Personal

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How does one begin to explain oneself? Well, I suppose that I could start with birth and early childhood.

Then, of course, how I became a computer geek.

And my love of drums and raves.

I entered the Army right out of high school. I didn’t get anything out of it like the commercials would have us believe, but I did learn a bit. Especially when I was called upon to perform duties beyond the ones they had in mind. Suffice to say, I survived, got an honorable discharge, and a very high security rating.

Back in 85, I had started writing my own role-playing game with a friend that had also just gotten out of serious relationship. By 87, our little company was about ready to start on publication. I asked around, and most publishers were using Macintoshes, so I got one. I’ve been hooked ever since. (In fact, I’m typing this on one now) Unfortunately, my partner and I started to lose touch shortly after, so the initial project was shelved. Ursa Major has mostly performed public service work since then, but a Mac has always been the center of the operation.

To earn the money that Ursa rarely provided, I took a number of other jobs including security work and taxi driving. The latter job provided me with a number of opportunities. The best one was college. One of my dispatchers decided that I needed to be in school, and badgered me until I looked into the local community college. I’ll never forget her for that. My college years are another whole story.

After college, I hit the work force as a full fledged Computer Guru. I fought in the Mac – PC Clone wars. Back then we used light pointers: elegant weapons, for a more … civilized age. *Ahem* The force has served me well, though. It has made my transition to LA much easier, and allowed me to work within my philosophy.

The first couple of years in LA were a bit of a surprise to me. When I was prepping to come out here, I lined up several jobs and thought I’d be fine. But they had all dried up by the time I arrived. So I hit the temp agencies, and they assumed that since I preferred computer jobs, that’s all I would accept. *sigh* Eventually I had to tell them to give me ANYthing, and the ball got rolling.

After I settled in, I found myself getting more and more involved in the party scene. Not only did I build villages for Burning Man, but I was a sysop there too. I didn’t just go to parties, but I thjrew them as well. And I don’t just screw around with fire, but fire performances have become such a part of my life that they branched into my new career.

Since 2001, I’ve been involved completely in fire. My first spin was Memorial day 2000 where I got rave reveiws despite a lacluster performance, but it did launch me into the creation of new items. This became a hallmark for years. By the time Bearclaw was ready to open, I had already invented half a dozen new tool types that the fire community had not seen. We continue to innovate every year and expand the art wherever possible.

So, once fully entrenched in the fire community, my old fire department instincts came out and I was dubbed a “safety Nazi”. Well, that eventually lead to the formation of the North American Fire Arts Association. after that settled a bit, I started up Red Swan Entertainment with an employee at Bearclaw.

So that’s the facts. If you’re interested in my beliefs, I have added a manifesto.

Well, that covers the highlights, the rest of it is also available, but you’ll need to E-mail me to get it. I’m kinda a private person, so I hope this satisfies you for now. Basic statistics include: 5’11”, 290, brown hair/eyes (I kinda look like a cross between Al on Home Improvement, and Bob Segar). I have more hobbies and craft skills than most people know about, and so very little time to do them all. I listen to most music (‘cept country), and like all kinds of food. Pet peaves: closed minds, nags, liars, and stupid commercials. Eyebrow raisers: openly intelligent people, redheads, and mysteries.

Recent Posts

10% of the brain

I am SOOO tired of hearing (mostly hollywood writers) harping on to humans using “only 10%” of our brains.  First it’s not true, most people only get down that low when meditating or unconscious.  Most people idle at 25% to 50%, and people improvising dance and music and lyrics reach 100% regularly.

Look, Here’s the truth of it.  Think of a means of transportation: car, bike, bus.  Do you EVER use 100% of it all at once?  No.  Pretty hard to get in the trunk and the glove box at the same time at highway speeds.  Only one gear at a time, and pretty hard to sit in multiple seats.  It’s possible, even likely that you’ll eventually use every single part of a car, hopefully not the airbags, but they’re part of it too.

You only use a smaller percentage of any one device than it’s capable of doing, and you only use part of your brain all at once.  But that doesn’t make the rest of it just useless junk.  Remember the brain is pretty expensive to make, biologically speaking, and harder to maintain.  If we could live without 90% of it, it would be in our best interest not to have it.  Nature is very good at trimming away such flagrant unneeded parts.

Best origin I’ve heard of for this myth was a 1960s rat study.  College sophomores were doing maze studies and would nick out a bit of the brains of trained rats until they couldn’t solve the maze.  With about 10% left, they announced that we only use 10% of our brains and the media ran with it.  Several problems with this.  First, rats are not humans, maybe they really only do use part of their brains.  Second, no one looked at how the rats were solving the mazes: some turned left a lot, some went by smell, some looked over the walls, many incorporated several techniques at once.  Upon re-doing the experiment, they discovered that nicks in certain areas cancelled certain specific techniques and once they ran out they couldn’t solve the maze anymore.  Ironically this helped lead to a greater understanding of the various parts of the brains and what they do.  In short utterly disproving the myth they had started.

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