Peter requests an exemption

As I’ve mentioned in various places, Peter got a full four-year scholarship to Caltech, but flunked out after the first quarter. He subsequently attended the University of Washington, but didn’t graduate from there either. (I know very little about his time at UW.) About ten years later, he attended the University of California at Berkeley. […]

Peter and the Soviet university

Early in Peter’s FBI file was a letter that he wrote to his parents (at least it seems to be to his parents), which someone had turned over to the FBI as evidence that Peter was a dangerous radical who needed to be investigated. (My strong impression from various bits of unredacted info in the […]


(Wrote this entry in August 2015, but apparently neglected to post it ’til now.) Kathleen has finished removing soot from Peter’s books, so I’ve done a quick culling pass on the mass-market paperbacks and put the ones I’m keeping on my bookcase. (Climbing the library ladder with a hurt knee was a little bit scary, […]

Big Band music and electric organ

Peter liked a variety of different kinds of music. My impression was that among his favorite performers were the Beatles, the Grateful Dead, and several big-name jazz musicians. I know that he loved Pat Metheny; I went to a couple of Metheny concerts with him, and he owned at least a couple of the albums. […]

The asparagus joke

I was eating some asparagus just now and it reminded me of a joke Peter used to tell. It went something like this: This woman was at a dinner party, and there was a platter of asparagus being passed around the table. When it got to her, she very carefully cut off all of the […]

Million-dollar ideas

Oddly, I don’t seem to have written here about Peter’s “million-dollar ideas.” Every so often, he would come up with an idea that he was certain was amazing and never-before-thought-of. He always offered us these ideas for free, with the suggestion that if we were to implement one of them, it would make us a […]

Intoxicated phone calls

I had always intended this blog to include some negative things about Peter as well as positive ones, but the time never seemed right, and then I mostly abandoned this blog. But I was recently going through a bunch of old files, and found a letter that I wrote to Peter in 2001. I’m nearly […]


I posted this in my main blog about five years ago, but it just occurred to me that I ought to repost it here: Peter used to occasionally explain that various things worked by means of “FM.” I would ask, “What’s that?” He would reply: “Fuckin’ magic!””