I’m a pentadecadal applied scientist attempting to implement my humanitarian project, the legatee of privilege, providence, and preparation. I have grown up three times already: once in rural Oregon for around 18 years, again in Seattle for another 18, adding another upgrowing in Baltimore for another, yes, 18 years. I took a break for a couple of years in rural Germany – I had initially hoped that would be another 18 years – but now I’m back in Baltimore. When young I never aspired to live abroad, but I studied German thinking it important should I become a chemist (it wouldn’t have been). As of 2022 mein Deutsch ist immer noch schrecklich.
I was barely six for Apollo 11. I’ve never been athletic, but neither have I been indolent. Lots of walking and hiking. In Germany I biked to work (my town was the offspring of Hobbiton and Corvallis) along pedestrian paths and farm roads, today I’m a stationary biker. In my teens I barely touched sugar-sweetened treats. I got chunky during my first desk job, in my mid twenties, spending about a decade ignoring how much sugar and alcohol I consumed (I prefer Oregon-style craft ales). With my third childhood I started working out habitually and eating more carefully, and continue to gradually increase my intensity/numbers of reps and diet quality. In Germany I frequently took some 60 km weekend rides.
My parents grew up during the Great Depression, thus my first childhood was painted by Norman Rockwell. We grew our own green beans and tomatoes, canning those, freezing a year’s supply of u-pick corn and occasionally filling a freezer locker with half a cow or pig (butchered and wrapped, to be sure). We canned country sausage and sometimes made summer sausage. In season we had fresh homegrown carrots, zucchini and acorn squash, Hallowe’en pumpkins, onions, garlic. “The Folks” (parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, half of them having moved to Seattle) would get together for a big canning/freezing extravaganza in the fall. The Folks, thrifty and self-reliant, could (collectively and among other things): fabricate an entire wardrobe, build houses, farm, repair automobiles, keep accounts, labor as needed. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter were “Freedom From Want”, with the rest of the year similar if less showy. By the US Bicentennial my branch was relatively prosperous, although I had to pay for my own college after the first year of loans and scholarships was over. I managed to work my way through to the end of junior year before running out of money and nepotistically joining the Seattle software industry, eventually reinventing myself as a biologist from 2004-2011 after burning out on that. Mom died in the 90’s, Dad in the 10’s. My brother lives in our childhood home. The dream I now live is to implement utilization (one uses a hammer to drive a nail. One utilizes a can of beans to drive a nail) of huge swathes of algae to clean polluted water, recycle agricultural nutrients, and swallow a bit of carbon.
Mine is a grandiose dream, and I am persuaded that maximum effectiveness requires me to establish a Web Presence as one of many incremental efforts (alas, I am a lazy and irresponsible and getting older, so maybe a go-getter will steal my ideas and make it happen; until then I slowly trudge onwards). I suppose this is so “The Algorithm” knows I exist and am participating as a deserving product whose information and activities are exploited by deep learning, which will magically guide resources my way. I have seen e-socializing develop from bulletin board nodes communicating over 300 baud modems (I was sysop of the short-lived Biosphere III in Seattle; Tukwila Station, Café Dionysos, and House of Baloney were run by housemates; we even hosted XAKEPOBO MECTO for a while). I dug ditch on the information superhighway (typography testing in desktop publishing, perf and build testing OSs and browsers) from the late 80s through the 90s. I witnessed social media transition from optional in-group nerd thing with pathological tendencies to essential pesthole with occasional compensations. Although today rather alienated from the milieu, I believe that I must participate and that is why I started this blog and am slowly expanding my presence in other online venues. Who knows, I might even create an educational video channel, as everybody needs to be taught a lesson, and I am just the one to teach it!