Welcome to the Xenomind
This is the alien mind of Craig "Ichabod" O'Brien, instantiated as a wiki. I was going to add some blogs to it, but then I decided to try doing them as sequentially linked wiki posts. I previously had a git repository and a Trac instance for my t_games project on this site. However I have moved to a GitHub repository. There is no an alpha release of that project on that site.
- Receiving Jukai
- Learn to Sew
- Serpent Mound
- African Art Museum
- Draw an Enso
- Giving up on Prayer
- Make a Language
- Read the Shobogenzo
Who Am I
A good question, one that the Zen masters say I should ask myself more often. I will give you the wrong answer:
I am a Zen Quaker living in Silver Spring Maryland. I am currently work retired from the United States Federal Government at the Consumer Product Safety Commission in Bethesda. I am spending my time working on my Python programming projects, working for criminal justice reform with the Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform (MAJR), working as a lay monk in the Soto Zen tradition with Inryu Bobbi Ponce-Barger at the All Beings Sangha, and randomly puttering about with various Bucket List items.
Where I'm Going
I'm not quite sure. I like living in Silver Spring, but eventually I plan to move back to my home town of Charlottesville, to help care for my mother as she gets older. She's not at that point yet, so I stay where I am. After Charlottesville I was thinking of moving somewhere cheaper than Silver Spring, but still urban. Right now Sacramento is looking good.
Where I've Come From
I was born a rich white boy in Charlottesville, VA. I don't have a very good memory of my childhood. I've been told this is common among trauma victims. I think things were pretty normal until I grew my hair long after The Diary Incident. That pretty severely ostracised me, reducing my friends to the geeks who respected my intelligence. Going to Camp Greenbrier didn't help. Around that time I did learn programming, which has been a comforting hobby throughout my life.
Things got worse in Middle School. My friends from grade school were all in band, but I wasn't. The school had this "block system," with half the school in one block, and half the school in another block. The two blocks never saw each other. You couldn't even eat lunch together. All the kids in band were in one block, all the kids not in band were in another block. So I didn't see any of my grade school friends at school for three years. Eventually, I earned the nickname Psycho.
In high school, I got into Punk Rock, Breaking and Entering, and became a drug addict. Punk rock was a huge help. Drug addiction not so much. I eventually had to escape public school after The Gold Chain Incident, and ended up at Tandem School. If I had not gone to Tandem School, I firmly believe I would be lucky to be in jail right now.
The summer after high school I was diagnosed with Cancer. I spent a year in and out of the hospital, getting chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and two operations. The hair I grew long in high school fell out and never grew back. At one point my weight was down to 114 lbs. (I'm 6' 1").
After that I moved on to the University of Rochester, where I joined a fraternity, discovered my love of games, and became enthralled with the study of Cognitive Science. My desire of becoming a professor of cognitive science is what got me to quit drugs and get my studies in order. I was eventually accepted into a Take Five program for a fifth year tuition-free, and graduated with honors.
However, I screwed up my applications to grad school, and didn't get in anywhere. My Dad cut of the funds, and I ended up living with my Mom and failing to find a job. I took the crazy step of opening a game store, and eventually transitioned to Freelance Writing and then a job as an editor at Iron Crown Enterprises. I was living my dream, until ICE went bankrupt owing me several thousand dollars in back pay.
I ended up working various jobs I couldn't stand, until the fateful urging of my girlfriend Sherry Rivers, I went back to Graduate School. I got a degree in Statistics, which lead to my current job in Maryland.
This all leaves out My Spiritual Journey, but that's a long tale that goes along side the rest of my history.