I live in a relatively small community in Southwestern Washington State. When I’m not working, taking care of my family or spending time with them, I like language and linguistics, religion, music, genealogy, history and archaeology, politics, other religions and cultures and science in general. I am not much for small talk. I enjoy writing and believing that I have a sense of humor. After a forced change in diet, I discovered I enjoy cooking.
My best languages are English, Spanish, Portuguese and French, in that order. I dabble in everything else.
I have studied Linguistics in college. I am particularly interested in historical linguistics, with a focus on the Indo-European language family.
I am a Mormon (a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). The thing that irritates me most about how people view Mormons is when they believe we leave our critical thinking hats at the door when we go to church.
I enjoy singing and improvising on the piano. I enjoy listening to music on Pandora so I can hear lots of great music that’s new to me. I often listen to a mix of musical types: Mormon, Contemporary Christian, Gospel, African, Hawaiian, Celtic and Native American. I also add in A Capella, Brazilian and Jazz.
I am an avid genealogist, but have never been able to add much to what my family has already done. I am currently trying to verify and source the information that’s already out there.
I am interested in all periods of world history, but I identify more with American and European history. I look to archaeology to teach me about periods and places that didn’t leave written records.
Politically, I vote Democrat, not because I really like the Democratic Party, but because I don’t see any other group that could represent my views. I sometimes consider myself a centrist and sometimes consider myself left-of-center. I suppose it depends on where you place the center. On an international scale, I am firmly in the center, politically. I don’t care very much for laws that tell people how to live their own lives, but I support laws that help the poor, as long as they are practical and reasonable. I support strong guarantees of freedom of religion, including the freedom to not be religious.
I love learning about other cultures and religions and talking to people from different cultures and religions. I am an American Mormon from the Pacific Northwest and that says a lot about me, but I also have a cultural inheritance from England and other nations of the British Isles, Scandinavia and Switzerland. I think I probably have a drop of African blood, but haven’t been able to prove it.
I love all the sciences to one degree or another. I enjoy learning, speculating, theorizing and synthesizing. I have a hard time going without a daily dose of international, national, scientific and religious news.
My favorite science website is http://www.sciencedaily.com/ . My favorite religious website is http://www.religionnews.com/. For archaeology and history, I rely on about.com. I am a fan of Kris Hirst’s archaeology newsletter, which you can sign up for at http://archaeology.about.com/. For editorial cartoons, I go to http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/politicalcartoons/ig/Political-Cartoons/. (Note: they do include conservative cartoons in this section, but generally the political humor section of about.com is pretty liberal). I am a fan of Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, a political comedy quiz show on NPR (despite NPR’s reputation, conservatives do have some genuine representation on the show). You can listen to current and past episodes on http://www.npr.org/programs/wait-wait-dont-tell-me/.
This blog is a place for ideas, both mine and others’. There aren’t many limits to the topics. If you would like to contribute or comment, please express yourself respectfully.