Monday, February 9th, 2004
10:28 am - Interview by casperflea  


1. I know you have a big family. Where do you fall in the birth order, and did you have a family role as a child (like "nosy little sister"?) Do you now?

I am the oldest of seven, three brothers followed by four sisters, and I am also the eldest cousin, so my family role was "the responsible one," and also "one that my grandfather (after whom I'm named) expected the most out of." I did pretty well with the first, not so much with the second. There's a six year gap between the five older kids and the two youngest sisters. I was thirteen and fifteen when Laura and Jane were born, respectively. My father was flying a troop shuttle between Japan and Vietnam at the time, so he was gone for weeks at a time. This meant I had to help out with feeding and diapers and such. When Jane woke up in the middle of the night, Laura would usually wake up, too, so I'd walk the floor with Laura so my mother could take care of Jane.

I got very good at blocking out the tumult that's the product of having so many people in the same house. This was something that the ex didn't much appreciate, because I never really unlearned the behavior. She was an only child, and just didn't get the concept of quiet time.

My family role now is that of "favorite uncle," as opposed to my brother, Jim, who is "scary uncle." :)

2. What were you like in college, and how are you different now?

Let's see, I was shy, snarky, interested in a wide range of subjects (minored in history), easily distracted (I skipped a lot of classes to shoot pool or play bridge), coasted on my abilities rather than working hard, and clueless on how to relate to women. I lived at home and had a job.

I really am pretty much the same person now. One of the things my ex (who I met in college) said when we separated was that she had changed and I hadn't. Probably true. The differences, apart from the physical ones, are minor. I fool around on the computer now rather than shoot pool.

3. Where is the most exotic place (exotic to you) you have traveled?

Tough question, because I've only traveled in the US and Canada. I was supposed to take a cruise to Alaska with friends, but I bought my house instead. I was originally going to say Montreal, because it's the only place I've ever been where English was not the official language, but then I thought about it a bit. The most exotic place I've ever been was the World's Fair in New York. My father took us there three times in 1965. There was so much to see. The Ford pavillion had animatronic dinosaurs, GM had Futurama, a lot of countries had pavillions, and every state had a pavillion (the flying saucer thing from Men in Black is the old New York State pavillion). We also saw Michaelangelo's Pieta at the Vatican pavillion, and one of the times we were there, the pope was there, too, the first time a pope had ever come to the US.

A lot of Disney attractions debuted there. The Carousel of Progress was General Electric's exhibit, and after the main show was over, you could have a dime irradiated in a neutron beam. I still have mine somewhere. The Illinois pavillion featured an animatronic Abraham Lincoln, which was the start of the Hall of Presidents. And Pepsi had an exhibit in conjunction with Unicef called It's a Small, Small World. They had this really catchy song...

It's a place that doesn't really exist anymore. They tore most of the pavillions down right after the fair closed. Apart from the stuff that Disney reclaimed, all that's left are the flying saucers, the Unisphere, and I think the Hall of Science. I hear they play a lot of tennis there now.

4. If your assignment were to google someone you used to know and no longer do, who would you pick and why? (No need to include real names).

Heh, I've already done this. I googled the guy who was my best friend in college and the best man at my wedding. I haven't seen him since he moved to California after his divorce in 1977. His last letter said that he'd found found Jesus. I never heard from him after that. Anyhow, I found him a couple of years ago. He's apparently become a successful realtor in San Diego, which didn't surprise me at all. (He bought his first house when we were nineteen. I learned most of what I know about plumbing from working on that place.) It's good to know he made a good life for himself. There were even a couple pictures of him.

5. You are at Sears. Money is no object. What's the first thing you buy?

This was the hardest question. I have a list of things, but no one really stands out. I already have the two biggest ticket tools (table saw and radial arm saw) that I'd want. I was going to say a big plasma screen TV, but I'd never buy one at Sears, because it would drive me crazy every single time I walked into Best Buy and saw the same one there for a couple of hundred dollars less. The same goes for the fancy-schmancy side-by-side refrigerator and professional quality stove that I'd want as part of my eventual kitchen renovation/expansion (unless Kenmore came up near the top in Consumer Reports for those items). I miss the old riding mower from my old place, and look with envy at the lawn tractors that every single one of my neighbors has, but my yard isn't really big enough to justify it. Plus I need the exercise.

So, upon careful consideration, I'd get a good band saw, one capable of resawing (i.e., taking a thick board and slicing thin slabs off of it) fairly wide boards. I have a little bench-top band saw already, and while it's okay, it can't handle very large pieces of wood, and it isn't really capable of resawing, even on narrow stock.

Now to come up with some questions for Arliss, Jesse, and Perkins.
 
 
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casperfleacasperflea on February 10th, 2004 - 08:27 am
Thank you!
Wonderful answers. I put the Sears in for fun (and to give you the tools option) so I'm glad you didn't go for the easy plasma TV!
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