Day Seven: 10 Things You Don’t Know About Me

Well this ought to be fun.


1.  I am a graduate and proud diploma holder of the International Baccalaureate program.  Which basically just means I have more things crammed into my head and ways to cross-reference them than the average person.


2.  I’ve only ever gotten 3 speeding tickets, and two of them were complete BS.  I got a ticket for doing 68 on I-20, in the slow lane, while being passed by motorists in the other two lanes.  But that’s what I get for having out of state plates I guess.  Easy pickings.  The other one I got in a 100 yard long zone by an elementary school where the speed limit dips from 45 to 40.  I got a ticket for doing 45.  Nothing screams “we need money” like a guy handing out tickets for 5 mph over in a zone almost not long enough to brake in.


3.  I still have a fully functional copy of Dark Tower.  With all the pieces.  Current Ebay prices range from $350 to $1200.




4.  I once swam with a dolphin…on accident.   I worked two summers for a volunteer water testing program growing up in Florida.  We were collecting samples by free diving right at the mouth of the bay.  I thought my partner was tapping me on the shoulder while I was gathering stuff on the bottom, turned around, and was nose to nose with a dolphin.   We played hide and seek for a few minutes (I had to surface a lot more often than him), but I will never forget that moment, looking into his/her eyes.  There was a lot of intelligence there.


5.  I played Magic: The Gathering in Europe.  We were on a school trip and I played in game shops from Madrid to Paris.   And I picked up a solid collection of cards in both those languages and Italian to boot (including a rare black-border Underworld Dreams).  For the record:  black and red combo decks were all the rage in France, and I got completely hosed by them.   I did better in Spain.


6.  This one time, in band camp…my drum major was Barry Kerch.  Before he was a big rock star.  Barry was in charge of things my freshman year and was a great leader and very talented drummer.  I’m not surprised he made it in the big time.  I am surprised that he has dreads and tats.   Dude was rocking polo’s and jeans back in the day.


7.  The first video game I ever beat was Karnov on the NES.  It was insanely difficult.  I still haven’t recovered, which is probably why I rarely max-level in MMO’s.



8.  I’ve met Terry Brooks and Timothy Zahn in person.  Both are exceedingly cool.   And Zahn said that if he ever got a chance to write the idea I pitched him, he would totally give me credit.   It was for an alternate universe Star Wars novel following the exploits of Chiss Smuggler Thrawn Solo.  I’m noting that here in case we get entangled in a comically vicious lawsuit later on down the line.


9.  I’m a lefty.  Which means, of course, that I am in my right mind.  And that I can’t use scissors properly.


10. My favorite president is Andrew Jackson.  I know, I know…Trail of Tears.  And I completely agree.  My next step is generally to ask people what other mistakes Jackson made during his presidency.  And I’m usually met with a wall of silence.   Not bad for two terms eh?  And, here is why I like him: He’s the only president in our history to accomplish paying off the national debt.  See, you like AJ and you didn’t even know it…


10 thoughts on “Day Seven: 10 Things You Don’t Know About Me

  1. This was a lot of fun to read! It’s probably a tad bit more information than I’m willing to give out about myself (meaning I probably won’t follow suit), but it was fun to read.

    Andrew Jackson: man, Old Hickory was an asshole. He also fought duels (which is awesome, I guess?), but his behavior in his duel against Charles Dickinson (not that Dickinson) was generally seen as being… cold blooded? Also: the spoils system.

    1. If I had to do it over again, I might retract about two of those, but part of this is a learning exercise for me, to learn where the line of comfort is for me too.

      Dickinson is the cold blooded one – he deliberately set up a situation where he could legally off Jackson. He wrote that piece over a decade after the attacks on Rachel started, and everyone knew Jackson was a hothead, and Charles was widely known as a crack shot, . It was like Needles calling Marty a chicken…everyone knew what was coming next.

      The spoils system as Jackson envisioned it didn’t survive very long. Jackson wanted every job (or at least the key ones) in the bureaucracy up for grabs every four years (remember he endorsed a single term limit for the Pres and VP both). We don’t do that.

      But, I did say “most people” couldn’t come up with a second thing. You may not reveal much about yourself, but both your nicknames hint that you aren’t “most people” when it comes to all things historical. (-;

      1. In the defense of other people, I did google “Andrew Jackson duel on White House lawn,” only to find out that Jackson did not, in fact, murder people on the lawn of the White House. I guess the lesson is, “part of looking historical is doing your research before writing.” 😀

  2. OK Here’s my reveal: Paying off the national debt sounds cool on the surface, and I am certainly in favor of paying it *down.* However (and this was intentional on Jackson’s part), paying off the national debt completely would destroy the Federal Reserve’s ability to control interest rates. Jackson shuttered the Bank of the United States, leading to boom/bust cycles in the 1800s that make the Stock Market Crash of 1929 look like a Sunday outing. The only reason the U.S. didn’t have a Great Depression back then was that most people were subsisting on family farms and local shops anyway, and were already “poor.”

    One of my former coworkers had a sign that said, “We’re all born left-handed. You become right-handed after you commit your first sin.” Sinister People for the Win!

    1. Continuing my SPIRITED DEFENSE OF OLD HICKORY (lol)…

      I don’t think you can blame the boom/bust cycle of the 1800’s on the Panic of 1837. Not with the Civil War and the changes in industrialization. Its true that the Panic caused a depression. And it was bad. Almost as bad as the Great Depression (1/4 of the banks closed in the former, 1/3 in the latter, in both cases the stock of money fell by 1/3). The difference? The nation only took five years to recover from the Panic, it took *sixteen* to recover from the Great Depression, and you can argue that a substantive portion of that recovery was directly related to World War II.

      I will admit I think Jackson did make a mistake here though – he didn’t know enough about economics to slowly fold the bank up, which is what he was trying to do. There’s not really a way you can avoid blaming him for the Panic itself.

      1. Part of the boom/bust cycle of the 19th century was a lack of “accelerator and brake” on the economy. And much of the Great Depression was a result of the Dust Bowl drought on the plains. In not for that, the nation might have recovered more quickly. None of which can legitimately be blamed on the Chief Executive of any era. We give every President way too much credit for economic outcomes, good or bad. 🙂

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