I have been curious about many things over the course of my time, and I am pretty experimental by nature in terms of learning new things or trying some new technology or recreational endeavor. (No, that does not include at all any form of drug use.) One of my favorite quotes kind of sums up my life:
Since we cannot be universal and know all that is to be known of everything, we ought to know a little about everything.
— Blaise Pascal, French Mathematician (1623 — 1662)
I am a life-long learner and enjoy tackling new subjects. I don't strive to earn a Ph.D. in any one thing, but I like to be familiar with many things. I have studied a few things quite extensively (some at a university level), like computer programming, mathematics, music (including the accordion, percussion, bass guitar and piano), photography, and Spanish. I tend to think of myself as mathematician, but I've forgotten much of what I learn at university. On occasion, I watch Calculus or Linear Algebra lectures from MIT's OpenCourseWare on iTunes. And I celebrate National Pi Day every March 14th.
But I have dabbled to varying degrees in astronomy, aviation, billiards, bowling, chess, darts, French, graphic design, juggling, oil painting, origami, physics, piano tuning, poetry, Rubik's cubes, Russian, and watercolor.
Photography-wise, I have three cameras. For my "serious" work, I grab my 36 MP Nikon D800E. For general things where I don't need the Nikon's resolution, but I still want good control of depth of field, I grab my 16 MP Panasonic Lumic GX7 with either a 20mm f/1.7 lens or a 12-35mm f/2.8 lens. And for less critical things or if I really just want to have a camera in my pocket at the ready, I grab my 12 MP Canon PowerShot S100. I've posted many photos (some with poems in the descriptions as part of a few National Poetry Months) on flickr.
Computer-wise, I’ve been a Mac user since the summer of 2003. But for several years, my smartphone was an Android device. In April 2016, however, I finally switched over to the iPhone 6S. I have to say that I think it’s quite nice to have my computing life all under one technological “ecosystem”. I really like the fingerprint recognition so that my thumbprint can unlock—reliably—my mobile devices. (In fact, one of the deciding factors in my mobile phone platform switch was based on an experience with my Samsung Galaxy S5 when, despite several successful-looking attempts to unlock my phone with a fingerprint swipe, I got locked out of my phone. I prefer the fingerprint recognition method of the iPhone and iPad better, where you simply set a fingertip on a button; no swiping involved.)
As for computer programming languages, I have dabbled – again, to varying degrees, from "a lot" to "not so much" – in C, FORTRAN, Julia, Modula-2, Objective-C, Pascal, Perl, PHP, Python, RPL, Ruby, Scheme, and VB.NET. In fact, I spent eleven years writing custom business software solutions and front-end websites using VB.NET and Microsoft SQL Server, doing the bulk of my coding in Windows, running on Parallels on my Mac.
As for calculators, I prefer using those that use RPN (Reverse Polish Notation), typically found only in some HP calculators. If you know what it is, you either love it or hate it. If you don't know what it is, then you're probably not terribly interested in learning more about it. It is not necessarily a riveting subject.
If you're familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or the Keirsey-Bates Temperament Sorter, then you might have some idea about what I mean when I say I'm an ENFP.
I was using WordPress for this site for several years, but in Spring 2016, I switched over to using Middleman as a static site generator. If you're not a computer person or web developer, you may not be interested in this. If you are, then you can click here to read about Middleman and this site.