For my 450th entry, I'll post my last (so far anyway) of my series on things you really have no need to know about me (the main body of which was written over a month ago).
I've been to seven countries: the United States, Canada, Germany, Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, Ireland, and Barbados. This doesn't count all the sovereign Native American nations I've been to (which I think comes to at least five) or the United Nations property in NYC that isn't part of the U.S. That's not really a country. I may be able to add Brazil next year, which would be my first time in the southern hemisphere, assuming we have enough money for the flight. Our friends are getting wed there. The other priority on my list is Singapore, where one of my best friends from college is. I suspect I may have my Ph.D. before that happens.
I've got an excellent wife (both in the normal sense of 'excellent' and in the Bill-and-Ted sense). She has her own blog,and website, and we've got two born kids with another one to surface probably in October. Ethan is three, and Isaiah is 22.5 months. Their sites haven't been updated in a while, but there are slightly more recent pictures of all of us at my old blog. Ethan has been diagnosed with autism, though we're hoping he makes enough progress through his therapy (which starts in about a week) to move to a less severe diagnosis eventually. I think he's shown enough glimpses of non-autistic behavior that I think he's got the potential. I've blogged about the diagnostic process here and here. People tell us that they're both very happy kids, and they often are. They both absolutely love Veggie Tales, which is good, because those are a much better addiction than anything else I've found designed for kids their age.
I listen almost exclusively to progressive rock, especially of the bands Kansas, Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Gentle Giant, and offshoots and solo projects of members of those groups. I also have a few albums (some of which get a lot of play) from members and projects associated with younger groups like Spock's Beard, Dream Theater, The Flower Kings, Marillion, Salem Hill, Tourniquet, and Iona. I have lots of other music, including a significant sampling of Christian music from the 80s and early 90s, which was often a few years behind its time but often as good or better than the music whose style it was in (Phil Keaggy, who is on right now, was a notable exception to the behind-the-time observation, usually coming out with a new sound or style before it was the thing). Michael Card, Iona (which also counts as prog rock), and Rich Mullins get the most play out of this material, but I still have urges to listen to Petra, Barren Cross, Tourniquet (prog metal) and other groups from when I listened mostly to that stuff. The styles vary from soft pop to celtic to pretty hard stuff, even thrash. I also have a number of jazz and classical CDs that I do listen to from time to time. The variety in my collection is pretty broad. There's not much hip-hop, though there are tracks here and there on samplers, and there's not a lot of country, but I do have a few CDs. Did I miss anything? I don't have much old-style blues, but the blues is all through much of what I do have. Still, the prog stuff gets by far the most play and is probably by now the majority of my CD collection (though it took a lot of them to overcome the CCM stuff I accumulated in college).