46 Pacifica, CA
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My self-summary
[Mar 2014 update -- My dance card is pretty full. I am not looking for anything romantic. If you are interested in a boardgames invite, rallye information, message me privately. Sadly since the death of the journals I only log in once every two to three months, so please don't expect a quick response.]

I'm married to buttercups13. Yes, we met here. We're entirely open with each other about whether and how we interact with others, so I'm not comfortable with "discreet" arrangements.("Discrete" is okay though -- I'm definitely not a unicorn hunter) Most of my OKC time has less to do with "cupid" and more to do with finding boardgame partners.

I like to think of myself as even-keeled, but OKC calls this "less emotional" instead. I'm intensely loyal, but tend to be on the slow side when it comes to adding people to my social circles.

My sense of humor tends to be sardonic, opportunistic and observational. Some people think I have no censor on my inner voice, so it's a good thing they haven't heard the comments I didn't say. My rule of thumb is that anything non-hurtful is fair game. For those of you who saw the Boondock Saints and want to tell me where the phrase "rule of thumb" comes from, you should read the I spend a lot of time thinking about section first.

Physically, I traded the glasses for laser enhanced 20/15 vision a couple years back, and the blue eyes have been getting a lot of attention. My hair has gotten past the awkward middle length and is now long by most definitions, but after an unfortunately "styling" the day of the wedding, it has a tendency to go frizzy when the humidity rises. I look like a clean, well-dressed hippie, or maybe a short biker in corporate clothing. I'm okay with that. I don't expect to lose the beard again, but it will change sizes and shape depending on my mood when I shave. I've historically been athletic and competitive in racing and field sports, but adjusting my personal expectations as I age and my fitness declines has been a challenge to my humility.

Most of my hobbies aren't nearly so manly. German and German-style board games, crafting, teaching and linguistics top the list, but other items like cooking, Swedish massage, the latest Bemani, social groups, poker and the like can get added to my perennially overbooked schedule at any time. My latest new language is Mandarin.

Boardgames: Outsiders who hear the terms boardgame and boardgamer assume that these entail rolling dice and moving a marker around a circle, but the boardgames I play tend not to have dice and are authored by esteemed people such as Wolfgang Kramer, Reiner Knizia, or Sid Sackson. The games generally take ninety minutes to three hours to play and are both socially and intellectually stimulating. I regularly attend two boardgaming groups, so message me if you think you might like to be introduced to the hobby. You'll probably know after the first night whether this is for you. These days I only play socially, but back in the twentieth century I played the intense two-player games like Trax, Go, and Chess. I went overboard with Trax and made it to world rank #2.

Crafting: I have done latch-hook, counted cross-stitch, painting ceramics, bitmaps and pixmaps, an OKC test (click on "tests" atop my profile to take the test yourself), and I have a matchstick lighthouse kit in the queue for when I finish my current project. Celtic knots are a motif throughout my art, especially the Caer Nichol, which appears in the first page of my OKC test. I used to belong to a weekly crafting group, but it was scattered to the four winds by entropy. Now I'm part of a monthly group, but I need a little more frequency than that. I'm still looking to join something in this area.

Poker: I have a World Poker Tour card and have participated in my first WPT Main event. 2006 also marks my first World Series of Poker event in July (Razz and Stud hilo8). Playing at this level has pretty much killed social poker for me. The mindset of playing to take someone's money versus playing to socialize are just too different to reconcile. Deep down this was probably an attempt to look scruffy and disreputable, like the long hair. Now that poker is on all the cable channels, however, it's become downright respectable. I'll have to try something else.

Honourable Mention in Mid Libs 2008

Mi ne estas Esperantisto, nur Esperantanto. La lingvo estas bela kay forta, sed mi ne usas.

Aprendí español en Argentina y mi escuela en los estados unidos. No quiero hablar con la practicala de un porteño, pero la "ll" de calle puede ser una "ezhe" unas veces conmigo. Mi esposa primera nació en BsAs, y después del divorcio, paré harblarse mucho y mi fluidez ha deteriorado.

Jina langu ni Mel. Hatusema kiswahili nyumbani, lakini tunasoma.

I am insightful, open, and direct

What I’m doing with my life
I've resumed a career in high tech management because computers weren't intrusive enough into your life and I'm going to fix that. I also have some grandiose, unrealistic plans about fixing elementary education and have put more effort into it than you might expect. My less grandiose, more practical plans involve founding a private school as a proof of concept of some cross-age organizational structures and related pedagogies.

