The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Initial Entry

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firepit's picture
firepit

Initial Entry

 

First, a very quick bio:

- I am a graduate student at Indiana University (in Bloomington, IN, home of The Bernard Clayton), studying cognitive psychology (on the research side of things, not the clinical/helpful side of things). More specifically I'm studying the evolution of learning and decision making processes. It has been noted several times on the site that folks with a technical bent tend to be drawn into baking. I am indeed one of those folks...My undergraduate education was in physics and computer science, and I spent 8 years as a software developer before the career change.

- One of the most rewarding aspects of being a graduate student, at least for me, is that I get to teach. I love teaching, and I have an immense respect for people that are excited and enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge of any topic. It's one thing to be an expert. It's something totally different to be an expert that can convey your knowledge to others and get them excited about it in the process. That's one of the things that draws me to this site...there are lots of teachers here.

- My wife and I do enjoy lots of other culinary adventures, trying to eat and cook just about anything we can, as time and finances permit. I have always loved to cook, but lately baking is winning out. As a big Alton Brown fan, I was drawn in by his baking book, and I haven't looked back...now I've got a 1/2 dozen baking books around and several more on the "need to pick that up soon" list. It's addicting.

Comments

firepit's picture
firepit

 

...ignore, accidental comment... 

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Hi firepit,

I'm an electrical engineer by education and worked at HP and Intel early in my career. I then wandered into the banking business and ended up working in NYC until a few years ago. All that time, I did a lot of software writing and did a lot of computer modelling for financial instruments. It is interesting how many people with more technical backgrounds end up enjoying baking and especially sourdough with all the interesting microbiology going on.

Thanks for the intro. I'll enjoy following your blog, if you continue to post entries in your quest for more sour flavor.

Bill

browndog's picture
browndog

I just can't sit on my hands here, it's like being a country mouse in Boston or something, but I know I'm not the only one. I saw the term Luddite employed very recently. I don't own a food processor , a stand mixer, a microwave or a dishwasher--in fact the list of what I do have would be the shorter one by scads...we only have electricity because my husband's face fell so far when I tried to leave it out of the building plan (where would he plug in his power tools after all.) The sum total of my microscopic computer literacy comes from bumbling around this site, and invariably when you guys post anything with numbers in it my brain shrieks and runs for cover. But firepit, the cognitive psych research sounds fascinating, and besides, I know you have campfire soot on your jeans, and Bill turns out to have been a guitar-strummin' cowpoke all along. Not to mention the fact that my baking has benefited hugely by paying attention to you process-loving  technophiles.

firepit's picture
firepit

I am a hopeless gadget junkie and at the same time I am quite jealous of your simpler lifestyle.

...to clear up any misconceptions, I must admit one thing: while I do enjoy camping, "firepit" does not have any of the woodsy/camping/rustic or even baking-related provenance you might expect. The full story isn't worth explaining, but a few years back Melissa (my wise and wonderful wife) presented the option of either ripping out a horrendous old fireplace ("the firepit") and remodeling our family room, or spending the money on Tivo instead...I chose the Tivo, and the firepit became a bit of an icon among our friends.

So even my name reflects my addiction to tech toys...

 

But I do long for the "someday" that we throw it all away and move to the northern coast of Maine and I'll be done with all of this...

browndog's picture
browndog

It may seem simpler, but the people I live with might not agree...my husband does things in stages, for example--he'll buy some decadent symbol of the Philistine life, like a digital camera or a dvd player, say, and after about three months I'll find out 'we' have one, when my kid accidentally lets it slip. Then (in the interest of full disclosure) guess who ends up using this stuff..? Pathetic, most folks have to sneak beer or cigarettes, here it's the icons of the modern Western world. Still no cell phones though, (I don't think..) And I am so with you on the northern coast of Maine. Besides all that, Mr Pit it was you were the one looking for bread to make in the doorway of your tent!

firepit's picture
firepit

Not that I really expected anyone to miss me, but at the very least I'm happy to be back again...After a summer-long hiatus (to focus on writing up my qualifying exams so that they don't kick me out of graduate school), I'm back to baking...and after a couple of weekends of playing, I have an update for the not-so-sour sourdough experiment.

zolablue's picture
zolablue

Good to see you here again and we'll look forward to hearing about your bread baking ventures.