to come by on TV.
Twin Peaks*. Sort of a drama and murder mystery set in the
Twilight Zone. This show just got more & more strange, weird,
disturbing and bizarre as it progressed, until toward the end of the series
you had to wonder if creator David Lynch was a psychotic LSD addict.
The owls are not what they seem. Still, it was a very gripping series.
Only B5 has made my jaw drop more often.
MacGuyver*. Finally a series where brains win over braun.
MacGuyver taught us that there was no crisis that couldn't be fixed with
some duct tape, bubble gum, and the ground wire from behind your nuclear
reactor console. (For the record, MacGuyver's never-mentioned first
name was Angus.)
NYPD Blue. Gritty, realistic, intelligent story lines that
have obviously been given considerable thought. Taken out of context,
some of the scenes might seem gratuitous, but Steven Bochco is adept at
making them a natural part of the show. My only real gripe with this
cop show is that the dialogue is not always spoken clearly--realistic,
but hard to follow. I really wish they'd come out with a music soundtrack.
Aeon Flux. This started out as a series of shorts on MTV's most
excellent "Liquid Television" before becoming its own series. The
extreme, almost dreamlike surrealism of the plots and settings combined with the occasional
mind-candy overkill violence makes this a sweet treat.
Until the End of the World.
This is my favorite movie of all time, though it seems very few people
have ever heard of it. The plot is a bit convoluted in this sci-fi/drama/road-trip
movie. The first half involves a man, Trevor, travelling (and fleeing)
around the globe with a special camera, one that allows blind people to
see images. He is being chased by a private detective, a CIA agent, and a woman
(Claire) who at first wants the money he stole from her, then just him.
She, in turn, is pursued by the same detective (whom she hired in the first
place), her husband (played by Sam Neill), and a couple of amicable bank robbers whose money
she both spent and lost. They finally end up in the Australian outback,
and try to make their way to Trevor's father's secret lab, but they have
to take the long route when their plane is downed by the EMP from an out-of-control
Indian nuclear satellite being shot down with a nuke. Still with
me? When they finally arrive at the lab they're cut off from the
outside world, and have no way of knowing if there's been a nuclear holocaust.
So they procede anyway, and Trevor's blind mother is able to see videos
of her relatives recorded from around the world. After her death
though, they discover a new use for the device--recording dreams for later viewing.
This, however, turns out to be the ultimate addiction, and it finally comes
to Claire's husband Eugene (Sam Neill's character) to come to the rescue of Trevor,
his wife, and Trevor's father. The movie has a bittersweet ending, but leaves you
feeling good anyway. Original US release is 158 minutes, though a
5-hour(!) version may be released in the future. If this movie ever
comes out on DVD, that will be the incentive I need to buy one. Are
you listening, Warner Brothers? Excellent soundtrack by U2, Peter
Gabriel, REM, Talking Heads, Julie Cruise, and more big names. (Click
here for Internet Movie Database info.)
The classic cyberpunk movie--even William Gibson
could not have improved on it. People seem to like the newer director's
cut better; I prefer the original. This dark movie is about an android
hunter who finds himself falling in love with one of his prey, and learning
that these 'replicants' may not be the soulless automatons they're supposed
to be. This movie also has an excellent techno-blues soundtrack, which if you
can find it, makes for great programming and web-surfing music.
2010: The Year
We Make Contact. "What? Don't you
mean 2001? That was a classic; 2010 was just a lousy sequel."
No, I actually prefer 2010 to its predecessor. So sue me.
For one thing, 2010 is more modern, thus more believeable. (That's
important to me.) For another thing, 2010 actually explains a lot
of the unknowns in 2001--why HAL went psycho, what the monoliths are, and
their ultimate motive at Jupiter. Again ahead of his time, Arthur
C. Clarke exposes us to the concepts of gray goo, terraforming, mind uploading,
and stellarfication. The monoliths become a 'gray goo' when they
start replicating ad infinitum in Jupiter's atmosphere. The increased
planetary density causes Jupiter to gravitationally collapse, igniting
into a new star, and terraforming Europa from an icy planet to a warm one
teeming with life. We learn that at the end of 2001, Dave Bowman
actually merged with a monolith, becoming a part of the alien civilization.
HAL also gets uploaded shortly before its physical destruction. I
can't wait for 2061 and/or 3001 to hit the big screen. (3001 is, I've heard,
We finally receive a signal of alien origin.
Encoded in it are blueprints for...something. What is it?
