"About Me" ...
A self-centered topic to be sure.
Writing a personal webpage is such an
egotistical endeavor !
"My webpage" - My this, My that, pictures of ME ... But that is what a personal webpage is for, isn't it ?
And yet, it is also a creative experience. It can be a learning experience; and we learn from each thing we accomplish.
Hrmmm... In general I'm a decently nice guy... or I'd like to think so.
I am a computer geek, eeking out an existence here in California's beautiful
Oh - Playing with chemicals can be fun, too. (My friend John teaches me that.)
But I am also an artistic, creative, and spiritual person,
with a liking for the far-out or spacy. I used to be very much an
introvert ... but in the last decade or so I have become the extrovert
too. I am still quite shy with some things and people, and not outspoken enough
at certain times ... but other times I am not at all shy and may be quite
I like to be with different and interesting people and appreciate
the unique things that each person has to offer. Nevertheless I haven't
been "extroverted" for most of my life, so I am still very shy (in person)
with people I don't know.
(As you know, most people are more bold on the computer than they are in person.)
In recent years I've learned some things about psychology, which I always find fascinating.
Sometimes I find myself playing amateur counselor to my friends.
I don't mind. I like being helpful to people when I can.
More recently I've learned to meditate, and am interested in improving
in meditation and mental self control.
I have finally learned to "suspend disbelief": to look at and for and appreciate
the lessons to be learned from various and varied people and belief systems.
I have even taken an interest into things metaphysical.
It can be fun to "suspend disbelief" for a while and read about some
"psychic phenomena". And lately I have learned to believe in magic:
at least the first two kinds. Slight of Hand we know about already:
"seeing is believing": people tend to believe what they see. The second kind
of magic is much more valuable:
The reasonable man seeks to conform himself to his world.One of the things I've concluded about this life is that people need to be quirky or "eccentric" in some way to be interesting, and all true geniuses are a little insane. Intelligence and a bit of insanity seem to run together.
I'm philosophical too. I love to discuss concepts,
and I enjoy a good argument;
as long as one can stick to ideas and not get personal, or resort to
When you get right to the heart of the matter; it's the heart that matters more.I love Nature and the outdoors : camping, hiking... and just experiencing spending some time out in the Real world, away from this fake world of cities and money that we have created. I always draw strength and calmness from the beauty of nature.
I tend to see our society as Koyaanisqatsi, and believe that the people we displaced had better values than we do. I think Leaver cultures are better than Taker cultures.
Hobbies and Other Interests ?Well, of course computers and things scientific, as I've already said ... I'm also a science fiction fan : I love
I also like to make candles. I make some nice "squish" candles that have a marbled effect.I like just about anything creative.
I also play MUD : a Multi User Dungeon computer text adventure game.
technical page for technical stuff
about my webpages, and about webpages in general.
Yes - I am a coded geek !
My ComputersI have many computers. Some people would poo-poo all of them.
My "main" computer is named "Spiff". Spiff is an undead used-to-be-CTX clone. It was always flaky. Then it got unstable and crashed a lot. Then it crashed continuously. After it's slow, horrible, excruciatingly painful death, I left it in the computer shop with it's feet pointing up in the air. I finally got back the box with everything that was originally in it replaced except the sound card. Advise: do not EVER buy a CTX computer. If they're even still in business. I wouldn't be surprised if they aren't. Now "Spiff" is a 300MHz K6 monster and works - though a lot of little things that used to work don't anymore. (like my favorite old fonts and the mouse wheel) Spiff runs Windows 95-B. (I refuse to use any Microsoft OS beyond W95B or W95C. Windows 98 is ridiculously confusing and absolutely horrible looking. It's very unprofessional. I don't even want to think about later WinBlows OS's. Maybe my next computer will have to be a Mac??)
My secondary/backup computer is "Diogenes".
(Gee, where did that name come from?) It's a Pentium 100.
Diogenes runs Win95B on one partition and Red Hat Linux on the other.
I have the "Gnome" GUI. It looks pretty, but so far I don't know what to do with it.
Diogenes is there because I want to learn linux. And because if you rely on having
computers running with Microsoft systems, ye best have 3 or 4 of them handy.
Diogenes is a "refurbished" computer with a sometimes-flaky floppy controller.
But other than that, it performs surprisingly well.
It even gets 24 bit color on it's 2 meg video card; and it runs Photoshop 5.
Amazing, huh? I've been told that processor clock speed isn't everything and maybe
the P-100 has good MIPS.
I like my mips with guacamole.
This computer is set up the way I want it.
I partitioned it's hard drive with linux software, bypassing that asinine
My newest acquisition is the Toshiba laptop. My
gave it to me.
If it has a name I'll call it Zargon. It's an impressively nice little box.
(I think - though the rich people with the new computers would poo poo it.)
It runs Windows 95 A, has a modem and a 256 color
Then there's Calvin. Calvin still works well, even though it is a "Packard Hell". Calvin works when the other computers don't. It's a Packard Bell 486 DX 100 and runs Winblows 95 A. It makes a great DOS game box; as I can make the sound card work in DOS. Calvin is stable.
I still have Hobbs. It has a 486 DX chip and 8 megs of parity RAM. Hobbs was my main computer when I first discovered webpages and started writing my own. Hobbs is in poor shape now. I think it's MB is bad. 8( It's very flaky now, and can hardly manage to run Winblows 3.1 without crashing. It's gotten too flakey to run BSD unix anymore. 8(
Then there's my working dinosaur: the original IBM PC, with the IBM 10 meg hard drive, yet. I plan to keep it, thinking it will be valuable someday as a museum piece. It still plays CGA games.
