January Psalm

God; I thank you for the air in my lungs and the road at my
The sweat on my head, the sore in my legs is a treat.
When stress gets to me
I feel the need to flee
When I feel antsy
Your blue skies I see.

Gracious Father, You rule the calls and e-mail
Help me stick to Budgets without fail
Your grace is upon my PowerPoints
When my code won’t compile,
As my belly fills with bile
Your peace my mind anoints

God, as you are a father to me, I try to be
a strong dad to my boys.
In Strength and in love, like my Father above
My kids add to my joys.

Literary List Meme

I got this meme from RandomDuck, who got it from Sprite. Rules are simple – Bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you’d like to read. My value add? Snide comments.

  1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) – Wow, do I wish I had these two evenings back. Brown was clearly writing this with a screenplay in mind. Which explains why his dialog is terrible, characters are one dimensional, and most of the book consists of his re-hashing what are the important clues so a half-drunk producer could follow the story while a wanna-be starlet hung on each arm. But other than that, it was OK.
  2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) Only after watching it on PBS can I admit I’m finally intrigued to read it.
  3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) – This one gets a little bit confusing. I’ve read it, just like everyone who’s made it out of seventh grade since about 1970. But I read it as a 7th grader, and a little bit has changed. Well, except for still thinking farts are funny.
  4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell) – Even longer than the movie
  5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
  6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
  7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien) – You lose your geek card if you haven’t read these. Truth be told, I didn’t read these completely until after I was out of college. All the different characters kind of ran together for me. I’m all about books with just a couple of well developed characters – Tolkien was just a bit too in depth for my tastes. Now that I’ve read them, though, they’re completely worth reading.
  8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) – no interest
  9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
  10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry) – First one I haven’t even heard of
  11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling) – I’m working through these with my oldest son. Cannot wait for evenings warm enough to sit out and read on the porch again.
  12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown) – Surprisingly gripping. I read it before I read the DaVinci code. It’s kind of like comparing early Tom Clancy (Red Storm Rising, Hunt for Red October) to the stuff he published after he realized he could print million-dollar-bills just by throwing out a couple hundred pages.
  13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling) – There’s some folks who would group Rowling in the same category as Dan Brown and Clancy (sequels for cash’s sake). I can’t. I also can’t read this book to the boy until he’s like 10 or 11.
  14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving) – #2 haven’t heard of.
  15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden) – Straight up no interest
  16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Rowling) – I’m still disappointed that this wasn’t released as “The Philosopher’s Stone” here in the States. As if we’re too dumb to read legend.
  17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald) – #3 no clue.
  18. The Stand (Stephen King) – I read a lot of Stephen King in high school, as I was fascinated by the Gunslinger trilogy. With the exception of the Gunslinger books, the rest of it (this one included) left me cold.
  19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling) – Probably the last one I’d read to a kid younger than middle school.
  20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) – Sorry, just no interest
  21. The Hobbit (Tolkien) – I did make it through this one in high school, and again after I finished the LotR a couple of years ago. I prefer it to the LotR, likely due to it having a much easier plot to follow.
  22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) – Read it. Loved it. Won’t buy a copy of it.
  23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
  24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold) – No clue #4
  25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel) – Picked this up, and put it down rapidly when I realized it had nothing to do with math. No, seriously.
  26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) – Interestingly enough, the passage in here about the BabelFish is what got me to go back to church, and what squared evolution and religion with me as being able to co-exist. This has got to be one of my absolute, all-time, most favorite books.
  27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte) – Zero interest
  28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis) – I loved, LOVED the Chronicles as a kid. But I’ve got zero interest to go back and read them as an adult, because I’m petrified that I’d be disappointed. These are books I’ll give to the boys, but will probably stay away from myself.
  29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck) – I’ll leave this as a “like to” read, with only about a 25% chance of ever getting done. I think I’m scared from reading The Grapes of Wrath and not liking it.
  30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom) – less than zero interest.
  31. Dune (Frank Herbert) – What was that about Geek Cred? I think Sting in a speedo put me off of wanting to read this.
  32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks) – dunno – I think I’ve got a mental block against both Victorian and modern fiction.
  33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) – The only Ayn Rand I’ve read is the short one. I’ve picked up Atlas many, many times, but it makes my arms tired. This one is about a 50% probability of read in the next 5 years.
  34. 1984 (Orwell) – Interestingly enough, I finished this again last week. I know exactly now why They make us read it in middle school – that way, we think we grok totalitarianism, and never realize that it’s sneaking up on us as adults.
  35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley) – No clue #5
  36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett) – No clue #6
  37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay) – No clue #7
  38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb) – No interest
  39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant) – The wife did this one with her book club. I’m intrigued.
  40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho) – Interesting title. I’ll google it later.
  41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel) – After an awkward screening of this in Mrs. Round’s class sophomore year, I ran out and read it. And was promptly disappointed that high school girls apparently don’t understand sign language.
