Personal Interests

Here is a sampling of my interests. I would enjoy corresponding about them with anyone out there.

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Most of the action on my site is now in my blog and my tumblelog. I invite you to visit!

+ Juggling

I learned to juggle in 1982, and the fascination just never wore off. Since then, I've probably taught over a hundred people to juggle, and no experience compares with seeing the light go on in someone's eyes when they "get it". I currently do lots of three-ball tricks and can do a pretty good five-ball cascade. The Juggling Information Service has one of the best websites for those who like to play with gravity.

+ Computer Programming

I became interested in computers in 1977 (at the age of 11!) when the the first truly personal computer, the Apple //, took the world by storm. Although I loved the games, I never felt satisfied just playing them; I wanted to know how they worked. That led to my learning the mysterious art of computer programming, which I discovered really wasn't all that mysterious, but which did take a logical mind and a willingness to become immersed in the "computer culture." Most "serious" professional programmers today program in the languages "C" or "C++" (pronounced "see plus plus"). A newer language called Java has also achieved popularity.

+ Games

Games and play of all kinds mean a lot to me. I see them as a fundamental form of human communication; a way we can touch each other's minds for fun, for the sake of touching.

+ Music

Although I've dabbled in making music, mostly I listen these days. A capella and electronic music particularly interest me. Some of my favorite musicians of all time include The Alan Parsons Project, Laurie Anderson, David Arkenstone, The Art of Noise, The Bobs, Kate Bush, Checkfield, Brian Eno, The Manhattan Transfer, Mannheim Steamroller, Bobby McFerrin, Mike Oldfield, The Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Shadowfax, The Shamen, They Might Be Giants, Vangelis, Andreas Vollenweider, and Yanni.

Newer discoveries include The Alloy Orchestra, Mu-Ziq, and Uakti.

Credit for the largest influence in widening my musical tastes over the years goes to Los Angeles National Public Radio station KCRW.

+ Burning Man

Imagine a place without context: an empty desert playa where, over the course of a week, thousands of humans arrive, face the elements, build a community, create art, express themselves, make new friends, and on the final night, burn the Man, a fifty-foot tall neon-lit effigy. The next day, the humans clean up and leave the desert as they found it. This is Burning Man, and you can find my impressions of my first Burning Man experience in my article Feel the Burn.

+ Didjeridu

The haunting bass drone of this Australian aboriginal instrument has become popular worldwide in recent years. Although traditionally the didjeridu is made from a tree branch hollowed out by termites, to determine whether I'd enjoy playing the didjeridu I decided to make my own out of a few bucks of PVC pipe. I found instructions, constructed it in a couple of hours, and had the basics of playing down in a few more. I find playing it very meditative, but have a hard time swallowing some folks' claims that out of body experiences while playing it are common. Hmm, maybe I need an authentic wooden didj to get those...

+ Comics

Superman? Spiderman? Not a chance. Calvin and Hobbes? Doonesbury? Dilbert? Sometimes. Cerebus the Aardvark? Bone? Elfquest? Anything by Phil Foglio? Definitely! Comic books aren't just for kids anymore. A new breed of independent comics authors and publishers now cater to the sophisticated tastes of adults.

Scott McCloud has played a major role in advancing our understanding of comics as an art form. His two books, Understanding Comics, and Reinventing Comics, are comics about comics, and are complemented nicely by his ever-expanding web site.

Web comics are experiencing an exciting period of discovery and growth. Some of the best sites I've encountered are Electric Sheep (topical graphic novellas for mature readers,) Sinfest (mature, satirical, irreverant) Kevin & Kell (funny animals who surf the internet, crossbreed, and eat each other) and Supermegatopia (funny animal superheroes with a side of cheesecake.)

+ Bodybuilding

I have always admired the muscular human physique, male or female, and the intensity and dedication it takes to explore the limits of one's human potential.

+ Philosophy

There got to be enough stuff of a distinctively philosophical nature on this page that I decided to give it its own area.

+ Friends!

Life's most valuable reward. Here are my friends with a presence on the Web:

Home   |   Blog   |   Writings   |   Interests   |   Philosophy   |   Sabbatical '95   |   Burning Man '97   |   Burning Man '99   |   Burning Man '02   |   PGP Key   |   Ex-WCG   |   Bevan   |   Auryn   |   Family   |   Arciem   |   Resume   |   Sciral   |  

Most of the action on my site is now in my blog and my tumblelog. I invite you to visit!