Psychonaut's Official Unauthorized FUQ

Never one to pass up a good bandwagon, here's my stab at the obligatory ego-stoking autobiography. It's presented conveniently in FUQ form.


What the FUQ?

That's Frequently Unasked Questions.

Isn't that supposed to be Frequently Asked Questions? FAQ?


Tell me about your early years.

That's not a question.

OK, what were your early years like?

I was born a long time ago when I was very young. My coming into this world was apparently the end result of my parents having sex, and I suppose they must have had sex subsequently at least two more times, because I have two younger siblings. The first twenty-one years of my life were spent in a little North American town called Regina (though back there we self-aggrandizingly refer to it as a city, if only to maintain morale.) The surrounding countryside is so flat, it's the one place on earth where you can sit on your front porch and watch your dog run away for three days.

Did you go to school?

Why, yes. In 1995, I enroled in the University of Regina in order to acquire the technical expertise necessary to bring to fruition my scheme for world domination. To my dismay, I discovered that World Domination was not among the programs offered at our university (I told you Regina was small) so I settled for a Computer Science instead. I graduated in 1999 with "High Honours", which essentially means that I took far more classes in my major than any right-thinking undergraduate should have. While attending university, I managed to fool a geek into asking a computer out on a date, meet a famous Asian porn star in the flesh (pun accidental but strangely appropriate), and throw a Bastard Day party for a curmudgeonly student. I also have vague recollections of being forced to learn enough math to understand Bézier curves and raytracing. In 2003 I received a graduate degree from the University of Toronto.

Ever had a job?

Why, yes. My first job, in 1992, involved delivering heavy newspapers through metre-deep snow in subzero temperatures. Not to be unbalanced, the following year I picked up another job slaving away in the hot kitchen of a Greek restaurant. Needless to say, both these jobs perfectly prepared me for my subsequent career in the realm of computers. <ahem> In 1996, my friend Aaron and I started a web design company like everyone else and his dog. The difference between our company and the scores of others cropping up at the time (such as this one) was that our work didn't suck. Consequently, the company grew in popularity and ended up servicing about fifty clients until Aaron and I realized that coding HTML has to be one of the most boring jobs on the planet. I mean, really. I'd rather sit and watch my hard drive defragment.

I've also been employed performing tasks of a more esoteric nature. In the summer of 1998, one of my professors decided to hire me as an academic researcher. I'd tell you what I was researching but you wouldn't have a clue what it was. I barely did, myself. (OK, it was a random directed acyclic graph generator for a standard and dynamic Bayesian networks inference engine. Happy?) Recently I worked at Griffith University in Brisbane as a research assistant. The work involved implementation of a reasoning system for defeasible logic. (In English: I was teaching computers how to think so that they may one day rise up and overthrow their masters.) I have since held such sundry and important-sounding positions as associate software engineer, undergraduate teaching assistant, wild aardvark tamer, and university instructor.

Where do you live?

For the benefit of all you stalker types, I have taken the liberty of preparing a map indicating all the places on the globe I have lived.

Why did you make this website?

To justify the design, of course.

Is it worth snooping the HTML for hidden messages?

Strewth, have you folks nothing better to do?

So what's your typical day like?

Wake up at 6:00, notice spider on bed, kill spider, go back to sleep, wake up half an hour later, kill another couple spiders on bed, go back to sleep, wake up half an hour later, realize that the spiders I killed earlier were paralyzed since there is a spider-preying wasp in my room, jump out of bed, open the window and shoo the spider-preying wasp out the window, feel something warm and sticky underneath my heel, look under heel and see about two dozen squished spiders of various species which the spider-preying wasp had been hoarding on the floor for its larva (also squished on heel), wash foot, go back to bed, get up half an hour later and notice that the entire bottom portion of my bed has been turned into a makeshift spider-preying wasp nest filled with bajillions of paralyzed spiders (of all shapes and sizes) and wasp larvae to feast upon them, get out of bed, run to the accommodation office, complain and demand an exterminator, get told that there's nothing can be done at the moment, go back to the flat, get back in bed with the spider-preying wasp larvae happily munching away on their paralyzed spiders under the bed, drift back to sleep plotting the most sinister way of murdering the entire accommodation staff.

That sounds decidedly atypical.

I know, but it's a true story from back when I was living in Australia, and it's far more interesting than what I normally do all day.

Wild aardvark what?

OK, so I made that part up. I just wanted to see if you were still paying attention. (Those of you that weren't are doubtless going to go back to read through the last twenty paragraphs of text to see what you missed.)

I'm an incredibly sexy woman. Will you go out with me?

Are you paying for dinner?

How do I get you to answer your e-mail?

Wishing on a star (Cygnus B, perhaps) has been known to work.

What does the future hold for you?

I'll probably die some day, though I'm looking into ways of preventing that.