Parting Thoughts

A Lovely Visit with Mark Indictor

Posted 4 April 2016

One of my best and oldest friends, Mark Indictor, came to visit this weekend, and we had a wonderful time!

Mark and I went to Junior High and High School together, at Oakwood School in North Hollywood, from 7th through 12th grade.

We bonded early based on our nerdy interests, fervent opposition to PE, passion for building things, and, in time, long hair, sex, drugs, and rock and roll. It was 1967 to 1973 that we are talking about here…

Although Mark earns his living as a software developer at JPL, his passion is for playing music — violin, in particular. Even when we were first becoming friends, I remember having to wait for Mark to get home from the kid’s symphony rehearsals.

Mark’s Visit This Weekend

Mark drove up from LA on Friday, and Irene, Mark, and I had dinner together at Willowwood Market in Graton. It’s always great to see him.

Saturday the three of us drove out to Bodega Bay for lunch, and then out to Bodega Head. It was a beautiful if overcast day.


Saturday afternoon, we sat around our yard and worked on various projects. I recorded a little bit of impromptu entertainment from Mark:


Mark and I spent many, many hours together from 7th through about 10th grade. We remained close in the last couple years of high school, but with more distractions as we each became involved with other things, like girls.

This weekend, Mark and I had a great time remembering — or trying to remember — some of our adventures. Someday I may transcribe these, but for now, here is the raw audio for the three that we got recorded.

Hacking phones and controlling lights, circa 1969

Better living through chemistry, 1972

Parental discretion advised. The first section is from the last months of 12th grade.

The second section carries on with the next adventure, during the summer after high-school graduation.

More About Mark

Mark is an extraordinary musician. For many years he was a key member of the band Hot Lips and the Fingertips, which played regularly around LA and beyond through the 80s and 90s. (They recently had a reunion concert, hence the Facebook page.)

You can check out Mark’s current activities at

For the past few years, Mark has been playing with Susie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band.

There’s some examples of his JPL work here: Mark Indictor’s publications on real-time Java and developing high-reliability mission control software.

The Joy of Old Friends

It is wonderful how quickly Mark and I feel connected, even though we haven’t seen each other frequently in recent decades and it was more than 40 years ago that we were last in school together.

We have taken very different life paths, but with much overlap. It was surprising as we talked how many somewhat idiosyncratic things we have in common today, from our plans to tear out failing home control systems and go back to wired switches, to exploration of Buddhism and other spiritual paths.