I'm well-read and well-travelled, but I've missed a whole lot along the way by rushing into an ill-conceived marriage as an undergraduate and then allowing all sorts of experiences to just not happen over a decade and a half. My user name is getting less and less descriptive of me (I did remarry...), but the account was instrumental in my transformation to a second adulthood and I can't bear to delete it.

I've stopped trying to get into athletic shape and started trying to get into shape, period. This doesn't actually involve different actions; just different expectations. I've put enough wear and tear on this body that I figure I owe it some TLC from now on. It's been good to me, all in all, in spite of all the broken bones, cuts and contusions.
I’m really good at
Teaching. I see connections in lots of unusual places and can use them to explain complicated material in simple ways. I've developed a strong understanding of the different ways in which people learn and can choose a set of ways to express a topic that will cover an audience fairly well. I love teaching children and am developing a course called "Kindergarten Algebra" that is designed to teach the concepts underlying the traditional high school math cannon (Elementary Number Theory, Algebra, Geometry, and Trig) as a language rather than a discipline. In spite of the name it will probably work best with 7-10 year old gifted students unless I can find a way to incorporate early number concepts and bring in the 4-6 year old students. The hope is that I can leverage the linguistic learning capacity of young children to lay the essential groundwork for later learning. Letting math degenerate into memorization of arithmetic tables is a crime.

I'm going back to school in the fall to get a graduate degree in Education and explore this more fully. I know this belongs in the "doing with my life" section, but I like it better here.

The first things people usually notice about me
People rarely admit the real first thing they notice, even if they are aware of it. The first things that friends usually mention when introducing me in social situations usually is either something about IQ.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Books: My fiction tends to be steeped in SF/Fantasy. Philip K. Dick, Connie Willis, and Lois McMaster Bujold seem to have a disproportionate representation in the stories I like, especially short stories by the first two. The Lorax is the best english-language children's book ever written; Theo Giesel the best early-reading author. My non-fiction is a lot more varied. I like deep analysis like Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel. I even like bad analysis like The Bell Curve which serves as fodder to pick apart. I like linguistic theory, including some rather arcane technical stuff (not just the semi-popular work like George Lakoff and his ilk). In spite of my degree in and my love of the subject, I don't really read in this field nearly as much as I work on direct observations. I adore math and science, both pedagogy and new stuff. I got hooked on Critical Studies when I went back for my Ed. degree.

Movies: Krieger und Kaiserin, Pay it Forward, Being John Malcovich, Brazil, 6th Sense, Rear Window, The Secret of Roan Innish. I like comedy, but nothing specific is coming to mind. I have a definite sweet tooth for Buckaroo Banzai, Big Trouble From Little China and three of the God of Gamblers movies (the two with CYF and the prequel).

Music: My musical tastes are in flux. I've been listening to a lot of spoken word (the sort of things you'd hear at a poetry slam) and then instrumental-only western bluegrass. My collection has a lot of 60s rock in it, but it's sitting idle. This whole area is likely to change without notice.

Foods: thai curry, fungi, rare steak, sautéed asparagus, capsicum, spice, garlic
The six things I could never do without
my children

human contact





I spend a lot of time thinking about
language. I love linguistics, especially at the syntactic level. I've increasingly found that I can't explain syntax without drawing in lots of semantic information, so a lot of my focus has been in the fuzzy cogsci area lately, but that is with the hope that I can tie this all back down to the syntax some day.

With all the thinking and work I've done you'd think that I'd have accomplished a lot, but once I figure something out I tend to move on to the next thing before I follow through and write up my results, so I guess I'm just a flake. I'm okay with that. I'd rather play with language than make it a job anyway.

In the service of these experiments, I've applied (mild) electric shocks to the palms of people (well, grad students, which are kinda like people) and shoved medical tubing up my nose far enough to swallow it. This isn't nearly as crazy as it sounds out of context.

On a typical Friday night I am
[8 June 08 update] Lately I've been trying to turn Friday nights into a night to go out, which is a new for me. Details are hazy as to the proportion of nights out with the kids, with groups of adults, or one-on-one time with buttercups13, but with the end of Friday exercise night, the time slot is free for things not available other nights.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
My mother nicknamed me "Melanoma" (for "Mel"). My brother was Salmonella (for "Sam"). She seemed to mean it affectionately.
You should message me if
...you live in or near SF and want to show a recent transplant form the east then south bay what's up around here. Double plus bonus points if you know of a crafting circle you can invite me to. Or if you are looking to join something, I regularly host boardgames and can show that to you.

If you have a romantic objective, please respect that my relationship with buttercups13 is primary and not going anywhere.