There are many Adam Shaws on the web; I'm the real one. More
specifically, I am the one born at the
I started programming BASIC on an Apple ][+ my parents bought around 1980, when I was 8 years old or thereabouts. I wrote programs on that machine to do things like print my name 100 times. I thought to myself: this thing has possibilities.
Here I am receiving my doctoral degree in August 2011.
I love music. A lot. This is some of the music I've been listening to lately.
- Ari Hoenig, Punkbop Live at Smalls. Not really all that punk to my ears. Great players tackling repertoire that not only challenges but also conveys pleasure. I don't much care for music that does the former without the latter. Ari Hoenig is a hell of a drummer.
- Seamus Blake Quintet, Live at Smalls. There is tune on this record called "Consequence" which is one my all-time favorites. I never tire of it. You must listen to the whole thing. The saxophone solo is simply magnificent. Not only because of what the saxophone is playing, but because of what's going on in the whole quintet, including the minimal but indispensible contributions of the guitarist. Every element of the human condition is there. The sorrow, the joy, the grieving, the awe, the confusion, the despair, the loneliness, the hope that flickers but endures. All of it. I put this on and I am elevated to a different realm.
- Bruce Barth Trio, Live at Smalls. (There are a lot of great "Live at Smalls" records; I own dozens of them, a perq of a crowdfunding campaign I donated to a few years back. Best money ever spent.) This album is a treat. The drummer Rudy Royston has a great great feel. This why I listen to this kind of music, the beat that Mulgrew Miller referred to as "most exalted."
- Chick Corea and Hiromi, Duet. Chick Corea is a strong flavor, but man he is just too much fun to listen to. On this 2008 release Chick and Hiromi beat a pair of pianos to smithereens. I especially enjoy "Déja Vu."
And these are some of the games I've been playing lately:
- Fabled Fruit A great game for sitting around the table, throwing down cards and enjoying one another's company. Not a brain burner. It's somehow way better than it should be. Can't really explain it. Play this one if you can.
- Galaxy Trucker An entirely ingenious board game that pushes the limits of the form. Lots of different kinds of components and devices but ultimately it all fits together and makes good sense. Speed and experience help, so it's worth playing this one many times. It also teaches you to be a good sport, because very unfair things happen and sometimes to you. A test of sportsmanship!
- Orléans Resource gathering, action selection, area control game with great components and notably smooth play. The medieval goods-trading theme is dry but at least it's not zombies. Thanks to simultaneous play, the game is not too long and doesn't wear out its welcome. Recommended.
- Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 Fantastic cooperative area-control-type game with plot twists and permanent effects. Most highly recommended. Update: Our group finished playing through on August 2, 2016. We ended up reaching the objectives, just barely, in the second half of December with a turn and a half left to go. No wasted actions all game. An incredible board game this is!
- Trains Slick, fast deck-building game. Really fun. Plus we 3D-printed our own little train tracks to replace its cubes.
- Risk: Star Wars Edition Asymmetrical head-to-head two-player game: Rebels vs. Empire at the end of Return of the Jedi, including Endor and the partially built but, much to our dismay, fully operational Death Star. Fast, eventful, mildly strategic and pretty lucky. (The game has very little to do with Risk: it doesn't use Risk mechanics.)
- Star Wars X-Wing A bit of an acquired taste but in some respects probably the best game on my shelf. I'm not good at it! Fun anyway.
- Dominion, which I play with my brother. Last time we played, because we tied, the rules told us to "rejoice in our shared victory." And so we did.