Thursday, January 11, 2007

Tag, I'm It

I've been tagged by Alex Feldstein, so it's my turn to tell five things about me that you may not know.

1. I'm lucky to be alive. A nasty combination of curiosity and clumsiness have been my downfall, literally, countless times. Here are a few:

  • When I was very young (three and younger), I nearly killed myself many times. I swallowed a penny, which my mother luckily poked down just as I passed out. I climbed onto a box which I stacked on a stool which I placed on a chair to get into my parent's liquor stash and had a couple of glugs of whiskey. I placed two nails in my mouth and played elephant, trying to poke my tusks into an electrical outlet. I wanted to iron shirts like my mom did, but forgot to take my shirt off first. The folks in the ER got to know me pretty well.

  • I've broken a number of bones, including my right humerus (which wasn't funny), left wrist, and the joint in my right thumb, all of which while doing somewhat dumb things.

  • I've had three concussions, one pretty serious (unconscious for several hours). The first two were playing football, the last only a few years ago while watersliding (OK, that one's kind of embarrassing).

  • While swimming at the bottom of a waterfall, I was pulled into a very wicked set of rapids. I emerged about 400 meters later with bruises that lasted four months.

2. I have a Master's degree, sort of. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry, I joined the Biology department of the University of Dallas at Texas as a PhD candidate. However, after a year and a half studying molecular genetics, I came to the realization that most university professors (which I figured I'd be one day) were really just managers -- they manage graduate students who do the real science and spend most of their time filling out grant applications and attending meetings. Since I'd owned a computer for about four years at this point (1982), I decided to find a job in the computer field and that was the end of my academic career. However, I discovered some years later that I'd completed enough courses to qualify for a non-thesis Master of Science degree, but by that time, it was too late to apply.

3. I love sports. I loved football in elementary school, playing every day, even during blizzards in the winter. I also swam a lot, and took diving classes. I started wrestling in high school and liked it, although I wasn't very good (if you've ever met me, you know upper body strength isn't a forte). I continued playing a lot of football (not organized -- I tried it once and didn't care for the brutal mentality of my coach). I ran cross-country and track (400 m, 4x100 m, and 4x400 m) in 12th grade and was fairly successful (3rd in the city in the 400 and set city records in the 4x100 and 4x400). In college, I started scuba diving (which I haven't done since then), played a lot of floor hockey (which I was also good at, thanks to being fast), and played football a couple of times a week. After college, I took up cross-country skiing, which I did for a few years. Currently, I play racquetball twice a week (I took it up twenty years ago this year) and golf about a dozen times in the summer. I took a snowboarding lesson last weekend with my son and loved it, so I'm expecting to add that to my regular list of sports.

4. I don't like hockey. OK, that's not completely true -- I watch one game a year or so. I'm one of the only able-bodied Canadian males who never played ice hockey. Even Calvin Hsia plays hockey and he's from Hawaii! It comes down to the fact that I can hardly skate. It seems completely anti-Canadian, but it just wasn't something I got into as a kid.

5. I was a disco king. I was in the Canadian Reserves (a communications squadron) during college in the late 70s and we had dances once a month or so. My girlfriend at the time wanted to do the disco thing, so we practiced a lot in her living room. We got pretty good and won a couple of dance contests. Fortunately, there are no pictures of me in my white suit (that I'm aware of), but I'm not afraid to admit that I still like disco music to this day.

OK, here are the people I'm tagging:

John Koziol
Ted Roche
Craig Boyd
Ken Levy
Cesar Chalom


Anonymous said...

Here you are !

That's really is very cool to see so many people telling about themselves at the same time !
I suspect that Markus Egger was the one who started tagging the VFP community members.

Anonymous said...

Hey Doug the Disco King,

Good to see you blogging!

Molecular genetics sounds pretty useful.

Ever write any VFP code to do genetic algorithms?

Ted Roche said...

Thanks for the tag. Fellow Canadian Andrew tagged me, too, and I saw his post before yours, so here's my posting:

Gonzo said...

Hey, I finally responded to the Tag at my blog: