Five by Five Things About Me

Fears & Delusions:

  1. When I was fairly young, I read physics books voraciously. Most were above my level, but I managed a dangerously tenuous grasp on Isaac Asimov’s “Journey Across the Subatomic Cosmos”. This book instilled a deep fear of cutting things, especially Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches, for worry of accidentally splitting an atom and setting off a chain reaction that would destroy the Universe. Logically, I asked my mother to cut all my sandwiches, since she seemed to have done a flawless job of avoiding this problem (…so far)
  2. I fancy myself a singer. Those that have had the misfortune of being trapped in my car when the radio is cranked up would disagree, though perhaps slightly less violently now that Rock band has trained me to stay in a singular octave. (Working on something called “key” next…)
  3. I grew up in a museum-quality Victorian home, and was deathly afraid of its attic. Most rooms were off limits (no loss there, they were just filled with boring antiques). My parents had me convinced that the house was haunted by the wandering ghost of it’s original inhabitant: Colonel Dana W. King of the Civil War. As if that weren’t freakish enough, they claimed there was a second ghost named “Harry” responsible for the creaking and groaning of the walls and floors.
  4. Leftovers freak me out. 
  5. I used to believe that Mozart & The Beach Boys were the pinnacle of music. 

Abilities & Super Powers:

  1. I’m good at remembering names, faces, and the details of peoples lives.
  2. I’m impractically ambidextrous. I’m a lefty when drawing or writing, except for digital art, which I perform righty. I’m skillful with chopsticks in either hand (allowing me to devour sushi in double time). I play squash with my right hand, but occasionally make a bizarre form of backhand using my left. Naturally, I clap using both hands.
  3. I am undefeated, and unbeatable, at the Dot Game. I have nothing to prove, unless you’re willing to wager something, in which case I’ll prove your error in judgement.
  4. My toes are double jointed, as are two sets of joints in my fingers, and one in my thumb. This made learning what little guitar I know extremely difficult.
  5. I can vibrate my eyeballs at a disturbing rate. Combined with #4, I am ready for Letterman whenever he comes calling.

Education & School:

  1. I would have dropped out of Carnegie Mellon’s physics program to ride the 1999 tech-bubble had not a valued personal mentor talked me into staying. However, the university came close to kicking me out due to my abysmal GPA, but a valued student mentor set a Big Hair Audacious Goal (BHAG) that would enable me stay enrolled and transfer into the School of Computer Science. Through focus, determination, and liquor spiked coffee, every morning (sorry Mom), I managed to score a 4.0 and transfer into the best Computer Science program in the world. Lesson learned: find & value great mentors, and be prepared to do the hard work.
  2. I taught drawing classes in the third grade. It helps when your grandfather shares his love of cartooning with you. I like to think this foreshadowed my efforts with
  3. As a college undergrad I taught distributed computing technology to masters students on the west coast. I did this over video chat, and was advised that sitting too close to the camera would give away my age.
  4. I went to Catholic schools for 10 years. I’m neither Catholic, Christian, nor religious. The verdict is out on the lasting impact of this.
  5. I have a varsity letter in debate. I don’t usually speak of it for a reason.


  1. I want to radically change how software is written. If I don’t end up tackling this directly, I plan to address computer programming education by way of an addictive mass-market video game.
  2. I’m training for my first half-marathon, and newly addicted to rock-climbing. This is in stark contrast to my previous addictions of caffeine and nicotine.
  3. I want to build, and help build, great technology driven companies. I hope, and plan, to have the resources to do this.
  4. I studied Latin but can’t speak any foreign languages. I’m going to change this in the next few years.
  5. I want to own a super-car. Just once. Really.

Personal Philosophies:

  1. Restriction is Expression. The harder or more constrained an effort is, the more meaningful the result.
  2. If you’re passionate about something, you can make a living with it. You’ll have to be creative & disciplined, but I stand by this.
  3. When you’re angry, it’s usually with yourself. 
  4. Nothing is impossible. Most people give up long before approaching a solution.
  5. You can learn to do anything, perseverance is the only prerequisite.