March 24, 2006

100 Things About A Blogger

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brian @ 8:57 pm

But not all at once. And I’m not sure I’m “a blogger,” except in the most generous sense…

I come across as blunt, abrasive, aloof, distant and ostensibly averse to small talk – and damned if some people don’t much care for that.
(not written by me or about me, but I’m told I sometimes leave that first impression.)

2. I’m one of those people with a very few, close friends, and then nothing. I can’t keep up with too many lives in depth, and shallow, surface-level relationships don’t do anything for me.

3. I have a bachelor’s degree in lighting design for the theatre. My livlihood comes from working with computers, which I’ve always enjoyed. I got into theatre in high school as a way to avoid math. I have regretted that decision several times over – but I am past it now.

4. I went from 1991 (when I left home for college) to 1995 (when I graduated) without a haircut. Now it’s short enough to stick straight out in back.

5. The hole in my ear that used to contain an earring hasn’t closed after 9 or so years of being empty.

6. I can take “following the rules” to an extreme. But only if I agree with the rule. If I disagree, I can take “not following the rules” to an extreme. Unless there’s a serious penalty for breaking it, in which case I’ll probably comply, but make no attempt to hide the fact that it’s under duress.

7. Grammar is a hobby of mine. I always notice when something is not quite right, but I’ve learned that it’s best to ignore the mistakes of others when possible. I own a book called “A Dictionary of Modern American Usage” – a several-hundred page grammar book – for the sheer joy it brings. As such, my own mistakes in grammar distress me greatly when I find them.

8. There are plenty of good reasons to violate the “never split an infinitive” rule.

9. I don’t like cliches. Especially those that are misused (“turn a blind eye towards”), meaningless in today’s world (“to run roughshod over”), wrong (“I could care less” and “hindsight is 20/20”) or don’t quite capture the intended meaning (“comparing apples to oranges”).

9. I’m a Mac person, and have been since 1985. I still have that Mac in my basement, and have resisted the temptation to turn it into a fishbowl.

10. I’m a Unix person, and have been since 1991. I was as excited as can be when Apple went all BSD on me with OS X. Mac OS and a Unix shell! (BSD is a Unix variant)

11. I like spicy food. I’m fascinated at the idea that “adding spiciness” originated as a way to preserve food in warmer climates. It’s curious that our modern methods of preservation don’t have such an effect on the flavor of the underlying foods. Imagine what it would take to get people to do that now. “Oh, your butter’s going bad? Just blend in a bucketful of cayenne pepper and it’ll keep for weeks!”

12. I love to eat, generally-speaking, and will try things just because they sound wierd. Oatmeal pie and grilled jalepeno peppers filled with cream cheese are two of my most surprising discoveries. Oh – and this probably isn’t the least bit “wierd” to most people – beets!

13. To two significant digits, I weigh 100 kilograms, and am 2.0 meters tall. But I’m American, so I don’t usually say it that way, even though it’s so much neater to do so. I have been holding my breath for the metric system since grade school, and will continue to do forever, apparently.

14. I can juggle three of any item I can comfortably toss. I want to test myself with fire torches, but not to the extent that I’m willing to purchase a set.

15. I believe that anyone with n functional hands can learn to juggle n + 1 balls, and will be a happier person once they do. Oranges are the optimal practice item; they’re a good size, perfect weight, and don’t bounce very far away when you drop them. And when you’re done, you can poke a hole in the one end and suck out the juice. (See? here we are with the food again.) When you get good, do it in the produce section of your local supermarket at least once for maximum happiness. Nobody will stop you. And yes, you are obligated to purchase what you drop.

15.5. If you’re going to juggle raw eggs, remove any rings from your fingers first, lest your display of skill be unjustly spoiled.

16. “Devil sticks” have that name for a very good reason. (I take issue with the caption there that says, “Learning … is easy for most children.”)

17. When it comes up in conversation that we make our own bread, people look at my wife and say, “oh, you have a bread maker?” she says, “Yes,” and nods in my direction. I make very good bread, and I love to do it. We haven’t bought sandwich bread for probably three years. It may be true that my younger son has never eaten a sandwich (at home) on store-bought bread.

18. I don’t know what would cause that topic to come up in conversation, but I remember it happening twice in the past few months. At neighborhood gatherings. When I was being social. I can be social, I just prefer not to.

19. I like to get up very early in the mornings, for the quiet time it allows. My 6-year-old son likes to get up very early in the mornings. But for entirely different reasons, having nothing whatever to do with quiet.

20. I collect disclaimers that either refute themselves or are just plain stoopid. Recent favorites are e-mail signature lines that threaten legal action if you read the message and it wasn’t intended for you (and it says this at the bottom of the message) and “Unlimited double coupons up to $0.50”



  1. A great list! And I can honestly say that I have juggled oranges in the supermarket before. ;-) I can also supply you with some great e-mail disclaimers if you like…my profession is the queen of these…sheesh.

    Comment by Gwynne — March 25, 2006 @ 2:39 am

  2. I have juggled oranges in the supermarket before

    Hooray! That explains your generally happy demeanor, I think. Or maybe it’s the other way around.

    I imagine you accountants have quite a collection of disclaimers. I think my favorite general category is “the 5+ line long disclaimer, repeated in several languages, even though the e-mail message itself is only in english.”