  42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini) – Heard this guy on Fresh Air. He sounds pretty interesting.
  43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella) – No interest, but mostly ’cause I’m nowhere near her demographic
  44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom) – no, no, no, no, no!
  45. Bible – I suppose it just means I’m getting old, but I find great comfort in Psalms and in the Gospels.
  46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy) – There are bits of Tolstoy I’m interested in reading, but this isn’t one of them.
  47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas) – Good sandwich
  48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt) – I may run screaming from the room….
  49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) – See above.
  50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb) – nope.
  51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver) – I’m tempted to flag this one, but won’t out of honesty.
  52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens) – I’ll throw in the obligatory “It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times … Stupid monkeys!” Ought to go back and re-read this. All I remember is that it went on long enough to make me root for the Russians.
  53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card) – Freakin’ amazing. I didn’t read this as a kid, but cannot for the life of me figure out why not. I would have been SO into this.
  54. Great Expectations (Dickens) – Actually, maybe it was this one I read. Or both – it just goes on and on and on and on and on…
  55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald) – Man, if I could pick one novel that I wish I’d written, this would be close to the top of the list. Navel-gazing supreme, lushes – F. Scott ought to be a prophet for Gen X, ‘cept not.
  56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence) – No clue #8
  57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling) – (Insert more lavish praise here)
  58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough) – I’m forever scarred by seeing this as a miniseries, so will likely never read it.
  59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood) – Anyone who rips off Chaucer is good for a possible read.
  60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger) – Time travel and women? What engineer wouldn’t want to read it.
  61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) – I’ve read it, but can’t remember it. This is a novel I’d like to know.
  62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand) – I can’t figure out why the Young Conservatives didn’t kick me out for not having read this.
  63. War and Peace (Tolstoy) – I’ll include this, but only as a 25%-er.
  64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice) – I read this only because I KNEW it couldn’t be nearly so bad as the movie was.
  65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis) – No clue #9
  66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) – Highly recommended. I was surprised I liked it as much as I did.
  67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares) – Zero interest.
  68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller) – THis probably had as much influence on making me a cynic as anything.
  69. Les Miserables (Hugo) – Saw the Musical on Broadway. Hated it. Won’t be able to get past that enough to read the original.
  70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery) – Ought to read this to the boys.
  71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding) – My wife bought it. I enjoyed it.
  72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez) – Ought to read it since I enjoyed 100 years.
  73. Shogun (James Clavell) – Want to read it, as I’m beginning to get obsessed with Asia.
  74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje) – This came up via a new acquaintance of mine this weekend. There was a bit from it where a Sihk is working for the British, but only until he’s got his own country. The guy spun it as an interesting take on globalization.
  75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett) – This one falls under the “Not quite sure why I’m interested, but I am” file.
  76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay) – No clue #10 (I was hoping to keep that less than 10%, but it looks not to happen.
  77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith) – If only to help sort out hip-hop references. That, and to feed my obsession with NYC.
  78. The World According To Garp (John Irving) – No interest. I’ve seen the movie.
  79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence) – No clue #11.
  80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White) – Hated reading this to the boys, ’cause I kept getting all choked up.
  81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley) – No clue #12
  82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck) – Didn’t like it.
  83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier) – No interest
  84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind) – I’ll steer the boys towards it, but won’t pursue it myself.
  85. Emma (Jane Austen) – Let’s see how Pride and Prejudice goes first.
  86. Watership Down (Richard Adams) – Great, great book, and an even better post-psychedelic cartoon adaptation from the 70’s.
  87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley) – Read it in college instead of doing calculus one night. Somehow wasn’t as liberating in the early ’90s following AIDs.
  88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields) – No clue #12.
  89. Blindness (Jose Saramago) – No clue #13
  90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer) – No clue #14
  91. The Skin of the Lion (Ondaatje) – Let’s see how the English Patient goes first.
  92. Lord of the Flies (Golding) – I think my childhood was way too guarded, ’cause I couldn’t identify with the kids at all. Not even poor Piggy.
  93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck) – I tried going back to re-read this on the theory that i missed something the first time around, back in High School. Got bored the second time around, too. Put it down, as I didn’t have to write an essay about it.
  94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd) – The secret? They’re insects. No interest.
  95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum) – I go back and forth on this. I’m kind of intrigued, only ’cause I haven’t read any Ludlum. But the novel dates from the mid-70’s, with lots of post-Vietnam angst.
  96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton) – No interest
  97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch) – Bad movie killed all interest.
  98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)- No clue #15
  99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield) – Absolutely zero interest. New ageness has passed me over.
  100. Ulysses (James Joyce) – Brilliant. I’ve tried to crib off of

