A virtual tree falling in the internet forest.


I like computers, but avoid them.

One of my favorite past co-workers, Wade Christensen, once said something that has stuck with me. He said, "Once you program as your job, it takes the fun out of programming." I'm paraphrasing a bit. It's been over ten years. I've been programming a long time.

I have the most outrageous home computer. My son, Julian, built it for himself with parts I bought him as a high-school graduation present, then later, when he went off to college, I bought it from him so he could get a laptop. Julian is good with his hands. The results are a thing of beauty and power. I love to play PC games on it. It's great to program on. But I don't do either much at all. I really don't like sitting in front of a computer anymore.

I spend 8+ hours a day on a computer for my work, and by the time I get home, I'm done with computers. I'm done with sitting in a chair, staring at a screen, and typing and mousing. I sometimes feel bad about it. I would really love to play some of the latest PC games. Some look really great. And in the past I spent much of my recreational time playing PC games. I loved X-COM:UFO Defense, Warcraft, Starcraft, Torchlight, Hearthstone, Age of Wonders, on and on. But I just can't sit in front of the computer anymore for recreation. I'm already toiling in front of one for much of my waking hours.

So through the years I've gravitated towards console games for my video gaming. I realize it's not that different. I'm still sitting on the couch, staring at a screen, playing a game. But for some reason the couch is better than a chair, the games are not quite the same, and it's different enough to make it tolerable. Really though, it gets me outside, which is better for me. But you can't spend all your time outside.

I started programming out of enthusiasm for computers. At one time that enthusiasm was enough to keep me planted on a computer near indefinitely. Sometimes I wish I could go back to that state of infatuation. But I think it's gone for good, maybe to partially come back when I retire. In the meantime thank goodness I live up here in the mountains in a beautiful town where I can walk out my front door and it's 5 minutes into the woods. I'm about to stand up and head out, right now. Here I go.


The house in Surf Pines

My grandfather, Harold Duncan, built a house in the mid-70's in Surf Pines, on the Oregon coast. It became the our family home after Harold and my grandmother Kay died, with my Mom and Dad inheriting it and taking up residence. After my mother died and my father moved in with my sister it has become the vacation home for the family. I have spent cumulative years at this house. My sons visited frequently as they grew up. I have a lot of fond memories created there. It sits about a quarter mile from the beach, at an elevation of maybe 75 feet, sitting on top of a vestigal inland dune. One thing in particular about this house is the way it sounds. You can always hear the ocean, and in the summer there are the constant calls of sparrows and other birds. Here is a long-play recording taken in late spring. Listening to it makes me feel good.