Photo courtesy Jimmy Su.
Welcome to my website. I have collected a number of book reviews and travelogues, which I hope that you will find both interesting and useful. I add book reviews regularly, so if you are drawn to books, check back periodically for new reviews.

A little bit about myself. I am an introvert, although I am fairly gregarious in groups where there are a lot of people I am familiar with. I also try to talk to people new to a group, so I am sometimes mistaken for an extrovert. I tend to be project-oriented, and always have more projects than I can possibly do. In fact, if I ever happen to run out of projects, I will spontaneously generate new ones. I tend to prefer depth in relationships, but because I like to explore, I prefer breadth in interests and career. I am a mix of a scientist, engineer, and artist. A scientist, because only really ever ask one question: “why?” An artist because I like to create beautiful things. And an engineer, because I like to create beautiful, useful things that are (preferably) at the edge of feasibility.

As a kid I loved playing with blocks, and would carefully stack all the blocks on top of each other to make the tallest tower possible. (Then I would draw a picture of it, so that I could re-create it)  These days, I am a computer programmer, enjoying writing tools for people to solve problems or do things that previously they could not. I have several software projects available to download; hopefully one of them will be helpful for you.

I have discovered that I seem to be drawn to three main things: beauty, learning, and stories. My lasting interests all seem to come from these three things.

Beauty:  I am drawn to beauty, particularly visually, and desire to create things that are beautiful. I like art museums because they showcase other peoples’ beautiful creations. I like hiking because I find that God’s creation is the most beautiful and intricate thing around. I also have a love for outer space, since the nebulae, galaxies, planets, and moons all have a cold, mysterious beauty.

Learning:  I love to learn, and I find that I am happiest if I am learning things in multiple areas of my life. A love of learning draws me to books because books seem to be the most efficient way of communicating new ideas and principles. It may also extend to desire to build deep relationships as a way of learning about another person, which can be used to care for to them.

Stories:  I am very fond of stories, particularly ones with mysterious forces, so fantasy and sci-fi are my favorite genres. I am most drawn to stories with depth and a world that is deeper than the book shows (The Lord of the Rings and Watership Down are two great examples). I also enjoy short stories, both for the twist at the end and for the short exploration of an idea. I seem to like telling stories, too. As a kid, I would tell stories about my stuffed animals to my brother for hours before I fell asleep. I also wrote short stories, slapstick plays, and for a time drew a comic strip based on Walt Kelly’s Pogo. I still write the occasional short story, and by 2022 I hope to have gained enough life experiences and story-telling skills to write a sci-fi/fantasy novel.

One enduring interest of mine that does not fall into the categories above is games. I love card games and Euro-board games. I like the interaction with other people, the strategy, and the competition. I apparently like the experience, as I don’t care if I win, but there must be a winner and loser (or it isn’t a game), even if I have to be the loser.