An Introduction

It has occurred to me that the majority of people who read this post may, in fact, not already know me.  So, while I could tell the story of starting over on a personal blog outside of my former one at LiveJournal, it wouldn’t be highly relevant.  That’s a story I’ll save for another post and another time.

Hi there.  I’m Rhett Aultman.  At the time of this post, I’m 31 years old.  I’m a software engineer for HP.  I currently work in our Palm business unit.  Generically speaking, I work on WebOS.  I have a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Florida, having opted for this degree after withdrawing from the doctoral program.  I have no particular hard feelings about my time in that program, and I’m still on quite friendly terms with Dr. Boykin, one of my former advisers.  I have a love for operating systems design and implementation.  I was the staff coordinating teaching assistant for the University of Florida’s undergraduate operating systems course for several semesters.  I also was an engineer responsible for kernel and driver implementation of the Motorola Q9h.  My love of operating systems is, of course, why I’m happy to be an engineer within the Palm business unit of HP.  In my spare time, I am working on a hobby OS called ArcanOS.  I expect a number of posts here will come from my wrestling with ArcanOS development.

I’m also an athlete.  It’s taken me a long time to come around to saying that, but it’s true.  I’m a nerd-jock.  Or a jock-nerd.  Or something.  My primary event is long distance cycling, which I do for charity rather than for competition.  In 2010, I completed AIDS/LifeCycle, a 7-day ride covering a 545-mile route from San Francisco to Los Angeles.  I also am becoming more of a runner, where I’m finding moderate distances the most rewarding.  I really prefer 10k and 12k runs, where I do a bit better than 9:00 miles.  I’ll be attempting my first half marathon in October.  I exercise nearly every day, with most of it coming from 20 miles of commuting by bicycle every day.  This is something I have to do for myself to ward off obesity, which seems to plague many members of my extended family.  A good number of my posts will likely surround this, as well.

I’m also learning to surf.  Fail is likely to ensure.  Watch this space.

I have an active avocation in video production.  The majority of my efforts have involved events video for roller derby leagues.  I’ve done four season-long tours of duty with local leagues in Florida and most recently with the Silicon Valley Roller Girls.  On occasion, I’ve used my video skills in a professional setting, most notably with HP, where I’ve produced training and demonstration videos.

Finally, there’s the whole “mystic atheist” thing.  That may seem like a contradiction in terms, but I hope that, over time, that comes to seem less so.  I’ve been active in Pagan pursuits of some flavor for over 15 years now, but somewhere in my early 20s, I came to conclude that my belief in the existence of any form of deity, and indeed in the existence of most metaphysical constructs, was indefensible.  This is not to say, however, that I find the concept of spiritual pursuit to be pointless, though I think that healthy spiritual progress does necessitate outgrowing one’s naive belief in a number of things.  I’m currently learning more about what is broadly known as the Western Mystery Tradition and I am actively pursuing the curriculum of the Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn.  I’ve found a wonderful community within this group, and I also believe I’ve found within them a means for learning more about western occultism in a framework where my atheistic cosmology is respected.  Believers are likely to see me as deluded; more “serious” atheists are likely to see me as only playing at atheism.  I prefer to think, however, that I’ve rather thoughtfully reconciled my passions for atheistic existentialism and spiritual pursuit.  You be the judge.

I very much appreciate you taking the time to read this introduction.  I’m quite happy to have finally started a blog on my own domain.