5 Little Known Things

Ok, Geva Perry tagged me so here goes:

1. After graduating from Umass/Amherst with a Mechanical Engineering degree, I worked at the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, doing side-impact crashworthiness research for the NHTSA. We ran transient dynamic finite-element analysis simulations using LS-DYNA and rigid-body simulations with MADYMO3D. This is where I learned UNIX, because we ran the simulations on big SGI Origin compute servers, T3 Cray machines, Intel Paragons, and even AIX RS/6000s.

2. I’ve been playing guitar since I was about 13 years old, and after playing live many bluegrass, metal, jamband covers, and pop songs, I still can’t seem to do anything with jazz improvisation except faking it.

3. In high school I was a major gearhead, and tricked out all of my 3 1980s VW GTIs for extra horsepower. My introduction to automotive repairs was replacing the front left transaxle on my 1977 VW Scirocco in my driveway. This enthusiasm for cars also led me to be one ‘bad driving’ point away from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles seizing my license. (I drive slower now)

4. In 1999, I moved to San Francisco and after a short stint at Genentech, I went to work at Salon.com for Chad Dickerson, who continues to be my all-time favorite manager. I learned a lot from Chad, and am lucky enough to work with him at Yahoo!.

5. I was born in The Ozarks, then moved to north suburban Boston. Depending on how much I’ve had to drink, I either have a Boston accent, or a slight southern-ish accent. 🙂

And now, as Norby points out…I tag Sara Wood, Aaron Cope, Dathan, Kellan, and George.


  1. Norby   •  

    Hey, aren’t you supposed to tag 5 other people now?


  2. I'm a loser   •  

    Why don’t I know what it means to be “tagged”? Also, I hate jazz improv.

  3. Skwerl   •  

    Turns out, if I did not have the attention span of a squirrel I might have noticed the link to Geva Perry’s post that would have told me what “tagging” means. Maybe I am not a loser? Jazz improv still sucks.

  4. adlegq kdnh   •  

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  5. Ann (Dyche) Allspaw   •  

    Hey John Allspaw! You gave away you identity with the little known fact of being born in the Ozarks! I often think of you and Susan, and especially now that we’re planning a 20-year High School reunion. You should come back to Marshfield the big event

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