stuff
About Me

I'm Dave. If you'd like to know more about me professionally, go over to my Software Engineer page. This page is about who I am as just this guy, you know*?

I grew up in New England, but now live in Southern California. I prefer the country to the city. I love hiking, camping, and backpacking. I'm a minimalist and reject consumerism [mostly, not entirely]. I have strong political opinions, but generally keep them confined to conversations with friends and the polling booth. I am very private about my theological beliefs and try to respect those of others. I drink more coffee than I probably should. I don't play any instruments, but I've experimented with the trumpet, acoustic guitar, and piano - one day, it'd be nice to master one. I have a morbid fascination with the Cold War. I have a dark sense of humor, but I realize dark humor is like food: not everyone gets it. My taste in Science Fiction is extremely selective, but anything by Arthur C. Clarke is welcome on my bookshelf. My favorite musical genre is 90's Adult-Alternative & College-Radio Rock.

I have a small collection of old books, mostly very math-heavy. Below is a list of some of my more cherished ones. I hope to grow my collection in time.

Much of what I strive to be, as a person, is well encapsulated in Max Ehrmann's 1927 poem "Desiderata", which is included below

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann,"Desiderata", 1927




*"as just this guy, you know" is a subtle reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in which someone is trying to describe Zaphod Beeblebrox, President of the Galaxy. Gag Halfrunt, Zaphod's brain-care specialist, refers to him as: "Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?"