So, there’s that. Books that I would add (All books that I’ve read):

  1. Moby Dick (Melville) – Even if you skip the technical bits about whaling, it’s a great read that’s been grossly misrepresented. NPR had a great bit on it today.
  2. Snow Crash (Stephenson) – Before he got long winded, he got inspired. I’m a huge fan of Neal Stephenson’s recent Baroque trilogy, but cannot recommend it based on sheer mass. Snow Crash I’m happy to thrust upon people because it’s visionary and an extremely easy read. Plus, it fits with my personal vision of the coming dystopia.
  3. True Names (Vinge) – I’ll try to limit the amount of sci-fi that I add, but this one is really, really short, and unbelievably prescient for having been written in the late 70’s.
  4. Still Life with Woodpecker (Robbins) – Gonzo fiction, but completely worth reading due to the discussions on “Choice” and neotony.
  5. Shakespeare in general; Henry V and Hamlet in particular – Henry V blew me away a couple of months ago. Great discussion here (and Lydon’s podcasting again.)
  6. Galloway’s Book on Running (Galloway) – Hey, this is a running blog. Even though it’s been around the block a couple of times, Galloway’s book still stands out for being Accessible and practical – written for people who want to run rather than runners.
  7. Trout (Prosek) – There is art afoot
  8. A River Runs Through It (Maclean) – Which, surprisingly, isn’t really about fishing. Worth the read if only for the sentence about “As a Scot and a Presbyterian, my father believed that man by nature was a mess and had fallen from an original state of grace.” and “My father was very sure about certain matters pertaining to the universe. To him, all good things – trout as well as eternal salvation – come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy.”
  9. The Iliad (Homer) – It’s amazing how universal humanity is, that an almost pre-historic work can still speak. I keep meaning to read the Odyssey, but can’t get around to it.
  10. The Prince (Machivelli) – Sometimes I wonder how anyone else can write another book on political science.
  11. The Art of War (Sun Tzu) – See the Iliad.

So that’s it. Heh – maybe this should count as my 100 things about me list. Mostly, though, I’m interested to see what other books folks would include.

Christmas by the Numbers

Nods to RandomDuck.

  1. Favorite Christmas Cartoon: I’ve got to ape Rudi here, in that A Charlie Brown Christmas is the absolute greatest Christmas special ever. Back when kids could be kids without all us adults getting up in their stuff. And the soundtrack’s the bomb.
  2. Favorite Christmas Movie: I’ve got to go for It’s a Wonderful Life. In a lot of ways, I identify with George Bailey – having passed on the chance to galavant around the world, all I really want is a house in the burbs, the gal I love, and to make a difference in my community. That, and a youth in which there were opportunities akin to having a drunk, naked, soaking wet girl in a bush at the end of a date.
  3. Favorite Christmas Song (Traditional): Man, I love ’em all. The one I keep singing most frequently is “Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, please put a penny in the old man’s hat. If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do. If you haven’t got a half penny, then God Bless You.” It’s got everything – food, sharing, and good will towards man. I’m always floored when the old iPod turns up Bing Crosby’s “Adeste Fidelas” (O come all ye faithful).
  4. Favorite Christmas Song (Pop/Modern): “Blue Christmas”. Elvis rocks.
  5. Favorite Christmas Cookie: Yes. Christmas cookies are my favorite this time of year. Though I’ll set aside fondness for my pop’s mom’s macaroons, for Missy’s gingerbread pigs, and for plain old sugar cookies out of the tube.
  6. Favorite Family Tradition: The kissing ball, and reading Luke 2 out of a King James bible. (I’ll rant after the break)

