On the previous version of this site, I had a bio page that was simply an updated and expanded version from Version 1 of the site, authored in 1997 when static personal pages prevailed. Today, I think I prefer a more esoteric (and more accurate) bio page. Simply put, the best statement of who I am is found throughout this site, in the journals, the weblog, the commentary, and the preferences.
For the non-Straussians who would like a more exoteric personal biography, I'll hit the highlights. I was born in 1970, grew up in Pawhuska OK, did my undergraduate work in Springfield MO, made a BAD detour to Illinois, and wound up in Houston TX for graduate work. Along the way, I got married and divorced (not really highlights, now that I think about it). I'm in a committed relationship with Callie, a female who "gets" me (and THAT says everything). We live with Kiwi, an Australian Shepherd/Dobie mix that we adopted in April 2000.
I'm trained in political philosophy and international politics. I'm finishing a Ph.D. at U of H in political science, lacking only the dissertation (an examination of the Progressive influence on American constitutional law). I have varied intellectual interests, and they sometimes (often?) take me away from dissertation writing. I make no apologies for that.
Some of those intellectual passions are the study of political philosophy broadly, the study of American political thought more specifically, Objectivism and Ayn Rand. Obviously, I enjoy writing and commenting on social affairs a great deal (whether broad issues of philosophy and law, or observations of people at the local coffeeshop), and the study of politics has consumed me as long as I can remember.
Backpacking is one of my chief non-intellectual pursuits; I love the combination of mental and physical that go into a backpacking expedition, the exhilaration of using the tools of man's mind to conquer nature, and the serene beauty of some of the places I go that can only be reached by foot. I also enjoy live music a great deal, and take in quite a few indie bands in Houston and elsewhere. I would like to learn more about photography, but have made only rudimentary progress towards that end. I play around with web design, although programming as an end in itself interests me not at all.
I used to have a "favorites" section full of movies and books and things like that. These things change frequently, as life is about growing, so that section has been discontinued in Version 4 of the site. My truly favorite things celebrate the human spirit, represent the conquering of new frontiers, or otherwise reflect and promote human excellence. It should be no shocker that I like JS Bach and Corelli and Vermeer and Counting Crows and Scent of a Woman and Shawshank Redemption and Ayn Rand and Nietzsche.
So there -- that's the exoteric nutshell biography. I think careful and thoughtful people will find the esoteric version much more informative.