Cover photo
Shawn McClure
Works at Taking Photos and Making Software
Lives in Fort Collins, CO
52,488 followers|8,402,567 views


The Man In The Mirror -- Cleveland, Ohio
"Monkeys are superior to men in this: when a monkey looks into a mirror, he sees a monkey."
-- Malcolm de Chazal

For #TheoreticalThursday  / +TheoreticalThursday curated by +Jason Dell, and #WhateverWednesday / +Whatever Wednesday!!! curated by +Cicely Robin Laing, and the +Breakfast Club / #BreakfastClub  curated by +Gemma Costa...
Nataly Rubeo's profile photoSharon Jeannette's profile photoTeresa Paradise's profile photoGadelove Gade's profile photo
what else?.a delusion...
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Dreaming The Reality -- Fort Collins, Colorado
"Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange."
-- Dominic Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), Inception

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For #FloralFriday / +FloralFriday created by +Tamara Pruessner and co-curated by +Beth Akerman, +Kiki Nelson, and +Eustace James, and +ColorsOnFriday / #ColorsOnFriday  curated by +Karsten Meyer, and #hqspflowers +HQSP Flowers curated by +Krystina Isabella Brion +Melania Pierce +Kanlaya Chungsangornpornsuk +Wayne Lu +Iva Pas +Zita Nahm, and +FLOWER POWER / #FlowerPower  curated by +Edith Kukla, and +//flower colors// curated by +angelic labru, and the +PurpleCircle / #PurpleCircle  curated by +Lynn Langmade and +Sinead Sam McKeown, and #hqspmacro +HQSP Macro curated by +Terrie Gray +Stefanie Schächtel +Igor Schevchenko +Ernest Fdez. +Thies Groden, and #Macro4All  by +Bill Urwin, +Thomas Kirchen,   +Walter Soestbergen (+Macro4All ), and #macromaniacs for +MacroManiacs and +Sandra Deichmann, and #macroaddict (+MacroAddict) curated by +Sandrine Berjonneau  and +Albert Vuvu Konde +Jean-Pierre Malézieux and  and +Ruth Hochholdinger and +William Banik, and the +Breakfast Club / #BreakfastClub curated by +Gemma Costa...
Devin Waugh's profile photorosie de mesa's profile photoFLOWER POWER's profile photoG -Fatima Amestoy's profile photo
Excellent my friend
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Storm's A Comin -- Severance, Colorado
"'Heck.' Jim sniffed north, Jim sniffed south. 'Where's that storm?'
Will let the wind ruffle and refit his clothes, his skin, his hair. Then he said faintly, 'It'll be here. By morning.'
'Who says?'
'The huckleberries all down my arms. They say.'"

A line of power lines recedes into the distance towards the front range of the Rocky Mountains in northern Colorado, just before sunset as a spring storm moves in...

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For +Sunset Saturday / #SunsetSaturday  curated by +Dennis Hoffbuhr, and +Powerline Friday / #PowerlineFriday  curated by +Natosha Davis, and +SilhouetteSaturday / #SilhouetteSaturday curated by +Naila z, and  #COPhotoWedneday curated by +Howard Weitzel, +Stan Showalter, and +Al Nesbit, and +Sky Sunday - Photography Theme / #SkySunday  curated by +Randy Scherkenbach and +Patrick Scherkenbach, and  #LandscapePhotography +Landscape Photography +Margaret Tompkins +Kevin Rowe +Toshi Nakamura +Bill Wood +Tony Phillips +Jeff Beddow +Kevin O'Connell Fine Art +Krzysztof Hanusiak +Dennis Hoffbuhr +Dave Gaylord +Doug Hagadorn +Eric Drumm +RJ Wilner, and  #hqsplandscape +HQSP Landscape curated by +Michael Garza +Leo Schubert +David D +Mike Hankey +Peter Marbaise +Hans-Juergen Werner, and the +Breakfast Club / #BreakfastClub curated by +Gemma Costa...
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Love this power sky!!
Maravellous capture, Shawn!:-)
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Summer In The Light, Winter In The Shade -- Fort Collins, Colorado
"It was one of those days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade."
-- Charles Dickens

This last golden leaf on the apple tree in my front yard held on well into the winter, glowing in the sunlight amid the bare and wintry branches far past the time when all the other leaves had fallen. I didn't notice the exact day it finally fell, but I do remember the day I looked up to find it and saw it was gone.