Anyway, That’s Christmas here. Mostly, though, we try to avoid the mall.

Continue reading

Oh … Yeah … Tagged

Rules:

  • Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
  • Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
  • Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.

My tagger? Hip

5 Facts:

  1. I lived in Hawaii for three years. I don’t remember a day of it, and haven’t been back since the early 70’s.
  2. If there’s sewing to be done in Casa Jankowski, it’s me that’s breakin’ out the Singer, not my lovely wife. My ma, about the time I was 10 or 12, handed me a needle and thread and told me I was on my own.
  3. I can brew beer from nothing but water, malted barley, and hops. Scratch that – I can brew GOOD beer from nothing but water, malted barley, dregs from the last batch of homebrew, and hops given no tools other than a big propane burner, a coil of copper tubing connected to the garden hose, a giant pot, a 5 gallon gatorade cooler with a frying pan splatter screen jammed into the bottom, and a big glass jug in which to let it percolate.
  4. Uuuuhhh – I dig musicals? Not like recent musicals, like Cats or Phantom. Don’t get me started – really, there’s like nothing that Andrew Lloyd Webber did that I can hear without gagging. But start in on an old-school musical like Gilbert and Sullivan, Rogers and Hammerstein/Heart, or Gershwin – Man, I’m hooked. Stuff you can sing along with. Stuff written in 4/4 time that can bounce around in your head while you run.
  5. I’ve never killed a deer, and have absolutely no desire to. I come from a family of hunters, and really, really love to go out shooting birds. Waking up at 0200 to go sit in the dark in a duck blind in 40 degree weather while a fine misty rain falls down is honestly high on my list of things that’s enjoyable. And I even really like venison. And my objections aren’t even ethical or squeamish; I’ve little doubt that the only reason deer exist is as nourishment for those of us who have been blessed with / who have evolved the ability to make tools or been gifted with teeth and claws. It’s just that I really don’t want to have to deal with schlepping 150 lbs of steaming deer carcass out of the woods and back to the car.

Tagees: ShoreTurtle, Doc, Am, Jon, who needs a boost in general, and April-Anne

Birthday Meme

Thanks to <a href=”http://www.randomduck.com/2007/06/26/on-may-16/”>RandomDuck

3 Events:

  1. 1620 – The Pilgrims sail from Plymouth, England, on the Mayflower to settle in North America.
  2. 1847 – Henry David Thoreau leaves Walden Pond and moves in with Ralph Waldo Emerson and his family in Concord, Massachusetts.
  3. 1870 – Louisa Ann Swain of Laramie, Wyoming becomes the first woman in the United States to cast a vote legally after 1807.

An interesting omission: Wikipedia has no mention of the 1972 kidnapping and murder of Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists at the Munich Olympics.

2 Births:

  1. 1766 – John Dalton, British chemist and physicist (d. 1844)
  2. 1928 – Robert M. Pirsig, American author (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

I claim bonus points for:
1937 – Sergio Aragonés, Spanish-born illustrator (Creator of Groo, the Wanderer)
1939 – David Allan Coe, American country singer (Writer of the perfect country and western song
1943 – Roger Waters, British musician
1947 – Jane Curtin, American actress (and “ignorant slut”)
1958 – Jeff Foxworthy, American comedian
2006 – Prince Hisahito of Akishino, Japan Imperial Family member

1 Holiday:

Swaziland – Independence Day (from the United Kingdom, 1968)

iPod Shuffle

Randomduck threw this out there – “Just start your iPod, iTunes, or whatever music player you use, and write down the first ten tracks that come up. No cheating and skipping around until you get the cool songs.”

