25 Random things about me

I’ve been tagged by several people, so here it is.

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

1. As a kid, I once rode on the private jet of the Chicago White Sox and sat across the isle from my favorite player, Carlton Fisk. I was so nervous I didn’t say a word.

2. The first SF story I ever wrote was fan fic, involving Wesley Crusher and the Kobayashi Maru Sadly, all copies were lost in a tragic yet suspicious transporter accident.

3. I made Margaret Weis laugh at a Gencon in Milwaukee. I noticed a sign at one of the booths, advertising that she would be there that afternoon. I squeed and gestured wildly to my friends. They turned towards the booth and pointed. I looked. There she was, looking at me and grinning.

4. I had a two appendixes, a very rare condition, removed when I was ten.

5. My favorite constellation is Orion. I look for it whenever there’s a clear sky.

6. I’m proficient, or have been, in multiple computer languages. I’ve written code in Basic, QBasic, GW-Basic, C, C++, Visual Basic, Visual C++, Java, Python, Perl, Ruby, PHP, Bash, Dataflex, Pascal, x86 Assembler and Javascript. I am a nerd.

7. I used to be an avid reader, going through 2-3 books a week. I’ve slowed down considerably, reading only short stories and graphic novels in the last year.

8. When I worked as a consultant at NBC headquarters in New York City, I was taken on a tour of the Saturday Night Live set prior to the January 1st, 2000 show. I watched Blink 182 practice on stage.

9. I like Iron Maiden, Johnny Cash, Flogging Molly, Tesla, Nine Inch Nails, and Tori Amos. I’ve seen four of them in concert. Sadly, I didn’t discover Johnny Cash until after he died.

10. I love the musical Les Miserables. I’ve seen it once live, but listen to the soundtrack regularly.

11. I spent many days and nights in the children’s ward at the University of Minnesota hospital as a kid, although I was never a patient, and stayed at the Ronald McDonald House.

12. I love role playing games but infrequently have enough friends nearby to play with. I’ve played Dungeons and Dragons and Rifts. The next best thing is playing Munchkin with Andrea.

13. I used to clip my nails obsessively. Now I only clip when they interfere with writing/typing or if it breaks.

14. I am an autodidact.

15. I enjoy professional wrestling. I know it’s not real. I still enjoy watching it. I view it as a soap opera, with serial story lines.

16. I once wanted to be a professional wrestler. I visited a school in Chicago when I was 18 but couldn’t afford to go.

17. Growing up, I wanted to be an astronaut. Then a lawyer (thank you, Law and Order). I also wanted to be a writer but some harsh criticism from teachers and one angry, bitter writer I met at Gencon really shook my self-confidence. It took more than twenty years for me try my hand at it seriously again.

18. I try, but I am not the most socially gifted person. I’m more likely to sit and listen than I am to participate in a conversation.

19. Reading is an escape for me and served as my only entertainment and supervision when I was young. I write stories because I want give something back and return the favor. So say the voices in my head.

20. I’ve built and rebuilt hundreds of computers over the years and run various flavors of Linux but these days I use a Mac and have little interest in building my own.

21. I enjoy building and painting models and miniatures. I’m working on a Bird of Prey, and have a Battlestar Galactica Mark II Viper, the Delorean from Back to the Future, and a Batmobile to paint. I also have a ton of Warhammer pieces to paint. I am building a Dwarf army to fight zombies, vampires, and skeleton warriors.

22. I love Dwarves. My first attempt at a novel was an epic fantasy with a Dwarf main character. I’m revising a steampunk-ish story with a dwarf-crewed airship and have plans to do a dwarf web comic one day.

23. I want to learn more about astronomy. The only telescope I’ve owned was a $20 model I bought at walmart as a teen. I’m hoping to get more involved after we move to Ontario and get settled.

24. I’ve been working since I was 12. I started mowing lawns and delivering newspapers. I spent summers working maintenance and security at a pool. I worked fast food for 3-4 years. I worked as a cleaner in a food processing plant for one night. I drove a forklift, was a secretary, did building and greenhouse maintenance and worked as a messenger before finally getting a job in tech support. I transitioned from that to being a computer programmer and now work as Chief Technical Officer at an advertising company.

25. My favorite historical figure is Nicola Tesla. I think his role in history has been vastly understated and his accomplishments discredited.

I’d love to learn more about my friends and acquaintances, so if you haven’t already done this, consider yourself tagged.

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