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For  #leavesonthursday +Leaves On Thursday curated by +Mehdia Ridder, and +NatureArtThursday / #NatureArtThursday  curated by +Trisha Standard and +Dane Clingan, and  #close2home +Close2Home curated by +David Pond, +Pia Raben, +Shaun Stewart, +José Juan Escudero, +Howard Weitzel, and the #YellowCircle  curated by +Brian Dukes, and +YisforYellow / #YIsForYellow  curated by +Lucille Galleli...
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This is Amazing +Shawn McClure :)
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A Wandering Melody -- Third Beach, LaPush, Washington
“The end of a melody is not its goal: but nonetheless, had the melody not reached its end it would not have reached its goal either.” 
-- Friedrich Nietzsche

This photo was taken just down the road from the one I posted yesterday (, but on the evening of the previous day. I made it to this beach just before sunset, after hiking rather madly through a couple miles of coastal forest to catch the sunset.

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For  #TreeTuesday ( +Tree Tuesday )  Curated by +Christina Lawrie ,  +Allan Cabrera , +Ralph Mendoza  , +Kim Troutman  and +David R Robinson, and  #TreeSilhouetteWednesday +TreeSilhouette Wednesday curated by +Charles Fromage, +Andrew Sowerby, +Steve Alfano, +sebastian hesse, +David D and +Bhattacharya P., and +Sea Tuesday / #SeaTuesday  curated by +Julia Anna Gospodarou, and +Sunset Saturday / #SunsetSaturday  curated by +Dennis Hoffbuhr, and +Sun Sunday / #SunSunday  curated by +Greg Dominguez and +Shauna Dominguez, and +#PacificNWfriday curated by +Bob Harbison, and #LandscapePhotography +Landscape Photography +Margaret Tompkins +Kevin Rowe +Toshi Nakamura +Bill Wood +Tony Phillips +Jeff Beddow +Kevin O'Connell Fine Art +Krzysztof Hanusiak +Dennis Hoffbuhr +Dave Gaylord +Doug Hagadorn +Eric Drumm +RJ Wilner, and #hqsplandscape +HQSP Landscape curated by +Michael Garza +Leo Schubert +David D +Mike Hankey +Peter Marbaise +Hans-Juergen Werner...
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Great mood! Love this one!
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Into The Mystic -- Second Beach, LaPush, Washington
“Hark, now hear the sailors cry, 
Smell the sea, and feel the sky 
Let your soul and spirit fly
Into the mystic...” 
-- Van Morrison

Taken on a very cold December morning a few years ago... My fingers were so cold I could barely feel the buttons on my camera.

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For +Sea Tuesday / #SeaTuesday  curated by +Julia Anna Gospodarou, and +Mirrors and Reflections / #MirrorsAndReflections  curated by +Gemma Costa, and #CoastalThursday +Coastal Thursday curated by +David Polzine & +Jon Kahn, and #LandscapePhotography +Landscape Photography +Margaret Tompkins +Kevin Rowe +Toshi Nakamura +Bill Wood +Tony Phillips +Jeff Beddow +Kevin O'Connell Fine Art +Krzysztof Hanusiak +Dennis Hoffbuhr +Dave Gaylord +Doug Hagadorn +Eric Drumm +RJ Wilner, and #hqsplandscape +HQSP Landscape curated by +Michael Garza +Leo Schubert +David D +Mike Hankey +Peter Marbaise +Hans-Juergen Werner, and #LandscapeArtTuesday curated by +Christina Deubel, and +#PacificNWfriday curated by +Bob Harbison...
HQSP Promotion's profile photoŔÕBBŶ ĦÂŔŤ's profile photoDarcy JS's profile photoCoastal Thursday's profile photo
Lovely !
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Have him in circles
52,488 people
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Where The Wild Things Are -- Erbie, Arkansas
"Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed ... We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.”_
-- Wallace Stegner, The Sound of Mountain Water

A remote dirt road in northwestern Arkansas wends its way through a hall of trees near the Buffalo National River...