    Comment by Brian — March 25, 2006 @ 7:55 am

  3. Thanks for your support, Brian!

    You’re absolutely right about the juggling…it’s hard not to be a happy person when you’ve got that going for you. ;-)

    Recently, new regulations required that we adopt a new disclaimer and we had a lot of fun creating various versions to send up to corporate for approval. Among them, the multiple language, large font, full paragraph versions. Being in Kansas, our favorite was a large picture of the Wizard of Oz and a simple, “Pay no attention to the person writing this email.”

    Comment by Gwynne — March 25, 2006 @ 12:27 pm

  4. I’m still trying to figure out why you were surprised at the deliciousness of grilled jalapeños (with or without the cream cheese). It’s just a given at our house that when something meaty is laid on the bbq grill, it will be accompanied by sliced jalapeños!

    I prefer juggling beanbags to fruit, but that’s just me.

    Your comment about the work involved in keeping up with multiple social interactions is spot on, in my opinion. The person who has one or two truly close friends is the most fortunate of beings. Anything more than that is likely a lie on the part of one or both parties. Some will think that’s just cynical, but I suspect you’ll understand what I’m saying.

    Comment by Eric — March 25, 2006 @ 10:27 pm

  5. And I keep forgetting that I have to hit the space bar twice to leave a blank line between my paragraphs! ;-)

    [Is there a preference you can tweak to fix that? In your spare time, of course…]

    Comment by Eric — March 25, 2006 @ 10:29 pm

  6. Oh, and one other thing. You are a blogger, in every sense of the word.

    You might as well embrace it, dude.

    Comment by Eric — March 25, 2006 @ 10:33 pm

  7. Funny how jugglers are like artists. They’re hiding all over the place. You never know how many you know until you bring it up. Nearly 100% of my commenters can do it!

    Gwynne – that’s great! What fun to get to vote on your own disclaimer. Kind of up there with mission statements, huh?

    Eric #1 – where I grew up (5 min north of Chicago) the grill meant ribs, hamburgers or hot dogs/any other random sausage. Plant matter on the grill just seemed wierd. And cream cheese? That’s for bagels.

    I’ve always known at least one person who knows a million people, seemingly pretty well. Makes me wonder if I’m doing something wrong (see item #1) – but not so much that I think I should do anything about it. This works for me.

    Eric #2 – I checked the preferences … nothing. I really like WordPress, the software, but I’m not thrilled about WordPress the free hosting service. Mostly because I can’t tweak the layout, but also for stuff like that. And I’d like a comment-preview button. I keep thinking of moving to my own domain, but can’t decide on a good domain name.

    WordPress the free hosting service is great for what it does. But I’m a tinkerer, and it won’t let you under the hood.

    Eric #3 – you’re probably right. I checked the blog this morning – “Ooh! five comments now on this one!”. I guess that qualifies me.

    Comment by Brian — March 26, 2006 @ 8:03 am

  8. Hi,
    I was checking my stats and noticed a visit or to with your site as a referrer. So I came here to see if I could figure out how someone found my blog from your blog.
    Lo, and behold, I’m on your blog roll. Thanks!
    I’ve added you to mine as well.
    You create very nice drawings! I like them a lot.
    Louis looks like a sweet old dog. Give him a pat on the head for me :-)
    Keep up the good work. (hint: I think drawing is your bean, think about how to use drawing. That’s what I’m trying to do as well.)
    Thanks again for the link up!
    I’ll keep my eye on your blog.

    Comment by Don — March 26, 2006 @ 12:13 pm

  9. Goodness! Where did all these people come from? I feel like I should go grocery shopping to feed all the unexpected (and most welcome) company!

    #1. He scares my mother. She likes him, but she’s sometimes afraid of him. Sometimes I use this to my advantage.
    #12. Works well in our house. I like to cook. If you like to cook you need a good audience.
    #17. He makes *really* good bread. Now and then I think I shouldn’t trouble him to make bread and I should just buy it. I just can’t bring myself to do it.

    Comment by Beanquestor's Bride — March 26, 2006 @ 12:58 pm

  10. Now and then I think I shouldn’t trouble him to make bread and I should just buy it.

    If it bothers you too much, just have him make the bread anyway, then mail it to me and you won’t have to feel guilty about eating it. ;-)

    Comment by Eric — March 26, 2006 @ 3:26 pm

  11. Don – I visit your site for the same reasons I visit Danny Gregory and Kevin Cornell’s “Bearskin Rug”. I like your style, and how your pictures tell a story. Thanks for stopping by, and for your compliment. It means a lot coming from someone whose work I’ve admired.

    My Bride – Ah, yes. Perhaps I should give advice to newlywed husbands: “To be in the good graces of your new mother-in-law, make every effort to present yourself as abrasive and aloof. They eat that stuff up.” I’ll have to tell the story of how I first met them .. with the hair as long as yours, the earring, the black leather jacket and the chivalry of dropping you on their kitchen floor.

    Comment by Brian — March 26, 2006 @ 3:38 pm

  12. Heh, Brian. That sounds like a story worth telling. ;-)

    I like the drawing of Louis. Reminds me a lot of my own dog. More importantly, it’s a nice drawing.

    Comment by Gwynne — March 26, 2006 @ 3:51 pm

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