I'm not one for fancy colours and layouts and all the rest. To be honest, I'm not really that big on having my own webpage, as I don't have too much to say.

Why have a webpage at all, then? Because somebody went and linked here, so I thought I'd do the Web a favour and eliminate a single dead link among thousands.

So do I have anything worth reading? That's subjective, but I do have a few hobbies and interests.

Language is a big fascination of mine. From English with its problems, trivia and etymology, to other languages and alphabets from around the world, I love it all. I've taken courses in French, German, Japanese and Latin, and I've also tried learning some Russian and Gaelic on my own. What did I retain of these languages? A smattering, if that. I don't have the memory for vocabulary, though I seem to do okay with pronunciation and grammar. Also, the constant change of online language is something that both interests and frustrates me.

Information Visualization is an area I'd like to explore further, should I ever find that I can afford to stop working and do a Master's degree. Navigation of information specifically interests me, whether it's network maps, DNS entries, file systems, or genealogy. Unfortunately, I haven't been motivated enough to put some of my ideas in motion. But some day...

Genealogy is another hobby of mine. It's addictive, to be sure, and the blossoming internet is certainly allowing us amateurs to get our start. I use Family Tree Maker because of the lovely renderings it can produce. Unfortunately, their software only prints these to paper, so I had to kludge together some tools to get it to generate some webpages. If you happen to use Family Tree Maker, have access to a machine running Linux, and ask really nicely, I might be able to cobble something together for you. My genealogical information will be available here for your viewing and downloading pleasure sometime, but not quite yet. It's very rough, very tentative, and embarassingly sparse in certain branches of my family.

Dungeons and Dragons is a big consumer of my spare time. I started in 1982 or 1983, played for years, and then left the game when computing became my obsession. D&D was re-released in 1999, and a bunch of us (now) thirty-somethings got back into it. Call it retro, call it nostalgia, call it geeky, we've been playing once a week since December 26th, 2000. If you're interested, you can take a look at some of the characters and their adventures.

Computer games used to take up more of my time than they do now. For over two years, I was heavily into Ultima Online. I still think it's the best MMORPG out there (not that I've played the others). I still dream of the game, and if I hadn't given away my characters and my "phat l3wt", I'd probably be drawn back into it. (August 2004 - I was drawn back into it. My UO links are here.) These days, I'm playing Neverwinter Nights, which I can't get enough of. I'm also a huge Civilization fan and Railroad Tycoon fan.

On a more mundane level, I've been a Teaching Assistant many times here at the University of Calgary, and really enjoy teaching. While I don't have any web pages regarding courses I've TAed, I do have some notes from the CPSC 002 course. Note that the calendar description is nothing like the material covered.

Okay, I think I've gone on long enough to make it look like there's a real webpage here. Maybe I'll update this again, maybe not.

Wayne Pearson
August 30, 2002

Okay, I've got one other thing to add. I'm finally committing some of my programming projects to the web. These things go anywhere from a fleeting thought to half-written/half-working, to maybe even something worth seeing!