Sol's Personal Bits

Where do I come from?
Where am I going?
What is this pause inbetween?
Jon Hendricks

I was born October 6, 1970 in Cincinnati, while my dad was attending law school there. I was named Solomon Moore Foster after my great-grandfather. A maize and blue football was my first possession.

After Dad graduated, we moved briefly to Oregon, then to St. Clair, Michigan. We quickly moved downriver, so from age three on I was raised in Marine City, Michigan. (East China, to be precise.) The family home is right on the Canadian border, with most of the Great Lakes shipping passing our front yard.

After doing scads of things at MCHS, I went off to the University of Michigan. While most of my time was spent goofing off with the things listed below, I did somehow find time to study math and computer science. I was lucky enough to be taken under Dr. Gehring's wing and find a nice little niche writing custom programs for his research while I got my Master's in math.

I escaped school to work at Finite Applications, which spoiled me to no end. When they were bought out by Altair Engineering, it was never the same again. So even though the wheres and whys had been beyond me, the predictions I made when I started turned out to be true -- just short of five years after taking the job, I quit, returned to Marine City, and started my own company, HarmonyWare. It's too early to know how that will turn out, but I'm doing programming that interests me and working alongside some of the top people in my field.

Being back in Marine City was nice, but I found myself inexorably drawn back to Ann Arbor, as I made many new friends there in the year 2000. In the summer of 2001, I bought a small house on the very south edge of town. I love living there, and HarmonyWare has thrived.

And hey, now I'm getting married!

I've been programming since I was eleven. I've always seen proving theorems and writing programs as flip sides of the same coin; and like a good proof, a program can be elegant. To my mind, there's no question that programming is an art, not an engineering discipline. So I think of myself as a software artist. The day software stops being romantic, I intend to be in another field of employment.

I used to play and GM a lot of Dungeons and Dragons. These days all my roleplaying efforts go towards Amber. (Though GURPS Illuminati University is threatening to change that.)

It didn't take too many dinners of Hamburger Helper to convince me I needed to know how to cook. Now I can cook a number of theoretically Chinese (Szechwan, to be precise) dishes and make any number of good (if frequently unconventional) pizzas.

It had been years since I had "outgrown" Disney when Bri happened to play "Bare Necessities" for me. Then Fantasia was rereleased to theatres, and I finally saw The Little Mermaid. The next thing I knew, I was more of a Disney fan than I had ever been as a kid. Now I make biannual pilgrimages to the Florida animation studios. (Heck, I'm even in that FDC thingee, sort of.)

Sol's Politics

Giving money and power to government is like
giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
P. J. O'Rourke

What else needs to be said? Except to point the way to other P. J. O'Rourke material.

Sol's Friends

We are born broken, and live by mending.
Daniel Keys Moran

The Second Cooley Gang was Brian Wells, Wesley McDermott, Qais Farjo, and me. Sometime after we left the hall, we added John Bykowski, the best critic I've ever known. Disturbingly, these guys are starting to get married. (But then fair enough, I'm engaged!)

Then there was the law school bunch. (Not that we were all in law school, by any means.) Chris Dentel, my long-time friend, was my initial tie into that group, though I'd already met Charles Clark via Confer. Aaron Larson was the other regular in that gang, though there were a host of nice people who showed up on an infrequent basis.

No list of my friends would be complete without Paige. Jeff Maisano is a long-time fellow role-player and former co-worker.

Sarah Bear is someone I met via e-mail who turned out to be every bit as cool in person.

I finally have another family member with a website! Check out Karl's Page.

Actually, the last year or two has seen an explosive growth in my friends, and this list is thus hideously out of date. Sorry, gang, I'll get you up here soon.

Sol's Goals

To sing, to laugh, to dream,
To walk in my own way and be alone,
Free, with an eye to see things as they are.
Cyrano de Bergerac

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