Architecture
I've always thought
that if for some reason I couldn't make a pretty good living as a computer geek, I'd like to be an architect. Not that you make a very good living as an architect (and besides, I like being a computer geek), but ever since I was a kid I've been fascinated by the design of buildings.

I like just about every kind of architecture except the International Style and its ilk. A lot of modern architecture makes my teeth itch kind of the way country music does (my friend Michael Benedikt, himself a professor of architecture at the University of Texas, says being an architect is like being a dentist who is forced to
live inside people's mouths). I'm not sure if I'm unique in considering the Bauhaus and Randy Travis to be the great blights on western culture of the 20th century, but so it goes.

I do have some ideas about why so much modern architecture is so wretched.

As you might guess from the background image, I'm particularly fond of classical architecture and things in the classical tradition. I also like art deco a whole bunch.

Without a doubt, my favorite architect is Julia Morgan. I also rather like the work of Bernard Maybeck and Gilbert Stanley Underwood. On the other hand, I find
Frank Lloyd Wright oppressive and overrated. And I consider Le Corbusier an enemy of humanity who somehow managed to escape justice by dying of old age.

Another interesting architect is Christopher Alexander. While his dogmatism is irritating and his sociological conceits are silly, I really like his emphasis on buildings as artifacts to serve their inhabitants rather than to gratify the artistic pretensions of the designer.
One of the most interesting things about architecture is the collision between artistic and aesthetic sensibilities on the one hand and functionality, practicality and business reality on the other.