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Cultural Detective, Curious Antiquary, Noted Pedestrian, Voracious Reader, Thrift Privateer, Armchair Historian, Bookbinding Novice, Free (as in Freedom) Software Advocate, Eccentric Wiki Editor, Fusspot, MPC (Member Pickwick Club), president of the Seattle Geographic Society, Chairman of the Board of the Anglo-American Code and Cypher Co.

"He was a man of a very ancient family and somewhat embarrassed fortune; a scholar, according to the scholarship of Scotchmen, that is, his learning was more diffuse than accurate, and he was rather a reader than a grammarian." Waverley by Sir Walter Scott


Short Bio

EHJ 110909 A7Q0373-Edit 800.jpg

I am an avid reader of books. I especially enjoy History, Literature, and Mysteries. I have an ambition to spend a year reading nothing but the Penguin Classics. I want to understand what happened and why. I try and take what I learn from reading about other times and cultures and use it to help make sense of things going on today.

I enjoy English murder mysteries, Asian history, Greek & Roman History, Theology, historical fiction, Harry Potter, P G Wodehouse, Evelyn Waugh, Yukio Mishima, Haruki Murakami, Anthony Tollope, Anthony Powell, and William Vollmann to name just a few. I greatly enjoy the works of Shakespeare, although after a lifetime defending the guy from Stratford, I am now a convinced supporter of the Earl of Oxford as the author of the plays (I'm rethinking this once again). New interests include those crazy Elizabethans --Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, and Fulke Greville-- to name a few. I am also reading literature and history from the 1920's and 1930's. I think it was a fascinating time of turbulent change and when so much could have turned out so differently. I read a lot of older, longer books. Many are overlooked fonts of wisdom.

I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. I try to bring the values of value/budget, nutrition, and local sourcing into my cooking choices. I am famous for my roast turkey and my lasagna.

I recently relocated to Idaho to be closer to my family. I'm looking forward to exploring the history and geology of the area. My newest reading project is called the Abbe Faria reading list, from a character in Alexandre Dumas's Count of Monte Cristo.

I am interested in free,open source, and collaborative software. I am using GNU/Linux and exploring it's many distros on my laptop. Currently I am running Gentoo Linux with all free software installed. I am also looking to collaborate on open source, federated social networking and microblogging platforms, I have built such a platform at Parlementum.

Free As In Freedom software interests


20 Things about me

  • As a kid I read the encyclopedia, volume by volume.
  • I went on road trips all across America with my Grandparents every summer to all the national parks and monuments
  • One Christmas, I met someone and had an all day date that ended by making out to the light of a Christmas Tree.
  • Another Christmas, I held the hand of a man in the hospital while he died, so he wouldn't have to die alone
  • I was a Vice President and top producer at 3 different banks, then bailed out of banking before banking needed a bail out.
  • In 1997 I went to Hong Kong, so I could witness first hand the end of the British Empire
  • I have learned (and forgotten) French, Latin, German, & Japanese. I can say bad words in Vietnamese & Thai
  • I have walked across the cooling lava of the island of Hawaii, but my shoes melted because it was still hot
  • I had to stand on a pile of bricks to keep out of a flash flood in Port of Spain, Trinidad. The flooding was washing parked cars down the street.
  • I have stood on the floor of the House of Commons in England and put my hands on the despatch boxes, right where the Prime Minister stands. Very few Members of Parliament have ever done that, let alone tourists.
  • I have lain out on the grass of my grandparents lawn with my girlfriend and watched shooting stars.
  • I have read all of Shakespeare's plays multiple times, and seen most of them performed live (excepting only Henry VIII)
  • I have spent a day at the saddest and most beautiful spot on earth, Kalaupapa Leper Colony on Molokai
  • I'm obsessed with Thanksgiving and cooking turkeys and have experimented with many methods
  • I never went to a gay bar until I was 30
  • I never had a hang over until I was 40
  • I was the 3rd grade spelling bee champion
  • I stayed up late into the night to watch Diana marry Prince Charles, I did it again to watch the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales
  • I read Brideshead Revisited and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight once a year, for my summer and winter tradition, respectively.
  • I drove a Washington State Ferry once.

My StatusNet Microblog

My Reading Tasks & Projects

Recent Blog Posts

  • Title: WOTD: welkin
  • Wikilog: Encyclomundi
  • Authors: Encyclom (talk)
  • Published: 07:42, December 7, 2012
  • Summary:
  • Comments: no comments
    • Title: Quote for the night: AIDS & Hope
    • Wikilog: Encyclomundi
    • Authors: Encyclom (talk)
    • Published: 05:31, July 17, 2012
    • Summary:
      "I dreamed we were there. The plane leapt the tropopause, the safe air, and attained the outer rim, the ozone, which was ragged and torn, patches of it threadbare as old cheesecloth, and that was frightening. But I saw something that only I could see, because of my astonishing ability to see such things: Souls were rising, from the earth far below, souls of the dead, of people who had perished, from famine, from war, from the plague, and they floated up, like skydivers in reverse, limbs all akimbo, wheeling and spinning. And the souls of these departed joined hands, clasped ankles, and formed a web, a great net of souls, and the souls were three-atom oxygen molecules, of the stuff of ozone, and the outer rim absorbed them, and was repaired. Nothing’s lost forever. In this world, there’s a kind of painful progress. Longing for what we’ve left behind, and dreaming ahead. At least I think that’s so."
      Angels in America

    • Comments: no comments
    • Title: Was Tolkien making fun of the OED?
    • Wikilog: Encyclomundi
    • Authors: Encyclom (talk)
    • Published: 00:17, April 6, 2012
    • Summary:

      In the delightful tale Farmer Giles of Ham the lead character Aegidius Ahenobarbus Julius Agricola de Hammo (Farmer Giles in the vulgar form) was rousted by his dog Garm, who warned of a giant in the farmer's fields. As the main character goes for his blunderbuss Tolkien puckishly states:

      "Indeed, this very question, it is said, was put to the Four Wise Clerks of Oxenford, and after thought they replied: 'A blunderbuss is a short gun with a large bore firing many balls or slugs, and capable of doing execution within a limited range without exact aim. (Now superseded in civilized countries by other firearms.)'"

      I can't help but think it's a gentle thrust at the gentlemen compiling the OED.[1]

    • Comments: no comments
    • Title: Wiki Hiatus
    • Wikilog: Encyclomundi
    • Authors: Encyclom (talk)
    • Published: 01:52, March 21, 2012
    • Summary:

      After much soul searching and discussion with my medical support, I have realized that I will need to step away from active development of the Encyclomundi wiki for the forseeable future.

      As my condition continues it has taken a devastating toll on my mental acuity, focus, and ability to articulate my thoughts.

      I have tried to coast on my internal knowledge of what I used to be able to accomplish, a hope that these impairments were temporary, and the need to fight and fight and fight as a form of control over what is happening in my body's self-war.

      However, the guilt and anxiety of the unaccomplished now outweigh the satisfaction of what get's done.

      I will continue to patch here and there, but the big projects and ideas are off the table.

      I am announcing this publicly in order to help take the pressure (all self-applied) from myself to "do great things" on the wiki.

      I need to focus on enjoying and not worry about toiling (or not toiling) all the time.

      Thank you all for your support.

    • Comments: no comments

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