Thursday, November 5, 2009

Personal Note: Autobiography

My primary intention for this blog is the discussion of biological evolutionary literature and bio info on Charles Darwin. After the opening salvo along those lines, I thought it might be fun also to institute entries that will be called Personal Notes from time to time. I understand that although some might find the discussions on evolution interesting, comprehensive treatment of the subject may get a little dry for some readers. I have no real intention of dumbing down these discussions or making them funny or cute, so an interjection from time to time off subject may be just the thing. So here's a little of my autobiographical information.

I'm a microbiologist that works in the food industry. I'm involved mostly with research on the natural preservation of foods. Like Egon from Ghostbusters, I collect "spores, molds, and fungus." Over a several year period, I have collected many specimens of bacteria and fungi that have spoiled food such that I have microbial guinea pigs upon which I can test ideas. I've been in the consumer products industry for over 20 years. Growing up and in college I had two careers in mind that I thought I might end up pursuing, biology and anthropology. I liked reading and studying about human culture, but I really gravitated towards the rest of the living world that I find vastly more interesting and often a lot less ugly. I was an evangelical christian for a brief period of time, but realized rather quickly that this stifled my curiosity and zest for life. Now many years later, I would have to characterize myself as an atheist. Better yet I think I would have to say that I really don't put stock in belief itself. I feel that to believe is accept something out of hope, fear, and guilt, all of which seems to take me away from reality and the reality of the moment. We are here now; that's all. Some of these sentiments I got from Buddhism, but in my pursuit of eastern philosophical traditions, I came to the realization that I was just projecting my inner concerns again and simply looking for another religion. So really belief is an outmoded way of just projecting inner turmoil. There is a saying that if you meet the Buddha, you should kill him. The thing that you think you see may be wonderful, make you feel good, fashionable, but it's just a construct. Beliefs are completely unnecessary. You might be able to manufacture your own truths, but reality doesn't give a damn about what you think, what you want, what you think you want.

Oh, I suppose I forgot the part about being married to a really wonderful person, and having two really smart and funny kids. My kids take voice and acting lessons at a local community theater. The whole family gets involved. My son and I have worked on a props crew, my daughter and I on a paint crew, my wife has made costumes. I've done set construction for three shows. My son recently got cast in his first play; he is very excited. It's a really cool diversion. I never took drama classes or anything when younger, but I now find theater really fun and interesting. I also like hiking in the woods, raising and training dogs, and of course non-fiction science writing. I have in the past written some short stories. I enjoy fiction, but not don't think that it has a lot of staying power for me. OK that's quite enough. Going on and on about myself makes me feel a little uncomfortable.

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