I was born in Seattle, Washington. Shortly afterwards, my family
moved to Alaska for a two year stint. From Alaska we moved to Falls
Church, Virginia (just outside of Washington, DC), where I “grew
up.” After high school I went to college in New Orleans and
graduate school in Seattle. I did take some time off from school to
sample life and it would be hard to pin down that span of time to one
location (you should have seen my passport!). These days I find
myself in the sprawling metropolis of Pullman, Washington (population
roughly 31,000 [when the students are in town]).
Things I have done:
I have had gainful employment in some interesting jobs such as a
bicycle messenger in Washington, DC (nine hours of hard riding a day
does a great job of making you forget about diets—when I
wasn’t riding or sleeping, I was eating) and a bartender in
Taipei, Taiwan (my sole qualification being that I was white and they
wanted a white dude to serve drinks). I have also worked in jobs that
were a bit more mentally challenging such as an engineer at a nuclear
power plant and (currently) a professor of electrical engineering.
See my vitae for more details if
you’re curious about my academic profession.
Together with my wife, I spent 20 years raising two kids (while
also holding down a more-than-fulltime job), frequently reminding them that
“I'm your parent, not your friend.” When they turned
18, I turned off the parenting thing (to the extent one ever
can). I'm proud of the people they've become and my wife, Shira,
deserves most of the credit for that.
Things I was able to do:
There was a time when I could play guitar well enough to fool people
into thinking I was pretty good. There was a time when I could speak
Chinese well enough to get myself in trouble (but not well enough to
get myself out of trouble). There was a time when I was a competitive
athlete. There was a time when I would scuba dive with some
regularity. I have a commercial pilot’s license, and I think I can
still fly, but not with the proficiency of yore.
Things I do now:
These days, all my time and energy goes into work and working out (I’m
not giving in to aging without a fight!). Maybe when I retire I can
get back to being a Chinese-speaking, guitar-playing, high-flying,
scuba-diving, competitive athlete? We shall see...