For #TreeTuesday ( +Tree Tuesday )  Curated by +Christina Lawrie ,  +Allan Cabrera , +Ralph Mendoza  , +Kim Troutman  and +David R Robinson, and #LandscapePhotography +Landscape Photography +Margaret Tompkins +Kevin Rowe +Toshi Nakamura +Bill Wood +Tony Phillips +Jeff Beddow +Krzysztof Hanusiak +Dennis Hoffbuhr +Dave Gaylord +Doug Hagadorn +Eric Drumm +RJ Wilner, and #hqsplandscape +HQSP Landscape curated by +Michael Garza +Leo Schubert +David D +Mike Hankey +Peter Marbaise +Hans-Juergen Werner, and the +Breakfast Club / #BreakfastClub  curated by +Gemma Costa, and +AllThingsOrange / #AllThingsOrange  curated by +Nina Piccoli, +Kenneth Williams, and +Lauren Kelly, and +Four Seasons Friday / #FourSeasonsFriday  curated by +Stephonie A Schmitz...
Panorea Mig's profile photoLIZBETH KOROLUK's profile photoLuna .Gros's profile photoTeresa Paradise's profile photo
So beautiful +Shawn McClure 
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Ascension -- Washington, D.C.
"The higher we ascend in the scale of attainment, the more the man conquers and rules his stars, freeing himself from the leading strings of the Divine Hierarchies."
-- Max Heindel

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For #LeadingLinesMonday +Pam Boling +Andreas Levi +David Murphy +*** +Michael B. Stuart, and #HQSPUrbanStreetPhotos  +HQSP Urban & Street Photos curated by +Michael Sonntag +Оксана Крысюкова +Alejandro J. Soto   +Daniel Grey  and  +Jean-Philippe Jouve, and the +Breakfast Club / #BreakfastClub  curated by +Gemma Costa, and +Moody Monday / #MoodyMonday  curated by +Philip Daly, and +x Processing Monday / #xProcessingMonday curated by +Patrick Bordelofer, and +Hans Tiefdeuchter...
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+Nataly Rubeo Thank you so much, dear Nataly! :))
+Baldur McQueen Much appreciated, Baldur - thanks!
+Boyet Balasa Thank you very much, Boyet...
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I'll Hold You 'Til The End -- Cleveland, Ohio
I found this scene on the side of an abandoned building in an old industrial section of Cleveland while I was trying to find a good vantage point to take a photo of downtown. It was in a location that looked to be frequented by gangs, junkies, and homeless folks, if the graffiti and other leavings were any indication. The bear couple was posed like this on the concrete curb of the building's driveway by a large dumpster. I wish I knew what their story was.

Or maybe I don't...

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I was hoping to post this for Valentine's Day but it didn't work out, so some of my tags are a bit belated. For #ValentinesDay, and #ToyTuesday  curated by +Lars Clausen, and #TuesDecay / +TuesDecay curated by +Ian Ference, +Jean-Claude Dahn, and +Christian Gruner, and #Two4Tuesday  by +Mary C Legg, and +Sentimental Sunday Theme curated by +Louisa Catharine Forsyth, and #HQSPUrbanStreetPhotos  +HQSP Urban & Street Photos curated by +Michael Sonntag +Оксана Крысюкова +Alejandro J. Soto   +Daniel Grey  and  +Jean-Philippe Jouve, and the +Breakfast Club / #BreakfastClub curated by +Gemma Costa...
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 A Bee Fly ( Bombyliidae ) collects pollen from a Blanket Flower ( Gaillardia aristata ) along the Blue Sky Trail above Fort Collins, Colorado...

Bee flies are often recognizable by their stocky shapes, their hovering behavior, and for the particular length of their mouthparts as they lean forward into flowers. Adults generally feed on nectar and pollen, some being important pollinators, often with spectacularly long probosces with very long, narrow floral tubes. In certain regions, locals refer to them as beewhals, thanks to their tusk-like appendages. They significantly contribute to cross pollination of plants, becoming the main pollinators of some plant species of desert environments.

