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Interests

I won't really go into too much detail about what each thing I'm interested in is. There are plenty of pages dedicated to those things and that's what links are for. But I will talk about what got me interested in these things in the first place and why I like them. You'll probably find the links far more interesting. ;)

Computers

My entry into the world of personal computers came in 3rd grade (1984), when each classroom in our elementary school was fitted with an Apple IIe. Two years later, after learning Apple Basic and Logo, my father brought home a state-of-the art AST 286 with a whopping 640kB of RAM. Zoom forward 10 years and I get exposed to the C, the Internet, the Linux Operating System, and Web Development. 5 more years and I learn Object-Oriented programming and 80x86 Assembly Language. And go 5 more years (to today) and I'm learning how to apply Design Patterns to improve O-O designs.

Science Fiction / Fantasy

It seems that these two genres are often grouped together. Possibly because works in both genres often illustrate fantastical extremes to their audiences. Or possibly because both audiences are often stereotyped as one and the same. Whatever the reason, I fell in love with it as a child.

In the science fiction genre, I was once a big fan of Trek (particularly Next Generation and DS9), but then became captivated by the compelling storylines and not-so-techy plot devices of Babylon 5. I never considered myself a fan of Japanese Anime, but a friend of mine convinced me to watch Evangelion and I was hooked. I did not expect something so philosophical! Thinking nothing could top all the great scifi I had seen thus far, I was impressed by the utter mind-frell Farscape imparted. And when it was cancelled, I thought I could find solace in the future-western world of Firefly, but was let down when that was cancelled too! Networks just don't want to make good scifi anymore. Lately, I found yet another philosophical anime, Lain, which bordered on psychological thriller.

Most of my exposure to fantasy has been a result of computer gaming, from the save-the-universe plots of Final Fantasy to the "improve thyself" chivalrous virtues of Ultima. But my major introduction to this genre was a series of books by Lloyd Alexander called the Prydain Chronicles. I also read The Lord of the Rings books and absolutely loved the movies. I have yet to do the same with Harry Potter, though the movies are excellent.

Music

Ever since I was young, my father listened to country music and with some exceptions (such as solid gold oldies and maybe some soft rock) this was pretty much all that my family (and thus I) ever really listened to. I never really had an interest in what was "current" or "pop". During college I gained an appreciation for classical music, Beethoven being my favorite composer. There came a time I had to do alot of travelling for business and at that time I listened to a lot of disco and motown. I know it sounds strange, but I often associate flying with disco music for this reason! It wasn't until after this time that I started listening to 70's and 80's classic rock and I was suddenly hooked.

Aside from music genres, I was a part of the school choir in both middle and high school. This eventually lead to participation in the drama program. And although I don't consider myself a good actor, I really enjoy singing in front of people on stage. I've only had very few opportunities since high school.

Roads

Ever since a young age, I had been drawing road maps. I would even ask my parents to drive my around to different towns so I could follow the roads. To my pleasent surprise, on one or two occassions, I was actually able to convince them.

The town that I live in... actually the very development that I live in, was built on a site that for over 30 years was supposed to be a major north-south highway on the east coast: Interstate 95. Due to opposition from my and neighboring townships, the highway was never built. Central Jersey continues to suffer extremely high volumes of traffic on dangerous old roads to this day because of that decision. My research into this problem lead me to become very interested in the local highway systems and all other cancelled highways in the New York and Philadelphia areas.

Outdoors Sports

I never considered myself a sports person. I have great respect for those who play sports, but I never really cared to be involved much myself. However, I do enjoy non-competitive "outdoors" kinds of sports such as biking, skiing, hiking, and swimming.