This movie explores the experience of mankind's First Contact, and the
resulting conflicts between the forces of science and religion. It
didn't have the full depth of the book, but wasn't Hollywoodized irrepairably.
I enjoyed the reasonable representation of the effects of opening a wormhole,
and the portrayal of Haddon Industries (with its false image as the Evil
Megacorp) as a private-sector source of good and human advancement.
I think Carl Sagan would have been pleased with the way the movie turned
In the Alien trilogy, the middle was the best. The original was too much
of a B-movie, and Alien^3 was too much of a sequel. (Plus I hated that they
killed off Newt & that other Marine guy.) Alien Resurrection was OK, though
a bit removed from the trilogy. The plot of Aliens is simple enough.
Earth loses contact with a colony, Marines
are sent to investigate, and are nearly wiped out by hordes of vicious
aliens. There were, strangely, at least two versions of the movie
released that I know of. The TV version didn't have the gore &
language of course, but it did have a few extra minutes here & there
not in the theatrical release. I wish they'd add those extra minutes
to make an extended theatrical version.
The Quiet Earth.
What if you woke up all alone in the world?
This is another little-seen but good film,
from New Zealand. Mankind discovers a new way to get unlimited energy
by fundamentally altering the orbit of electrons, but unfortunately the
first time the switch is thrown, every living animal lifeform (including
humans) vanishes without a trace. The only people left are those very few
who, for some reason or another, just happened to be temporarily dead at
the moment the new powergrid went online. Eventually three people
in the whole country manage to find each other: a man involved with the
project, another who seems to be a militia member, and a woman. They
travel around together looking in vain for others, and trying to sort out
their feelings for (& against) each other. The movie provides
an interesting picture of a world where humans left in an instant:
crashed planes with no passengers, empty cars run off the road, faucets
left running, and a world of other peoples' former possessions for the
taking by the survivors. But strange things start happening--reality
itself periodically warps and distorts, and they realize they must destroy
the power grid before they, too, are wiped from existence by a repeat of
the effect. But their growing conflicts and dislikes of each other
prove to be a monumental barrier to their goal. Not to give too much
away, but at the end of the movie reality distorts in a major way, and
it is unclear what exactly becomes of two of them (and why what happened
to the third, did). It's a 'mystery ending,' not unlike the end of 2001.
Road Warrior &
Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
These are the exact opposite of 'chick flicks.' Pure testosterone, post-apocalyptic
road carnage that brings 'road rage' to a whole new level. Hope ya like sand!
People I admire
Our Founding Fathers
K. Eric Drexler
Richard P. Feynman
My worldviews in a nutshell
The Future: it always gets better in the long run. I'm a strong
optimist here. The future holds wonders we can't begin to imagine
yet. Embrace it, don't fear it.
The Church: a spiritual crutch for those who have a need to believe
in deities. Often hypocritical in nature, preaching love but practicing
intolerance and the myth of moral absolutism. Good for charity &
socializing, but not much else.
Religion: An arational waste of time. I've never had reason
or justification to believe in the existence of deities, never mind
worshipping and praying to them. Nevertheless as a civil libertarian I respect
and would strongly defend others' rights to hold religious beliefs.
The Bible: hypocritical and intolerant. Can be, and often is, used to justify
nearly anything. In his book Contact, Carl Sagan described
it best: "Half barbarian history, half fairy tales."
Government: too bloated, too corrupt, too intrusive, far too
costly, not nearly democratic enough. (Note I didn't say which
Democratic Party: fond of Big Government, punishing the rich (i.e.
successful), and spending as much of our money as they can get a hold of.
Distrustful of the free market. Controlled by labor unions and special
interest groups (SIGs).
Republican Party: fond of Big Brother, absolute (and inevitably Christian)
morality, and bashing anything remotely liberal. Distrustful of individual
& civil liberties. Controlled by big business, the Religious
Right, and SIGs.
Libertarian Party: the party of the ultracapitalist civil libertarian.
Probably won't win any really major elections due to restrictive & prohibitive
ballot access laws, their controversial stand on drug legalization, and
the catch-22 of being a smaller party. Still, they're the only party really
worth voting for. Their stands are both consistent and principled.
Science & Technology: *drool* Gotta love it. See
the Future, above. The two "gods" I worship. There is much fear
of these by others (witness arguments against cloning, encryption, & nuclear
propulsion), but this is almost always a result of ignorance.
Paranormal & supernatural phenomena (UFOs, ghosts, fortune-telling, etc.):
non-existent. The product of hopes, delusions, hoaxes, or some combination.
Here are the mores I live by.