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For #FloralFriday / +FloralFriday created by +Tamara Pruessner and co-curated by +Beth Akerman, +Kiki Nelson, and +Eustace James, and  #hqspflowers +HQSP Flowers curated by +Krystina Isabella Brion +Melania Pierce +Kanlaya Chungsangornpornsuk +Wayne Lu +Iva Pas +Zita Nahm, and +FLOWER POWER / #FlowerPower  curated by +Edith Kukla, and +//flower colors// curated by +angelic labru, and +Buggy Lunch / #BuggyLunch , curated by +Kim Sinclair, and #BuggyFriday curated by +Ray Bilcliff, +Sherry McBriar, and +Dorothy Pugh, and +BugsEveryday / #BugsEveryday  curated by +Chris Mallory, and ++In Praise of Polllinators curated by +Dusty Gedge, and  #hqspmacro +HQSP Macro curated by +Terrie Gray +Stefanie Schächtel +Igor Schevchenko +Ernest Fdez. +Thies Groden, and  #Macro4All  by +Bill Urwin, +Thomas Kirchen,   +Walter Soestbergen (+Macro4All ), and  #macromaniacs for +MacroManiacs and +Sandra Deichmann, and  #macroaddict (+MacroAddict) curated by +Sandrine Berjonneau  and +Albert Vuvu Konde +Jean-Pierre Malézieux and  and +Ruth Hochholdinger and +William Banik...
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Beautiful +Shawn McClure 
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Gladiator Tree Frog ( Hypsiboas rosenbergi ) -- Costa Rica
I encountered this large fellow in the rain forest of Manuel Antonio National Park, on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. He seemed very unafraid of my presence and let me take several shots of him before jumping into the higher branches and disappearing.

An interesting characteristic of these frogs is that they have a prepollex spine that protrudes next to their thumbs. The males use this spine during mating season to protect their nest and fend off other male frogs that are seeking to destroy the eggs which their mate has laid. These confrontations often get very brutal, with the males using their spines to attempt and gouge out the eyes and break the eardrums of their opponent. These duels will often continue until one of the combatants has been killed. Studies have shown that most male frogs suffer permanent damage during mating season. It is this fierceness in battle that earned this frog his "Gladiator" name.

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For #WildlifeWednesday  curated by +Morkel Erasmus and +Mike Spinak, and #WholeWildlifeWeek  curated by +Diego Cattaneo, +Dick Whitlock, +Sandy Schepis, and +Anette Mossbacher, and +AllThingsOrange / #AllThingsOrange  curated by +Nina Piccoli, +Kenneth Williams, and +Lauren Kelly, and #FrogFriday  curated by +Candace M. Hansen-Hendrikx and +Christina Rollo, and  #hqspanimals  +HQSP Animals curated by +Alejandro J. Soto +Krystina Isabella Brion +Andy Smith...
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Fantastic shot!
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Headed In -- Fort Collins, Colorado
"When gloamin' treads the heels o' day
And birds sit courin' on the spray
Alang the flow'ry hedge I stray
To meet mine ain dear somebody."
-- from Mine ain dear Somebody by Robert Tannahill

I took this in the last light of an autumn day, having spied this mare making her way through a remote field, probably on her way back to the paddock or barn for the night.

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For +Sunset Saturday / #SunsetSaturday curated by +Dennis Hoffbuhr, and +Zen Sunday / #ZenSunday  curated by +Charlotte Therese Björnström, +Nathan Wirth, and +Simon Davis-Oakley, and +#EquineTuesday curated by +Jillian Chilson, and the +Breakfast Club / #BreakfastClub curated by +Gemma Costa, and +#RuralSaturday curated by +Linda Stokes, +Mario Cerroni, and +Heath Ramsey...
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Lovely picture........

