Welcome to Slackwood

The Home of Jim "Jimcat" Kasprzak

What is Slackwood?

Slackwood is many things in many contexts. It is that portion of reality which I have chosen to claim for my own and remake in my own image. It is the outward reflection of my inner self. It is the manifestation of my attempts, be they successful or otherwise, "To grasp this sorry scheme of things entire... and then remold it closer to the heart's desire".


I am by nature a cartophile, having an avid interest in maps. As such, I see many things in terms of geography. Geographies need not be of the merely physical variety, as anyone browsing the Web is already well aware.

Slackwood existed, first and foremost, in the geography of the imagination. It had a place in the virtual reality of my mind long before the term was coined to describe computer simulations, and indeed, even before I had given it a name. Slackwood is, in fact, a fairly new name for something which has existed from the day that my imagination was able to create it. (Digression 1)

In this context, Slackwood is simply the place to which I can retreat when I wish to escape from the pressures and vagaries of the real world. It is the place that I envision when I close my eyes and breathe deeply. It is the state of relaxation that I achieve when my thoughts need calming. The name, although chosen for different reasons, serendipitously reflects this.

With the creation of this Web page, Slackwood now assumes a place in the geography of the World Wide Web. In some sense, Slackwood has existed on the Internet since September of 1986, when I received my first account on MTS at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. I have long regarded computer accounts in the sense of houses or apartments, which one gradually fills with one's belongings and improves to suit one's own comfort. (Digression 2)

In terms of the Web, Slackwood exists within the realm of Apricot Systematic. Many thanks are due to Scanner, without whose generosity, dedication, support and friendship, those of us who now consider ourselves members of Apricot Systematic would not have the focus we now do. There may someday be a slackwood.com site, but that is not a high priority of mine for the near future.

Finally, if Slackwood could be said to have a physical manifestation, it would be in my home in Summit, New Jersey. Not every place that I have lived in has been an aspect of Slackwood; indeed, some of my apartments in Troy were more places to escape from than to, and others were simply a place to provide me with the necessities of living space. But my home in Summit is one that I chose with careful consideration of everything I wanted in order to happily stay there for more than a year or two, and comes closest of all the places I have lived to my ideal. Someday I hope to purchase some property for a vacation home, far enough north and close enough to the ocean that the temperatures will be cool even in the summer, and use it to escape the heat, crowds and noise which take away from my enjoyment of life. That will be the ultimate realization of Slackwood in the physical world.

So Who Is This Jimcat Person, Anyhow?

Well, that's a very good question. I've been searching for the answer for my entire life, and will continue to do so. The answer itself, of course, is neither constant nor absolute, since the story of my life has so far been one of almost constant change and transition. But I can at least give you some known facts, and let you go from there.

My name, as it appears on my birth certificate, passport, driver's license, and other legal documents, is James Edward Kasprzak, although I prefer to go by Jim or Jimcat.

Reading the above explanation of Slackwood has probably already given you some hints as to my personality. You may also gain some insight by looking at some of my other writings. Those with a more business-oriented interest in me may view my resume. And for those who judge a person by the company they keep, you may wish to visit the pages of some of my friends, or see some of the heroes and role models who have influenced and guided my life.

I have finally managed to get some pictures of me online. There are also some images of characters which I created, which do bear some fair resemblance to me, available for viewing. These were drawn by Apricot Systematic's resident artist and furball, John "Pomru" Yung.

At the beginning of 1996, I created a list of goals for the year, which I then published on this web site as a sort of encouragement and reminder to myself. I have left it up now that the year is over, with some notes as to how those goals were met or not.