1. “Call My Name” Prince, Musicology
2. “Wishful Thinking”, Wilco, A Ghost is Born
3. “Unknown Soldier”, The Doors, Live in Concert
4. “Beat Box”, Maitsyshu, Live at Stubbs
5. “Less than you think”, Wilco, A Ghost is Born
6. “If It Don’t Take Two”, Shania Twain, The Woman in Me
7. “B-Boy Bouillabaisse”, The Beastie Boys, Paul’s Botique
8. “Hard to Concentrate”, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stadium Arcadium
9. “KIdnapped!”, Robert Sorko, That These Things
10. “Inside”, Moby, Play

My question looking at the list? Who the heck is Robert Sorko? I’m guessing an iTunes freebie…

The list is pretty representative, even coming off the Nano, which has less than 10% of my library on it. Using iTunes, I get

1. “Don’t Need You”, Alejandro Escovido, A Man Under The Influence”
2. “Revolution”, Stone Temple Pilots, Revolution (Single)
3. “Pick Youself Up”, Dianna Krall, When I Look In Your Eyes
4. “White Christmas”, Vince Gill, Let There Be Peace On Earth
5. “What A Good Boy”, Barenaked Ladies, All Their Greatest Hits, 1991-2000
6. “Gentle Rain”, Art Farmer, A Taste of Jazz
7. “Merchant Ivory Punks”, MJ Hibbett and the Validators, *random download*
8. “Jet”, Paul McCartney and Wings, Wingspan: Hits
9. “The Best of What’s Around”, Dave Matthews Band, Under the Table and Dreaming
10. “Leaning (on Jesus)”, Robert Mitchum and Lillian Gish, 2000 Oxford American Southern Music CD

OK, so the takeaway there? I haven’t deselected my Christmas Music yet. Call Me Slacker

PS: Song 11? “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide” by ZZ Top. Yes, I am indeed.

Shameless Cribbing

From Deene:

Find nearest book.
Name book and author.
Turn to page 123.
Go to 5th sentence and copy the next three to blog.

Leading Change, John P. Kotter

Fourth, quick performance improvements undermine the efforts of cynics and major league resisters. Wins don’t necessarily quiet all of these people (which is probably good, since diversity of opinion can keep a firm from blindly walking off a cliff), but they take some of the ammunition out of opponents’ hands and make it much more difficult to take cheap shots at those trying to implement needed changes. As a general rule, the more cynics and resisters, the more important are short-term wins.

I will admit that I cheated a bit and just grabbed the best 3 sentences on the page…

Big Ideas – Do

Reading through Wired’s “Rants and Raves” today (Second Item), I caught a bit that really clicked with me:

I am weaning myself from the (media – movies, TV, copyrighted music) addiction: I don’t watch television (at all — no cable, never will) and use my Netflix account less and less. Sure it’s extreme, but I use the time to read with my daughters, take walks with my wife and think on life a bit. Heck, I don’t know where I’d find time for TV. I have found I like “doing” much more than “watching.”

It’s kind of a mental response to the “Fast Food Nation” syndrome. As a lot of the RBF is discovering, the only barrier to improving fitness is getting one’s butt out the door. I’m guessing that the correlary is that the only barrier to doing pretty much anything you want is (picking up a pencil, going to the library, dusting off the camera, asking for help…). Go meet your neighbors (something I still need to work on)

I’m still working on “doing” more than “watching”. Luckily, it’s a self-reinforcing feedback.

The more expensive and restrictive existing media industries make mass-produced content, the more satisfied we will be with brew-your-own. What’s waiting inside you?
(And again, it’s a shameless ripoff of Brogan’s “Big Idea” meme. While I’m at it, this impacted directly a project at work. Thanks)

Meme ‘o’ riffic

From Deene:

1. Do you have good hand-eye coordination? Depends. 
2. Have you ever held a gun? Yes. For both work and leisure.
3. What do you think of toy guns? Kind of up-in-the-air about them. On one hand, they’re cool. On the other hand, we live in New England now, and they’re kind of socially unacceptable. On the third hand, I’ve got two boys, and have found, that, even without any actual toy guns in the house, there’s a lot of stuff that can stand in for guns. Actually, even without the house, there’s a lot of stuff that could be guns. Like fingers.
4. When is the last time you asked for forgiveness? Yesterday? Man. I dunno. Sorry.
5. Your favorite Aerosmith song: Walk this way, but the Run DMC version