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Have him in circles
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Software engineer, database expert, amateur photographer, occasional poet, inconsistent adventurer, armchair philosopher
My *skillz* are both many and too few, varied, and sometimes valued. Anything I can't figure out I can fake convincingly. I am doggedly persistent, insatiably curious, and eminently resourceful. You would want to hire me.
  • Taking Photos and Making Software
    Photographer & Software Developer, present
  • Colorado State University
    Software Engineer, 2002 - 2015
  • Crocker Nuclear Laboratory, University of California, Davis
    Software Engineer, 2005 - 2006
  • PLM Technologies, Inc.
    Software Engineer, 1997 - 2002
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Software Engineer, 1993 - 1997
  • Boeing Computer Services, Hanford Nuclear Reservation
    Software Engineer, 1991 - 1993
  • Center for Non-Linear Studies (CNLS), Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Software Engineer, 1990 - 1991
Basic Information
Photographer, Engineer, Mayhem Maker, Space Lord

Executive Summary

  • I take photographs of anything that catches my interest.
  • I design and develop enterprise-level websites, databases, services, and software for a variety of applications and Federal agencies.
  • I write poetry, essays, philosophy, fiction, and flim-flam.
  • I have adventures whenever possible (not enough).
  • I am looking for the secret to the universe.
  • I have an inexplicable and irrepressible sense of humor.
  • I'm fairly incorrigible, no matter the subject. ;-)
Other Highlights
  • I’ve eaten a Snickers bar at 19,000ft in the Himalayas
  • I’ve been attacked by a monkey
  • I’ve had a cop pull a gun on me
  • I’ve been offered a hooker (several) in Bangkok
  • I’ve climbed the Golden Gate Bridge
  • I can type 100+ words per minute
  • I have benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
  • I climbed Mt. Saint Helens one month before it erupted
  • I’ve broken all my fingers
  • I have the smallest ears in my family
  • I’ve been 3 feet away from flowing lava
  • I’m writing a paper on applying cellular automata to particle physics
  • I’ve been at the bottom of a crevasse on Mt. Rainier
  • I can play my hands like a musical instrument
  • INTP  is my Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  • My software was used in the Rodney King trial
  • I’ve spent three days in a cave
  • I’ve gotten hopelessly lost in Katmandu
  • I have a friend whose initials are P.I.G.
  • I am fascinated by ants, bats, spiders, and fungus
  • I have received money from the DOD, the DOE, the DOI, the EPA, the USDA, the NPS, the BLM, the Forest Service, the FBI, NASA, and the NSA
  • I’ve hiked the wettest spot on Earth
  • I’ve played basketball with Chauncey Billups and stolen the ball from him twice
  • I’ve fallen down a thirty foot high pile of bat guano
  • I have probably written more code than Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Mark Zuckerberg put together.


The photos I've posted so far were all taken with either my Canon 5D Mark II, my Canon 70D, my Canon Powershot SX50 HS, my Canon Powershot SX40 HS, or my Canon PowerShot A2100 IS. I'm a relatively new photographer, but I'm becoming more and more obsessed with it as time goes by, especially after joining G+ and seeing all the incredible photography posted here. I'm especially fond of natural subjects, such as wildlife, insects, landscapes, and the like, and I'm becoming captivated by macro photography in particular. I also find myself taking abstract, minimalist, and comedic (to myself, at least) photos fairly frequently.


I work with computers for a living and computing is my first love, technology-wise. I think my overall theory of computing was stated best by Albert Einstein:

"Computers are incredibly fast, accurate, and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate, and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination."

Other Interests

I also study particle physics, neuroscience, online trading, philosophy, and cellular automata. When I'm not programming or studying I'm usually found rummaging, relaxing, pottering about, taking pictures, writing, or perfecting my flim-flam. I also enjoy weightlifting, adventuring, playing video games, and pondering the mysteries of the universe.

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And now for the details...

(If you're still not ready for the mundane details quite yet, skip ahead to the Extended Version a little further down and bring your grain of salt...)

  --------------------------------- « § » ---------------------------------


I specialize in developing enterprise-level software systems to manage earth observation data and metadata for environmental planning and scientific research. I have degrees in both computer science and mathematics and have been developing computer software since I bought my first Commodore 64 in 1982.

Currently, I develop and maintain an integrated framework of web and database applications to import, verify, and manage large volumes of air quality data from ground-based monitoring networks, chemical transport models, emissions inventories, and NASA satellites. I have helped to develop an extensive suite of online software tools for visualizing, analyzing, and disseminating a wide variety of science data on the web, and I work closely with leading scientists and researchers to develop standards and best practices for managing earth observation data on the web.