And Then ... there is the MAC SE with the original blazing 68000 processor
on which I enjoy games and using Superpaint II - a program I have yet to see equaled
by anything in the PC world - unless it is at least a thousand times as big and takes
a million times the computing power.
I make drawings on the old MAC SE, export them as
I also have an old industrial strength 386 DX that I'll get running someday, right now it's disassembled down in the garage. An impressively built dinosaur it is - with a full-sized motherboard and the processor on a daughterboard that's shielded with a steel box. It used to be a server, long ago.
And I have a couple of extra XT type computers. Indeed; a menagerie of ancient computerdom.
If you live nearby and would like to have a working old computer,
or if you would like to get rid of an old computer (386+, please),
or especially if you have any old
As you may have guessed, the names "Calvin and Hobbs" come from that comic strip of the same name. And so does "Spiff" : when Calvin turns into "Spaceman Spiff"! Although Calvin and Hobbs aren't my main computers anymore, I still just love these dancing pictures... so here they are again...
MUDI continue to be addicted to a Multi User Dungeon game. If you know what MUD is, you understand.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the term - MUD is basically computerized Dungeons and Dragons. It is
My Family and FriendsSee my pages and pictures about family and friends : my
Check on both my "Home" page and on my "More" page. I also have a page on the Wilcher family.
My CatI have a cat now. I adopted him from my friend John. He's a naughty cat. He rips the stuffing out of mattresses and drinks out of the toilet. Name? I know not what names the cat himself reflects on.* I'll call him "Tux" because it suits his coloration; and I heard that "Tux" is also the name of the Linux penguin, so that sounds good. For a picture of Tux, click upon his name below. Or see "Kittys" for some more kitty pictures.
Politics...Uh Oh. Here's where I start saying things that some people won't like.
I might even piss you off. But that's politics, you know. Please don't take anything too personally.
In politics I am a moderate socialist and an "ultra-liberal". I prefer to go with "ultra liberal". (and please don't confuse me with those politically correct "liberals".)
I believe in freedom and equality for all people. And I also believe this does not mean abandoning or disempowering the poor. The benefits of technology and society should be available to everyone, not just those with money or power. I think that's what civilization is for. Otherwise, what good is society? I don't really espouse any political party. If I did it might be the Green Party or the Pansexual Peace Party. (see web links page.) I registered as a Green last time around to help Nader out.
"Ultra Liberal" :
That means I believe in real freedom - not the illusion of freedom.
Net Freedom and Personal ResponsibilityHere's a dichotomy for you : "real-life socialist" and "Net Anarchist" !
I oppose all censorship, laws, or rules of any kind that would restrict the content of what people may express on the internet. I've found that a difficult conviction to stick to, because that means you must allow the bad with the good. Also because certain corporations and web-engines have made the web an invasion of privacy; they display or give away information about you without your knowledge or permission. Then again - as has been pointed out to me - the information that these corporations make available about you is all public record anyway; and the spamming on the net is no worse than junk mail and telemarketing - and perhaps essentially the same kind of thing. So I'll stick to my convictions and say that if you have a problem with the information that a person or corporation has made available about you in the internet, then go after that person or corporation, not after the vehicle they communicated it by. By the same token, if you have a problem with the content of what someone has made available on the web, take it up with them, not their internet provider, employer, government, wife, father, or chihuahua. I believe in personal responsibility for one's actions, a concept that unfortunately seems to be lacking in today's legal environment.
[ if someone yells "shit" in a restaurant, go after the person who yelled "shit" - don't sue the restaurant. ]
Spamming and privacy invasion on the internet will continue to be problems, but ones that we must be willing to accept in order to oppose censorship. But a word to the wise: especially if you are using Microsoft programs, give some thought to net-privacy and you. Ask your service provider not to release information about you without your permission, and check to see what kind of information about you your Windows programs send out in your E-Mail headers and/or attachments. No one wants to be spammed. I know there are people out there with the ability to do fancy stuff on the web. I don't want to take any of that away from them. I just want such "ability" too, to keep potential spammers away. I have some limited abilities.
Intellectual PropertyProperty is a concept. Yes it is. And on a higher level of truth, it is an illusion. No one can possess anything. But here in the world of dust, possession is an illusion we cling to. And I'm all for it. I want my stuff !
Intellectual Property, then, is an extension of the abstract concept of "property". And I'm all for it. Within reason. Plagiarism is pathetic and criminal. But with the Internet I think that the concept of intellectual property has been stretched too far. People getting ruffled because someone copies a picture off of their webpage is such an example. Wake up, people! Every time you look at ANY picture on the web you have copied it already! Your browser already has automatically copied it into your "cache". All electronic media are by their very nature meant to be copied; and in fact cannot be used without copying them. Get Real. We need more CopyLefts, and less CopyRights. Copy what you want: just don't change it or claim that you created it. Give credit where credit is due. Don't distribute or use things in public without the creator's permission. (What you do in private is none of my business.)Though most hackers are destructive, I've very glad we have them. Hackers and so-called "Pirates" are the only safeguards we have against a computer world repressed and controlled by the tin-plated gods of authority.
Computers are, as Timothy Leary said, the new printing press. And just as with the old one, there are certain quazi-religious powers that be who don't like such freedom; and want to contain it.
The future will be the same as before - except different.
We are creatures who have the power to create our own reality.
What else to say on one's web page ?I have added pages for philosophical or political comments : they are my "commentaries" under "writings".
I hope to have something interesting there someday. I hope to have other kinds of writings as well. And some creative artistic kinda stuff would be nice, too.
And if you'd like to know more about me, or if you just feel like writing, please communicate by sending me some E-Mail.
Peace, Love, and French Fries for All !