Hi, everyone. I thought I’d introduce myself before I started posting (plus, this buys me time to get some actual posts written…).
My name is Rob, and I’m excited to be part of the skeptical world.
I grew up in Gloucester, Massachusetts, which was the setting for the book and movie The Perfect Storm. But now I call the Midwest my home.
I was baptized and raised Catholic, but we were not devout. Most years we only went for Christmas and Easter; occasionally we went more often. I did go through First Communion as well as Confirmation, but all along it felt like my parents were simply checking off the boxes on some scorecard they kept buried beneath the socks in their drawer. You know, the “just-in-case-this-God-stuff-is-right-we’d-better-make-sure-we-do-everything-we’re-supposed-to-so-our-kids-don’t-burn-in-hell-for-all-eternity-because-we-screwed-up” list.
Meanwhile, science and math were always my favorite subjects in school (read: “I was a nerd and probably still am.”). I loved learning how things worked in the universe, and astronomy and cosmology were probably my two favorite areas. More about that in a later post.
I wish I could point to some galvanizing moment where I had an atheistic epiphany, but I don’t think it happened like that (nor does it for most people). I think any religious notions just simply faded away as I learned more and more about the science of the universe. Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series was definitely an early influencer when I was a kid. While I was always a decent critical thinker, it wasn’t until I came across Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy website (from long before he moved to Discover.com) that I first started really focusing on critical thinking, and fine tuning my woo-detector.
I’m really happy to be where I am now. I’ve got a wonderful wife (you might know her already – Laurie T. over at Rational Moms) who refers to me as the Handsome Skeptic Husband*, two kids (the now-eight-year-old Little Skeptic Girl and her little brother, the soon-to-be-six Little Skeptic Boy), and a growing activity level in the skeptical community.
Laurie and I are less than a week from our inaugural Skeptics in the Pub meeting of the Louisville Area Skeptics! And we’re going to our first major Skeptical gathering when we head to Atlanta for Dragon*Con! And TAM8 is firmly affixed on our radar.
So anyhow, thanks for taking the time to read my introduction. As your reward, I’d like to share a quick video I captured while I was watching a Red Sox game the other night (I mentioned I was from Massachusetts, right?). You know how they sometimes zoom way in on the moon? Well, some smart cameraman zoomed in on Jupiter. It looked better on TV, unfortunately, than it does here, but you can still tell.
The best part is, I showed it to Little Skeptic Girl, with no explanation. Right away, she said, “Is that Jupiter?”
That’s my girl!
I don’t know about you, but that’s (as we say back in Massachusetts) wicked awesome.
* – She doesn’t realize the quandary into which she’s placed me. See, I have to come up with some equally fitting name for her. If it’s not as complimentary (“Average-looking Skeptic Wife”), I’m obviously in big trouble. And if I go to the other extreme (“Totally Smokin’ Hot Skeptic Wife”), well then I’d be accused of being silly (despite the fact that it would be accurate). And, of course, you don’t call a woman “handsome” unless you want a drink thrown in your face…
…Looks like I’m just going to call her “Laurie T.” for now, and try and come up with something to fit that narrow band of acceptability later…