Who am I? And why am I writing this?

I’m a pediatrician in Oregon with a wide variety of interests and opinions. My interests change frequently although my opinions change more slowly. At the moment, I tend to obsess with writing (hence the blog, duh), work, cooking, my vegetable garden, my cats, my horse (tell me again how the hell I ended up with a 23 year old Arabian horse?), really good books, and a few favorite SF/nerdy television shows.

I hail originally from Portland, Oregon, where I spent a geeky childhood dissecting bugs, using fence pickets for “light sabers”, and trying to write science fiction stories. I attended Willamette University in Salem Oregon from which I obtained a BS in chemistry. I attended Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland and graduated in 1992 with an MD and played role-playing games the night before National Match Day when all of the med school graduates are parceled out around the country. I completed a pediatric residency program in 1995 and practice pediatrics in Salem. I also read obsessively, knit with mathematical precision, write fiction and nonfiction mostly for my own pleasure, and play with computers. I ride a recumbent trike from time to time and at other times try not to fall off of my horse. I am  married to Michael Heggen, who is a professional fencing instructor, former IT manager, and fellow nerd; he gets to play with real sabers and so doesn’t need to use fence pickets.

Why TheOwl? Years ago, I was at a weekend retreat where we discussed the Enneagram. I turned out to be a Type Five, also known as the Investigator, and in some older interpretations that use animal characteristics, The Owl. My Meyers-Briggs type is an INTJ, which pretty much amounts to the same thing.

As to the purposes, content and ground rules for this blog…

  1. This is my blog. I’ve got other, more public presences on the web, both personal and professional, but on here I am writing for myself for my own purposes. If you happen to enjoy reading it, that’s gravy.
  2. The opinions expressed here are my own. They are not necessarily the opinions of my colleagues, profession, friends/family, church, or political party.
  3. When writing here, I feel free to swear, mock sacred cows, write about disturbing or controversial subjects, jump topics, pick my nose, and scratch my ass. If that’s not what you want, go look me up on Facebook, where I generally behave myself.
  4. I reserve the right to be a total smartass. I promise to be nice to children and animals but don’t plan on pulling any punches when it comes to those who live stupidly by choice.
  5. I reserve the right to stretch a point, embroider the truth, exaggerate, and tell downright lies if it makes for a better story.
  6. Feel free to comment and even to argue. If you piss me off too much, I’ll just delete it and forget about it.
  7. When you comment, if you can’t spell, use a spell checker. If you can’t write coherently or use good grammar then go back to reading People and playing Angry Birds.
  8. I’ve started with an extremely minimalist decor, because I am currently interested in content not surroundings. When I start finally paying attention to things like aesthetics and layout and adding a lot of photographs, you can be sure I have writers’ block.

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