Friday, March 11, 2011

About me

25 Random Things

Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 9:22pm
I was “tagged” to write 25 random thoughts about myself so that others can get to know me better, and to tag 25 other friends to do the same.

1. Since I don't participate in chain letters or anything of that ilk (including Facebook apps, whose security may be questionable), I am not tagging anyone else to pass this concept along. However, it is not a bad way to promote communication.

2. I sometimes wonder where my life might have ended up if I had went to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, or joined the Peace Corps, or if the presidential candidate for whom I worked in 1980 had somehow won the election (as it turned out, John Anderson still gave me a job in DC). One never knows for certain the path their life might take.

3. My three favorite cars are my current 2001 VW Jetta Diesel (~50 mpg), the '93 Saturn SL2, and the 1970 VW Beetle in which I first learned to drive.

4. Learning to drive during the mid-'70s oil embargo (buying gas depended on whether the last number of your license plate was odd or even) made me very conscientious of energy conservation—hence my cars have always got good mileage, my bicycle commuting, my home thermostat is always kept quite low, and I even have a small solar panel.

5. I wish I had started growing my hair long and donating it to “Locks for Love” long before I finally got around to doing it.

6. I like to use “funny money.” I regularly use two dollar bills, gold dollar coins, and JFK half-dollars, which are often a positive conversation piece for those who receive them.

7. I have been told that I possess some artistic talents, especially with watercolors and calligraphy, with which I sometimes dabble. Sometimes I think I might have enjoyed going into graphic design.

8. Perhaps because of classic books I read as a youth (or perhaps too much Gilligan), I have always loved islands, whether in the Caribbean, the Keys, the Outer Banks, Lake Erie, or even the Ohio River.

9. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up—although it is probably too late now, so most of my dreams are centered around RETIREMENT! I'm saving hard so that I can go when eligible.

10. Part of the saving for retirement effort mentioned above is a result of the fact that I am thrifty (some would say cheap). This tendency to live simply and spend less has been around since my youth.

11. I like being on two wheels, whether it is on a bicycle, a motorcycle, or a segway.

12. I am fascinated by water habitats (perhaps because of the farm pond behind our house), and if I had gone to the Coast Guard Academy, I was thinking about majoring in Marine Biology. One of my favorite activities is something I call “creek hiking.”

13. Maybe it was growing up during the Cold War (all those Emergency Broadcasting tests), but I prefer listening to music on the radio more than on CDs, MP3s, etc. I like the sense of connection just in case some news bulletin would come across the wires. I'm fortunate to have the Ohio University public radio station playing great music to listen to while I am at home.

14. I love traveling, and feel fortunate to have visited more than 40 states, Canada, Mexico, and numerous Caribbean countries. The trip out west to visit the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, and other sites was one of my most memorable trips.

15. I believe in living within one's means, whether you are an individual or a country. Deficit spending is WRONG! I'm thrilled to be debt free.

16. As a West Virginia history fan, one of my most memorable dates was when a girl from Fairmont took me to the cemetery in Monongah, the site of one of the biggest mining disasters in history. It was chilling to look around and see the exact same date (December 6, 1907) on hundreds of tombstones.

17. I'm a terrible liar, which is one reason why I am not a practicing attorney.

18. As a Presidential Intern, I was fortunate to get to go to the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University for a seminar in 1987. I can't say I matriculated there, but I did attend.

19. I find conspiracy theories and unexplained phenomenon interesting. I'm not saying I believe in UFOs (and I have not ever seen one), but I can't say they definitely don't exist. Visiting the JFK assassination site was quite memorable. I also like listening to Coast to Coast AM the few times I get the chance.

20. I will never forget seeing the space shuttle Challenger blow up before my eyes while I worked at NASA.

21. When it comes to major league sports, I have watched NFL games in Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium, Washington's RFK Stadium, and Cleveland's Municipal Stadium (all of which have been torn down). However, I have watched WVU play in NFL stadiums in Miami, Nashville, Jacksonville, Charlotte, and Pittsburgh. I have seen NHL games in Pittsburgh, Washington, Columbus, Nashville, and San Jose; baseball in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati; and arena football in Columbus.

22. I grew up as a racing fan, and my first occupational goal was to be a race car driver. I owned and raced a WKA racing go-kart while in law school. I have driven race cars at Skyline Speedway and Jackson County Speedway, plus the Richard Petty Driving School at Walt Disney World Speedway.

23. Be careful what you wish for—when I was young and a huge racing fan, I hoped that one day auto racing would be truly a national favorite. Well, NASCAR became wildly popular, and yet it lost something in the process. It is not the same to me as it used to be. By the way, I attended the 1965 Daytona 500, so I have a long history as a race fan (others include Martinsville, Bristol, Dover, Richmond, Charlotte, and Darlington). I've been to Indianapolis, and also watched Indy car races at Nashville and the Meadowlands. Finally, when it comes to racing, nothing can beat dirt track sprint cars.

24. I am more interested in experiences than possessions. I think the quest for knowledge is our purpose on earth. I like contemplating the big questions of life.

25. I am thankful for my daughter Halley and for Anna.

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