4 things

Four Jobs you’ve had in your life:
1) Dairy Queen – couldn’t eat there for a year after. But they’ve lured me back with delicious dilly bars…
2) Mechanic/Shop Boy – Built natural gas compressors. Pluses? I learned how to drive ginormous trucks, use practically every tool known to man, played with fire (heh, heh, fire), and spent lots of time in the outdoors. Minuses? The time in the outdoors was during summer. In Northwest Louisiana and East Texas.
3) Submarine Officer – not quite so cool as Tom Cruise in “Top Gun” or Alec Baldwin in “Hunt for Red October”. But close.
4) Summer Camp Counselor/Climbing wall instructor – best job ever. They paid me to play with kids. There was the little bit about making sure the kids didn’t get bit by snakes, seriously injured, or kill one-another in a tragic “Lord of the Flies” type encounter, but who cares about that? We had S’mores!

Four movies you could watch over and over again:
1) The Blues Brothers – No lie, I get up and dance when Aretha does her bit, and get the chills when John Lee Hooker launches “Boom, Boom”.
2) Ghostbusters – The first movie I can think of where the geeks are the heroes.
3) Hunt for Red October – a) The bit where Sean Connery’s reading “Revelations” and transitions from Russian to English; b) all of the excitement of four days crammed into 2 hours – much like actually going to sea; c) “One ping. One ping only”
4) Waking Ned Divine. ‘Cause I just know I’m hitting the Powerball someday.

Four places you’ve lived:
Chronological Order:
1) Hawaii
2) Austin, Texas – the land of milk and honey where the streets are paved with gold
3) Battle Creek, Michigan – left when I was 12, and I still have a sinking suspicion that there’s no finer place on earth to be a kid
4) Shreveport, Louisiana and Bossier “Get Down” City – Bossier City. From a travelogue: “Bossier City! Babylon on the Red River! Sin. Hot women. Sticky summer nights. The biggest strip of night clubs ‘tween Vegas and Miami Beach! … Then, in about five minutes old Wayne comes back in as white as a sheet and says: “Roy, let’s get the hell out of Bossier City.” So we did. But after only six hours on the Bossier Strip we had ourselves two flghts, two car wrecks, had a gun battle with the Southern Mafla, and Wayne Wilder had french-kissed a man in a dress! (Pause.lifting beer.) So Wayne, down in Huntsville-here’s to you boy.”

Four TV shows you love to watch:
1) 24. Wow.
2) Battlestar Galactica – but I’m kind of stymied on this one right now – they dropped SciFi from our cable lineup, and the iBook G3 won’t do iTunes videos.
3) My Name Is Earl – Kind of reminds me of some folks I knew growing up.
4) The Simpsons – I know they’re so last century …

Four places you’ve been on vacation:
1) Bar Harbor, Maine
2) Stowe, Vermont
3) Paris
4) South Park, Colorado

Four Websites you visit daily:
1) Bloglines
2) Technorati
3) Reason
4) Apple – ’cause I just know that the refurbished section of their online store is somehow going to list a 12″ G4 PowerBook for $200…

Four of your favorite foods:
1) Coffee
2) Ice Cream
3) Greasy, thick, medium-rare steak
4) Asparagus – lightly steamed

Four places you’d rather be:
1) Back in High School
2) Backpacking in a wilderness area
3) On a small boat
4) San Diego

Four Albums You Can’t Live Without:
1) Wilco – A Ghost is Born
2) U2 – The Joshua Tree
3) Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
4) Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique

Four Vehicles I’ve Owned:
(Chronological)
1) 1981 Datsun Station Wagon – AKA the Superwagon
2) 1980’s Ford Escort GT – the “GT” stood for “Piece of $&!+”
2.5) 1989 Ford Ranger Pickup – I was “the guy with the truck” for senior year of college. The list of frat brothers who puked in the back of the pickup is long and distinguished.
3) 1991 Jeep Cherokee – my Ensignmobile after graduating from OCS
4) 1989 Jeep Wrangler – Sold only to get a backseat for my firstborn.