I'm the lead architect and developer of these websites:

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Circle Suggestions

1. For Sure: Add me to any of these circles

  • Photography
    • Macro Photography
    • Wildlife Photography
    • Landscape Photography
  • Software Development
    • Computer Programming
    • Software Engineering
    • Database Management
    • Web Services
  • Writing
    • Poetry
    • Philosophy
    • Fiction
2. If you have these circles: Add me.
  • Science
    • Cognitive Science
    • Neuroscience
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Air Quality
    • Environmental Science
  • Adventuring
    • Mountaineering
    • Climbing
    • Caving
    • Spelunking

(Incidentally, I organized this circle information using the overall guidelines suggested here: About Me Circles)

  --------------------------------- « § » ---------------------------------

Extended Version (for people bored with typical profile blabbering in general):

I am an elusively charismatic and extroverted misanthrope, green-eyed and notoriously left-brained. I can often be found climbing tall towers and conferring thoughtfully with world leaders in the shadowy corners of Irish pubs near closing time. I run at night, visiting old graveyards and scaring drunken revelers until dawn. I periodically move sideways in time and backwards in space, confusing my friends and causing a strong sense of deja vu in strangers. I’m a counter of stars, a thrower of dice, and a loser at cards. On the third Tuesday of each month at 3:25am precisely, I can out-drive Tiger Woods and beat Michael Jordan in one-on-one. Car horns sound distinctly different in my vicinity and moss refuses to grow when I’m around. Dogs bark only once at me.

I’m a flawed and jaded perfectionist, a happy-go-lucky cynic, and a professional heckler. I’ve been the subject of critically acclaimed but unpublished essays and have been the cancelled guest on several talk shows. I’ve made beer runs to South Pacific islands and have stolen from archaeological digs in the Andes. I’m a climber of trees, a turner-over of rocks, and a brilliant student of crawlspaces. I explore unnamed caverns at night while composing sonnets in my head, and I collect colorful beans and animal skulls and call them treasure. My totem animals are the fox, the crow, and the praying mantis. I’ve been known to have crushes on Scottish lasses and dance with wood nymphs in Carpathian forests. I tease gargoyles mercilessly and try not to step on any dandelions or ants. Butterflies scream excitedly at my approach.

I banter, I tease, I incite riots among the wild things on distant beaches under the moon, and I speak the language of bats. I can watch small insects for hours and walk on rooftops without fear or embarrassment. Using only a string, a needle, and my right forefinger, I once demonstrated the unification of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics to my curious dogs. I’m on the payroll of several secret government agencies and was a frequent consultant for the X-Files. Gillian Andersen once asked me for my phone number. I’ve never seen an alien, but I have reason to believe that one once taunted me from a barn loft in Illinois. I collect Grecian urns and captain a small pirate ship off the coast of Costa Rica. I write compellingly cryptic poetry in autumn and teach the fine art of marrow sucking to disillusioned stockbrokers. I can also levitate tinsel. I fell off a bridge in Paris once and wrote my name in code on Jim Morrison’s grave.

I commune with angels and demons and frequently chase starlight across frozen fields in winter. I cavort on hidden beaches and do laundry while naked. I have extra-sensory forgetfulness, photographic hindsight, and 270-degree peripheral vision. Through much trial and error, I discovered that I have uncanny intuition in the early evening and instantaneous knowledge of the future while playing video games. I once fell asleep in an alley in Katmandu and awoke ten days earlier in the catacombs beneath Venice. I peed on an electric fence in childhood and now expect to live at least 500 years and father rogue poets and genius blonde bombshells. I read some time ago that the answer to the universe is forty-two, but I've got a sneaking suspicion that it's changed since then.

  --------------------------------- « § » ---------------------------------

Still not bored? Wow. Seriously, I'm done entertaining you for now. Go the hell away. ;-)

  --------------------------------- « § » ---------------------------------

Bragging rights
I'm my own entertainment.
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Fort Collins, CO
Richland, WA - Los Alamos, NM - MacDoel, CA - Bolivar, MO - Ramsey, IL