About

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My name is Alan and this is my personal site. I do software for a living. My background is in computational mathematics, but I’m no longer active in research. I have a wife and two boys, and a neutral evil cat (but I repeat myself).

My interests

Tech

I like Linux and FreeBSD. My daily driver is a System76 Serval WS, which, aside from some hiccups involving the NVIDIA GPU (mostly on Fedora, but I’ve since reverted to System76’s Pop!_OS and had no issues), has been an absolute pleasure to use.

Music

I usually listen to classical music or jazz at home. If I really want to concentrate I might put on something more atmospheric, even doomy. I also like band like Ladytron and Massive Attack, and the absolute classics like Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, or Rush, and I dig stoner metal as a style.

I don’t get to play much anymore, but at one point I was the bassist for the 1st Marine Division band, and I still have many instruments, most of them stringed, now mostly gathering dust. When my kids get older, maybe I’ll play some more.

Reading

I mostly like to read science fiction. Right now I’m reading The Hydrogen Sonata on paper and Green Mars as an audiobook.

I write the occasional book review here.

Running

In late 2019 and early 2020 (before the pandemic), I ran a couple of 5Ks. Here’s me running a 5K last January, just before the pandemic:

New Year 2020 5K: I’m in the brown shirt and shorts with the #475 bib.

I quite enjoy racing, even if my times are about average for my age group. I’d registered for a few more races this past spring, but they were all cancelled (unfortunately, but obviously the correct thing to do). With no races, I lost the motivation to run and have only done it sporadically since. The hope is that by mid-fall things will be back to normal, so, inshallah, my next race will be a turkey trot.

Not having run much lately means I have to start from square one: 3 miles a week. I have a tendency to go too hard in my training and end up hurting myself, so in the next year I plan to add no more than half a mile per week on average, with frequent rest periods. “There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”

My goals

My 2021 goals are:

There are some stretch goals, but I’m keeping them back.

Colophon

The sweet theme is (slightly) modified from Chip Zoller’s Hugo Clarity. Many thanks, Chip. 🙏

Send me email:

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