David Mintz, homo sapiens

Emptiness

You can find more than a few people named David Mintz on the internet. This one was born in 1958; grew up in Maryland and spent his teenage years in Chile; studied classical guitar at the Hartt School of Music and the University of Arizona; became a Spanish<>English court interpreter after about ten years as a capable but chronically underemployed guitarist; is an interpreter on staff at the Interpreters Office of the US District Court in Manhattan.

I live in a state of near-continuous bliss in South Orange, New Jersey, with my incomparably lovely wife Amy Hartford. We have four fascinating kids (Evan, Mylie, Josie, Gabriela). Also on our payroll we have four stupendously warm and furry cats -- Jack, Kiki, Vernon T. Bludgeon the Cat, The Master Lin-chi -- and the delightful Maggie, a true dog-dog from a garbage dump in rural Georgia.

Shall we talk about the weather? As of 19-Nov-2017 at 2:51 am at Newark Airport in New Jersey it was rain and 58.0°F/14.4°C with relative humidity at 84% and winds from the southwest at 17.3 gusting to 24.2 mph (15 gusting to 21 kt).

Politics

Let's not talk about politics because good judiciary employees don't do that in public. If I did, I would openly declare that my politics are Marxist-Trotskyist, and I wholeheartedly support the Socialist Equality Party. There is a great deal more to say, but for now suffice it to say that I have lived in the world long enough to understand that capitalism is a system under which the social needs of the many are subordinated for the sake of the enrichment of a few at the top; inequality is an essential feature. The capitalist profit system is a disaster for the great majority of the world's population. The only rational, viable alternative is socialism. I recommend the World Socialist Web Site (wsws.org) for further reading; it offers singularly honest and clear-minded reporting and commentary.

Ok, let's change the subject. Tell me about you... Really? My, that's so interesting! All right then, more about me. My other interests, aside from raising a family and arguing politics, include distance running and Web development. And I sit every day.

Running

Running is about as natural a human activity as can be -- so we're told by modern research. The researchers don't need to tell us that children spontaneously run from place to place, and sometimes stage impromptu races to see who can run faster from here to that tree. We adult distance runners are a bit more methodical and formal about it, but I think the fundamental reason we run is essentially the same: it comes naturally, and we like it. Training and racing is a game we like to play, with the simple objective of running as fast as possible.

There's probably an element of addictive defense in there too. Be that as it may, South Mountain Runners is our highly informal local club. Those of us who train seriously place high in our age/gender group when we race, or otherwise achieve our objectives. In my case, I don't expect to set any more PRs in road races -- that's behind me. But I still manage to sneak off with an occasion age group award in your small and sometimes not-so-small 5K races, and I get immense satisfaction from running either in solitude or with my crew, especially on the trails of our our lovely South Mountain Reservation.

The South Mountain Runners welcome not just fanatics and rock stars, but anyone who shares our interest in running, whatever the pace.

Zen, a/k/a just sitting

Once upon a time I was a student at a zendo in New York City, drawn to it because I was curious about practicing meditation. I participated in formal sittings and certain Zen Buddhist rituals -- chanting and bowing and so forth -- worked with a teacher, studied koans. After a couple years I moved on, but continued the habit of sitting every day. There's ample evidence that sitting still and breathing in and out is beneficial to psychological and physical health, but that isn't what motivates me. Nor do I care for what is commonly known as spirituality. I've been sitting long enough to do it for no reason or purpose, with no expectation of reward. I am pleased to report that I have accomplished nothing!

Web development, etc

I enjoy making web applications, such as the court interpreter management system I wrote for my workplace with MySQL/PHP. Its successor is in development, source code hosted in a Github repository.

I'm not the most accomplished of front-end dudes but at least I finally cleaned up this page you're now looking at, so that it would be mobile-responsive. (Our gratitude goes out to the Bootstrap framework for that.) The search engines nowadays knock you down for not being responsive and we can't have that.

I'm a grateful user of Linux and countless other open source products. I despise Windows.

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I could cheerfully continue ad nauseum, but instead I will refer you to my dear friend Professor B, whose mordant wit and perspicacity are unsurpassed: http://vernontbludgeon.com/blog/

If you would like to contact me, the domain is davidmintz.org. Prepend to it the username david followed by @. (Sorry for the circumlocution, it's designed to confound spambots.) If you like digital privacy, please help yourself to my public PGP key.